Strictly Come Dancing 2017 is nearing the end of its run but there’s still everything to dance for!
Tonight the remaining 7 couples took to the ballroom once again to secure their place in the competition. Next week is the quarter-final so no-one will be wanting to go home tomorrow night during the results show.
The competition is really, really close this year and pretty much anyone could clinch the Glitterball trophy. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are the strongest dancers but that’s not to say the public won’t throw their weight behind one of the other contestants.
Tonight the couples had to dance their latest routine and participate in the Paso Doble-athon.
Find out how everyone got on tonight…
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones
Joe McFadden has been doing consistently well on Strictly Come Dancing. This week he was trying to get to grips with the Quickstep. During training Katya took Joe to the Shard to get him prepared as their routine is performed as if on the top of the New York sky line.
The dance: Joe is really growing in confidence now as the competition hurtles to its conclusion. It was a lively dance and Joe looked to be in his element. A great start to the show.
The comments: Shirley said that Joe was on his way to next week and told him he was superb. Bruno said Joe’s technique was solid and the detail was beautiful. Craig said Joe had tension in his top line but called the routine stupendous. Darcey said it was a gorgeous routine.
The score: 9, 9, 10, 10 – 38 out of 40
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez
Alexandra Burke channeled classic Hollywood during her routine last week. The judges loved it and she sailed through to the next week. It was a complete change of pace for her tonight though as she danced the Rumba with her partner Gorka Marquez. Did she do a riveting rumba?
The dance: Another beautiful routine from Alexandra. She makes it look so easy.
The comments: Bruno said the routine had torment and conflict but told Alexandra that she needed to extend the lines a little more. Craig said that he felt it lacked connection and chemistry but told Alexandra to be proud of herself. Darcey said that she could see how hard Alexandra has worked but told her she didn’t express the music this week. Shirley really critiqued Alexandra but told her she’s a great performer.
The score: 7, 8, 8, 9 – 32 out of 40
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec
Gemma and Aljaz were very pleased with their performance last weekend, which was well-received by the judges and saw them get two 10s. This week they were dancing the Samba and Gemma admitted she was struggling to get to grips with it. During training Gemma took Aljaz Thai Boxing but they found time to dance too.
The dance: I didn’t love the song choice for the routine I must admit. Very unusual for a Samba. That aside Gemma did a good job but I don’t think she was as good as last week.
The comments: Craig said that Gemma’s arms were haphazard and the dance exposed her weaknesses. Darcey said the routine never really woke up for her. Shirley agreed with Craig that the routine was a bit lumpish. Bruno called it ‘a Samba with a hangover’.
The score: 6, 6, 6, 7 – 25 out of 40
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard
Mollie did some daring spins during her routine in Blackpool last week and she was boosted when Darcey told her that she was improving. During training Mollie admitted that she needed to speed up her steps so she can pull off the Quickstep. Did she manage to wow?
The dance: Mollie did a really great routine tonight and she’s really improved since the beginning of the competition. She’s what the show is all about and this could be her best performance yet.
The comments: Darcey said Mollie did very good tonight calling her confident and assured. Shirley said that Mollie’s core is improving, which in turn improved her footwork. Bruno said it was a ‘bright, light, lively’ Quickstep. Craig said Mollie was a bit jolty on the runs but agreed with the other judges that she was making progress.
The score: 7, 7, 8, 9 – 31 out of 40
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova
Davood said his performance in Blackpool was unforgettable and he admitted that the whole routine made him a bit emotional. This week Davood and Nadiya were dancing the Waltz and Davood admitted during training that he was having a hard time getting to grips with it. Did he pull it together on the night?
The dance: A classy performance from Davood tonight. I don’t think he had anything to worry about. To my eyes he acquitted himself very, very well.
The comments: Shirley said that Davood has delivered again this week and called him a breath of fresh air. Bruno said that Davood looked like a movie star and told him the routine was ‘simple but so effective’. Craig said it needed more swing and sway but told him it was beautiful. Darcey said Davood was ‘absolutely effortless’.
The score: 8, 9, 9, 9 – 35 out of 40
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
I was baffled last weekend when Debbie was in the dance-off. It was a bit ridiculous to be honest and she didn’t deserve to be in the bottom two. Rather than get down about it, Debbie and Giovanni decided to fight back with their Argentine Tango. They visited former Strictly pro Vincent Simone to get some tips for their routine.
The dance: Wow Debbie, WOW! That was a fantastic routine and the best of the night. Debbie to win please!
The comments: Bruno called Debbie ‘the Queen of Buenos Aires’ and commended her for using the full ballroom for her performance. Craig said that he wishes he could dance like Debbie. Darcey said the articulation and lines of the legs was outstanding. Shirley said she found the whole routine emotional and told Debbie she’d never seen balance like hers.
The score: 9, 9, 10, 10 – 38 out of 40
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton
If there’s one person in the competition who really embodies the whole spirit of Strictly it’s Susan. She’s the weakest dancer left in the competition but she’s continually improving, and she’s never danced before. Closing the show tonight Susan and Kevin danced the American Smooth.
The dance: That was a fun and entertaining routine. Susan is getting better and she always looks like she’s having the most fun. She also ended the first part of the show with a standing ovation.
The comments: Craig said that Susan hadn’t done enough to stay away from the bottom of the leaderboard. Darcey said there was a glimmer of Hollywood films but told Susan she could have made longer, sweeping lines. Shirley said the entertainment factor was good but criticised Susan’s lack of technique. Bruno said that Susan was ‘saved by the bench’ referring to the prop for the routine.
The score: 4, 6, 5, 6 – 21 out of 40
The leaderboard before the Paso Doble-athon was:
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 38
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 38
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova – 35
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 32
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 31
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 25
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton – 21
Once all of the couples had danced, it was time for Strictly’s first ever Paso Doble-athon. The 7 couples had to dance on the floor together for the entire duration of the song. Lifts were banned and they had to travel anti-clockwise.
The extra points awarded were:
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 7
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 6
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 5
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova – 4
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 3
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 2
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton – 1
The leaderboard for the evening after the Paso Doble-athon was:
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 44
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 43
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 39
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova – 39
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 33
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 28
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton – 22
Strictly Come Dancing 2017 continues at 7.15pm tomorrow night on BBC One. Take a look at all of the couples in rehearsals earlier today in our gallery below: