Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

TV

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 semi-final recap

All of the couples danced twice in tonight’s semi-final.

Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice
Credit: BBC

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 reached it’s semi-final tonight and all of the couples had to do twice the work to stay in the competition.

Last weekend saw Davood Ghadami leave the competition with his partner Nadiya Bychkova. That leaves five couples standing and to secure a place in next week’s final they all had to perform twice tonight.

The pressure really is on and one couple is going to end the weekend falling at the final hurdle. Who will it be?

Find out how everyone got on by reading on…

Dance 1

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Credit: BBC

Joe is now the last man standing in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing – but would his and Katya’s American Smooth to Have You Met Miss Jones? by Robbie Williams make him the first one into the final? In training Joe spoke about how pleased he was with the score for his Samba last week and Katya showed him a video of his supporters across the country.

The dance: Joe slightly overshot his opening slide, but otherwise he delivered a routine worthy of a Hollywood movie. He glided across the floor and had lovely posture and rise and fall, as well as great arm movement alongside Katya. I also felt Joe acted the routine well and pulled off the ambitious lifts perfectly. If he can pull off his second routine to this level then I reckon he’s going straight to the final – and maybe even the glitterball…

The comments: Shirley said it was a glorious way to open the show and praised Joe’s ‘extraordinary’ timing, lifts and movement. Bruno thought it was all good news and particularly liked the jazzy swing of the side-by-side sections. Craig wanted it to be smoother but called it stylish and charismatic. Darcey enjoyed the lifts and liked Joe’s sweeping lines.

The scores: 8, 9, 9, 9 – 35 out of 40

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Credit: BBC

Despite being joint top of the leaderboard last week, Alexandra once again found herself in the bottom two. After surviving her second dance-off, would it be third time lucky for her and Gorka? This week their first dance was a Viennese Waltz to Tina Arena’s version of Everybody Hurts. In training Alexandra spoke about her disappointment of being in the bottom two and she and Gorka watched a video of people declaring their support for them.

The dance: I thought Alexandra had lovely arm and hand movements, great swing and sway and did a great job of bringing out the emotion of the dance. She also had good footwork and posture throughout as well as managing some impressive spins. It was another technically accomplished performance and should hopefully keep her out of the bottom two this time.

The comments: Bruno said it was soft and dreamy and called it ‘brilliant’. Craig criticised Alexandra for not bringing her feet together but liked the rotation and praised her use of her arms. Darcey said it had an ethereal quality and liked Alexandra’s elegance and control. Shirley called it an emotional performance and praised Alexandra’s sincerity.

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

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Credit: BBC

Mollie has shown a big improvement over recent weeks, but she’s going to have to keep up the good work to secure her place in the Strictly Come Dancing final. Her and AJ’s first dance this week was a Samba to Shakira’s Wherever, Whenever, and Mollie struggled with the rhythms of the dance in training. She and AJ also spoke about how pleased they were with the response to their Rumba last week and watched the video of their supporters.

The dance: Mollie had decent hip action in her opening solo section, but her hands felt a bit throwaway and I wanted more bounce. That said, she brought a cheeky quality to the routine and it’s the first time she’s looked like she’s enjoying herself during a Latin routine. Not her strongest performance and she’ll need to bounce back in her Ballroom later if she wants to get through to next week.

The comments: Craig said the palm trees had more bounce than Mollie and the rolls looked awkward, as well as criticising her timing. Darcey felt Mollie was chasing the music and the transitions were jerky. Shirley said Mollie had some good solo pieces and praised her stationary Samba walks. Bruno thought Mollie missed the flight to Brazil and said Southern Rail had better timing (ouch!), which meant the dance looked disconnected.

The scores: 4, 7, 7, 6, – 24 out of 40

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Credit: BBC

Gemma has faced a few ups and downs in her Strictly Come Dancing journey, and scraped through Musicals Week despite a wobble in her Quickstep. This week she and Aljaz performed a Rumba to Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth featuring Emelie Sande – would it be enough to get them to the final? In training Gemma talked about how pleased she was to get positive comments and her determination to take the judges’ comments forward this week. She struggled to learn the routine but was cheered up by watching the video of her and Aljaz’s supporters.

The dance: Gemma has found the Latin dances difficult but I felt this Rumba was a big breakthrough for her. She had good hip movement, lovely gentle arms and decent footwork, and acted the dance very well. The one thing I would have liked was a little bit more of a connection between her and Aljaz, but it was a very good performance from her and I think she should make it through to the final.

The comments: Darcey said there was a great intensity between Gemma and Aljaz and praised the resistance in her legs, but wanted more emotion in the body. Shirley liked the choreography and Gemma’s arm movement but said it lacked musicality. Bruno said it was sensual but not smutty and liked Gemma’s leg lines and placement, but warned her not to overthink and risk stopping the movement. Craig thought Gemma’s upper body was inanimate but said her straight legs were wonderful.

The scores: 7, 8, 7, 8 – 30 out of 40

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Credit: BBC

Debbie topped the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard once more last week – could she and Giovanni do it again with their Jive to the Pointer Sisters’ I’m So Excited? In training this week Debbie spoke about how pleased she was with last weekend’s routine as well as her difficulty with the Latin dances, whilst she and Giovanni got a boost by hearing from their fans.

The dance: Debbie looked like she was having a ton of fun on the Strictly dancefloor and brought incredible energy to her Jive. She had great co-ordination with Giovanni in the side-by-side sections and was light on her feet throughout. The one thing I wanted was more pointed toes in her kicks, but otherwise it was a routine packed with personality and content. If she can deliver another high quality routine with her Foxtrot then she’s nailed on for the final.

The comments: Shirley liked the mix of swing and flicks and kicks and praised the choreography. Bruno said Debbie always delivered and that it was a sparkling Jive. Craig felt it lacked retraction and looked stiff in places but liked Debbie’s timing and energy. Darcey thought Debbie’s kicks were crisp and said it was amazing.

The scores: 7, 9, 9, 9 – 34 out of 40

Dance 2

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Joe McFadden & Katya Jones

Credit: BBC

Joe excelled in his American Smooth, and now he and Katya had a further chance to reach the Strictly Come Dancing final with their Argentine Tango to Human by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. In training Joe struggled a little with the ganchos and lifts but spoke about the importance of taking risks at this stage.

The dance: Wow! I loved the brave and confident personality Joe brought to the solo section at the start of the dance, with sharp ganchos and bags of drama. He carried that through into hold, with a routine packed with intricate flicks, stunning lifts (particularly the finale of the routine) and plenty of passion between him and Katya. It was absolutely incredible and should guarantee him a place in next week’s final.

The comments: Bruno liked the modern twist and called it superb, particularly the ending, but criticised Joe’s loss of balance. Craig said the walking steps were ploddy and wanted Joe’s legs to be looser in the ganchos, but said the risk paid off. Darcey loved the daring nature of the routine and praised Joe’s control. Shirley said Joe pushed the boundaries and particularly enjoyed his pivots, calling the routine ‘spectacular’.

The scores: 8, 9, 9, 9 – 35 out of 40

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez

Credit: BBC

After the judges loved Alexandra’s Viennese Waltz, she and Gorka made a second bid for the Strictly Come Dancing final with their Salsa to Cece Peniston’s Finally. In training Alexandra spoke about the need not to overthink the dance and how much she wanted to reach the final.

The dance: Alexandra certainly brought the fire and spice to the Strictly dancefloor with her fast and furious Salsa. She had excellent hip movement and great armography throughout, and the dance flowed really well with plenty of dramatic lifts and tricks. If I had one small criticism it’s that her hands were a bit unfinished sometimes but otherwise her performances tonight should see her safe from the bottom two.

The comments: Craig said it was ‘fab-u-lous’, whilst Darcey wanted to join the party and praised Alexandra’s level of detail. Shirley liked Alexandra’s foot-to-foot and loved the execution of the lifts. Bruno gave Alexandra a standing ovation and said it felt like midsummer in Puerto Rico.

The scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40 out of 40

Mollie King & AJ Pritchard

Credit: BBC

Mollie found the Samba a little difficult, and now she needed to show her strength in the Ballroom dances to make it to the Strictly Come Dancing final. For their second dance this evening, she and AJ performed a Waltz to Sarah MacLachlan’s Angel. In training Mollie spoke about the challenges of the different elements of the Waltz and the slow speed of the dance.

The dance: Mollie has always been more comfortable in Ballroom than Latin and I felt that she really shone in this routine. She moved well across the floor, and had nice rise and fall and good footwork. I also felt she brought out the romantic quality of the dance very well and had a lovely connection with AJ. It was a much better routine than her Samba, but against the other dances we’ve seen tonight I’m not sure if it will be quite enough to get her through to the final.

The comments: Darcey said Mollie had a lovely quality in her top line and posture but that her right arm was stiff due to nerves. Shirley thought Mollie had beautiful pivots and she executed the routine well. Bruno liked the classic nature of the dance and praised Mollie’s lines. Craig said there were a couple of issues but Mollie redeemed herself.

The scores: 8, 8, 8, 8 – 32 out of 40

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec

Credit: BBC

 

Gemma performed well in her Rumba, and now she and Aljaz had one last attempt to make it to the Strictly Come Dancing final with their Tango to Royal Blood’s version of My Sharona. In training, Gemma and Aljaz worked on her posture and Gemma spoke about her nerves about the routine, as well as struggling to remember the steps.

The dance: Gemma has always been more comfortable in Latin than Ballroom, and sadly I thought the Tango wasn’t quite her dance. For me it lacked sharpness and I wanted a bit more attack. That said, she had good posture and moved well across the floor, and I also thought she improved as the routine went on. However I’m not sure it will be enough to save her from the dance-off and she could be going home tomorrow.

The comments: Shirley thought Gemma did a good job, whilst Bruno loved the determination and quality. Craig wanted more V shaping in the upper body and criticised Gemma’s clawlike left hand but liked the attack, and Darcey praised Gemma’s passion.

The scores: 8, 8, 8, 8 – 32 out of 40

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice

Credit: BBC

Debbie got a great response to her Jive from the judges. Could she and Giovanni continue that with their Foxtrot to Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely? In training Debbie spoke about wanting the routine to be as good as possible in order to get through to the Strictly Come Dancing final.

The dance: Debbie once again showed why she’s a serious contender to lift the trophy. She moved beautifully around the floor, had excellent posture and gorgeous spins and leg extensions. I was completely transported by the dance and thought it was full of class and old-school glamour. If she doesn’t make it to next week on the strength of tonight’s routines then I’ll eat my hat.

The comments: Bruno said it was ‘strictly gorgeous’ and that if Debbie didn’t make the final he’d turn up in Darcey’s tutu and a tiara. Craig said it was too long out of hold but praised the use of the floor and the body contact throughout. Darcey thought it was stunningly effortless and loved the smooth transitions. Shirley thought Debbie was elegant and particularly liked the sweeping movements.

The scores: 8, 9, 9, 10 – 36 out of 40

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – 79
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – 70
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – 70
Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec – 62
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard – 56

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:

Advertisement

You May Also Like

TV

Join us for a tour around the world via the streaming platform's great shows.

Music

The beloved pop band are back with new music and a tour.

Music

The global smash is blowing up in the UK right now.

Games & Tech

The only Match-3 puzzle game set within the original Harry Potter books and films.



Copyright © 2020 Entertainment Focus

Entertainment Focus is a trading name of Piñata Media Limited (Reg no: 08435639)

Entertainment Focus uses affiliate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you