Strictly Come Dancing 2014 entered its fourth week tonight and the competition is officially hotting up.
Last week was Movie Week and we waved goodbye to Mrs Brown’s Boys star Jennifer Gibney and her pro partner Tristan MacManus. Honestly we don’t think they should have gone but being up again Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff in the dance off didn’t give them any chance of staying in.
We’ve had a week to recover from Donny Osmond’s interesting guest judge spot last week and thankfully the judging panel was back to normal tonight with Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel-Horwood and Darcey Bussell on hand to offer their critique.
Keep reading to find out how each of the couples got on tonight.
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton
Frankie Bridge topped the leaderboard last week after impressing the judges and the public with her Paso Doble. The singer scored the first 10 of the series with her pro partner Kevin Clifton. During the week Kevin took Frankie to Grimsby as he celebrated his birthday. Tonight Frankie and Kevin danced the cha cha but did they do enough to stay at the top of the leaderboard?
The dance: A confident and fun start to the show tonight. Frankie really let loose with the cha cha and there was no signs of the nerves that she’s struggled with so far in the series. A fun and funky cha cha!
The comments: Len said Frankie came out and ‘went for it full on’ but told her that her footwork went lose in places. Bruno said there was plenty of cheek in the routine and told Frankie that she was a good dancer but told her that she needs to sharpen her leg action a bit. Craig said that Frankie has ‘the most expressive hands’ and told her he ‘really loved it’. Darcey said she loved how Frankie finished each step and called it ‘fast, fun and cheeky’.
The score: 32 out of 40
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer
Last week Mark Wright stole the show with his Superman-themed Paso Doble during Movie Week. The routine may have lacked in finesse but he made up for it with energy. This week Mark and his partner Karen Hauer trained hard to perfect their Quickstep and his Nanny Pat popped by rehearsals. Did Mark and Karen perform a stunning Quickstep?
The dance: Plenty of energy again from Mark tonight. He’s been told throughout the competition that his energy can sometimes take over but we think he showed great control tonight. He’s definitely progressing in the competition which is what it’s all about.
The comments: Bruno called Mark the ‘Wright Knight’ and told him that he needs to be careful not to lean in during the dance. Craig said that Mark lost his top line a little bit but told him it was light of foot. Darcey said that Mark has improved and she commended his ability to keep in sync throughout. Len said there was a lot of trotting at the start calling it ‘mincey’ but told Mark his frame was better.
The score: 29 out of 40
Judy Murray & Anton Du Beke
Judy Murray has hardly set the dancefloor alight since the new series of Strictly started but people are obviously voting for her. She’s yet to get a routine right but she’s still battling on with her partner Anton du Beke. During the week she had a call with her son Andy to lift her spirit. Tonight Judy and Anton danced the Tango.
The dance: It wasn’t as much of a mess as previous weeks but it was a bit limp in places but she put in a jump at the end that made the crowd give her a standing ovation. She’s definitely one of the weaker dances but she at least had fun tonight.
The comments: Craig said that the illegal lifts made the routine better and told Judy that her stiffness actually benefitted the routine. Darcey said it was a wonderful beginning and end commenting on Judy’s impressive attack. Len said ‘plenty of punch Judy’ and told her that watching tennis helped her head movements. Bruno said that Judy definitely ‘threw herself into it’ and told her that taking a risk broke her pattern.
The score: 22 out of 40
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff
Simon Webbe had a shock last week when his Rumba failed to impress the judges and he ended up in the bottom two with his partner Kristina Rihanoff. We really like this partnership but something isn’t connecting with the audience at home. Tonight Simon wanted to bring his personality out and what better dance to do that than the Charleston?
The dance: A really great effort from Simon this week. A couple of syncing issues during the routine but the studio audience loved it and he got a standing ovation. That should be enough to keep him out of the bottom two.
The comments: Darcey said she knew there was a star dancer in Simon and told him he would go far. Len said if Simon is in the bottom two he’s going to ‘pickle his walnuts’. Bruno said that Simon was back on track and told him he was participating in the routine this week. Craig said ‘thank goodness, finally some personality’ and commended the characterisation.
The score: 31 out of 40
Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec
After a strong first week Alison Hammond hasn’t made a huge impression on the leaderboard. Her chemistry with partner Aljaz Skorjanec is fantastic but she needs to start impressing with her performance. Tonight Alison and Aljaz performed the Samba but did they climb up the leaderboard?
The dance: What another fun performance from Alison. She walked around that dancefloor like she owned it and the audience gave her a standing ovation. She moved, grooved and gyrated around that dancefloor like a pro!
The comments: Len said that Alison got her mojo back this week despite some footwork issues. Bruno said Alison is good when she goes to ‘funkytown’ but told her to get the bounce sorted. Craig said the footwork is letting Alison down but told her he enjoyed it. Darcey said Alison has got it back and told her she wanted to be part of Alison’s party.
The score: 27 out of 40
Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton
Scott Mills is definitely not the greatest dancer but he has been serving up the entertainment factor this series. Last week he was called ‘a lobster on acid’ for his Little Mermaid themed routine. This week Scott is dancing an American Smooth with his partner Joanne Clifton. During the week Scott was visited by his niece to lift his spirits. Did Scott finally show he can dance?
The dance: Well he tried. That wasn’t the best performance Scott’s given and we thought it was a bit sloppy in places. After that performance we think he could be in the bottom two tomorrow night.
The comments: Bruno said it was more ‘American Tragedy’ than American Smooth and told Scott he lost count of the amount of times he went wrong. Craig said that Scott is ‘an exception to the rule that anyone can learn to dance’ and told Joanne he was scared for her safety. Darcey said she saw moments of improvement in Scott’s top line and advised him to watch the male pros to improve his performance. Len said Scott looks as though he’s taught rather than interpreting the dance himself.
The score: 15 out of 40
Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan
Naturalist Steve Backshall won the judges back with his performance last week and this week Steve danced the Salsa with his partner Ola Jordan. Taking Donny Osmond’s advice, Ola took Steve to a club so he could loosen up and enjoy his dancing. Did it give him what he needed to wow with his Salsa?
The dance: Steve put some impressive tricks into that routine and the lift at the end showed off his strength. It was a fun and frivolous routine which the studio audience absolutely loved.
The comments: Craig said that Steve lacked hip action during his Salsa but told him the energy was great. Darcey said she would have got more excited but her husband was in the audience and told Steve that he made the lifts look too easy. Len said there was plenty of rhythm in the shoulders but not in the hips and told Steve he was very watchable. Bruno said Steve made the most of ‘pecs appeal’ and commended his positive attitude.
The score: 27 out of 40
Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon
Pixie Lott really impressed with her Beauty and the Beast themed routine last week. During the week Pixie took her partner Trent Whiddon to meet her family as she prepared for this weekend’s performance. Tonight Pixie and Trent danced the Rumba but did they impress once again?
The dance: That was a beautiful routine from Pixie and she ended up in tears at the end of the routine. She is one of the most polished of the celebs in terms of her technique and we think it’s going to be another great week for her.
The comments: Darcey said that she wants more physicality and tension in her body. Len said it lacked fundamental Rumba but told them there was too much posing going on. Bruno said he saw the most wonderful mood for love and told Pixie she played it beautifully. Craig said the performance was exquisite and told Pixie that he loved it.
The score: 32 out of 40
Tim Wonnacott & Natalie Lowe
Bargain Hunt’s Tim Wonnacott found himself at the bottom of the leaderboard last week but he stayed out of the bottom two. This week Tim really had to up his game and pay close attention to what his pro partner Natalie Lowe tells him in training. Tonight Tim and Natalie danced the Paso Doble but did they do enough to score better?
The dance: Oh Tim! We wanted you to be amazing tonight but that was a lacklustre performance. Natalie danced around him and looked stunning but Tim didn’t pack much punch into his routine. Disappointing!
The comments: Len said that he should have been careful what he wished for when he said he wanted to see Tim’s Paso. Bruno said Tim was like a mildly irritated goat. Craig said it was lame and lacklustre. Darcey said there was an improvement from last week and commended Tim for keeping in character throughout.
The score: 19 out of 40
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole
Casualty star Sunetra Sarker is definitely emerging as the dark horse of the competition. She’s been quietly impressing every week and she could find herself going really far in the competition. This week Sunetra and her pro partner Brendan Cole danced the Salsa. Did her lucky streak continue?
The dance: Sunetra has a lot of fun with that routine. The lifts were a bit clumsy but overall it was a good effort. We think Sunetra is better with Ballroom than Latin but that was a really good effort.
The comments: Bruno said that Sunetra nearly broke Brendan and told her she covered up a lot of mistakes with confidence. Craig told Sunetra to channel Judy to be a bit stiffer in lifts but admitted he enjoyed it. Darcey said that Sunetra gave ‘wonderful energy’ but told her to make her steps smaller to gain better control. Len said he thinks he saw Brendan’s bongos when his pants split and told Sunetra it wasn’t her best or worst dance.
The score: 27 out of 40
Thom Evans & Iveta Lukosiute
Thom Evans finally made an impression last week with his Charleston and he showed his personality for the first time in the competition. During the week Thom introduced Iveta to his world and took her to play rugby. This week Thom is dancing the Foxtrot with his pro partner Iveta Lukositue. Did his personality shine through once again?
The dance: Craig said he enjoyed the routine and told Thom it was sweet. Darcey said that Thom is perfecting his moves and told him ‘very nice performance’. Len said Thom started Strictly like a wallflower but told him he can be proud of himself tonight. Bruno said that Thom is getting better as a performer as the weeks progress.
The score: 30 out of 40
Jake Wood & Janette Manrara
EastEnders actor Jake Wood has been a solid performer so far on Strictly Come Dancing. He may have peaked early in the competition as he’s not matched his stunning Salsa yet but we think he’s one of the front-runners. Tonight Jake and his partner Janette Manrara danced the Jive.
The dance: Welcome back to the competition Jake! That was an energetic performance packed with hip action. We think Jake is much better in the Latin.
The comments: Darcey said it was brilliant and told Jake ‘the dynamics never died’. Len said that Jake’s free-arm let him down but told him it was ‘a full on dynamic performance’. Bruno said Jake was powerful and strong but told him to make sure the top half matched the bottom half. Craig said some bits looked awkward but he commended the energy and the performance.
The score: 33 out of 40
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Caroline Flack really impressed with her Rumba last week and Donny Osmond told her he couldn’t tell who was the pro and who was the celeb. The TV presenter has performed consistently throughout the competition and her chemistry with partner Pasha Kovalev is superb. Tonight Caroline and Pasha danced the Quickstep.
The dance: Caroline brought the house down with her performance tonight. Technically it was a sound performance but we weren’t blown away by the routine. Caroline is one of the strongest celebs in the competition.
The comments: Len said the energy was terrific and told Caroline it was the best dance of the night. Bruno said he liked how Caroline can change with every dance but told her she made a couple of mistakes. Craig agreed that the mistake was a shame but told Caroline it was ‘gorgeous’. Darcey said Caroline never disappoints.
The score: 33 out of 40
The leaderboard for the evening was:
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 33
Jake Wood & Janette Manrara – 33
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 32
Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon – 32
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 31
Thom Evans & Iveta Lukositue – 30
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 29
Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec – 27
Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan – 27
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole – 27
Judy Murray & Anton Du Beke – 22
Tim Wonnacott & Natalie Lowe – 19
Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton – 15
Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues tomorrow night at 7.20pm. Tune in to find out which couple will be leaving the competition. Take a look at all the couples in dress rehearsal earlier today: