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Strictly Speaking: Week 11 – Dancing Times

Strictly Speaking: Week 11 - Dancing Times

Posted on December three, 2018

Musicals Week! The quarter-finals! All to play for on this jazz arms present, and the mixture of excessive-stakes competitors and rampant theming produced… combined outcomes. Some dances match superbly with their songs, others have been swallowed entire – and the judges continued to be constant solely of their inconsistency.

Now, I’ve all the time thought-about that we at residence can vote on no matter standards we select – from a thought-about, “That was the best dance technically,” by means of to supporting a partnership, investing in a celeb’s journey, having fun with the theme, loving the skilled, boogieing to the music, or something extra arbitrary than that. The thought is that our passionate subjectivity ought to stability the judges’ skilled objectivity.

So what occurs when the panel say issues like (direct Bruno quote) “Forget about the judging!”? Or (Craig) the dance wasn’t technically good, “but that doesn’t matter”? In the event that they’re marking based mostly on emotions quite than, you understand, ACTUALLY JUDGING, why have them in any respect? Sure, the odd human second is allowed, and this present is a component leisure, however there comes some extent the place their feedback stop to be helpful as any sort of information to the dances.

I’d a lot somewhat they act a minimum of semi-impartially, and allow us to do the remaining. We will then determine for ourselves whether or not it issues that somebody had these technical faults, if we loved their efficiency – however not pointing them out in any respect seems to be suspect, and giving 10s for one thing that clearly isn’t good simply makes the scoring appear redundant.

Different hits and misses:

  • A tribute to Mamma Mia!, during which a nation was scarred by the sight of Anton du Beke’s legs. Simply… no. MISS
  • On Ts and Cs rando obligation: Trevor Dion Nicholas, present Genie within the West Finish musical Aladdin. (Or per my confused Twitter timeline: “Which panto is he from?”) MISS
  • Candy Charity’s “The Rhythm of Life”, accompanied by an enormous smash and seize raid on wardrobe’s wig retailer. Oti gained out with a fab-u-lous pink jumpsuit. HIT
  • Adam Lambert yelped. Neil and Katya… made us all really feel barely awkward. MISS

Greatest in Present

  • Greatest efficiency: Lauren’s American clean Charming quantity that manages to not lose ballroom in its theming.
  • Greatest costume: Ashley’s ginormous fascinator Plus Pasha in a tux.
  • Greatest transfer: Joe being launched into area by the male execs and describing Johannes’s lifting as “like a theme park ride”.
  • Greatest line: “Then she falls in love. It’s a love story.” Cheers, AJ.


Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Oh TESS. Should you put on colors that make you conflict with your self? Or a droopy prime that appears like a gift wrapped by the world’s most depressed elf? Claudia… you understand, I might solely take a look at Tess, and weep.

Lauren and AJ – Love island

AJ Pritchard and Lauren Steadman – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Household prop factors for Lauren’s nan – and bonus one for Lauren’s hilarious “Hey, Nan, did you have a love story in the war that might be useful for my dance?” line of questioning. AJ really has discovered his VT match. So, this American clean started on a pleasant excessive word with Johannes in shorts (the direct antithesis of Anton in shorts), and continued from there. Lovely movement and ease within the Viennese waltz, which featured exact footwork and a few lyricism within the higher physique, properly-pushed pivots, slickly delivered lifts, and a buoyant pleasure all through that expressed the story, with out overkill. Lauren’s higher physique nonetheless too straight typically, in any other case beautiful.

Music: “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific

Judges’ feedback: Shirley referred to as it excellent, noting the closed ft, pointed toes and centred pivots. Bruno beloved the heat. Craig stated the timing was implausible and appearing massively improved, however hold shoulders again. Darcey beloved the clear dismounts from the lifts and powerful body.

Judges’ scores: eight, 9, 9, 9 – 35




Faye and Giovanni – Horror present

Giovanni Pernice and Faye Tozer – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Ack. This routine was scarier than something throughout Halloween Week. It was pure, unadulterated nightmare gasoline. A type of Aryan Chucky dolls goes to homicide me in my sleep whereas the lobotomised goats level and snort, and it’s Strictly that has unleashed the demons. Curse you all! Someplace underneath all of… that was a Charleston – and gifted one of many present’s more and more random 40s, no much less. My verdict: the sync all through was mighty spectacular, nice kicks and lifts, and swivel began out sensible, tailed off barely in the direction of the top. Stiff in elements due to the doll idea, however such are theme weeks. Additionally: A MILLION SHUDDERS.

Music: “Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music

Judges’ feedback: Bruno referred to as it a theatrical masterpiece. Craig loved the goats. Darcey thought the sync and characterisation have been extraordinary. Shirley discovered it flawless.

Judges’ scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40




Charles and Karen – Final stand

Karen Clifton and Charles Venn – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Theatre journey to get into thespian mode, which… I really feel like that’s hardly needed for Charles Venn. I groaned early on the sight of each the fog monster and Karen not even bothering to put on Latin footwear – in fact, as a result of this was extra contempowaft than rumba. Thoughts, Charles barely did both, seemingly enjoying by netball guidelines: as soon as in touch, you’ll be able to’t transfer from the spot. Some good content material initially, however too quickly he turned a static pole for Karen to bop round. Additionally, his ft flat and turned in, walks simply plodding slightly than stroking the ground, and shoulders hunched. Turned all concerning the track and the smooth-focus lens, relatively than what he might truly produce rumba sensible.

Track: “Maria” from West Aspect Story

Judges’ feedback: Craig famous free arm issues and his ft bolted to the ground, however masculine and good storytelling. Darcey praised his resistance. Shirley favored the hip motion and sensitivity. Bruno referred to as it tender.

Judges’ scores: eight, 9, 9, 9 – 35




Ashley and Pasha – I gotta fly as soon as

Pasha Kovalev and Ashley Roberts – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

My new comfortable place is Pasha explaining “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. Pasha to summarise all basic musicals, please, let’s crowdfund this spin-off stat. So, you’ve received to really feel for these two: getting back from the dance-off with a jam-packed routine, making an attempt to point out how devoted they’re, after which getting slammed for it. (Although extra in feedback than scores – oh Darcey, you loon.) Sure, this was a manic quickstep, and that meant some gapping, Ashley’s proper arm straightening an excessive amount of, and the odd inelegant transition, however WOW on the content material and ambition. Sidenote: I take Shirley’s level, however the music doesn’t let up, so arduous to see how the routine might.

Track: “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Humorous Woman (COPYCAT KLAXON: Russell Grant and Flavia, Judy Murray and Anton)

Judges’ feedback: Darcey praised her stamina delivering all of the content material, however chill out the arm. Shirley agreed, and located the choreography too busy, however pretty efficiency. Bruno stated it was a smash hit. Craig beloved the routine, however gapping.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 9, 10 – 38




Stacey and Kevin – Dream world

Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Les Mis stars Dean Chisnall and Carley Stenson popped by, primarily in order that Carley might fangirl over Stacey’s documentaries. From that got here the #girlpower theme, which… Hmm. Admirable to emphasize ladies’s power in adversity, however it nonetheless undermined the music’s primal despair; ditto Kevin focussing on the “lost dream” facet, which felt fairly Disney-fied. All of which meant Stacey might toggle between stoic and smiley, slightly than absolutely emoting. All the things else did that round her, from the music and backing dancers to Kevin’s Joey Tribbiani odor the fart appearing. Dance sensible, tons of lifts, solely a tiny little bit of rushed foxtrot – topline nonetheless wants work and footwork variable. Once more, theatrics dominated.

Track: “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables

Judges’ feedback: Shirley referred to as it magical. Bruno: “Forget about judging!” Err… Craig stated it wasn’t technically good, however that “doesn’t matter” as a result of it was actual. Darcey praised her transitions and lifts.

Judges’ scores: 9, 9, 10, 10 – 38




Joe and Dianne – True colors

Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

All hail Jason Donovan, returning to VERY SLOWLY quote lyrics from a musical as if delivering a divine prophecy. Really the hammiest of all hams – transfer over, Charles Venn. So, after an evening of histrionics and demon dolls summoned from the bowels of hell, it was a aid to finish on a camp-tastic, gloriously tacky observe. Was I yelling out all of the coat colors all through? Sure, sure I used to be. Salsa clever, grounded, relaxed, good rhythm, robust partnering and armography, and recreation with the shimmies. Nevertheless, hip motion extra variable, ft a bit flat (trainers once more!) and the odd gawky second, however loved Joe being lifted, notably the large end.

Music: “Joseph Megamix” from Joseph and the Superb Technicolor Dreamcoat

Judges’ feedback: Bruno stated it had the power and enjoyable of salsa, plus the magic appeal of Joseph. Craig needed extra fluidity within the hips, however introduced brilliantly. Darcey praised the conviction, armography and lifts. Shirley stated he made it his personal.

Judges’ scores: eight, 9, 9, 10 – 36





Faye and Giovanni – 40

Stacey and Kevin – 38

Ashley and Pasha – 38

Joe and Dianne – 36

Charles and Karen – 35

Lauren and AJ – 35

No motion in any respect this week, with Faye holding her prime spot and everybody else locked in.


Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

Apparently the studio temperature varies dramatically: Tess in a piece of velvet, Claud a silky slip.


Two repeaters: Ashley and Pasha versus Charles and Karen. All of the judges saved Ashley.

What did you make of Musicals Week? Who impressed you, and who’s wanting like a particular finalist? Get in contact on Twitter: @mkmswain

See you once more quickly for (gulp) our first two-dance week. Within the meantime… maintain dancing!



Marianka Swain

Marianka Swain is a contract author and social dancer at a number of London venues. You’ll find extra of her work at