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Strictly Come Dancing 2017 week 9 recap

The remaining 8 couples headed to Blackpool for this weekend’s show.

Davood Ghadami and Nadiya Bychkova
Credit: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 swapped Elstree for Blackpool tonight.

The remaining 8 couples headed to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool for the show’s annual jaunt. Last weekend Ruth Langsford and her partner Anton Du Beke left the competition after losing the dance-off.

Tonight the couples performed as part of the yearly Blackpool spectacular and the show was bigger and better than ever before. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were on hand to support the couples and the judges were ready with their razor sharp critique.

Find out how everyone got on…

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

It’s been a rough few weeks for singer Mollie King. Last weekend she thought her performance had gone really well until she heard the judges’ comments. After two weeks of being in the bottom two, Mollie and her partner AJ Pritchard sailed through to Blackpool on the public vote. During the week Mollie took AJ to meet her Gran. Tonight they danced the Charleston.

The dance: Mollie danced the best she’s done in weeks. She really embraced the Charleston and the backing dancers seemed to give her a bit more confidence. There were lots of lifts in there too!

The comments: Shirley said ‘what a way to open the show in Blackpool’ and told Mollie she executed difficult lifts very well. Bruno said Mollie let the bird out of the cage and told her it was fun and confident. Craig said Mollie’s footwork looked lumpy in parts but told her he thought the lifts were a triumph. Darcey said she thought there was a lot of precision in Mollie’s swivel but told her to hold her frame more.

The score: 6, 7, 8, 8 – 29 out of 40

Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton

Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Susan has been really getting to grips with dancing and she’s come so far since week 1. This week Susan and her partner Kevin Clifton were performing the end scene from Strictly Ballroom. During the week Kevin showed the movie to Susan so they could prepare for their Paso Doble. Did it inspire her?

The dance: A good effort from Susan. It looked a little stompy in parts but she put on a superb performance. It was an enjoyable routine but unlikely to take her higher on the leaderboard.

The comments: Bruno said Susan had great intensity and great drama but told her she needs to keep her shaping. Craig said the routine needed ‘more of everything’. Darcey said there were moments where she felt Susan was trying to catch up with Kevin. Shirley said Susan covered the floor well and had some nice styling.

The score: 5, 6, 7, 7 – 25 out of 40

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Debbie was praised for her daring lifts and spins last week, and she continues to impress week-on-week. For Blackpool Debbie and her partner Giovanni Pernice were dancing a Samba to a Spice Girls medley. During training Debbie struggled with the Samba roll but she persevered. Was it another great week for Debbie?

The dance: You could tell that Debbie was loving every moment of that routine. She had a smile on her face the entire time. It was so much fun, well danced a very entertaining.

The comments: Craig said he thought the routine was a little spiky and stiff but told Debbie her timing was exceptional. Darcey said she loved Debbie’s shadow rolls but told her that the energy lacked towards the end. Shirley said that Debbie was outstanding with her shadow reverse rolls. Bruno said it was a great tribute to pop icons that was placed well.

The score: 7, 8, 9, 9 – 33 out of 40

Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse

Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Jonnie found himself in the dance-off last week and he was saved by the judges. In his intro VT Jonnie admitted that he would have been gutted to miss Blackpool. This week he and his partner Oti Mabuse are dancing the Tango and during training they took a break to go up the Blackpool Tower. Did they do enough to stay out of the dance-off?

The dance: Jonnie did better this week. The concept of the dance was great and he seemed very confident. The audience loved it and gave him a standing ovation.

The comments: Darcey said she thought Flash Gordon had arrived and told Jonnie the attack and determination was there. Shirley said that Jonnie needs to improve his posture so he dances more in a straight line. Bruno said it was like Tron and commended Jonnie and Oti for staying in sync. Craig said Jonnie leaned over Oti like the Tower of Pisa but admitted he loved the routine.

The score: 6, 7, 6, 7 – 26 out of 40

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Gemma admitted that she had a great time last week despite a mishap where she lost her shoe mid-dance. This week Gemma and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec were dancing the American Smooth Foxtrot. Taking a break from training, Gemma and Aljaz went on a tram to see the illuminations. Was their performance issue free tonight?

The dance: Ballroom is definitely Gemma’s style of dance. She moved so elegantly throughout the routine and it’s nice to see her confidence growing every week.

The comments: Shirley said Gemma made her quite emotional telling her the energy was wonderful. Bruno said Gemma had a weightless flow that was absolutely magic. Craig said the routine flowed well and commended Gemma for listening to the feedback and improving. Darcey said she really loved it.

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

Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova

Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Davood and his partner Nadiya Bychkova topped the leaderboard for the first time last week and they were taken aback at how well received their routine was. Tonight Davood and Nadiya were dancing a James Bond themed Paso Doble. During the week they went to an indoor flight centre to experience what it’s like to jump out of a plane.

The dance: After parachuting into the ballroom, Davood gave a very powerful performance tonight. He’s one of the most improved dancers this series and as his confidence grows, his performances get better and better.

The comments: Bruno said ‘mission accomplished’ and told Davood he’d earned his licence to thrill. Craig said he was slightly distracted by Davood’s costume but told him he was powerful. Darcey criticised Davood’s hand positions but said she loved the performance. Shirley said Davood was extremely impressive.

The score: 8, 9, 9, 9 – 35 out of 40

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Last weekend Alexandra and her partner Gorka Marquez did the first Argentine Tango of the series. They wowed the judges but this week Alexandra struggled with the stamina needed for her Quickstep. Taking a break from training, they went to the arcade. Was it another high scoring performance tonight?

The dance: Alexandra is a class act and she adapts to every routine with seeming ease. This dance really suited her and she’s easily one of the best dancer’s in the competition.

The comments: Craig said there was a bit of gapping at the end but asked Alexandra if there’s anything she can’t do. Darcey said she loved the choreography and commended the stillness of Alexandra’s top line. Shirley said it was light, bright and energetic. Bruno commended the detail and style of the dance.

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

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Closing out the show tonight was Joe and his partner Katya Jones. Tonight’s routine was the Salsa, which is a very different dance to last week’s romantic Rumba. In training Katya promised that the routine she was giving Joe would be big. To help Joe with his fear of heights, Katya took him to the pier to ride on the big wheel.

The dance: Joe clearly had fun but the dance was a bit looser than it should have been. I’m not sure that drop at the end went to plan either. It was a bit awkward at times.

The comments: Darcey said there was some sticky moments but she loved Joe’s attack. Shirley said the lifts were well done and she toldJoe she was impressed. Bruno said Joe went delirious and told him he delivered a great party mood. Craig said it lacked fluidity and hip rotation but told Joe it was a great routine.

The score: – 8, 8, 9, 9 – 34 out of 40

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 39
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 38
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova – 35
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 34
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 33
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 29
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse – 26
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton – 25

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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