Strictly Come Dancing, Week 8, Blackpool
This week is the extravaganza build up that is Blackpool. Last year was Wembley, this year it’s back ‘upt north.’
Opening the floor with a loud pink and blue sass fest were the professionals and some young ballroom dancers to lift the mood of Strictly fun fest for its eighth week. With so much on the line who will raise their game and be booted off the tower? Get ready to catch the donkey ride home.
The BBC decided to spend much more of the taxpayers money on the celebrities being wheeled in on a platform and Sophie Ellis Bextor (among the other females) in a putrid green peacock costume. Was it really worth that much?
Out stroll our glam hosts Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly to get the ball(room) rolling.
First up this week is…
Sophie and Brendan
The Lady Is A Tramp – Shirley Bassey
The first thing we see is Sophie’s mum (again) wheeled out by the BBC for some tips on how to dance. Thanks for that unimportant tidbit.
Sophe begins stepping down the table to join Brendan in hold. Good start on the floor, carried by Brendan somewhat still. Little off time in middle of song. Stops slow for a moment in routine costing time. Runs around out of hold from Brendan only into arms of three human male props. Having multiple dancers to hide flaws is no level of success.
The judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussel, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli give their comments and scores, along with our professional mark in brackets.
Len – Full of intent. Hair wafting out. absolutely spot on.
Bruno – This lady definitely is not a tramp. You’re a tease. Full of character. Really, really nice. Check the top line.
Craig – I really loved the story. However, your top line thought you lost. Bit loose, jaggered. Storytelling absolutely phenomenal.
Darcey – You came alive. It was so beautiful.
7, 9, 9, 9 (6)
Brucie explains about the Shakespearian tragedy MacBeth. Funny, we send a Macbethian tweet of dialogue out two weeks ago. BBC are so clever aren’t they? As well as contradictory with their systematic levels of abuse. Anything spring to mind now then, now then?
Patrick and Anya
Copa Cabana – Barry Manilow
Helped by two feather babes. Joins Anya quickly into strong hold. Shame of awkward malfunction slightly in hold from Garnis clothing with Patrick. Recovers quickly from Patrick. Leading well with Anya into spin around arm groove. Good rhythm. Strong presence on own as well as with Anya. Great show but a tad awks.
Dave Arch and his fabulous Orchestra were introduced for providing the excellent evening’s live sound.
Bruno – A blistering hot Samba. Captured the flavour so well. Variety of steps. Rhythm. Close to perfection except mess up and tiny incident. Stop me to give it the perfect score. One of the best male Samba dancers we ever had.
Craig – Think you are one of the best, just unfortunate it went horribly wrong. That could have been dazz-a-ling, darling.
Darcey – Extraordinary difficult dance. No gimmicks. Tiny, tiny fault. It was superb, well done.
Len – That’s not a Samba, it’s a Wamba! You just messed up one step. It was fantastic. You are a terrific dancer. Believe me.
8, 9, 9, 9 (8)
Tess – Go Coconuts!
It’s Big Ben time, Brucie informs. Smiley Ben is shown. Should he dance with his shirt off? Any ladies here? Bruce continues to pander the audience who predicatble reply with a slut fest with tongues hanging out letching. How sad of a common denominator are you?
Ben and Kristina
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
Ben’s preparation involved a game of Buckeroo and Twister. Saddle up, then.
Kristina was thrown forward by three males as Ben dances on spot to side movement only. One move Ben catches Kristina after the three other dancers lift her onto him. Ben carried by Kristina into arm flip around. Rihanoff runs into lift as Ben only stands and hoists up. Weak, lackluster and empty. As well as cheating with dancers there was no skill on offer here though Ben did however tick a couple of feet boxes in right place.
Craig – Big Ben is back. Very quick Viennese. Would’ve licked bit more out of hold. Vast improvement.
Darcey- Air and flow. What a tentative partner you are. Think about what your gonna do. Brilliant.
Len – Honestly, last week, I thought your Jive was fabulous. When you’re out of hold gets bit too wimpy.
Bruno – Aw, Ben. Had such warmth. Most difficult part was a Viennese Waltz, which you did very well. Well done.
Of course, this week was the sympathy vote in the national press after Ben did the rounds stating he would dedicate this week to his late father and to ‘get the gays’ talking about wearing only his pants. Again. We don’t do any bull here. We are not here to tell biased accounts on sympathy. Everyone has a hard life. Cut the crap. Be a professional. If you impress on skill and merit, you will get the credit. But most media apart from us is too scared to be honest and professional, isn’t it?
8, 8,8, 8 (3)
Ashley and Ola
You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Slow in hold standing there only behind Ola. Focus on Ola skirt wafting only. No prominence. Slow legs crossover looking empty. Stamp of feet up on floor a lift. Naughty naughty. Another foot lift afterwards. Empty and nothing eventful whatsoever. Cowboy with open shirt will secure votes. Contemporary calamity with Paso Bore-ble.
Darcey – Had strong lines. Just would have loved a little bit more drama.
Len – I thought you got stronger and stronger. Speed and the stillness. Whip it and wait.
Bruno – Lone ranger is back with a vengeance. Plenty of thrust. Never lost the focus. I disagree with them. Thought you were on it. Could not take my eyes off you.
Craig – Cowboy defending himself with a cape doesn’t really do it for me. Idea bit bizarre, am into bizarre and extraordinary, and that was extraordinary.
8, 9, 9, 9, (4)
Looks like Len has forgotten the cheeky lifts observation from two weeks ago. Say something nice on Blackpool week, aye?
Fiona and Anton
Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
After charismatic Anton stops shmoozing other female dancers, lifts Fiona into soft glide lift decently. Arms bit wayward. Kicks good. Clean lift flying skirt around by steps. Good partner work. Held own in end lift too, despite minor awkwardness. Fair, hard effort and elegant.
Len – Lifts, little bit economy. Had an air of style and class about it.
Bruno – VIP lounge! Elegant, very proper, dainty. When you change direction, you go ‘Ooh where’s my handbag?’ Anton is there. I thought you looked really good.
Craig – Liked to have seen bit smoother throughout. Last pivots, getting into last lift utter disaster as we all managed to witness. First class element – the soft shoe in the middle. Gorgeous.
Darcey – Lovely little details. Create nice lines. Only a couple of those things. Looks a little bit unfinished.
6, 7, 8, 8 (6)
Abbey and Aljaz
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
In hold feet sweet. Good turns and in hold head pivots with arms. Kept up with run along trot strongly. Good hops on spot let down a tad with leg extension bit low. Recovered with strong symmetry legs bicycle kicking with Aljaz. Ends well on deck chairs.
Bruno – Champagne for Abbey! Unbelievable
Craig – Lot of gaping throughout. Frame loose throughout. Let it go completely. In Charleston sections dancing with both arms. These are minor details, I absolutely loved it.
Darcey – It was beautiful. You travelled with control.
Len – If you were a stick of Blackpool rock, you’d have talent in the middle. Speed, clarity of movement. That was good.
7, 10, 10, 10 (8)
This, of course is the week, in which Strictly votes its performers up to keep them in the contest for its preferred final from executives behind the scenes. Which, also costs them public votes in response. People are not that thick. It will also hurt Abbey as a dancer when further along.
Mark and Iveta
You Can’t Stop the Beat – Hairspray
Fast bouncy number gets mood going. Mark in hold with Iveta well for start. Hands and character keeping stead well. Fun shimmy’s along with style. Bit stalling though. Gets crowd clapping along well. Good walk around with Iveta. Spins of Iveta toward Mark good but not fully done by Benton.
Craig – little bit flat footed and stompy. Looked like you had flippers on end of your legs. Really looking for bit more technique. Loved Hairspray sector. Brilliant.
Darcey – Show stopping performance. Tried really hard. So much content.
Len – It was fun. Joy in performance. Big. Brash. Noisy and fabulous to watch.
Bruno – What you gave us is a fantastic ride. Feel good factor through the roof. Kicks and flicks could’ve been sharper.
5, 8, 8, 8 (7)
Susanna and Kevin
Los Toreadors – From musical Carmen
Foot stomping of matador Kevin slowly guides bullish Susanna to the floor into hold as the action begins. Strong start with spins and character. Bit timid in middle side to side with Kevin. Wafts skirt bit too much. Ends strong on arm swift interlocks before covered by huge red cape. Very strong skill but lacking a tough fire to get top marks.
Darcey – I loved it. You ate up the dance floor. The drama, the dynamics.
Len – Full of tasty morsels all the way through.
Bruno – Isssss Car-men! It was just… FAN-TAS-TIC!
Craig – Absolutely Fab-u-lous!
9, 10, 10, 10 (8)
BBC anchor Susanna said “I’m not a ten person.” You are in Blackpool, dear.
Natalie and Artem
Bang Bang – will.i.am
Natalie’s blackouts were explained after last week’s dramatic turn of events saw Natalie gain a bye for the week.
Gaining secret access, Artem struts up to podium sweetie Natalie. Working the funky footwork on the floor together with strong kick around head legs of Artem from Nat. Into hold well, but little stalling. Clearly week has affected confidence a little. Roll through from over shoulder of Artem very clean and tidy with consistent end.
Len – Spectacular.
Bruno – Your party could go on forever.
Craig – Loved modern twist. sen-sa-tion-al.
Darcey – Always beautiful details. Added something new, character and personality. Joy to watch.
9, 10, 10, 10
Ever predictable considering the over-marking but if this is the theme for a Blackpool/Wembley arena show, then what is the point? Keep it simple or just don’t bother as it dips into how your seen by others as a good show or not.
Who could face the bottom of the pack this week?
Fiona, Mark and Patrick