Tonight saw the Strictly Come Dancing 2013 series reach the quarter final with six couples remaining in the competition.
Last week actor Mark Benton departed the competition with his partner Iveta Lukosiute after losing the dance-off to Ashley Taylor-Dawson and Ola Jordan. This week the competition was hotter than ever as the couples tried to secure their place in next week’s semi-final.
Tonight the couple’s had to dance their routine and partake in the swing-a-thon which tests their stamina and technique.
First to dance tonight was Hollyoaks’ star Ashley Taylor-Dawson and his partner Ola Jordan. Last week Ashley and Ola found themselves in the bottom two after failing to impress the public. Tonight Ashley and Ola were dancing the Salsa and spent the week with training with his Hollyoaks cast mates cheering him on. Did Ashley pull it out of the bag?
Len said it was a full-on routine but told Ashley he needed a bit more hip action. Bruno said it was a ‘Salsa with so much bite’ and told Ola he was surprised she was still in one piece at the end. Craig said it put a smile on his face and told Ashley it was a bit frenetic but commended Ola on the ambitious routine. Darcey said it was packed full of energy and told Ashley the tricks were impressive.
Ashley and Ola scored 35 out of 40 from the judges.
Second on the floor tonight was Natalie Gumede and her partner Artem Chigvintsev. Over the series so far they’ve topped the leaderboard 6 times – not bad! Last week’s American Smooth wasn’t as well-received by the judges as usual but we thought it was stunning. This week Natalie and Artem danced the Paso Doble. To get into the spirit Artem took Natalie out to get her into the spirit of the dance. Did they get back to the top of the leaderboard?
Bruno said it was ‘the undiluted essence of classic Spain’ but told Natalie a mistake ruined it. Craig agreed with Bruno calling it a little ‘too slick’ but admitted it was ‘brilliant’. Darcey said the routine was ‘glorious’ but told Natalie she needs to see a stronger story during the performance. Len disagreed with the other judges saying it wasn’t a traditional Paso and told Natalie and Artem they needed more contact.
Natalie and Artem scored 35 out of 40 from the judges.
Patrick Robinson from Casualty was the next to dance with his partner Anya Garnis. Last week’s Charleston went down a storm and they received a standing ovation from the audience. Tonight love was in the air with a passionate Rumba on the cards. During training Patrick was struggling to get to grips with the routine and he admitted it was tricky. Seeing his kids during the week gave him a boost but was it enough to inspire his Rumba?
Craig said he was ‘feeling the love’ but told Patrick the routine was a bit ‘desperate and aggressive’. Darcey said Patrick was in control of his lady and commended the focus he had on Anya. Len said he found the routine a bit too intense at times telling Patrick ‘it’s the ballroom not the bedroom’. Bruno said Patrick was ‘totally immersed into the role’ and likened watching the routine to watching a movie.
Patrick and Anya scored 36 out of 40 from the judges.
Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton were the next to dance and were hoping to win over the judges after messing up their routine last week. Their score wasn’t great last week but they managed to avoid the bottom two. Determined to pull it out of the bag tonight, Kevin and Susanna danced the Argentine Tango but there was one problem – Kevin has never danced it before! Did they manage to wow?
Darcey said the ‘passion and attack was there’ but told Susanna she missed the ‘steamy effect’ of the Argentine Tango. Len said the steps were there but it ‘lacked mood and atmosphere’. Bruno said Susanna was left on her own too much and called it ‘too mechanical’ in places. Craig disagreed with the rest of the judges and told them he loved the routine.
Susanna and Kevin scored 32 out of 40 from the judges.
Abbey Clancy walked away with full marks last week for her show-stopping Salsa with Aljaz Skorjanec. The pressure was on for her routine tonight and during the week Abbey and Aljaz went to Stoke football team’s football stadium to practice their routine. Tonight they danced the Viennese Waltz but was it full marks for the second week in a row?
Len said he loved that Abbey and Aljaz did a proper Viennese Waltz. Bruno said it was ‘delightful’ and told Abbey she looked like ‘a movie star’. Craig said Abbey was the surprise of the competition. Darcey said Abbey gets ‘better and better’.
Abbey and Aljaz scored 37 out of 40 from the judges.
Last to dance tonight was popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her partner Brendan Cole. During her intro VT Sophie said she loved Musicals Week and was pleased with her score last week. Tonight Sophie and Brendan were dancing the Tango to Madonna’s Material Girl. With only one week until the semi-final, Sophie had to really pull it out of the bag and deliver something special. How did she fare?
Bruno said that it was good to see Sophie performing ‘full steam’ and said it was a bit different for the Tango. Craig said he loved the choreography. Darcey said she wanted attack from Sophie and she got it. Len said the performance level was ‘much higher’ which is what he wanted from Sophie.
Sophie and Brendan scored 34 out of 40 from the judges.
Now all of the couples had danced it was time for the eagerly-anticipated swing-a-thon. All six couples performed at the same time to the same music fighting to survive the longest. The challenge is a mix of lindy-hop, Jive and swing and is a test of skill and stamina.
During the Swing-a-thon Natalie and Artem won picking up 6 points. Patrick and Anya came second, Sophie and Brendan third, Abbey and Aljaz fourth, Ashley and Ola fifth, and Susanna and Kevin last.
The leaderboard for the evening was:
Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev – 41
Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis – 41
Abbey Clancy and Aljaz Skorjanec – 40
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Brendan Cole – 38
Ashley Taylor-Dawson and Ola Jordan – 37
Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton – 33
Tune into Strictly Come Dancing’s results show tomorrow night at 7.20pm on BBC One and BBC One HD to find out which couple will leave the competition. Check out images from today’s dress rehearsal in our gallery below: