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Strictly Come Dancing 2014 week 2 recap

Who soared and who crashed during the week 2 live show?

Karen Hauer and Mark Wright

Last weekend all 15 couples danced on the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom for the first time as the 2014 series kicked off properly.

No one went home last weekend giving all the couples one more chance to show what they can do on the dancefloor before the public can start to vote. Tomorrow night one couple will leave the show so there was everything to dance for tonight.

Each couple danced the opposite style of dance to last week’s show so the viewers at home can see who has real potential and who can only do one style of dance.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman presided over the evening’s events with judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood on hand to offer their critiques.

Thom Evans & Iveta Lukosiute

Thom Evans & Iveta Lukosiute

Credit: BBC

Thom did a decent routine last week but he admitted in his intro VT that he let nerves take over. This week Thom and his partner Iveta Lukosiute are dancing the salsa which is a chance to show off his personality and abilities more than he could in last week’s waltz. Thom said he was determined to give his everything and make Iveta proud.

The dance: That was a much better effort from Thom tonight. Latin is better for him and we got to see his personality more than last week. We’re not sure that Thom is a natural mover but we were more impressed by him tonight.

The comments: Len said that Thom was ‘popping like buttons on a tight shirt’. Bruno said that Thom is ‘easy on the eye’ but told him he ‘nearly blew the thermostat’ and said it wasn’t as clean and disciplined as it should be. Craig said the dance should be fluid but said that didn’t happen for Thom. Darcey said that she wished Thom had directed his shimmys at her and told him she likes that he takes risks.

The score: 25 out of 40

Jennifer Gibney & Tristan MacManus

Jennifer Gibney & Tristan Macmanus

Credit: BBC

Mrs Brown’s Boys star Jennifer Gibney tried her best last week but she didn’t get great comments from the judges. Paired with new pro dancer Tristan Macmanus, Jennifer is in good hands and we’re confident she’ll progress. Tonight Jennifer and Tristan danced the waltz.

The dance: Ballroom is a better fit for Jennifer than the looser nature of Latin. She performed much stronger and if she can work on her Latin more she’ll be a good all-rounder. Well done Jennifer!

The comments: Bruno said Jennifer’s performance wasn’t quite a home-run but told her that she connected emotionally with the dance. Craig said that Jennifer’s posture showed promise at the beginning of the dance but told her the routine went to pot. Darcey said that Jennifer showed a lot of improvement on last week and assured her she was getting there. Len said that Jennifer’s nerves got the better of her and told her to enjoy it.

The score: 19 out of 40

Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff

Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff

Credit: BBC

Blue star Simon Webbe put in a solid effort for his Strictly debut last week with a show-stopping jive. Partnered with Kristina Rihanoff, Simon said last week that he was disappointed with his performance. In his intro VT Simon admitted that he’s a perfectionist and he was visited by his daughter during training. This week Simon and Kristina danced the Tango.

The dance: Surely Simon can’t be disappointed with that performance. He is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, male celeb in the competition. That was a powerful Tango we thought!

The comments: Craig said the routine didn’t ‘set the world on fire’ and told him he wanted more power. Darcey didn’t agree with Craig and called Simon’s performance ‘slick’ but told him to watch his eye level. Len agreed with Darcey and said he liked the mix of content but had some comments on his leg placement during pivots. Bruno said it was a clinical performance but told Simon he wants to see his animal magnetism.

The score: 26 out of 40

Gregg Wallace & Aliona Vilani

Gregg Wallace & Aliona Vilani

Credit: BBC

Gregg Wallace may be great on MasterChef but he wasn’t great on the dancefloor last week. In his intro VT Gregg admitted that he froze during his debut performance which is why his dance was a bit of a mess. This week he’s dancing the Charleston with his partner Aliona Vilani. Will he pull it out of the bag?

The dance: At least Gregg has fun this week and he looked more comfortable than he did last week. It wasn’t quite what we’d expect from the Charleston but he did his best. It was definitely a better performance and entertaining.

The comments: Darcey said it was lovely to see that Gregg had got rid of the nerves but told him to watch his directions. Len said that Gregg dances like he cooks ‘chuck it all in and hope for the best’. Bruno said it was a ‘lovely fluffy éclair’ but told Gregg he was all over the place. Craig said Gregg had no swivel on his supporting leg and told him it looked awkward.

The score: 18 out of 40

Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec

Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec

Credit: BBC

This Morning presenter Alison Hammond delivered one of the most entertaining performances of week 1. She’s got a great chemistry with her partner Aljaz Skorjanec and it’s clear they are having a blast. This week Alison danced ballroom for the first time and tackled a Foxtrot. Was she as good at the Ballroom as she was with the Latin?

The dance: Hello dark horse of the competition! First standing ovation of the night and it seems Alison can do no wrong. That was a great effort for her first Ballroom dance and she impressed us.

The comments: Len said that Latin is Alison’s trump card and told her that she wasn’t as clean in hold as she should have been. Bruno said Alison’s role play is brilliant but told her she needs to work on the flow of the Ballroom dances. Craig said the attitude was good and told her her hip swings created ‘a sonic boom’. Darcey said Alison was in control on the dancefloor and told her she’d never get bored of her.

The score: 22 out of 40

Jake Wood & Janette Manrara

Jake Wood & Janette Manrara

Credit: BBC

EastEnders actor Jake Wood surprised us all by proving to be a mean dancer and topping the Friday night leaderboard last week. His Tango was mean and moody but the judges loved it. This week Jake and his partner Janette Manrara are performing a salsa and in the intro VT they both admitted the lifts were pretty dangerous and tricky.

The dance: Wow! Now that was a daring salsa. Janette must really trust Jake and her trust in him isn’t misplaced. Even Ian Beale looked shocked in the audience. We think Jake is going to go far in this competition and he can do both styles of dance.

The comments: Bruno said ‘yes, a squillion times yes’ and over-enthused about how much he loved the routine. Craig said Jake’s hip action could crack coconuts and told Jake ‘W-O-W’. Darcey said it was one of the best salsa performances she’d seen in a long time. Len said ‘spank me gently with a wet shammy’ and congratulated him.

The score: 35 out of 40

Judy Murray and Anton du Beke

Judy Murray and Anton du Beke

Credit: BBC

Tennis coach Judy Murray was overcome with nerves last year and didn’t exactly set the world alight with her performance. Partnered with Anton du Beke, Judy is tackling Latin this week and we have a feeling that Ballroom is probably her stronger dance style. Anton took her to play some tennis to relax her but did that do enough to help her cha cha cha?

The dance: Oh Judy! Judy! Judy! What on earth was that? We can understand some people not being natural dancers but it didn’t even look like she was trying. If we had to put money down on the first person to leave the competition we’d be saying Judy.

The comments: Craig said Judy’s body was ‘as tight as a newly strung racquet’ and came out with lots of criticisms. Darcey said Judy had loosened up and dropped the nerves. Len said Judy came out and enjoyed herself. Bruno said it was ‘more court 18 than centre court’ and told Judy to practice.

The score: 17 out of 40

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev

Credit: BBC

TV presenter Caroline Flack opened the 2014 series last week and came joint third with her cha cha cha. Partnered with Pasha Kovalev, Caroline was dancing the Tango tonight. She was a natural at the Latin but did she have what it took to impress in the Ballroom too?

TV presenter Caroline Flack opened the 2014 series last week and came joint third with her cha cha cha. Partnered with Pasha Kovalev, Caroline was dancing the Tango tonight. She was a natural at the Latin but did she have what it took to impress in the Ballroom too?

The dance: Another confident performance from Caroline this week. We think she’s going to get better and better as the weeks go on and she proved tonight she can tackle Ballroom as well as she can Latin. One to watch we think.

The comments: Darcey said the performance had great focus and attack. Len praised Pasha’s full-on routine but told Caroline she got a little bit tight in places. Bruno said ‘that’s how Flack attacks a Tango’ and told her that she puts her whole being into it. Craig said he wouldn’t want to come across Caroline in a dark alley and congratulated her on the performance.

The score: 29 out of 40

Tim Wonnacott & Natalie Lowe

Tim Wonnacott & Natalie Lowe

Credit: BBC

Bargain Hunt presenter Tim Wonnacott clearly had a fantastic time on the dancefloor last week but the judges were far from impressed. Tim danced the waltz this week with his partner Natalie Lowe and we have a feeling that Ballroom is going to be a much better fit for him than Latin was. Did his technique improve this week?

The dance: Absolutely gorgeous choreography from Natalie tonight. Tim was much better in the Ballroom than he was in the Latin. His technique was better and even though he’s one of the weaker dancers he was better than last week.

The comments: Len said there was a lot of rise and fall and told Tim he was proud of him. Bruno said Tim went for a different angle this week but that there was more content in the routine. Craig said Tim started the dance beautifully but didn’t quite maintain it throughout. Darcey said Tim created the right mood and quality but told him to work on his shoulder blades.

The score: 23 out of 40

Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole

Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole

Credit: BBC

Casualty star Sunetra Sarker said she’d never felt fear like she did on the Strictly ballroom last week. This week Sunetra danced the cha cha cha to Whitney Houston’s Million Dollar Bill with partner Brendan Cole. In her intro VT Sunetra said that she was having a very busy week alongside her training and Brendan took her out for a cocktail to relax.

The dance: If Sunetra was nervous tonight she didn’t show it. Her cha cha cha was confident but we think that her Ballroom last week was stronger. She got through the routine though and burst into tears at the end as she was overwhelmed with relief.

The comments: Brendan called Sunetra sultry and told her she had a wonderful mobility on her top half. Craig said Sunetra was natural but told her to be careful with her legs. Darcey said Sunetra is ‘all woman’ but told her to work more on her bottom half and particularly her legs. Len told Sunetra that she was better than the week before.

The score: 26 out of 40

Mark Wright & Karen Hauer

Mark Wright & Karen Hauer

Credit: BBC

TV personality and radio presenter Mark Wright was told he got over-excited during his routine last week but his big smile won everyone over. This week Mark was tackling Ballroom with a Foxtrot American Smooth. In training he struggled to get in the mood with his partner Karen Hauer. Did he pull it out of the bag on the night?

The dance: Mark did good tonight! He looked confident and those lifts were beautiful. Mark and Karen are working really well together and are one of our favourite partnerships in the new series. Good job!

The comments: Bruno said he was surprised and called it ‘uplifting and smooth’. Craig said he enjoyed it in a way but not entirely criticising Mark’s arms out of hold. Darcey said Mark was smooth in hold and told him he created great lines for Karen. Len said ‘the only way is onward and upward’.

The score: 27 out of 40

Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton

Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton

Credit: BBC

Radio DJ Scott Mills found himself at the bottom of the leaderboard last week with his partner Joanne Clifton. In his intro VT Scott admitted that he was incredibly nervous but vowed to get his head down and practice. During training Scott called his fellow presenters for help ahead of tonight’s live show. Tonight Scott and Joanne danced the Tango.

The dance: Well it wasn’t as bad as last week but still not a great performance from Scott. We felt it lacked the power and purpose of a Tango and Scott struggled in several places. He’s clearly having fun and we like his chemistry with Joanne but he needs to work harder on his technique.

The comments: Darcey said she could see that Joanne has worked Scott hard but told him he needs to keep in character. Len said Scott’s Tango was Radio 3 but told him he was better than last week. Bruno asked if it was a dream or a nightmare and said it felt weird. Craig said Scott lacked ‘any sort of style’ but admitted it was a slight improvement.

The score: 20 out of 40

Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon

Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon

Credit: BBC

Popstar Pixie Lott said she was so nervous last week that she can’t really remember what happened during her performance. The past week Pixie took her partner Trent Whiddon on the road with her and they squeezed in rehearsals whenever they could. This week Pixie and Trent danced the waltz. Is Pixie a ballroom queen?

The dance: A beautiful performance from Pixie tonight. Ballroom really suits her and she works with Trent really well. Overall a better performance than last week

The comments: Len said Pixie danced beautifully. Bruno called her ‘Princess Pixie’ and told her part of the routine was pure artistry. Craig said he thought Pixie and Trent were a fantastic partnership. Darcey said Pixie used every part of her body in the waltz labelling it a beautiful performance.

The score: 35 out of 40

Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan

Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan

Credit: BBC

Naturalist Steve Backshall got a lot of attention for his muscles last week and scored well. Partnered with Ola Jordan, Steve danced the cha cha which was a huge contrast to last week’s routine. In his intro VT Steve was told by Ola that he needs to let his cheeky side come out in the routine. Did he listen to her advice?

The dance: Another confident performance from Steve but we don’t think it was quite as technically sound as last week. He let his cheeky side out for sure and he had the audience smiling! Well done Steve.

The comments: Bruno said he loved Steve’s energy but criticised his footwork. Craig was very harsh and told Steve maybe he shouldn’t dance in public again. Darcey said she could tell that Steve has worked hard on his extensions but said it was a shame he came out of sync a few times. Len said that Steve’s feet weren’t a treasure and told him it was an acceptable effort.

The score: 21 out of 40

Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton

Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC

The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge topped the leaderboard last week but could she do it again tonight? She was the last to dance with her pro partner Kevin Clifton and expectations were really high. This week Frankie and Kevin danced the Charleston and it was going to have a 50s Happy Days theme. During training Kevin took Frankie for a milkshake at a 50s diner. Did she get into the character?

The dance: Fantastic closing to the show tonight. Frankie is the girl in the competition to beat and she was fantastic tonight. There might have been a little mishap in that last lift but they covered it well.

The comments: Craig said the jive and Charleston fusion was odd but said he liked it. Darcey praised the ‘terrific content’ but agreed with Craig that Frankie lacked swivel. Len said the dance was awkward and thought they’d made a mistake. Bruno said Frankie and Kevin took a great risk and he liked people who take risks.

The score: 30 out of 40

The leaderboard for the night is:

Jake Wood & Janette Manrara – 35
Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon – 35
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 30
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 29
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 27
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 26
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole – 26
Thom Evans & Iveta Lukosiute – 25
Tim Wonnacott & Natalie Lowe – 23
Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec – 22
Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan – 21
Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton – 20
Jennifer Gibney & Tristan Macmanus – 19
Gregg Wallace & Aliona Vilani – 18
Judy Murray and Anton du Beke – 17

The leaderboard for both weeks combined is:

Jake Wood and Janette Manrara – 63
Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon – 62
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 60
Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev – 56
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 53
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 51
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole – 50
Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec – 48
Thom Evans & Iveta Lukosiute – 48
Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan – 47
Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe – 41
Jennifer Gibney & Tristan MacManus – 37
Gregg Wallace & Aliona Vilani – 36
Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton – 36
Judy Murray and Anton du Beke – 35

Strictly Come Dancing will say goodbye to one of the couples on tomorrow night’s results show at 7.30pm on BBC One. Take a look at all the couples in rehearsal earlier today:

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