Robin Windsor may be sitting out this series of Strictly Come Dancing due to injury but he’s delivering his verdict to us every week on the performances of the couples competing for the mirrorball trophy.
We’re pleased to report that Robin has been given the all-clear by doctors to start dancing again meaning he’s recovered from his back injury and can get his shimmy on!
We caught up with Robin to talk about Jake Wood’s surprisingly salsa, Judy Murray’s nerves and Tim Wonnacott’s vast improvement. Find out what Robin had to say on all of the week 2 action.
During week 2 of Strictly Come Dancing we had to wave goodbye to Gregg Wallace and his partner Aliona Vilani. Do you think they were the right people to go?
Somebody has to go on the first week and nobody wants to be the first out but I think the public got it right with Gregg and Aliona. He did two dances in a row that were not that great although he did show an improvement from week 1 to week 2 and he did look like he was enjoying it so much more. I did predict he would go and I was on the money.
We didn’t expect Jennifer Gibney and Tristan Macmanus to be in the bottom two. Was that a surprise to you?
Yes that was a surprise to me. Any of the bottom 5 could have ended up in the bottom 2 and it’s down to the public vote. Unfortunately Jennifer and Tristan ended up there. Again she improved on the first week.
Do you think it was the mistake during her routine in the live show that made people not pick up the phone and vote for her?
I don’t think she’s quite made an impact. She still seems very nervous just like Judy Murray. Both ladies just looked as if they were petrified.
Speaking of Judy we were absolutely amazed that she didn’t end up in the bottom two. Do you think she can turn things round and overcome her nerves?
Judy’s going to have to come out during Movie Week and dance a blinder if she wants to stay out of the bottom two. I did feel for her. She just had no personality in the first half of the dance and then all of a sudden in the second half she started to smile. When she smiles she lights up the room and if she can do that all the way through the dance she can keep herself out of the bottom two this week.
Someone who improved a lot in week 2 was Tim Wonnacott who performed a stunning waltz with Natalie Lowe. What did you think about his improvement from week 1?
Tim is my secret dark horse. The improvement from week 1 to week 2 was magnificent. Natalie has done an incredible job at turning him into a lovely ballroom dancer. He was gliding across the floor and the relationship between the two of them is so special. You can see how much they really like each other and that’s coming across as well. People find that infectious and want to pick up the phone and vote for him. Notoriously it’s the older gentleman whole leaves during week 1 and Tim has broken the mould by getting through to week 3. He’s going to continue right through the competition I think.
He was definitely much better at Ballroom. Do you think that Tim will continue to struggle with the Latin style of dance?
Tim’s not a fast boppy guy; he’s more of a structured ballerina type. He’s doing a great job but if he gets another Latin dance he’s going to struggle. Let’s see what happens in Movie Week.
Someone who dropped down the leaderboard this week was Steve Backshall. What happened during his cha cha cha?
I was a little let down with Steve this week. The cha cha was full of heel leads. The big no-no with any of the Latin dances, apart from the Paso Doble, is that you always step off on your toe. It was very clunky. I think I was expecting a bit more because his Tango was so good and we were all so shocked at how well he’d done in week 1. He was one of the only ones that dipped for me this week.
Jake Wood definitely didn’t dip this weekend and may have potentially peaked. Let’s talk about that incredible salsa with Janette Manrara…
Jake and Janette were outstanding! I don’t think anybody saw that coming. It was one of the most entertaining salsas I’ve ever seen on Strictly. You could just tell how much they were enjoying it, which made me enjoy it. His hips were going full throttle and Janette did an incredible job of choreographing such an amazing routine. The only problem that lies now is that they have to keep that up. They’ve set the mark really early so Janette’s got her work cut out in keeping Jake up to scratch.
Would you say that Jake has been one of the biggest surprises in the series so far?
Jake’s definitely been the surprise of the competition. I don’t think anyone thought he was going to dance like that at the weekend. He’s shown that he’s quite versatile in that he’s done a great tango and an amazing salsa. He’s definitely one to watch. He wasn’t originally in my top 4 but he’s jumped right to the top of the pack.
Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton were leading the charge after week 1. The judges weren’t crazy about their Charleston and jive fusion. What did you make of the routine?
It was a very odd choice. I understand that they were trying to think outside of the box a little bit but it was more of a rock’n’roll dance rather than a Charleston. I absolutely loved it but for me it didn’t hit what a Charleston was. I know Frankie had a bad ankle and she was in trainers so it was hard to keep that swivel going. It was really entertaining and it was a great routine but it just didn’t seem Charleston-esque for me.
Alison Hammond didn’t seem to impress this week as she tackled her first ballroom dance. The comments were good but her scores weren’t great. Why do you think that was?
I thought Alison and Aljaz were spot on with their entertainment but I would have liked to see more foxtrot content. There was a lot not actually in hold. The chemistry between the two of them though is infectious that you can’t help but look at them and smile. I think the judges were a little harsh and I would have given that perhaps a 7. The one thing that I found when dancing with Lisa Riley is that ballroom is much harder just because of the structure of the couple. I think she did a great job of carrying it off and I think her ballroom is going to improve. Aljaz is an incredible ballroom dancer and a ballroom teacher.
Our guilty pleasure is Mark Wright. He got a bit over-excited during week 1 but his American Smooth showed more control and skill. Would you agree with that?
Mark was great. Amazing lift for week 2. The foxtrot was a little bit clunky but it was really romantic. I didn’t expect Mark to be as good as he is but he’s probably the one that’s got the room for improvement and will progress the most. He’s going to go far.
The last couple we want to talk to you about is Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff. Simon is being incredibly hard on himself wouldn’t you say?
I think Simon is a perfectionist and he’s dancing with Kristina who is THE perfectionist. He was a little bit too stuff and had some timing issues. There was great staccato action but the judges…Craig seriously got out of bed on the wrong side on Saturday. There was no way in a million years that that dance deserved a 5. I think 7 from the other judges was correct. Simon’s great but he shouldn’t be so hard on himself. He needs to go out there and enjoy himself and if people see him enjoying it they’ll warm to him a lot more. Kristina looked gorgeous too by the way!
Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One. Watch Jake and Janette’s incredible salsa below: