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Strictly Come Dancing 2015 semi-final recap

Find out how the final 5 got on in tonight’s live show.

Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton
Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston/Matt Burlem

Strictly Come Dancing 2015 continued tonight as the competition reached the semi-final stage.

The remaining 5 couples danced twice as they tried to secure their place in next week’s grand final. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman oversaw the proceedings with judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Darcey Bussell on hand to offer their critique.

Last weekend we were shocked when Helen George and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec departed the competition after losing the dance-off to Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice.

Find out how the couples got on tonight by reading on…

Katie Derham & Anton du Beke

Katie Derham & Anton du Beke

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Katie Derham really has got her groove back in recent weeks and last weekend she had another strong week. The public seem to love her and her partnership with Anton is fantastic. Katie acknowledged that she had to up her game with the Latin routines and admitted that she found Ballroom easier. Tonight Katie and Anton opened the show with a Charleston.

The dance: Katie looked like she was having a great time but there were timing issues during the performance. It looked a little like Katie and Anton were out of sync in parts too. Not Katie’s best routine if we’re honest.

The comments: Len said that the dance was a struggle telling Katie it wasn’t slick enough and the lifts looked clumsy. Bruno said that Katie had the looks and the figure but told her she went loosey goosey! Craig told Katie that her swivel was non-existent and said she looked uncomfortable throughout the dance. Darcey said that Katie’s performance was charming but told her that she saw her fade during the routine.

The score: 25 out of 40

Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani

Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Jay McGuiness continued his return to form last week topping the leaderboard with 39 out of 40 for his Rumba. This week Jay was hoping for a perfect 40 and his first dance of the night was the Viennese Waltz. After watching messages of support from the public, Jay and Aliona felt determined to do well tonight. Did their Viennese Waltz go smoothly?

The dance: That was another confident and clean performance from Jay. Some of his placement looked a little wobbly to our eyes but it was a lovely dance. He should get good feedback on that one.

The comments: Bruno said that it was ‘simply beautiful’ and told Jay that he always takes care in everything he does. Craig said that he really loved the opening sequence telling Jay his performance was simple and effective but told him his face was plain. Darcey disagreed with Craig and told Jay that she could feel the romance between him and Aliona. Len said that he was in a pickle with his comments but criticised Jay for not closing his feet during his turns.

The score: 34 out of 40

Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice

Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

A tearful Georgia admitted that she didn’t want to leave the competition and was worried after ending up in the dance-off last week. During training Georgia became frustrated and broke down to her partner Giovanni Pernice. For their first dance this evening, Georgia and Giovanni danced the Cha Cha.

The dance: That was a fiery Cha Cha from Georgia and Giovanni. They moved around the floor with ease and there was a lot of energy in the performance, despite Georgia being ill.

The comments: Craig said that he ‘adored’ the performance. Darcey said that the energy was fabulous and told Georgia there was a lovely connection all through. Len said that Georgia’s hip action wasn’t there but told her she did a good job. Bruno called Georgia a ‘sexy little thing’ and told her that he had a great time watching her.

The score: 33 out of 40

Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko

Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Anita Rani admitted that she was surprised at Craig’s comments last weekend as she thought she’d done her routine well. After being at the bottom of the leaderboard Anita was determined to do better this week. For her first dance she performed a Foxtrot with Gleb Savchenko. Did she impress Craig?

The dance: That was a very classy affair! Anita should be in the clear after that performance. She looked amazing, danced amazing and her technique looked so good.

The comments: Darcey said that Anita had a great understanding of the style but told her to keep working on her topline. Len said that the Foxtrot turned into an American Smooth and wasn’t quite to his taste. Bruno said that Anita got it right tonight and understood what the dance required. Craig said that he liked the Foxtrot part of the dance but told her there were issues with Anita’s leg extension.

The score: 32 out of 40

Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton

Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Kellie Bright was on a high after last week’s show-stopping Oliver-themed performance. This week the first dance for Kellie and her partner Kevin Clifton was the Rumba. They had issues in training staying serious and Kellie admitted that it had been tough. Did she do a convincing performance?

The dance: Good effort from Kellie tonight. There was a little bit of chemistry and passion lacking for us and it wasn’t quite as intense as we’d hoped it would be.

The comments: Len said there were many elements he liked but told Kellie he noticed a wobble during the performance. Bruno said it was ‘prim, proper and correct’ and likened the performance to a brother and sister dancing together. Craig said that he could tell Kellie has worked a lot on the dance and told her it was ‘almost perfect’. Darcey said she wasn’t expecting the high level of technique that Kellie delivered.

The score: 34 out of 40

Katie Derham & Anton du Beke

Katie Derham & Anton du Beke

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Before Katie’s performance the judges talked about Katie’s best moments so far in the competition. She’s not been the most consistent dancer but when she gets Ballroom she excels. The judges said that Katie always makes mistakes, which is her biggest flaw. For her second dance tonight Katie danced the Waltz with Anton.

The dance: That looked a bit too messy for a Waltz to our eyes. Katie wobbled her way through it and it wasn’t her best dance.

The comments: Bruno said that Katie had to be perfect but told her she wasn’t. Craig said that he disagreed with Bruno and told Katie that she redeemed herself with the performance. Darcey said that Katie has done wonders with her Ballroom and told her it was a lovely dance. Len said it was nice to see something quiet and understated

The score: 31 out of 40

Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani

Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

The judges said that Jay did one of the best Jives they’ve seen on the show. Craig said that Jay’s biggest problem is his facial expression and Len agreed that he needs to emote more. Well he got his chance as Jay’s second dance tonight was a Charleston.

The dance: Technically that was really strong but we still didn’t see much in the way of facial expression from Jay. He’s definitely one of the strongest dancers in the competition.

The comments: Craig said that Jay was ‘brilliant’. Darcey said the performance was energetic and told Jay that he recovered well after nearly dropping Aliona. Len said that Jay didn’t appear to be under pressure and told him it was a fantastic routine. Bruno called Jay the ‘Timelord of the dance’.

The score: 37 out of 40

Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice

Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Len said that Georgia is an all-rounder with Craig saying that he loved her. As the judges talked about her journey, they agreed that she’s become a fantastic dancer during the competition. Craig said that she had issues with her shoulders and neck at times. For her second dance tonight Georgia danced the Viennese Waltz.

The dance: That was a beautiful performance. Georgia and Giovanni glided effortlessly around the ballroom and they took our breath away.

The comments: Darcey called Georgia a ‘breath of fresh air’ and commended her for keeping her frame. Len said ‘well done’. Bruno called Georgia and Giovanni that they were ‘right on the money’. Craig said that he could watch Georgia dance all night.

The score: 38 out of 40

Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko

Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

The judges talked about Anita’s growth in the competition and Darcey said that she wasn’t a natural dancer. Bruno described her as ‘pure theatre’ and Craig said that she needs to concentrate on her footwork. For her second dance tonight Anita danced the Salsa.

The dance: Well the Salsa was full of energy, daring lifts and plenty of intricate moves. Anita kept up with that really well and it was definitely a party dance.

The comments: Len said the performance was very athletic but told Anita that she lost the Salsa rhythm. Bruno said he felt like a raving mad cheerleader and told Anita that she could be arrested for some of the positions she was in. Craig said that Anita was ‘one brave woman’ and told her that he really enjoyed the performance. Darcey commended Anita for being daring and told her she was impressed.

The score: 32 out of 40

Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton

Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

The judges said that Kellie never holds back and commended her characterisation. Darcey admitted that Kellie’s top line lets her down during Ballroom and that she can struggle with lifts. For her second dance tonight Kellie danced the American Smooth.

The dance: What a brilliant end to a brilliant semi-final. Kellie looked elegant and she danced beautifully. We really hope she’s not in the bottom two tomorrow as she deserves a place in the final.

The comments: Bruno said that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ legacy lived on in Kellie’s performance tonight. Craig said Kellie did a classic American Smooth and told her she danced it beautifully. Darcey said it had glamour and flair. Len said that Kellie should be in the final.

The score: 39 out of 40

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton – 73
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice – 71
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani – 71
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko – 64
Katie Derham & Anton du Beke – 56

Strictly Come Dancing 2015 continues tomorrow at 7.20pm. See all of the couples in rehearsal earlier today in our gallery:

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