After a triumphant return to our screens last week, Strictly Come Dancing continued its 20th series in style tonight.
All 15 of this year’s celebrity contestants, along with their professional partners, were back on the dancefloor for their second performances – but for one of them, it will be their last dance before someone is eliminated in tomorrow’s results show.
Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were on hand to provide support to the stars and guide us through the evening’s action, whilst judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and head judge Shirley Ballas shared their thoughts and insights on the contestants’ performances.
So how did they all get on tonight? Find out more below…
Will Mellor and Nancy Xu
Will wowed us all with his Jive last week, and he and Nancy were joint top of the leaderboard. Could they build on that this evening with their show-opening Salsa to Luther Vandross’s ‘Never Too Much’? In their VT Will spoke about the pressure of living up to week 1 and the work involved in learning this week’s routine.
The dance: Will had bags of confidence and great hip action throughout, and led Nancy really well. He did a good job with the lifts and tricks too. There were some bits that weren’t quite perfect – his open mouth is a bit distracting at times, the free arm was slightly thrown aside and he can be a bit skippy in some of his runs – but he had plenty of swagger and even coped well with a slight wardrobe mishap! It was another strong performance and should see him safely through to next week.
The comments: Shirley said Will was ‘easy on the eye’ but wanted him to maintain his hard work. Anton agreed – there was a mistake and Will needs to pick his posture up, but he had a ‘great groove’ going on. Craig thought Will danced too heavily into the floor and it was a bit jagged in places, but praised his rhythm and performance skills. Motsi said ‘those hips don’t lie’ and liked Will’s smooth rotation as well as his partnering skills.
The scores: 6, 7, 6, 7 – 26 out of 40
James Bye and Amy Dowden
James and Amy rocked the Strictly dancefloor with last week’s 60s-themed Jive, but this week saw them dancing their first Ballroom routine, performing a Tango to ‘Bad Habits’ by Ed Sheeran. In their VT James spoke about enjoying the drama of the dance, but also struggled with the Tango posture and characterisation. Amy also visited on the set of EastEnders, where they performed for his fellow cast members.
The dance: This was a surprisingly tender and romantic Tango, yet still had all the necessary drama. I thought James acted the dance well and delivered a high level of passion, as well as plenty of clipped, staccato movements. He did need to be a bit more down in his knees, but overall this was a really good performance that saw him come into his own as a leading man and felt like an improvement on last week.
The comments: Anton loved James’s ‘amazing’ open work, but wanted him to dance his height to help Amy follow his lead more. Craig felt it was ‘ploddy’ and the hold was more like an an Argentine Tango, but said James brought ‘real, true drama’ and amazing musicality. Motsi needed more power in the legs and wanted James to be less hesitant. Shirley was impressed with James’s heel leads and closes, as well as the atmosphere.
The scores: 5, 6, 6, 7 – 24 out of 40
Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin
After impressing with their Cha-Cha-Cha last week, tonight Ellie and Nikita delivered their first Ballroom routine, performing a Waltz to the Elvis Presley classic ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’. In their VT, Ellie spoke about her excitement to do a Ballroom dance, but also the challenge of learning each step rather than following Nikita’s lead, as well as wanting to inspire everyone to dance ‘no matter who they are’.
The dance: Well that was just lovely. Ellie had beautiful lines and lovely posture throughout, and moved beautifully across the floor. I also loved the spin on the floor and the ending was gorgeous. It actually made me quite emotional! The one thing I’d have liked to see was slightly more pointed toes in some of the poses, but that’s a very minor quibble. She showed she’s just as good at Ballroom as Latin, and I think she can goa long way in this competition.
The comments: Craig wanted Ellie to lift out of her waist and to see some heel leads, but liked the flow and expression in her arms. Motsi called it ‘magical’ but told Ellie to work on her feet. Shirley said it was ‘beautiful’, although Ellie needs to work on her standing leg. Anton liked the line in Ellie’s extension, calling it ‘lovely’.
The scores: 7, 8, 7, 8 – 30 out of 40
Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez
Helen and Gorka showed they’re a couple to watch with last week’s American Smooth, but how would they get on with their Cha-Cha-Cha to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s ‘Rain On Me’? In their VT Helen spoke about wanting to be more confident in the fast, technical routine and needing to work on being sexy in the performance.
The dance: Helen needn’t have worried. With a smile that could light up Blackpool, she delivered sass by the bucketload. There was a real sense of joy and fun about her performance and I thought she had some great clean lines in her hands too. A couple of the kicks were a bit throwaway and her legs could have been straifhter, but overall this was a very confident performance and showed why he’s been picked as a potential winner.
The comments: Motsi said the opening was ‘spectacular’ and praised Helen’s weight in hold. Shirley liked her co-ordination and the strength in her legs, but wanted her to work on her feet and posture. Anton felt it petered out towards the end and Helen needed more self-belief. Craig said Helen needed more straight legs and technically it was poor.
The scores: 5, 7, 7, 8 – 27 out of 40
Tony Adams and Katya Jones
Tony’s Tango last week saw him landing at the bottom of the leaderboard. Tonight, he and Katya took on the Charleston, dancing to ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’ by Foster & Allen – would the routine give him a chance to redeem himself? In their VT Tony took Katya to a traditional pie and mash shop (the setting for their routine), as well as his hopes to enjoy this week’s dance and give it everything.
The dance: What an improvement! Tony really got into the character of the dance, bringing a brilliant sense of fun and playfulness, and coped well with the lifts too. There was a slight pause in the middle, but he recovered from it well and seemed to be having a whale of a time. I still think he could be at risk in the public vote, but he can certainly go out with his head held high if this turns out to be his last dance.
The comments: Shirley praised Tony’s performance and timing, as well as keping it together despite his mistake. Anton loved it – Tony ‘absolutely smashed it’. Craig called it ‘stiff, stiff, stiff’, but Motsi saw an improvement and encouraged Tony to keep gong.
The scores: 4, 6, 6, 6 – 22 out of 40
Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe
Ellie and Johannes shocked even themselves with the praise they received for last week’s Quickstep. Could they keep that momentum going with their Paso Doble – the first of the series – to ‘Los Toreadors’ by George Bizet? In their VT Johannes walked Ellie through the key features of the dance, whilst Ellie spoke about dealing with the technical challenges of the routine
The dance: Ellie delivered a powerful solo opening with some great shapes in her hands, before getting into hold with Johannes. I felt she moved across the floor well and liked the sharpness yet delicacy in her arms, and thought they matched each other really nicely in the side by side work. It did falter a little towards the end but overall it had good shape and tons of character, and showed that she could be a dark horse for this competition.
The comments: Anton praised Ellie’s lines and quality but felt it was missing the paso atmosphere. Craig felt she was walking around and posing, and the best part was the end. Motsi liked the shape but wanted Ellie to get into her breathing. Shirley said it had decent footwork but lacked the Spanish feeling.
The scores: 4, 7, 5, 7 – 23 out of 40
Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice
Richie showed plenty of energy and exuberance in his Cha-Cha-Cha last week, so could he harness that as well as bringing the technique in his and Giovanni’s Quickstep to ‘Dancin’ Fool’ by Barry Manilow? In their VT Richie spoke about how much he loved last week’s dance and wanted to take the judges’ feedback on board, but struggled with his frame.
The dance: This was a great, sharp routine, with plenty of personality, flair and swagger, and Richie harnessing his energy well. I loved the amount of bounce he brought to it, as well as touches like Beyoncé moves and tricks, and felt he and Giovanni had great co-ordination in the opening and closing sections. It was a big step forward from last week and I’m really looking forward to seeing where he goes next.
The comments: Craig thought the cartwheel was terrible but the rest was fantastic. Motsi called it ‘absolutely beautiful’ and told Richie to take in the moment. Shirley loved the synchronicity and the laser focus, but wanted Richie to work on the back of his neck for a straighter line. Anton called Richie ‘a real showman’ and said it was teriffic, particularly the cane work.
The scores: 8, 8, 8, 8 – 32 out of 40
Fleur East and Vito Coppola
Fleur and Vito wowed with their Cha-Cha-Cha to close the show last week, and tonight they switched into Ballroom mode, dancing a Viennese Waltz to ‘Glimpse Of Us’ by Joji. In their VT Vito joined Fleur on her radio show, whilst she spoke about wanting to show a different side of herself, as well as the difficulty the level of control needed for the dance presented to her.
The dance: Fleur delivered a gorgeous, heartfelt Viennese Waltz with a contemporary feel. I thought she performed it really well and had a lovely tender quality about it. I liked her lines out of hold and felt she coped well with the spins, posture and technical challenge of the routine too. She has all the qualities for a fantastic Ballroom dancer an I can see her going all the way to the end.
The comments: Motsi praised Fleur for taking on last week’s critiqes and the lyrical opening of the routine, but wanted her to go more into the details. Shirley said Fleur executed the routine beautifully but there were too many foot faults and it didn’t have enough flow. Anton got refinement ‘in spades’ but wanted Fleur to continue her line without turning her head too much. Craig really enjoyed it – a little more Viennese content would have been nice, but Fleur is a ‘gorgeous’ dancer and ‘so watchable’.
The scores: 7, 8, 6, 7 – 28 out of 40
Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington
Kaye proved to be something of a surprise package with her Tango last week, and tonight she and Kai performed a Charleston to ‘Music! Music! Music!’ by Dorothy Provine. In their VT Kaye spoke about her enjoyment of last week’s dance but also frustration that it wasn’t perfect, as well as her desire to master the Charleston swivel. Would she have the confidence and trust in Kai to deliver the high-energy routine?
The dance: I loved the goofy quality Kaye brought to this routine. She had a great lightness about her performance, as well as nice sharp lines and plenty of bounce. I thought she handled the lifts well and it was nicely to see her cheeky side too. There were still a few nerves on show, but overall it was a good performance should see her safely through to next week.
The comments: Shirley loved seeing Kay’s belief in Kai and praised her confidence in the lifts. Anton said she ‘sold’ the number but wanted more development in the leg action. Craig called it ‘underdanced and underwhelming’, but Motsi though it showed hard work pays off, although Kaye needs to trust herself more in the solo work.
The scores: 4, 6, 6, 6 – 22 out of 40
Hamza Yassin and Jowita Pryzstal
Hamza delivered a beautiful Foxtrot last weekend, putting him joint top of the leaderboard. Could he and Jowita do it again with their Jive to The Weeknd’s hit ‘Blinding Lights’? In their VT, Hamza found the bounce and pace of the Jive difficult, but spoke of his determination to ‘nail every step’ and make Jowita proud.
The dance: It started off a bit walky, but once the routine got going I thought Hamza did a good job. He needed a little more spring in places and was slightly flat footed, but his kicks were nice and sharp throughout (including one particularly high one!) and I thought he handled the pace of the routine well. For me I would have liked a bit more of a lead but overall he did well.
The comments: Anton thought Hamza did a very good job but wanted him to turn his feet out. Craig felt it was heavy and lacked retraction but the kick-ball-change section was good. Motsi could see Hamza counting but told him to ‘keep up the energy’. Shirley loved Hamza’s infectious smile but said he needed to absorb his weight a bit more to reduce he heavy feeling.
The scores: 4, 7, 6, 7 – 24 out of 40
Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima
Kym and Graziano completely switched tempo from last week’s fast-paced Jive tonight, as they took on the Viennese Waltz, dancing to ‘Runaway’ by The Corrs. In their VT Kym spoke about her fears about getting dizzy in the spins, as well as the challenge of perfecting her frame. Would her hard work pay off?
The dance: This was a lovely sweet routine, with great hold from Kym – she and Graziano were practically welded together – and beautiful lines too. I felt like she had control in the spins and a real sense of romance and joy about the performance. Her quality throughout was great and I think she’s further shown why she’s a major contender.
The comments: Craig thought Kym’s frame let her down, but the content was ‘spectacular’. Motsi liked her musicality but wanted her to let go a little more. Shirley saw some nice heel leads and recognisable content, but wanted Kym to work on her centre and lower her shoulders. Anton liked Kym’s elegance but wanted her to lengthen her side steps.
The scores: 6, 7, 7, 7 – 27 out of 40
Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova
Matt seemed disappointed with his performance in his Quickstep last week – could he and Nadiya bounce back tonight with their Samba to the Bee Gees’ disco classic ‘Night Fever’? In their VT Matt spoke about taking the judges’ feedback on board and wanting to entertain the audience, whilst Katya also surprised him for his birthday.
The dance: Matt showed tremendous confidence and swagger in his opening section, as well as great partner work and a fun classic disco section. I feel he could still work on his hands a bit out of hold – at times they’re a bt all over the place – as well as having some skippy parts and a lack of bounce. but it definitely seemed like he was enjoying this routine a lot more than last week. Maybe not the strongest performance of the night, but he’s definitely made an improvement and I hope he’s still here next week.
The comments: Motsi said Matt has an ‘extra extra’ style but wanted him to work more on his technique. Shirley thought Matt’s confidence had grown ‘100 per cent’ and said his solo work was extremely good, but wanted more co-ordination and work on fundamentals. Anton ‘love, love, loved’ it, whilst Craig was distracted by Matt’s tight white trousers.
The scores: 4, 6, 6, 6 – 22 out of 40
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell
After taking on Ballroom with an American Smooth last week, tonight Tyler turned his hand to Latin as he and Dianne delivered a Jive to ‘Hit The Road Jack’ by Buster Poindexter. In their VT Tyler spoke about the difficulties controlling his long legs in the dance, whilst he and Dianne also took a spin in a vintage car for their Bonnie and Clyde-themed routine.
The dance: This was certainly a cool, characterful Jive (boding well for Tyler’s Charleston!), with plenty of spring and fun about it. I felt like the kicks were sharp, Tyler’s posture was good and he coped well with the the sheer amount of content involved, as well as acting it very well. He had the perfect amount of flair and swagger, oozing control throughout, and providing surprisingly nimble on his feet. It’s definitely a step forward from last week and I think he’s got a chance to go very far.
The comments: Shirley said Tyler is ‘the real deal’ and loved his attitude and soul. Anton thought he ‘owned’ the routine and looked so comfortable. Craig said it was jam-packed full of storytelling, whilst Motsi called it a highlight and said Tyler was ost improved from last week.
The scores: 7, 8, 8, 8 – 31 out of 40
Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer
Jayde and Karen brought the party with their Samba last week – but this week was a complete change of pace as they took on the Tango to ‘Rumour Has It’ by Adele. In their VT Jayde spoke about her former career performing as an Adele drag act and her love of the singer, as well as the dance routine, but found the footwork challenging.
The dance: Jayde’s acting in the opening section was brilliant, and I loved the amount of drama and passion she brought to the performance. She had great drive across the floor and I felt like she led Karen really well. Although she struggled a bit with some of the faster footwork sections, her control and performance quality was brilliant and I loved the final twist in the choreography too. A great routine and one that shows she could be one to watch this year.
The comments: Anton loved the intensity and praised Jayde for maintaining the character, as well as her ‘gorgeous’ left arm. Craig though Jayde really led the dance, and Motsi couldn’t take her eyes off her but wanted her to push more. Shirley said Jayde was ‘totally in command’ and had some nice footwork.
The scores: 6, 7, 6, 7 – 26 out of 40
Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu
After wowing the judges with their Samba last week, tonight Molly and Carlos performed a Quickstep to Beyoncé’s ‘Love On Top’ to close the show. In their VT Molly spoke about how proud she was of her performance last week, as well as handling the routine’s ‘umbrella-ography’ and hoping that she wouldn’t be the one to go home first.
The dance: What a way to end the show! The sense of fun and joy was infectious, and I thought that Molly pulled off the ‘umbrella-ography’ reall well. She and Carlos flew across the floor, with a brilliant light quality to the performance, great frame and a sense she was having the time of her life. It was an absolutely stellar way to end the show and showed why she’s being tipped as an early frontrunner for the glitterball.
The comments: Craig loved Molly’s sunshine-yellow suit and called the dance ‘brilliant’. Motsi wanted to watch it again, whilst Shirley liked the power but wanted Molly to work on her fundamentals. Anton praised her flow and energy.
The scores: 8, 9, 9, 8 – 34 out of 40
The leaderboard for the evening was:
Molly and Carlos – 34
Richie and Giovanni – 32
Tyler and Dianne – 31
Ellie S and Nikita – 30
Fleur and Vito – 28
Helen and Gorka – 27
Kym and Graziano – 27
Will and Nancy – 26
Jayde and Karen – 26
James and Amy – 24
Hamza and Jowita – 24
Ellie T and Johannes – 23
Tony and Katya – 22
Kaye and Kai – 22
Matt and Nadiya – 22
The overall leaderboard (combining this week and last week’s scores) were:
Molly and Carlos – 31 + 34 = 65
Will and Nancy – 34 + 26 = 60
Hamza and Jowita – 34 + 24 = 58
Fleur and Vito – 29 + 28 = 57
Ellie S and Nikita – 26 + 30 = 56
Richie and Giovanni – 23 + 32 = 55
Helen and Gorka – 26 + 27 = 53
Tyler and Dianne – 22 + 31 = 53
Ellie T and Johannes – 28 + 23 = 51
Kym and Graziano – 23 + 27 = 50
Jayde and Karen – 23 + 26 = 49
James and Amy – 22 + 24 = 46
Kaye and Kai – 21 + 22 = 43
Matt and Nadiya – 20 + 22 = 42
Tony and Katya – 15 + 22 = 37
Strictly Come Dancing 2022 returns for the results show on Sunday 2 October at 7.15 PM on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.