Halloween arrived in the Strictly Come Dancing 2014 ballroom last night and we were in the studio to watch the 11 remaining couples dance some very spooky routines.
After the shock goodbye of Thom Evans and his partner Iveta Lukosiute last week, the remaining couples really upped their game last night in a bid to impress the judges and the voting public. As we’re getting so close to Blackpool now, none of the couples want to leave the competition.
Claudia Winkleman had a week off the show after her child became ill meaning that It Takes Two host Zoe Ball stepped in for her to present the show with Tess.
Find out how all of the couples got on by reading on…
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole
Casualty star Sunetra Sarker found her mojo again last week. She impressed the judges and the public with her beautiful Ballroom routine. This week Sunetra and her partner Brendan Cole performed the Jive to Tainted Love. Could she impress once again?
The dance: That was a great and very energetic opening to the show. Sunetra really is emerging as one of the most consistent of the female celebs and we think she’ll go far.
The comments: Len said the start was ‘full on’ but told Sunetra that she lost her way part way through. Bruno called it a ‘nightmare in Elstree’ and told Sunetra she is such a fluid performer that she struggled with the sharpness of the routine. Craig said ‘it was a little laboured’ and ‘lacked punch’. Darcey said that Sunetra made the Jive look elegant and told her it still worked for her.
The score: 27 out of 40
Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec
This Morning presenter Alison Hammond has been entertaining every week but unfortunately now she’s starting to emerge as one of the weaker dancers still in the competition. Having said that what she lacks in technique she makes up for with enthusiasm. This week Alison and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec performed the American Smooth.
The dance: Once again another entertaining performance from Alison. She really does give it her all every week and we think she did really well. The chemistry with Aljaz is fantastic.
The comments: Bruno called Alison and Aljaz a ‘match made in heaven’ and labelled Alison’s peformance ‘a hurricane of emotions’. Craig said it was one of the campest entrances he’s ever seen but told Alison her feet were ‘too turned out’. Darcey said she enjoyed watching Alison having fun and commended her ‘theatricality’. Len said it made him smile and called it ‘great fun’.
The score: 26 out of 40
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff
Blue singer Simon Webbe found himself in the bottom two again last week with his partner Kristina Rihanoff. Luckily he survived and it was Thom Evans who left the competition. This week Simon was determined to come out fighting with his Paso Doble and he spent the week getting over his fear of spiders ahead of his spidery routine. Did he do enough this week?
The dance: There was a rather large mistake in the middle of the routine but apart from that it was a solid effort from Simon. He definitely shouldn’t be in the bottom two tonight.
The comments: Craig called the performance ‘ferocious’ but pointed out the mistake in the middle. Darcey said Simon ‘came alive’ in the Paso and told him he saved the mistake. Len said that Simon shouldn’t have been in the dance-off at all this series yet but told him that the performance lacked some finesse. Bruno said ‘Simon bites back with a vengeance’ and labelled the routine ‘powerful’.
The score: 29 out of 40
Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan
Naturalist Steve Backshall is one of the show’s most inconsistent dancers. He soars to great heights then seemingly drops to severe lows the week after. We had really high hopes for him at the start of the competition but he really needs to pull it out of the bag to stay in the competition. Last night he danced a Charleston with his partner Ola Jordan.
The dance: That was a bit of a mess. Steve either forgot the routine or struggled to keep up. We think that performance could put him in danger.
The comments: Darcey said Steve had a couple of blanks and went wrong during the routine. Len said Steve kept going wrong but his lifts were terrific. Bruno said that Steve has charm but that the lifts distracted him. Craig said the lifts were very messy and argued with Darcey about it.
The score: 26 out of 40
Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon
Pixie Lott saved the best for last last week when she stole the show with her Samba. The routine put her at the top of the leaderboard and impressed the judges. This week Pixie and her partner Trent Whiddon performed the Tango. Did they keep their position at the top of the leaderboard?
The dance: A fast, furious and character-filled performance from Pixie and Trent. They definitely got into the spirit and their technique was impressive. Good job!
The comments: Len said it was a ‘shock, hair-raising’ Tango but told Pixie to watch her right arm. Bruno said Pixie delivered ‘a fantastic Tango’ and told her he loved the quirky details in the dance. Craig said Pixie pulled it out of the bag again this week and he loved the detail. Darcey said the ‘attack was fierce’ but told Pixie it was a little messy in places.
The score: 33 out of 40
Judy Murray & Anton Du Beke
Oh Judy, Judy, Judy. How the heck Judy Murray is still in the competition we’ve no idea! Maybe the whole of Scotland is voting for her every week? She’s yet to make it through a full routine and convince that she has any clue what she’s doing. For Halloween Judy and her partner Anton Du Beke performed a 101 Dalmatians themed American Smooth.
The dance: The production covered up a lot of mistakes during the performance and Aton dragging two Dalmatians onto the dancefloor definitely scored them some favour with the public. Apart from that it was the usual Judy mess.
The comments: Bruno said Judy wasn’t ‘quite a sprinting greyhound yet’ and called her a ‘learning to walk rescue dog’. Craig said the dogs at the beginning had ‘more grace and style’ than Judy did and told Anton it was like he’d danced with a mannequin. Darcey said Judy pulled off the character but that she lost it once she started to dance. Len said it had a bit of style and sophistication and told Judy not to listen to Craig.
The score: 20 out of 40
Jake Wood & Janette Manrara
EastEnders star Jake Wood has struggled to match his incredible week 2 Salsa but last week he proved that he’s definitely still a contender. Jake is consistently good on the technique but sometimes he comes across a bit cold and lacks the personality some of the other celebs have. This week he danced the Paso Doble with his partner Janette Manrara.
The dance: We thought that was a really solid effort from Jake and he definitely worked on the character more this week. The routine by Janette was stunning and there was plenty of content in there.
The comments: Craig said he was disappointed with Jake’s performance and told him it was a little bit stilted. Darcey agreed with Craig and told Jake he was too upright and didn’t create the Paso shapes. Len didn’t agree with Craig and Darcey and told Jake he really got into the character. Bruno called Jake ‘the dark lord of Albert Square’ and told him he internalised the performance too much.
The score: 29 out of 40
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Caroline Flack pulled off a fantastic Paso Doble last week with her partner Pasha Kovalev. The TV presenter is definitely one of the most versatile of the celebs and she’s consistently good regardless of what style she’s dancing. This week Caroline and Pasha danced the Samba.
The dance: We thought that was a really feel good and slick performance. Caroline looked like she was having the time of her life and we enjoyed watching her shaking her booty on the dancefloor.
The comments: Darcey said it was a controlled and clean disco Samba but told Caroline that it was perfected so much it lost the vibe of the dance. Len agreed with Darcey and said it wasn’t Caroline’s best or worst. Bruno called Caroline ‘a hot little devil’. Craig said it was a bit frenetic and too clean which made it clinical but told Caroline he loved it.
The score: 32 out of 40
Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton
Scott Mills is living on borrowed time and definitely progressing through on his fanbase and his entertainment value. The Radio 1 DJ and his partner Joanne Clifton are clearly having a great time but we think it’s time the public voted him out. This week Scott and Joanne danced an Addams Family themed Foxtrot.
The dance: Colour us surprised. That was actually the best effort from Scott yet and credit to Joanne for a cracking routine. It was fun and entertaining!
The comments: Len said it wasn’t super and it wasn’t natural but commended Joanne on her choreography. Bruno said he really likes Scott because he’s created his own art form and would be great on ‘Strictly No Dancing’. Craig said he knows Scott works hard but told him it didn’t help him. Darcey said the characterisation was terrific and complimented Scott’s top line.
The score: 21 out of 40
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer
Mark Wright proved himself last week by wowing everyone with an energetic and technically strong Samba. After being in the bottom two the week before, Mark really gave his all and it paid off. The judges told him it was his best performance to date. This week Mark and his partner Karen Hauer danced the Jive with a Little Shop of Horrors theme.
The dance: That was fantastic! So much fun and hugely entertaining. Mark is now emerging as the dark horse of the competition and if he keeps dancing like this he’ll be heading straight to the Strictly final.
The comments: Bruno said he wants whatever Mark is on and told him that his timing was spot on. Craig simply clapped and said ‘bravo darling’. Darcey said Mark was natural and his spring action was fantastic. Len said it was ‘a sweet shop of tasty treats’.
The score: 35 out of 40
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton
Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton are one of the frontrunners to pick up the Glitterball Trophy this series. They are a match made in heaven and Frankie has really blossomed as a dancer so far in the series. This week Frankie and Kevin did a Wicked themed Tango.
The dance: What a way to end the show. That was the best dance of the week and based on that performance Frankie and Kevin are the ones to beat this series. Simply stunning.
The comments: Craig said ‘one word FAB-U-LOUS’. Darcey told Frankie it was a beautiful performance and commended her top line. Len said it was a ‘spectacular number’. Bruno said ‘totally wicked in the best possible way’ and told Frankie he was almost brought to tears.
The score: out of 40
The leaderboard for the evening was:
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 37
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 35
Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon – 33
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 32
Jake Wood & Janette Manrara – 29
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 29
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole – 27
Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec – 26
Steve Backshall & Ola Jordan – 26
Scott Mills & Joanne Clifton – 21
Judy Murray & Anton Du Beke – 20
Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues tonight at 7.20pm on BBC One. Tune in to find out who will be going home. See all of the couples in dress rehearsal yesterday in our gallery: