Strictly Come Dancing 2017 entered its fifth week of live shows tonight as the remaining 12 couples battled it out in the ballroom.
Charlotte Hawkins and her partner Brendan Cole left the competition last weekend after losing the dance-off. The Good Morning Britain presenter had kept the bottom of the leaderboard warm since week 1 and the the judges picked her apart every week.
Tonight all 12 couples danced again as they fought to stay out of the dance-off and keep their place in next week’s show. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were on hand to support the couples and shield them from the judges’ comments.
Keep reading to find out how everyone got on during tonight’s show…
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova
Davood and Nadiya ended up in the bottom two last weekend despite getting their highest score so far. Undeterred by the dance-off, the couple vowed to come back fighting this week with their Jive. As the routine was set in a coffee shop, Davood took Nadiya to a coffee shop and served her a coffee he’d made. Did they do enough this week?
The dance: The Jive is one of the hardest routines to pull off but Davood did a great job. His energy was high throughout the routine and his technique definitely seems to be improving every week. With a performance like that, he shouldn’t end up in the bottom two tomorrow night.
The comments: Shirley said that Davood ‘set the tone for the evening’ and told him that his posture suited the dance. Craig said there was too much upper body movement in the flicks and kicks and his list of criticisms was so long that Darcey and Shirley started to vocally protest. Darcey said it was ‘a great opening for the night’ and called the routine ‘carefree’.
The scores: 6, 8, 8 – 22 out of 30
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard
Last weekend Mollie did her first lifts of the series and she admitted she was pretty scared about it. AJ was confident about their routine and they picked up a nice 27 out of 40 for their efforts. During the week Mollie struggled with motion sickness as they practised their Viennese Waltz so AJ took her to a theme park. Did it help her on the night?
The dance: Mollie is improving every single week and tonight she was pretty breath-taking as she deliver her Viennese Waltz. The motion sickness seemed to be kept at bay but after the routine Mollie told Tess she did feel a bit sick.
The comments: Craig said he loved the opening armography and told Mollie there was ‘a lot of wonderful Viennese in that’. Darcey said Mollie and AJ had grown as a partnership but told Mollie that her hold let her down. Shirley said the chemistry was believable and she commended AJ for his creative choreography.
The scores: 8, 8, 8 – 24 out of 30
Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton
Simon and Karen had a lucky escape last week by avoiding the dance-off despite being at the bottom of the leaderboard. During the week Karen went along to watch Simon work and also to practise their Charleston. Simon worried that Craig would pick up on his poor swivel technique but he vowed to work on it.
The dance: Simon certainly threw himself into the Charleston but there were a lot of timing issues, especially in the first half. Karen was very happy with Simon’s performance but it was far from perfect.
The comments: Darcey said she could see how hard Simon had been working but said ‘the recipe was missing some ingredients’. Shirley said she thought it was ‘massively entertaining’ and commended Simon on changing tempos with the music. Craig criticised the lack of swivel but said he loved the train step and the slapstick end.
The scores: 5, 5, 6 – 16 out of 30
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
Debbie McGee had a very strong start to the series but last week she stumbled a bit. This week Debbie had to tackle a Rumba and she admitted that she was missing her late husband Paul Daniels. During the week Debbie invited Giovanni to her home so he could learn more about Paul and their life together. With an emotional Rumba to perform, did Debbie hold it together?
The dance: Oh Debbie. What a stunning routine! She deserved that standing ovation and her fellow celebs looked very pleased for her.
The comments: Shirley commented on Debbie’s beautiful standing leg and she applauded her. Craig channeled Bruno, who was absent this week, and praised Debbie and Giovanni. Darcey agreed and told Debbie the routine was wonderful before calling it her ‘best dance’.
The scores: 9, 9, 9 – 27 out of 30
Brian Conley & Amy Dowden
Brian impressed with his Paso Doble last week but it still didn’t give him a great score. This week Brian had the Jive to contend with and Amy was determined to get them a little higher on the leaderboard. During the week Amy took Brian to Wales to show him where she came from. Did the hard work pay off for Brian?
The dance: If I had to use one word to describe Brian’s performance tonight it would be ‘lacklustre’. The energy that a Jive demands was missing and Brian looked visibly tired throughout the dance. He did give it his all but it wasn’t a great performance.
The comments: Craig said it was very flat-footed but told Brian he liked his energy and facial expressions. Darcey said she loved that it was a full routine. Shirley said Brian had the feel-good factor but told him that out of hold he struggled a bit.
The scores: 4, 6, 6 – 16 out of 30
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton
Susan achieved a personal best last weekend when she achieved her best score yet. Riding on a high, Susan admitted she was struggling with her Cha Cha steps. Kevin introduced a phrase to help Susan with her rhythm and helped her overcome the frustration she was feeling at not picking up the steps quicker. Did Susan have another good week?
The dance: Susan is really finding her stride in the competition and she looked as if she enjoyed every moment of the routine. She had a big smile on her face throughout the routine and I thought she smashed it!
The comments: Darcey said the routine was packed with dance content but told Susan she steps out too much and the technique suffers. Shirley said she loves Susan and told her she brought ‘the cheeky to the Cha Cha’. Craig said he loves Susan’s energy but told her it was technically not very good.
The scores: 4, 5, 7 – 16 out of 30
Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara
Aston didn’t have a good week last week in terms of the criticism that he got from the judges. His score was decent but his technique took a battering. A little disappointed by the feedback he got, Aston was looking forward to taking it back to basics with the Waltz this week. Aston’s girlfriend visited him in training and she got a bit emotional watching him dance with Janette.
The dance: Aston is a natural dancer and he looks very elegant when he does ballroom. It was a better performance than last week and it was nice to see a softer side of him.
The comments: Shirley said she liked the contemporary and classic mix of the routine telling Aston it was pretty impressive. Craig said Aston was a bit sharp in places but told him he loved watching him dance. Darcey loved the modern twist and told Aston he partnered Janette beautifully.
The scores: 8, 8, 8 – 24 out of 30
Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke
Ruth picked up her highest score of the series so far for her Tango and it gave her a confidence boost. During training Ruth said she was glad to be finally climbing the leaderboard. This week Ruth and Anton were dancing the Samba with an airline theme so they visited airline crew training centre to get into the spirit.
The dance: Ruth clearly enjoyed the dance but it wasn’t great. The less said about Anton’s outfit the better. A disappointing routine after last week’s high.
The comments: Craig said it was more like a send-up than a serious dance and he told them he didn’t know how to judge it. Darcey said it was over the top but told Ruth that she loved her energy. Shirley commended Ruth for keeping up with the difficult steps and told Anton the concept was fantastic.
The scores: 5, 5, 6 – 16
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec
Gemma found her mojo last week with her Paso Doble and the judges heaped praise on her. Aljaz admitted he was surprised by Gemma’s performance and his expectations for this week were higher. During training Gemma struggled with the Foxtrot due to the pivots and she admitted it was making her feel sick. Did she manage to get through the full routine?
The dance: Another strong performance from Gemma this week, and another standing ovation from the audience. She’s blossoming into one of the frontrunners in this year’s competition.
The comments: Darcey said that Gemma is progressing every week but told her to be careful with her neck when in hold. Shirley told Gemma she brought ‘romantic, classic and elegance’ to the dance. Craig said that the front-runners in the competition need to beware of Gemma after tonight’s performance.
The scores: 8, 8, 8 – 24 out of 30
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones
Joe’s footwork came under fire from the judges last week but it fuelled him to attempt to improve his technique. During the week Katya took Joe sumo wrestling ahead of their Paso Doble. They had a lot of fun in the ring but did it give Joe enough fire to wow with his routine?
The dance: A much better performance from Joe tonight.
The comments: Shirley said ‘the phoenix has risen from the ashes’ and praised Joe for not making any mistakes before telling him it was the best male Paso she’s seen on Strictly. Craig said Joe was committed and had control telling him he did really well. Darcey said she loved Katya’s choreography and congratulated Joe on his performance.
The scores: 7, 9, 10 – 26 out of 30
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez
Alexandra picked up the first 10s of the series last week when three of the judges gave her top marks for her Tina Turner inspired Jive. In training Alexandra told Gorka she wanted to top last week’s performance with her Salsa this week. There were some balance issues but Alexandra worked really hard to correct it. Was the standard really high once again?
The dance: That was a sizzling hot performance from Alexandra and Gorka. There was fire between the two of them on the dancefloor and she’s easily one of the best dancers in the competition.
The comments: Craig said that Alexandra is a brilliant dancer but criticised her for being pigeon-toed. Darcey said that Alexandra’s body doesn’t stop moving but agreed with Craig’s criticisms. Shirley said that she expects a lot from Alexandra telling her she agreed with the other judges.
The scores: 7, 8, 8 – 23 out of 30
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse
Jonnie was criticised by Craig last week for not keeping in character when he’s in hold. During the week Jonnie met with an actor tutor to work on being able to sell the dance more. Technically he’s been doing pretty well so if he can sell the routines more, he’ll easily climb up the leaderboard. Tonight he and Oti danced the Quickstep.
The dance: Jonnie really is remarkable. His technique is getting better and better and from where I was sat he definitely sold the dance this week. A great end to the show!
The comments: Darcey said that Jonnie made the routine look easy and told him she liked seeing his cheeky character come through. Shirley said it was ‘light and bright’ before making a faux pas when referring to Jonnie having a ‘spring in his step’. Craig said the stars seem to be aligning for Jonnie and he commented on the improvement in his acting.
The scores: 7, 8, 9 – 24 out of 30
The leaderboard for the evening was:
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 27
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 26
Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara – 24
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 24
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse – 24
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 24
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 23
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova – 22
Brian Conley & Amy Dowden – 16
Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke – 16
Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton – 16
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton – 16
Strictly Come Dancing 2017 says goodbye to another couple during the results show tomorrow at 7.15pm on BBC One. Check out all the couples in rehearsals earlier today in our gallery below: