Strictly Come Dancing professional Robin Windsor has been watching the show from his sofa after having to pull out of the competition due to injury earlier this year.
Movie Week delivered all of the spectacle and glamour we hoped for but it also served up one hell of a shocker when Blue star Simon Webbe and his partner Kristina Rihanoff ended up in the bottom two against Jennifer Gibney and her partner Tristan MacManus.
We caught up with Robin to talk about the departure of Jennifer Gibney, find out who entertained him the most this weekend and to discuss his new dark horse Sunetra Sarker.
At the weekend we had to wave goodbye to Jennifer Gibney and her partner Tristan MacManus. Do you think that was the right choice?
I think it was the right choice compared to whom she was up against in the bottom two. Obviously it was a huge shock that Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff were there with them so of course the judges saved who gave the best dance. I think had Jennifer been up against Tim Wonnacott or Judy Murray that may have been a much closer competition in terms of who was going to stay.
Why do you think it is that Simon and Kristina ended up in the bottom two?
I think the public thought they were safe. I’d really like to see a bit more personality come out of Simon. There are lots of big personalities this year and I think people vote for those at the bottom of the table that they want to save. Abbey Clancy was in the bottom two during week 5 last year and she went on to win the competition so I’m sure that Simon and Kristina are going to bounce back next week with a brilliant dance.
Who do you think gave the most entertaining performance?
Scott Mills. I rewound it back a few times for the pure entertainment factor. He’s a bit of a guilty pleasure and the dancing was awful but he entertained on a Saturday night and everyone likes to see a bit of that. Also Mark Wright in a Superman costume kind of made my weekend.
Mark and Karen Hauer’s routine was pretty special. His energy just overtakes him on the dancefloor doesn’t it?
Yeah. I loved the concept and I thought it was great. I didn’t think his Paso Doble was as good as I was expecting it to be but he got into character. I think he always wanted to be Superman and for one night only he was Superman.
Well he did say afterwards that he genuinely believed he was Superman during the routine…
He looked like he was Superman! (laughs) I loved the beginning of the routine. I thought it was so clever that Karen was actually lying on the floor and the projection made it look like she was hanging off the building. I thought it was such a great idea. I absolutely loved it.
The leaderboard was dominated for the second time this weekend by Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton. What did you think of their Paso Doble?
I thought it was a great Paso Doble. It was an extremely fast piece of music which Kevin choreographed brilliantly to and that would have been difficult because it wasn’t a traditional Paso Doble. I can’t get that song out of my head and all I can hear is ‘I want to be in America’. It’s one of the most infectious songs and I can’t get it out (laughs).
The pressure must really be building on Frankie and Kevin now. Do you think it’s going to get harder and harder for them to keep impressing?
Absolutely. I think you’ve got everybody chasing them very hard from behind. You’ve got Caroline Flack and Pixie Lott hot-on-the-heels of them. Pixie did an incredible dance, pretty much perfect, and I loved her Quickstep. If the competition is based on growth then Sunetra Sarker came out and gave the performance of a lifetime. I didn’t expect to see such a huge improvement from her but she’s my dark horse.
Caroline and Pasha Kovalev did an incredible and passionate Rumba. What did you make of their performance?
It was a brilliant Rumba. There was lots of difficult choreography. Caroline just seems to ooze the appeal I was looking for. The three at the top of the leaderboard deserve to be there.
There was definitely sex appeal in that Rumba with Pasha and his tight silver trousers and open shirt, and Caroline in her gorgeous little dress. Do you think that helped to sell the dance?
Of course. It’s the first time we’ve seen a full on chest from one of the males this year and I’m sure it’ll be the first of many. Pasha pulled that off brilliantly. He’s easy on the eye so of course that all helps.
A couple we’ve not really talked about yet this series is Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute. Thom seems to be doing ok with his scores and he is progressing. How do you think he’s doing so far?
I think his Charleston was his best dance to date. Finally we started to see a bit of his personality coming out and that’s what we’ve been waiting for. He looked fabulous in a sailor suit, not to be sniffed at, and if he keeps going in this direction he’s going to slowly creep up the leaderboard.
Someone else who is creeping up that leaderboard is Sunetra. You mentioned earlier that she’s your new dark horse. She’s really pulling it out of the bag at the moment isn’t she?
Absolutely. First I have to say that Sunetra looked a million dollars in that beautiful read dress and she’d had hair extensions and had them all put up. She looked beautiful. It was a great American Smooth. There was lots of choreography where she was dancing on her own which is very difficult at this stage. Brendan did a great job of choreographing that and it was a great lift. She looked elegant and graceful and she glided across the floor. She’s definitely one to watch.
Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe, and Judy Murray and Anton du Beke were at the bottom of the leaderboard as the weekend. What do the two couples need to do to climb up that leaderboard?
Judy Murray really needs to loosen up and lose the nerves. It’s the nerves that are holding her back. She did actually do her best dance this week but I still felt that she was going to be in the bottom two. She’s going to have to pull it out of the bag this week. Tim Wonnacott I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of weeks. I think he acted his Charleston perfectly but I didn’t think there was an awful lot of Charleston in there. I’m sure he’ll come out with a Ballroom dance and blow everyone away again next week.
Who do you think could be in danger going in to week 4?
This week my prediction for the bottom two is going to be Judy and Tim but the way that the voting is going at the moment it could be anybody. People have to make sure they pick up the phone and vote for their favourite.
We’ve talked a lot about nerves and the celebs are really suffering from them this year. What advice would you give them to keep the nerves at bay?
I think the best way for them to overcome their nerves is to make sure they are so over-rehearsed that they know their routine inside out and back to front. When it comes to Saturday and they go out there in front of the public and the cameras they’ll be able to keep it together a bit more. If you’re a little unsure about your choreography you’re going to be doubly more nervous than you should be.
Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues at 6.30pm Saturday on BBC One. Watch Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton’s Samba below: