Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continued tonight and it was a themed week.
The remaining seven couples danced to secure their place in the competition for Around The World week. Each couple’s dance was themed around a different country which led to some very interesting combinations (seriously who makes this stuff up?!)
Last weekend we had to say goodbye to naturalist Steve Backshall and his partner Ola Jordan. They lost the dance-off to Sunetra Sarker and her partner Brendan Cole.
Tess Daly was joined by co-presenter Claudia Winkleman as they introduced the couples and prompted the judges for their critiques. The show opened with a Bollywood themed pro dance which featured plenty of shirtless Kevin Clifton, Aljaz Skorjanec and Pasha Kovalev.
Who soared and who bombed on the dancefloor? Keep reading to find out…
Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon
Pixie Lott wowed the judges with her Charleston last week and ended up second on the leaderboard with her partner Trent Whiddon. Tonight Pixie and Trent danced a Viennese Waltz with a Holland theme. During the week Trent took Pixie out to get her into the Dutch spirit. Did it work?
The dance: We liked the way Pixie and Trent incorporated the theme tonight. The Viennese Waltz can be a little bit dull but they injected a bit of comedy into the routine and it worked well. A nice performance to open the show with.
The comments: Len said that Pixie captured the ‘wow of the performance’. Bruno said it was like ‘watching a delicate bloom swaying in the breeze’ and told Pixie it was beautifully put together. Craig said that they’ve come to expect great things from Pixie and told her she didn’t disappoint. Darcey said it was ‘dainty and charming’ and commended the ballet moves incorporated into the routine.
The score: 38 out of 40
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer
TV and radio personality Mark Wright received great comments from the judges last week for his Tango with Craig likening him to ‘a dog with rabies’. During the week Mark took Karen Hauer to Tenerife again whilst he filmed his TV show. Tonight Mark and Karen did a Las Vegas themed Salsa. Was it another good week for Mark?
The dance: Wow! What an energetic routine! Mark was all over the dance floor and flashing his pecs was a good move at this stage in the competition. Colour us impressed once again. Mark’s best? We think so.
The comments: Bruno said that Mark had ‘a full hand to play with’ but told him that there was some timing issues at the start. Craig said Mark was ahead on a lot of the performance but liked his hip circles. Darcey said that Mark handled all of the lifts well and told him he needs more finesse in his transitions. Len said it lacked a bit of polish but told Mark he ‘went all in’.
The score: 32 out of 40
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole
Casualty star Sunetra Sarker was in the bottom two for the second time last week but she survived to dance another week. Tonight Sunetra and her partner Brendan Cole danced the Rumba with a Rio theme. During training Sunetra had difficulty with some of the sexier moves of the routine but decided to embrace it and give it her all.
The dance: That was a good effort from Sunetra and her best in weeks. It wasn’t quite as passionate and romantic as we’d expect from a Rumba but we thought Sunetra did a good job tonight.
The comments: Craig said Sunetra lacked ‘strength’ and told her it was awkward on her body. Darcey said the Rumba played to Sunetra’s strengths and told her she liked the different story she told with the routine. Len said the timing was excellent and he enjoyed the mix of steps. Bruno said Sunetra was like a ‘grand dame’ but agreed with the criticisms of the other judges.
The score: 27 out of 40
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Caroline Flack had a near-miss last week when she almost fell over during her performance. She made a great recovery and pushed through it. During training this week Pasha Kovalev took Caroline to a Turkish bath to get her into this week’s Around The World theme. Tonight Caroline and Pasha danced a Turkish themed Charleston.
The dance: No slips tonight but Pasha did have a wardrobe malfunction when his fez fell off. It didn’t hamper the routine though and that lift at the end was very daring. Caroline clearly enjoyed herself and we loved it too.
The comments: Darcey said ‘it was amazing’ telling Caroline it was ‘clean and crisp’. Len said he had a good vibe about the dance and told Caroline it was her best. Bruno said that Caroline sold the dance and told her every piece fitted so well together. Craig called Caroline a ‘little pot noodle’ and told her he could see her doing the dance again in the final.
The score: 39 out of 40
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff
Blue singer Simon Webbe really has turned a corner recently and his performances have been really strong. Last weekend Simon and his partner Kristina Rihanoff scored well for their Salsa. This week during training Kristina had to go with Simon to Brussels to train as he had a show to perform with Blue. Tonight Simon and Kristina danced an Austrian themed Waltz.
The dance: That was a beautiful Waltz from Simon and Kristina. Very romantic and technically very, very strong. There seems to be no stopping him at the moment is there?
The comments: Len said the Waltz is very difficult and told Simon he’s ‘the comeback kid’. Bruno said ‘das was wunderbar’ and told Simon it was a ‘wonderful Waltz’. Craig said he would like to see more expression in Simon’s hands but told him he’s come a long way. Darcey said that Simon moved effortlessly and told him it was wonderful.
The score: 38 out of 40
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton
Singer Frankie Bridge topped the leaderboard with her partner Kevin Clifton after blowing the judges away with her Viennese Waltz. Tonight Frankie and Kevin danced a Jive with a USA theme. During the week Kevin took Frankie to learn how to surf to get ready for their routine. Did they top the leaderboard again?
The dance: There’s nothing Frankie and Kevin can’t do is there? That was such a fun Jive and they really threw themselves into it. Frankie really is an all-rounder and if she’s not in the final we’ll be gobsmacked.
The comments: Bruno said that Frankie was ‘on the crest of a wave’ and told her it was like watching two teenagers. Craig said that the synchronicity was great and told Frankie he really loved it. Darcey said ‘funky Frankie’ and told her she was really surprised with the performance. Len said ‘Frankie Bridge over troubled water’ and told her it was a great dance.
The score: 36 out of 40
Jake Wood & Janette Manrara
EastEnders star Jake Wood shook his bum like his life depended on it last week and it paid off. The judges loved his performance and the viewers clearly did too as he sailed through to tonight’s show. During the week Jake and his partner Janette Manrara went plate smashing to get into the spirit of their Greek themed Argentine Tango.
The dance: That was an interesting twist on the Argentine Tango. Jake did a great job and we’re in awe of Janette’s choreography. That wasn’t an easy routine!
The comments: Craig said it was ‘a complete dance disaster’ and told Jake it didn’t work. Darcey said it started well and told Jake she liked the fusion of the Argentine and Greek moves. Len said tonight had been ‘the Magnificent Seven’ and told Jake he did a good job with a tough routine. Bruno said he loved the concept and told Jake the entertainment factor was high.
The score: 29 out of 40
The leaderboard for the evening was:
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 39
Pixie Lott & Trent Whiddon – 38
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 38
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 36
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 32
Jake Wood & Janette Manrara – 29
Sunetra Sarker & Brendan Cole – 27
Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues tomorrow night at 7.15pm. See all of the couples in rehearsals earlier today in our gallery: