HomeTVStrictly Come Dancing 2022 week 7 recap

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 week 7 recap

Can you believe it’s already week 7 of Strictly Come Dancing 2022?

We’ve now arrived at the halfway point of the series and our remaining celebrity contestants and their professional partners are lifting the standard every single week.

Unfortunately Eastenders actor James Bye won’t be among them, after he and his partner Amy Dowden lost last week’s dance-off to Fleur East and Vito Coppola.

Tonight all 10 remaining couples were back in the ballroom, with presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman on hand to guide them – and us – through proceedings. Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and head judge Shirley Ballas all also returned to share their thoughts on the stars’ Cuban breaks and cucurachas.

So this Bonfire Night, who would deliver an explosive performance – and who would find themselves fizzling out?

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Pryzstal

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Hamza and Jowita have been building momentum all the way through Strictly Come Dancing 2022 – would their winning ways continue with this week’s Cha-Cha-Cha to The Four Tops’ ‘Sugar Pie Honey Bunch (I Can’t Help Myself)’? In their VT Hamza spoke about struggling with the technical aspects of the dance, including the timing and straight legs. Would he overcome those challenges on the dancefloor?

The dance: I felt Hamza brought a really sweet character to this dance and had some really good hip action too. His arms were clean throughout and I thought he had really good fluid movement, as well as leading Jowita really well. It was a smidge skippy early on, but overall it was one of the best Cha-Chas I’ve seen this series and his joy on the dancefloor is utterly infectious – what a great way to open the show!

The comments: Shirley found herself getting emotional, praising Hamza’s ease of movement and arm co-ordination. Anton called it ‘absolutely brilliant’ and couldn’t find anything to mark Hamza down for. Craig, however, spotted Hamza’s turned in feet and there were a couple of heel leads, but the hip action was good and his straight legs were ‘beautiful’. Motsi thought it was one of the best Cha-Chas ever and particularly loved Hamza’s partner work with Jowita.

The scores: 8, 10, 10, 10 – 38 out of 40

Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Ellie and Johannes have been going from strength to strength in the last few weeks – could they build on that with tonight’s Rumba to Heart’s 80s classic ‘Alone’? In their VT Ellie spoke of her joy at being joint top of the leaderboard last week, but also dealing with the romance and drama of the routine and stepping out of her comfort zone.

The dance: I thought Ellie had great synchronisation with Johannes and good hip action, particularly in hold. She coped well with the tricks and brought a sensuality to the routine, as well as plenty of drama. I liked that she finished her hands and arms as well. If I had one criticism, it would be that it was a bit tentative in some parts, but overall she did a very good job and it was nice to see a different side to her.

The comments: Anton really liked Ellie’s line and sophistication, and said her footwork was ‘immaculate’, but needed more fluidity. Craig felt it was stiff and Ellie was just walking around – it needed more resistance and hip action. Motsi praised Ellie’s performance and atmosphere, but wanted her to use her knees more. Shirley agreed – Ellie’s finish on her lines was beautiful, but there wasn’t enough flexibility in the body.

The scores: 3, 7, 5, 7 – 22 out of 40

Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Molly and Carlos got mixed reviews from the judges for their Argentine Tango last week – could they find themselves back on top after their Foxtrot to ‘You Make Me Happy’ by My Sun And Stars? In their VT Molly spoke about her nerves about the footwork. She and Carlos also received a visit in training from friend and former Strictly contestant HRVY and showed him a bit of their routine.

The dance: This was a beautiful bright Foxtrot, with lovely flow across the floor and some nice rise and fall from Molly. I liked the playful quality she brought to the dance and felt her footwork was good too, with a nice touch of sass and some gorgeous lines in her arms. Her hold is still a little gappy sometimes, but overall this was another good dance from her and should see her safely through to next week.

The comments: Craig was impressed – it was pretty and smooth, and Molly covered the floor beautifully. Motsi was transported and loved the rhythmical changes and different style. Shirley said it was stylish and sophisticated, singling out Molly’s ‘beautiful’ heel turn and rolling through her feet. Anton called it ‘super-duper’.

The scores: 8, 9, 9, 9 – 35 out of 40

Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

After finding themselves second from bottom last week, tonight Ellie and Nikita took on the Charleston, dancing to ‘Too Darn Hot’ from the musical ‘Kiss Me Kate’. In their VT Ellie spoke enjoying the fun of the dance but also struggling with the co-ordination required. Nikita also took her to a cabaret venue to practise and get in the spirit of the dance, as well as boosting her acting skills.

The dance: Yes Ellie! Her solo opening section was so fun and sassy, and I thought she had a really good loose quality about her performance that this dance needs. Her synchronisation with Nikita was good, she handled the lifts well (particularly the final flip), and I was also really impressed by her energy. Some of her lines were a little on the messy side, but overall I felt this was a routine that really suited her personality and brought out her acting skills too.

The comments: Motsi said Ellie raised the level and praised her for letting go on the dancefloor. Shirley liked Ellie’s refusal to give up and thought the routine had wow factor. Anton said Ellie was ‘incredible’ and the number was ‘perfect’. Craig would have liked a little more detail and her syncopated toe taps need work, but liked Ellie’s performance.

The scores: 7, 9, 8, 9 – 33 out of 40

Tyler West and Dianne Buswell

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Tyler has been delivering consistently strong performances throughout Strictly Come Dancing 2022 – in fact he’s had more 10s than anyone else in the competition! Tonight he and Dianne were hoping to continue their Ballroom run with a Viennese Waltz to Seal’s ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long’. In their VT Tyler spoke about tripping over his own feet, whilst Dianne took him to a park to get in character and reflect on how far he’s come.

The dance: I felt Tyler flowed across the floor beautifully and really took command of the dance. He looked in complete control throughout and has really come into his own as a leading man. His rise and fall was nice too, and there was a gorgeous joyful quality about his performance too. For me he could have slightly sharpened up the lines in his hands in places and there were a couple of wobbles in the spins, but overall this was another decent routine from him and should see him avoiding the dance-off.

The comments: Shirley enjoyed the delivery of the expression and how Tyler showed Dianne off, but felt he looked a bit uncomfortable and there were too many mistakes. Anton agreed – the partner work was beautiful but Tyler needs to take bigger steps to avoid tripping up and also work on his top line. Craig thought it was a bit pedestrian and too into the ground, and that the transitions could be more grateful. Motsi wanted Tyler to take things to the next level.

The scores: 7, 7, 7, 8 – 29 out of 40

Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

After achieving their highest score with their Halloween week Rumba, tonight Kym and Graziano were hoping to continue their hot streak with an Argentine Tango to ‘Assassin’s Tango’ by John Powell. In their VT Kym spoke about needing to use her acting skills in the routine, as well as the challenge of performing in the Strictly studio and wanting to do well for Graziano.

The dance: Wow! This was a stylish and sultry routine, with plenty of drama from Kym. I liked her sharp leg action in the ganchos and felt she really conveyed the character of the dance, as well as having great control in the lifts. It’s so good to see her getting her confidence back and she delivered a wonderfully powerful and passionate performance – utterly mesmerising.

The comments: Anton thought it was unrecognisable from Kym’s Quickstep two weeks ago, praising her clean lines and intensity. Craig criticised Kym’s raised shoulders, but otherwise it was ‘perfect’. Motsi felt Kym was one of the strongest competitors and has an understated quality – it was ‘exquisite’. Shirley loved Kym and Graziano’s connection and the subtle changes, calling it ‘accomplished’ and ‘beautiful’.

The scores: 9, 9, 9, 10 – 37 out of 40

Will Mellor and Nancy Xu

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Will and Nancy have delivered two great routines in the past couple of weeks on Strictly Come Dancing. Could they make it three in a row with their Quickstep to ‘Soda Pop’ by Robbie Williams featuring Michael Bublé? In their VT Will spoke about struggling to pick up the routine at first, as well as maintaining his frame and the stamina needed for the dance, but also enjoying the energy of the Quickstep.

The dance: Will was beautifully light on his feet and brought a great cheeky, suave quality to this routine. I felt he had a a great sense of humour about his performance as he and Nancy flew around the floor, with a really strong frame throughout too. There were perhaps a couple of stumbles but it didn’t detract from the routine, he had nice shape in his arms, and the Charleston elements were executed very well. Another good dance from him and I think he should swerve the dance-off tomorrow.

The comments: Craig thought it was a tiny bit heavy and Will needs to be further up on his toes, but he had rhythm and it was entertaining. Motsi agreed – the transitions were a little hesitant, but his movement and musicality were ‘wonderful’. Shirley liked Will’s consistency and thought he covered the floor well. Anton said it was a great performance, singling out Will’s ‘perfect’ left arm.

The scores: 8, 8, 8, 9 – 33 out of 40

Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Helen and Gorka produced another strong performance in Halloween week, and were hoping to build on that tonight with their Jive to ‘Tightrope’ by Janelle Monaé. In their VT Helen spoke about coping with the key moves of the Jive like the chassis and drunken sailor, as well as the synchronisation needed for the routine.

The dance: This was a classy, cool Jive, with fabulous energy from Helen and brilliant co-ordination throughout. I loved her sass and swagger and thought she brought a great slick quality to the routine. Her lines were sharp and she gave it tons of personality, as well as throwing in some impressive tricks (the cartwheel was a standout), and had a lovely lightness of her feet too. It could perhaps have done with slightly more drive into the floor but that was an utterly fantastic performance and shows how much she’s growing in the competition.

The comments: Motsi thought it was a real statement routine but Helen made a small mistake. Shirley said ‘that’s the way to dance a Jive’ – Helen made it look easy and her musicality and lightness were great. Anton loved it, particularly Helen’s confidence at the start of the routine and how she dealt with the mistake. Craig was reaching for the 10 paddle before the stumble happened.

The scores: 9, 9, 9, 10 – 37 out of 40

Fleur East and Vito Coppola

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

After surviving their second dance-off last week, tonight Fleur and Vito were hoping to make a strong comeback with their Waltz to Elton John’s ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’. In their VT Fleur received a surprise visit from her sister in training to look through some family pictures, and she also spoke very movingly about losing her dad and wanting to make him and the rest of her family proud.

The dance: This was a lovely romantic routine, with some gorgeous lines from Fleur in her hands and arms and beautiful movement across the floor. She did have the odd wobble, but overall her posture in hold was good, with nice and rise and fall and strong footwork too. Her performance quality was also excellent, and on the strength of this routine she definitely shouldn’t be in the dance-off again tomorrow.

The comments: Shirley loved Fleur’s connection and finesse, but wanted to focus on softening her steps out of the rise. Anton thought it was beautiful to watch and Fleur has a natural grace and elegance, as well as ‘perfect’ balance in the oversway. Craig adored it, whilst Motsi loved Fleur’s lines and commitment – it was one of the best dance of the night.

The scores: 9, 9, 8, 9 – 35 out of 40

Tony Adams and Katya Jones

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Tony made a massive improvement with his Quickstep last week, and tonight he and Katya were aiming to keep that going with their Salsa to ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho’)’ by Pitbull. In their VT Tony spoke about trying to master the dance’s hip action as well as the energy and precision needed. He also received a visit from Tyler in training to get some tips on DJing for his routine.

The dance: This was a surprisingly good performance from Tony, with decent action, and good control getting Katya in and out of the lifts. It did perhaps feel a bit skippy in parts and I would have liked a little more basic Salsa, but I felt he handled the flair and character of the routine well. It was an entertaining ending to the show but on an evening of strong performances I feel it may not be enough to save him from the dance-off.

The comments: Anton said Tony went a bit wrong but it was a good effort nonetheless. Craig felt it didn’t work, but Motsi praised Tony for trying. Shirley thought he tried to give rotation and had a lovely sense of line, as well as having good partnering skills and improving his technical ability.

The scores: 4, 6, 5, 6 – 21 out of 40

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Hamza and Jowita – 38
Kym and Graziano – 37
Helen and Gorka – 37
Molly and Carlos – 35
Fleur and Vito – 35
Ellie and Nikita – 33
Will and Nancy – 33
Tyler and Dianne – 29
Ellie and Johannes – 22
Tony and Katya – 21

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 will return for the Results Show on Sunday 6th November at 7.20 PM on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Laura Cooney
Laura Cooney
Laura is a music and lifestyle blogger with a particular interest in country music, and occasional writer for Entertainment Focus.

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