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Strictly Come Dancing 2017 week 6 recap

The Halloween special brought some frightening dances to the ballroom.

Davood Ghadami and Nadiya Bychkova
Credit: BBC

The annual Halloween Strictly Come Dancing special arrived tonight as the remaining 11 couples danced once again.

The spectacular show saw the prop and costume departments go into over-drive to deliver the best Halloween special yet. The routines were more epic than ever and the choreography incredibly creative.

Last weekend Brian Conley and his partner Amy Dowden found themselves in the dreaded dance-off and were sent home by the judges. Simon Rimmer and his partner Karen Clifton lived to dance another week but did they do enough to stay out of the bottom two tonight?

Bruno Tonioli returned to the judging panel following a week off so the judges were back to their usual roles tonight and the scores back up to marks out of 40.

Find out how the couples got on by reading on…

Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse

Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Jonnie picked up his first 9 of the series last week and he was hoping to pick up an even higher score this week. The theme for Halloween was Pirates, which Jonnie joked was a good fit considering he’s an amputee. After a day out being a Pirate with Oti, Jonnie was ready for his Cha Cha. Did he build on last week’s success?

The dance: Oh Jonnie, what happened? That was an absolute mess. He looked uncomfortable from the start and the routine was very static. It felt like he knew that he wasn’t doing a great job.

The comments: Shirley said there were some uncoordinated movements in the routine and told Jonnie it wasn’t his best dance. Bruno pointed out that Jonnie’s timing was wrong and commented that he looked like he was walking the plank. Craig said there was no hip action and told Jonnie it was very stompy. Darcey told Jonnie to concentrate more on his character but told him ‘good effort’.

The score: 4, 6, 5, 5 – 20 out of 40

Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke

Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Ruth admitted that last week was the first time the nerves disappeared as she started her routine. She got a standing ovation from the audience, which boosted her confidence. During training Ruth perfected her Bewitched nose wiggle, which caused some random things to happen. Tonight Ruth and Anton danced the Quickstep.

The dance: Ruth is never going to win the competition but she is improving week after week. You can tell she’s really enjoying herself and her technique is getting better. A good performance.

The comments: Bruno said he was bewitched by Ruth’s elegant look but told her he was bothered by her frame. Craig said that Ruth lacked style and complained about her vice-like grip. Darcey said that Ruth had gained a lot of confidence but warned her to be careful not to grip onto Anton. Shirley said that Ruth had made strides this week telling her it was a good effort.

The score: 4, 6, 6, 6 – 22 out of 40

Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton

Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Simon and Karen almost went home last week but thankfully the judges chose to save them over Brian and Amy. In training this week Simon said he was going to give it 100% to try and impress the judges. Tonight they danced the American Smooth.

The dance: Simon and Karen looked like they had a lot of fun but the routine wasn’t great.

The comments: Craig said it was the ‘dance of the living dead’ going on to say that he didn’t enjoy it at all. Darcey said Simon’s nerves were gone this week but told him he was very lumpy all the way through. Shirley said Simon has shown growth in his confidence but told him not to underestimate a bit of technique. Bruno told Simon he ‘killed it’ and that definitely wasn’t a compliment.

The score: 2, 5, 5, 4 – 16 out of 40

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Gemma revealed that her dress rehearsal went a lot better than the live show and Aljaz told her not to be too hard on herself. In rehearsals Aljaz had been seemingly bitten by a vampire causing him to act a bit strange. Tonight Gemma and Aljaz performed the Jive.

The dance: Gemma had a lot of fun with her Jive and she was back on form this week. She’s one of the dark horses in the competition and the audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.

The comments: Darcey told Gemma she was very impressive and said she was going far. Shirley said there were a few mistakes at the beginning and told Gemma it wasn’t her best dance. Bruno called Gemma a ‘jive slayer’ and complimented the amount of content in the routine. Craig told Gemma she lost synchronicity because she made mistakes during the performance.

The score: 7, 8, 7, 8 – 30 out of 40

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Joe had a very good week last week picking up a 10 from Shirley for his Paso Doble. During the week Joe and Katya played tricks on one another as they prepared their Foxtrot. Expectations were really high tonight for Joe and Katya so did they pull it out of the bag?

The dance: Joe did really well there with a very difficult piece of music. The dance had a very contemporary feel and the music felt almost incidental. Impressive.

The comments: Shirley said that she loved the concept but told Joe he was a bit flat footed. Bruno said that Joe’s translation from the character into the dance was very well executed. Craig said he loved the energy and drive that Joe provided as well as his swing and sway. Darcey told Joe he was in control throughout the dance.

The score: 8, 8, 8, 8 – 32 out of 40

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Mollie said that last week was her favourite night on the show so far. She got high scores and felt confident going in to Halloween this week. After last week’s Viennese Waltz, Mollie had to contend with the Cha Cha this week. Was it another high scorer?

The dance: It was a fun routine but the prop made things a bit awkward. Mollie looked a little lost at times during the performance too.

The comments: Bruce said it was a ‘devilishly good Cha Cha’ but told Mollie to be careful how she places her feet. Craig told Mollie she needed straighter legs throughout and complimented the rotation in her hips. Darcey said the Cha Cha suited Mollie but told her that her weight was a little bit back. Shirley said that Mollie brought her personality to the ballroom but told her there was issues with her core.

The score: 6, 7, 7, 7 – 27 out of 40

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Last weekend Alexandra did a good performance but she said she felt she could do better. During the week Alexandra took Gorka to her old school to show him where life began for her. They treated the kids to a preview of their routine. Tonight they performed the Tango.

The dance: Another confident performance from Alexandra this week. The concept was great and the chemistry with this couple is incredible.

The comments: Craig said that Alexandra came out with all guns blazing telling her the routine was full of purpose. Darcey said that Alexandra was fierce, strong and clean. Shirley was also impressed but it was hard to hear what she said as there were mic problems. Bruno said he could have Alexandra’s Tango for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The score: 9, 9, 9, 8 – 35 out of 40

Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova

Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

EastEnders star Davood had a very strong week last week with his Jive. This week it was all about the Rumba, which is a notoriously difficult routine for the male celebs to perfect. During the week Davood and Nadiya went to a mirror maze during a break from training. Did Davood perfect the Rumba?

The dance: There was a bit of a stumble in the middle of that routine but otherwise Davood did a decent job. He looked a little gormless throughout the routine, which was a bit odd.

The comments: Darcey said ‘it wasn’t bad’ which was hardly a ringing endorsement. Shirley told Davood that his Rumba was difficult on the eye. Bruno said that Davood’s six-pack action sufficed for him and told him he provided a wonderful frame for Nadiya. Craig said he loved it as dance but told Davood there wasn’t enough basic Rumba.

The score: 5, 7, 6, 7 – 25 out of 40

Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton

Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Susan has been having a great time on Strictly and she’s winning over the audience and the judges. Her hard work is really showing every week and she’s got a great personality. Tonight Susan and Kevin danced the Foxtrot.

The dance: Their Game of Thrones themed routine was a lot of fun. Susan is getting better and she’s what the show is all about. What a fun dance!

The comments: Shirley said that Susan lacked grace and told her it wasn’t her best dance. Bruno said he loved the madness of it all and told Susan that she always give 110%. Craig said his ride on mower at home had more grace and elegance than Susan. Darcey said she could see that Susan was working on her neck and shoulders with little moments of style.

The score: 3, 5, 5, 5 – 18 out of 40

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Debbie topped the leaderboard last week so the pressure was on tonight for her to maintain a high standard. This week Debbie had a lot to prove in order to keep her place at the top of the leaderboard. Tonight Debbie and Giovanni danced the Charleston.

The dance: There were a few mistakes in the routine but Debbie gave it her all. She’s such a great dancer and a real entertainer.

The comments: Bruno said there was nothing horrible about her routine. Craig said there were a few clunky moments but had plenty of praise for Debbie. Darcey said that she loved Debbie’s performance. Shirley gave Debbie her ‘Queen of Latin’ crown.

The score: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 out of 40

Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara

Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Aston has been coming under some stick for his dancing background since the series began but he’s been keen to point out his experience is completely different to ballroom. He’s been consistently a high scorer so he really needs to pull something special out of the bag to maintain his leaderboard position. Tonight Aston and Janette danced the Paso Doble.

The dance: I thought Aston was a little too OTT tonight. His pop dancing background shone through but that meant his Paso wasn’t as clean and sharp as it should have been.

The comments: Craig said he liked the modern pop touches Aston included in the routine. Darcey enthused about about Aston’s solo in the middle of the routine. Shirley said Aston brought a modern twist that was executed well. Bruno said that Aston brought the dead back to life with his Paso.

The score: 9, 10, 9, 10 – 38 out of 40

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 39
Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara – 38
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 35
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 32
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 30
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 27
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova – 25
Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke – 22
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse – 20
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton – 18
Simon Rimmer & Karen 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:

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