Strictly Come Dancing 2014 got serious this weekend as the couples fought for their place in the quarter-final.
Sunetra Sarker left the competition with her partner Brendan Cole after ending up in the bottom two against Mark Wright and Karen Hauer. It marked the third time in the bottom two for the actress this series.
We caught up with Strictly pro Robin Windsor to talk about Sunetra’s exit, the shock of Mark being in the bottom two, and Jake Wood’s messy Argentine Tango.
This weekend we waved goodbye to Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker. Do you think that was the right decision?
Yes I think it was the right time for Sunetra to leave. I enjoyed her Rumba but it just wasn’t up to the standard of everyone above her. It could have been a lot more fluid and I think she found it quite difficult to get into the role of the Rumba. She should leave very proud of herself. She’s done an amazing job. Her Ballroom came on ten fold and I looked forward to every time she was doing a Ballroom dance.
Were you surprised that Mark Wright ended up in the bottom two with her?
Yes and no. I think that space in the bottom two was open for anyone else in the competition. My only thing is that I don’t think Mark helped himself by saying ‘I haven’t had time to rehearse’. At this stage in the competition you want everyone to think you’ve been rehearsing 24 hours a day.
Jake Wood’s routine was a bit of a mess this week. Do you think he had a lucky escape?
Jake had a very lucky escape. I think he would have done a great Argentine Tango had he gone to Argentina for his dance rather than to Greece to do Zorba’s Dance. I hoped it was going to be very entertaining but the fact he crashed into one of the extra dancers and messed up the footwork here and there it just didn’t work for me.
The Around The World theme felt a bit random this week. The countries didn’t really match the dance styles the couples were performing…
Strictly took us all on the Strictly Airways aeroplane and jetted us around the world which was fabulous. I think a couple of the numbers didn’t really need the extra dancers especially the ones that crashed into Jake. Although they really worked for Pixie and Trent’s Viennese Waltz which I absolutely adored.
People say that the Viennese Waltz can be a bit of a dull dance but the theme really livened it up for Pixie Lott didn’t it?
Trent was very clever and he used the extra dancers in the perfect way to include them into the dance without them taking too much focus. I wasn’t sure if the others did that but Trent did that perfectly. As a result it was an absolutely fantastic dance and it was funny. It was humorous, it was entertaining and it was technically great. I have no complaints and they thoroughly deserved their marks.
Once again this weekend we had a different person at the top of the leaderboard. Caroline Flack wowed everyone with her Turkish themed Charleston. What did you make of it?
It was the best dance of the night. Caroline just came out and stole the show.
That lift at the ended was crazy and very daring…
She came out saying ‘I’m here, I want to make this final, I want to win this competition and this is why I should do that’. She just knocked it out of the ballpark.
They recovered well from the fez mishap too didn’t they?
Pasha was spot on by not trying to pick up his fez. He kicked it off the dance floor when he had a moment to do so and it didn’t distract or confuse anyone. As a result they were able to continue with their dance without any mishaps.
Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton had another strong week this week. What did you make of their USA themed Jive?
It was fantastic. It was nice to see Frankie let her hair down, quite literally, because she had some lovely extensions. She went for it a bit more and I’ve wanted to see that from her. I absolutely loved it.
Craig Revel Horwood commented that Frankie managed to dance on a surfboard in heels. That surely can’t be easy?
Hats off to her. Dancing on a moving surfboard, and you could see it moving, in 3” inch heels and keeping on balance – she did incredible!
Simon Webbe’s winning streak continued this week as he wowed the judges with his Waltz. Wasn’t it beautiful?
Simon is going from strength-to-strength. He had the hardest job this week because he had the slow dance whereas everyone else had upbeat and happy numbers with lots of production. He had a very simple, pure, smooth, suave Waltz. His footwork has improved, his shoulder line has improved, and his movement across the floor has improved. Generally as a couple they are now one to watch and in it to win it.
With the quarter-final arriving this weekend do you think Mark should be worried about ending up in the dance-off or could it be any of the couples in the bottom two?
It’s the quarter-final this week and every single couple is in danger. Everyone needs to give the performance of their lives. One slip up and they’re going to end up in the bottom two. It’s going to be the most exciting quarter-final we’ve seen. There’s a Waltzathon where all of the couples will be dancing on the floor at the same time together. In the competition world you dance on the floor with other couples and floor craft is of the essence. It’s going to be up to the professionals to lead their partners around the floor and make sure they don’t crash. They may have to change their choreography last minute to avoid an elbow or something like that. It’s going to be exciting and gripping to watch.
Speaking of the pros, what did you think of that spectacular Bollywood number on Saturday night?
The Bollywood opening number was my favourite of the series. It looked so much fun. It also looked extremely difficult. I wished so much that I could have been in it. I would have loved that number.
Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues Saturday at 7pm on BBC One. Watch Caroline and Pasha’s Charleston below: