And on that (not) bombshell, Week Four is over! Thank you for keeping me company – I’ll be back next Saturday at 7.05pm for another whirl around the Strictly dancefloor, or you can find me on Twitter in the meantime @heidistephens. Please join me then, and in the meantime have a FAB-U-LUSS week! Hx
Greg Wise and Karen Hauer are leaving Strictly!
Greg and Karen say lovely things about each other (friends for life etc.), then take to the floor for their final dance to ‘I Try’ by Macy Gray. ‘Try to walk away and I stumble’ is next level Dave Arch shade.
All the judges save Judi and Graziano, apart from Shirley, who ‘counted the mistakes’ and would have saved Greg and Karen. So last week mistakes didn’t matter, but this week Shirley’s counting. Not only is this deeply contrary, but also unnecessarily mean.
Thankfully Shirley’s vote isn’t relevant on this occasion, so Judi and Graziano live to dance another week and GREG AND KAREN are leaving Strictly. I love him, but he’s the weakest dancer left in the competition by some distance and it’s definitely the right decision.
DANCE-OFF TIME! It’s Judi and Graziano vs. Greg and Karen
Oh Greg, how we swooned when you were announced for Strictly. We imagined you doing a sexy Samba, like Danny Mac or Kelvin Fletcher. Instead you’re doing the Macarena whilst dressed as a pastel clown. This Samba is marginally better than last night. Still terrible, but technically more proficient. It’s an incredibly low bar, to be fair.
Time for Judi and Graz - I actually really enjoyed this Waltz last night, partly because this song is gorgeous and I love this partnership. But Judi seems nervous and this has a few mistakes.
By rights it should be Greg and Karen leaving the show tonight, but this is Judy’s third time in the dance-off and we can’t discount the judges deciding to put her out of her misery. Or Greg actually doing that Samba properly, you never know.
So who is joining Judi and Graziano in the dance off? Tom and Amy are safe, along with Rhys and Nancy, Rose and Giovanni, John and Johannes and AJ and Kai.
Which means GREG AND KAREN in the dance off!
This dating/dancing show with Jamie Laing on BBC3 looks like a colossal pile of shite. There, I said it.
Dancing accompaniment provided by Gorka and Luba dressed as a human disco ball.
Anyone for Westlife?
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Irish 00s boyband royalty Westlife. They’re having another midlife spin of the pop stardom wheel, and tonight they’re singing their new single ‘Starlight’.
You may remember Nicky Byrne from Strictly in 2012, when he danced with Karen Hauer. Or you may not remember at all, which is also OK. It was a big year. Kimberley Walsh, Louis Smith, Denise Van Outen, actual Jerry Hall.
Come on, what’s not to love about Westlife? You’re all having a little chair bop.
Nadiya’s skirt is pure Ferrero Rocher - keep her away from naked flames. Also, if I was Tilly I’d kick OFF about that outfit. Send your dad round to wardrobe, Tilly. Get him to have a word.
So which couples are safely through to next week? Adam and Katya are safe, along with Dan and Nadiya, Sara and Aljaz and Tilly and Nikita.
First couple in the bottom two: JUDI AND GRAZIANO. Not a huge surprise, and I fear that only Greg and Karen can save them.
Last night on Strictly: a post-Movie Week reality check.
Highlights: John Whaite’s trousers, Sara’s Tango, Rose’s cheeky Cha Cha, Motsi’s festive jumper, Adam and Katya serving super-hot Argentine realness.
Lowlights: Rose’s trousers, death by Samba, sniping judges, random scoring.
Tess and Claudia Dress Watch!
Tess in white boob tube and loon pants and Claudia in a cutesy dress. I don’t hate either.
I didn’t see what the judges were wearing, I was too busy trying to work out if Claudia’s outfit is a dress or a playsuit. A dress, I think.
And we’re off! Tonight’s opening pro dance is a funktastic affair to Chaka Khan’s ‘Like Sugar’. The wardrobe for Blues Brothers in the West End has been comprehensively emptied.
Currently on BBC1: a sex-fuelled frog chorus. Suddenly the noodly Paul McCartney 80s novelty song has taken on a whole new dimension. We All Bang Together.
(If you popped in for Strictly results, I’m so sorry. Normal service will resume shortly).
Currently on Countryfile: exotic man pheasant attempting to woo bored-looking lady pheasant by making a noise like a Clanger and doing some impressive tail-feather wafting.
I’m beginning to think this might not be Countryfile.
Apparently fireflies flash their glowsticks to communicate ‘I am here and I’m ready to mate’. I went to raves in the 90s and have seen this tactic in action.
I’ve just switched on Countryfile, and it features some teeth-grinding monkeys with rainbow butts. Looks like Adam Henson’s sheep farm has diversified.
SUNDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW UPDATE!
Evening all, and welcome back for the Strictly Results! Last night’s glittery bag was somewhat mixed, but that’s only to be expected as we get past the initial few weeks of excitement and settle into the reality of bunions and blisters and very long days of hard graft. Everyone’s getting tired and grouchy (including Craig), and it’s a long, uphill slog to Christmas. And honestly, last night it showed.
I watched some of the dances again this morning, and agree that Sara and Aljaz’s Tango was technically incredibly good. I guess it just lacked fire and passion for me, but there is more than one type of Tango. Right now it feels like Sara is on the biggest Journey of the competition, so we definitely can’t count her out for the Grand Final – she could be this year’s Emma Barton.
The only way that Greg Wise isn’t leaving the competition this evening is if the nation has rallied round to save him so we don’t have to watch that Samba again. Since we rarely demonstrate that level of critical thinking in our voting (see: all votes ever), I’m guessing his time is probably up. But at Greg’s dance was memorable, and that definitely can’t be said for everything we saw last night. So let’s not count our pastel-frilled chickens.
Kick off tonight is at 7.10pm – see you then!
See you tomorrow for the results!
That’s it for tonight’s show - thank you for joining in, and please come back tomorrow at 7.10pm for the Results Show. Also VERY EXCITING NEWS: Westlife are performing their new single, so get practising your four-part harmonies. See you then!
The dancing is over, and the voting is open!
Sara and Aljaz at are the top of the leaderboard, with Greg and Judi at the other end. Will they be our bottom two? Watching the recap, tonight was definitely a mixed bag, but I think the clock is definitely ticking on Greg’s Strictly journey.
Scores: 5,7,8,8 - a total of 28 for AJ and Kai. See? Justice for Tom Fletcher.
Craig thought it was technically poor and not AJ’s dance. Motsi loved the conviction but it needed more leg co-ordination. Shirley loved the vibrancy and attitude, but her leg action needed to track better. ‘All you need for this dance is to look great and dance well,’ says Anton ‘and you looked great’. Eeeeek.
AJ’s dressed as a Quality Street tin full of empty wrappers, and I love it. She makes a big old mistake at the beginning, but recovers it well and starts to bring the party. It’s a bit shaky in places and definitely not AJ’s best dance, but a nice way to wrap up the show.
And finally…it’s time for AJ AND KAI!
This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Don’t Go Yet’ by Camila Cabello. We haven’t seen AJ do party Latin yet, and this is a fab song for Samba. Very excited about this, definitely can’t see AJ going anywhere yet.
Mum and dad on video! DRINK!
Scores: 8,8,8,8 - a total of 32 for Adam and Katya.
Anton thought it was one of the most impressive series of lifts he’s ever seen. Craig thought it was a bit blocky and square, but otherwise right up his alley. Motsi thought Adam picked it up a notch, and Shirley agrees - the lifts were immaculate, but Adam needs to find the music in his own body. Probably not that version of Tango In The Night, but maybe that’s just me.
By the standard of previous weeks Adam is somewhat overdressed, especially for dancing in a swimming pool. This is actually quite haunting and sexy, and I’m very much enjoying fierce Adam bringing the power. But it’s mostly just throwing Katya around and not much actual Argentine-ing from Adam. Some nice arms at the end and love the intent, but the legs definitely needed more work.
Ooh, all gets a bit hot and flustery at the end.
Time for ADAM AND KATYA!
After last week’s Rigid Rumba, they’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and dance this year’s first Argentine Tango. Either Katya has a family wedding she really wants to go to next weekend, or she and Adam have decided they’re so invincible they can get all the Exit Dances out of the way early, then freewheel their way to the final. I mean, it’s definitely a choice.
Also, their music choice is Tango In The Night by Fleetwood Mac. It’s a solid bit of middle-of-the-road 80s pop, but is it sexy Argentine? I’m not convinced.
Many family members. DRINK.
Scores: 4,6,7,7 - a total of 24 for Judi and Graziano. Who rattled Craig’s cage? That was never a 4.
Shirley felt Judi’s emotion and pain, and Judi gave it everything. Anton thought Judi made a lovely connection between the dance, the music and the sentiment, although it was a bit hesitant in the leg action. Craig thought it was dance with intent and isn’t going to mention all the bad stuff. Motsi wanted Judi to push it a bit more and focus on the details, but it was beautiful.
I love the connection between these two, and this dance has real romance and a lovely elegance to it. Gorgeous footwork from Judi, and a really nice bit of storytelling. LOVED that.
Also round of applause for fake Mariah. You smashed that.
JUDI AND GRAZIANO take to the floor!
This week they’re dancing the Waltz to ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey. It’s the ultimate power ballad, and I’m very much hoping for a Waltz to match. Already crossing my fingers for the Dave Arch singer who is gearing up to take on this song – the nation is right behind you, so give it some welly.
Judi is dedicating this dance to her parents, both of whom have passed away. Raise a glass.
Scores: 5,7,7,7 - a total of 26 for Dan and Nadiya.
Motsi thought it was fun to watch but it needed hip action. Shirley thought it was highly entertaining and Dan looked like he believed in himself more, and now he needs to work on his flexibility. Anton enjoyed how Dan performed it, but Craig wasn’t fussed about the crab and the running man, even though he loved the commitment.
On the upside, Dan is wearing a Connect Four shirt rather than low-crotch Hammer pants, so that’s a relief. On the downside, Nadiya is dressed as a brillo pad.
I mean, this is fun and Dan’s leg action is really pretty great, but his hips are set in stone. If Dan did this Cha Cha in Trafalgar Square, he’d be the fourth plinth.
I actually weirdly enjoyed that, but I’m not sure why.
Next up…DAN AND NADIYA!
This week they’re dancing the Cha Cha Cha to ‘U Can’t Touch This/Superfreak’ by MC Hammer/Rick James.
I’m old enough to remember weddings in 1990 when dads would take to the floor and attempt the Running Man and the Hammer Shuffle, and I definitely don’t want to go back. Why would anyone? Brace brace.
Mention of the whole Davies family - DRINK!
Scores: 9,9,9,9 - a total of 36 for Sara and Aljaz.
Craig thought it was spectacular, despite Motsi screaming in German throughout. Motsi loved the control and strength, she’s so proud of Sara. Shirley can’t believe the progress Sara has made since Week 1, even if the head placement was a bit off. Anton thought it was almost perfect, but she needed to lean her head rather than turn it. Or something.
I didn’t love that as much as they did, but maybe I missed something. I’ll watch it again later.
Love the traditional tango music, but Sara’s footwork feels a bit soft and lacking intent to me. Her timing is amazing, but it needs more drama and attack. Not my favourite Tango, but then the Tango isn’t my favourite dance. What do I know?
Who's next? It's SARA AND ALJAŽ!
This week they’re dancing the Tango to ‘Por Una Cabeza’ by Carlos Gardel. This is a Strictly Tango standard, most recently used by Debbie and Giovanni for an Argentine. Big shoes to fill, and very bendy legs.
Loving Aljaz’s lilac bobble hat. Proof (if it were needed) that Aljaz can make anything look good.
Scores: 8,8,7,8 - a total of 31 for Rhys and Nancy.
Anton found it a bit frenetic and big, but he loves Rhys’s energy and style. Craig liked that it was something different and Motsi enjoyed how Rhys shined - he’s a power packet (no idea). Shirley thought it was highly entertaining, but Rhys needs to tidy up the loose ends.
Nancy’s outfit has a whiff of ‘IKEA Employee gets caught in shredder’ about it. It’s a Health & Safety tribunal waiting to happen.
Rhys has all the moves, but his hip action lacks Latin flow. In and out of the lifts is a bit clunky and some sections of this are a bit frantic and off the pace. Not Rhys’s best, but you can’t fault the energy.
Next up...RHYS AND NANCY
Tonight they’re switching from Spiderman Street Dance to a Sexy Salsa to ‘Butter’ by BTS. Rhys showed us his hip action potential in their Cha Cha a couple of weeks ago, so I have very high hopes for this.
Scores: 6,7,8,8 - a total of 29 for John and Johannes.
Shirley loved the gear change from last week, and they had a nice combination of open and closed choreography. Anton thought John is a super dancer - he has lovely grace and charm but the sections out of hold were better than in hold. Craig thought it was odd and there was gapping galore in hold - it didn’t come together tonight. Motsi was feeling the power.
Well, this is gorgeous. Great storytelling and you really feel the connection and trust between these two, and it’s a nice mix of fun and joy and bromance - really enjoyed that, despite the vast gapping and because of the breathtakingly restrictive nature of John’s trousers.
Who’s next? It’s JOHN AND JOHANNES!
Tonight they’re dancing the American Smooth to ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’ by George Michael and Aretha Franklin. This is one of my favourite songs ever, and I think we’ve all been waiting for JoJo to give us some classic ballroom.
Scores: 3,5,5,6 - a total of 19 for Greg and Karen. Three votes for them later, just so we don’t have to watch that again.
Motsi wanted more from Greg’s body. NOPE. Shirley thought there was no mistaking Greg’s personality, but the mistake at the beginning was too big for Week Four. Sorry, says Greg. Anton thought it was fluid, boppy and flamboyant, and he enjoyed it. Craig thought it looked like Greg had just come out of a double hip replacement, and it was technically really quite bad, even though he loved the shirt and Greg’s smile.
Greg blows into a big shell, and this is already horrible beyond anything we could possibly have imagined. It’s like watching a box of Kleenex being ripped apart by a dog. MY EYES.
Anyone fancy a cleansing watch-along of Sense & Sensibility later, just to remind ourselves of a time when Greg Wise didn’t wear pastel samba frills?
Next up - GREG AND KAREN
This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Macarena’ by Los Del Rio, because tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1996. You can’t fault Greg’s commitment to cheesy Dad Dancing, but I do worry where we go from here. Whigfield’s Saturday Night? The Cha Cha Slide? Oops Up Side Your Head?
Mention of Tilly’s father (no idea who he is, Gordon someone) - DRINK. Also Tilly’s nan on video - DOUBLE DRINK.
Scores: 6,8,9,9 - a total of 32 for Tilly and Nikita.
Craig loved routine but it felt stop-starty to him. Motsi does NOT agree - she felt the determination and attack from Tilly. Shirley agrees - Tilly challenged Nikita and stayed poised and focussed throughout. Anton thought it was Tilly’s best dance of the season so far - he enjoyed the intensity and the acceleration.
It’s time for TILLY AND NIKITA!
This week they’re dancing the Paso Doble to ‘Diablo Rojo’ by Rodrigo y Gabriela. Joe and Katya did a very stylish Paso to this a few years back, it’s perfect Paso music. Can Tilly do flamenco goddess?
Tilly has some nice intent in her footwork and there’s plenty of drive, but it all feels a bit stompy to me, and that dress does nothing for her. That said, Tilly is massively growing in confidence and she should be pretty proud of that.
There’s a mention of Amy’s grandad, if not an actual sighting. Drink anyway.
Scores: 7,8,7,7 - a total of 29 for Tom and Amy. Remember that very sensible score when they dish 9s for some old guff later.
Tom’s wife is in the audience. DRINK. I’m so sorry.
Anton thought it was marvellous - the whole thing was charming and delightful, but Tom needs to work on his footwork. Craig wanted Tom to lead the dance a little and it lacked swing and sway, and Motsi agrees - needs more work on Tom’s standing leg, but classy. Shirley loved the ambience and Tom made a good effort, he just needs to do a little work on his feet.
Amy’s pink feathery frock is as gorgeous as this Foxtrot – this has bags of class and old-school charm. Love the little side-by-side interlude - Tom’s footwork isn’t perfect, but enjoyed that very much.
Next up...TOM AND AMY!
This week they’re dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ by Frank Sinatra. Love a Foxtrot, love a bit of Frank, and I’m expecting this to have a lot of style and class. For me Tom is the dark horse of this competition – he’s the one who could sneak up on the top three and surprise us all.
First nanna of the evening - DRINK.
Scores: 7,6,6,8 - a total of 27 for Rose and Giovanni. Indications are that Shirley is marking down for mistakes this week, but the evening is young.
Shirley thought Rose lifted the level of her Latin, even though there were a couple of mistakes. Anton thought it was a refreshing spritz of something fabulous and uplifting, and Rose’s foot action has improved. Craig wanted more extension in Rose’s line but he liked the hip action and the strong partnership between her and Giovanni. Motsi loved how Rose is gaining confidence - she’s getting stronger and stronger.
Once again, am loving Motsi’s look. It’s never too early for a festive jumper.
Obviously I’m thrilled that Rose is wearing an actual raspberry beret, even though there’s not a second-hand store in the land that would attempt to sell those fugly trousers.
Rose is doing a nice job of this Cha Cha - she’s got great precision to her leg action. The trouser fringing makes it quite difficult to see what’s going on, but to me it looks like a fun and simple Cha Cha, well delivered.
First up tonight - ROSE AND GIOVANNI!
This week they’re dancing the Cha Cha Cha to Raspberry Beret by Prince. Another brilliant song, but quite spiky for a Cha Cha. Can Rose give it Latin rhythm? I suspect she probably can.
Incidentally, I can find no evidence that anyone has danced to this song on Strictly before. ‘When Doves Cry’ has had a few Tango outings, but never this one. How is that possible?
Out come the stars! How are there still so many of them, despite losing three since last week? I feel like we’ve been here for MONTHS.
Crikey, who did Rose upset in Wardrobe this week? Those trousers look like some kind of lockdown craft project.
Meanwhile Greg and Karen appear to be dressed as Princess Jasmine and BoBo The Clown, which is the Aladdin spin-off none of us asked for.
Tess and Claudia Dress Watch!
Tess dressed as a premium seat from your local multiplex, Claudia in a rather fabulous lace catsuit.
And we’re off! Everyone’s loving Strictly and having a lovely time, nobody wants this experience to end. Ba-ba-ba etc.
This week's Strictly Come Bingo...
This week’s Strictly Come Bingo, and it’s a FAMILY MEMBER SPECIAL. Take a swig of something that makes your eyes water for any occurrence of the following:
- Lovely nannas
- Adorable kids
- Tearful parents
- Proud partners
- Cute pets
Interestingly, I went back and looked at 2019 Heidi’s Hunches in Week Four, when my ‘nailed down top four’ included Michelle Visage and Dev Griffin. Dev went home that week in a shock elimination, and Michelle was the first and only person to actively sabotage her Strictly journey through the medium of Couple’s Choice. So, you know, there’s a long journey ahead of us.
Heidi's Hunches...who's up and who's down?
OK, time for a Heidi’s Hunches update. I’ve moved Rhys and Nancy down a group – not because I don’t think they’re amazing, but because there are potentially only three places in the Grand Final now and he’s already played his Couple’s Choice Joker. Likewise I’ve moved Dan up because he and Adam clearly have the votes even if they don’t always have the moves. The risky place to be right now is ‘middle table wilderness’, where you’re not automatically safe and nobody’s actively saving you.
Group 1: gunning for the Grand Final – AJ and Kai, John and Johannes, Rose and Giovanni.
Group 2: driving for December – Adam and Katya, Tilly and Nikita, Tom and Amy, Rhys and Nancy, Dan and Nadiya.
Group 3: happy to see Halloween – Sara and Aljaz, Greg and Karen, Judi and Graziano, Ugo and Oti.
It's Strictly Week 4!
Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! We survived the red carpet dazzle of Movie Week, and now we’ve got a couple of weeks of peace and normality before Halloween chaos is upon us.
It’s been another eventful week on Planet Strictly, with Ugo off this week with back issues, and Robert Webb pulling out of the show entirely due to health reasons. If previous years are any indication, that means we’ll have three couples in the Grand Final rather than four – right now AJ and Kai, John and Johannes and Rose and Giovanni feel nailed down, but if Strictly has taught us anything over the years, it’s that everything can change in the time it takes to do a fleckerl and a heel turn.
Tonight’s show kicks off at 7.10pm, so please bring snacks, loved ones and a bucket of glitter for another turn around the Strictly dancefloor. Eleven couples are scheduled to dance, and not one of them is doing Couple’s Choice, so that’s something to celebrate. Are you excited? I’m excited. See you in a bit!