Featured Finance Home Page Featured Item News strictly come dancing Strictly Speaking

Strictly Speaking – Week 5

Strictly Speaking - Week 5

Posted on October 21, 2018

In a agency bid to counter the Sean(n) Scandal of ’18, Strictly gave us a lot of new issues to gripe about this week – from Couple’s Selection (of which far more anon) to somebody channelling the medicated enthusiasm and incoherence of Bruno Tonioli, if not the occasional dashes of lyrical experience.

Sure, it was one other dodgy American import – very similar to Promenade or Black Friday – within the type of a Dancing with the Stars winner and one that appeared on Recent Prince of Bel-Air, and thus will neatly divide the viewing viewers into “Eh?” and “…oh, him I guess”. Now, I’m not saying DWTS devalues the model, however they’ve had so many collection they’ve been decreased to Sugababes-esque conscription, and a basic quickstep consists of Tonya Harding being chased by a bear.

Alfonso Ribeiro’s contributions? Yelling into the mic, giving almost all the identical marks as Shirley, flagrantly complicated cricket with extra fascinating sports activities that contain objectives, and reminding us each three seconds that he’s a glittering DWTS alum – whether or not informing Lauren he received 10s for modern (earlier than scoring her 7), or telling Sean(n) that he was crap at quickstep too. I can’t be recapping his feedback, as a result of my endurance solely stretches up to now.

Speaking of…Couple’s Selection. Properly. I perceive the impulse to maintain the present recent by giving everybody one thing new to interact with, however how on earth is it truthful to have such ailing-outlined disciplines in addition to these with clear, established method?

How are the judges meant to mark a James Brown impression versus, say, a waltz? Will it not severely undercut the climactic showdances? And the place does it match within the ongoing dance journey? Charles was informed he had a “breakthrough”, however that suggests he’ll keep the usual as soon as again in ballroom. It additionally makes weekly dance choice much more of a lottery – probably permitting producers to stack the deck.

Plus, what of the trustworthy viewers, who can by now spot a half-respectable fleckerl or Cuban break, and vote accordingly? In fact viewer help is predicated on excess of pure dance content material and method, however a part of the enjoyment of Strictly has been its instructional factor. Introducing half-baked types with obscure rationalization undercuts that mission.


Different hits and misses:

  • This week’s Ts and Cs rando: Anita Dobson and her very…deliberate…studying. MISS
  • I’ll by no means tire of Tess’s rising panic every time somebody tries to be spontaneous close to her. HIT
  • Are belief falls the brand new flooring spins? MISS
  • Hmm… MISS
  • Paloma Religion warbled. Karen and Johannes contempo-wafted. MISS
  • So contestants truly obtained trapped and needed to clamber out a window, and also you introduced us VT footage of a BRIDGE? MISS


Greatest in Present

  • Greatest efficiency: Danny’s jive The 10 was beneficiant, however nonetheless a cracking quantity.
  • Greatest costume: Stacey’s avian bloodbath Runner-up: Kate’s beautiful sepia-toned robe.
  • Greatest transfer: Ashley’s Twirly Shirley spins This yr’s Instructor’s Pet race is TIGHT.
  • Greatest line: “Tell Shirley you felt it!” I’m making T-shirts.




Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

Couch cowl-turned-jumpsuit. Claud in a black cloud of sequins.


Dr Ranj and Janette – Mr Good Man

Dr Ranj Singh, Janette Manrara – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Dr Ranj additionally sings in a choir, due to course he does. (Panto presents a-coming, Ranj!) In contrast to the Strictly band, stated choir managed to not homicide the Seashore Boys, in order that’s one thing to ponder. This was a seashore themed-American clean – simply the factor for a London October – and about as baffling as that sounds. Performed to Dr Ranj’s “sunshine wrapped in a freshly baked muffin” character, but in addition made it more durable to seek out elegant, fluid foxtrot. Body improved, however typically tight within the shoulders and constricted them to plodding steps, plus cute however underwhelming lifts. Nonetheless too reliant on Dr Ranj’s smiley appeal.

Music: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, the Seashore Boys

Judges’ feedback: Shirley stated he appeared extra snug in body, however maintain engaged on the footwork. Craig discovered it lumpy, however appreciated the routine. Darcey famous issues travelling backwards, however lovely lifts.

Judges’ scores: 5, 6, 7, 7 – 25




Lauren and AJ – Trial run

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

Hmm. Are we going to get an epic backstory for each Couple’s Selection quantity? Lauren a minimum of has a genuinely highly effective one, discussing the help system who’ve helped her cope with her incapacity and turn out to be a champion. They’re being represented by AJ and his buttonless, see-by means of shirt, which…is a dream come true I’m positive. Routine clever: very paint-by-numbers modern, with smoke monster, air grabs, 500 lifts, and painfully literal choreo – operating, see, as a result of Lauren RUNS. (I await Faye writhing emotively on some STEPS.) Surprisingly dedicated efficiency from Lauren, provided that’s not been her robust level, however too many awkward transitions and lacked clear dynamics.

Music: “Runnin’ (Lose It All)”, Naughty Boy feat. Beyoncé

Judges’ feedback: Craig stated they delivered unconnected nonetheless footage, however courageous. Darcey praised the power and management, however wanted to melt the landings. Shirley felt she delved deep, however wasn’t fluid sufficient.

Judges’ scores: four, 6, 7, 7 – 24




Graeme and Oti – Paint the city purple

Oti Mabuse, Graeme Swann – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

The Household props factors are robust with this one: lovable moppets who rightly recognise Oti as their Queen. However seems Graeme didn’t want a save from the youngsters, truly producing an honest tango (and wow, these two should have labored onerous in the course of the week – early coaching footage was GRIM). Lowered nicely into the knees, robust, sharp motion, good partnering, and good communication of the dance type, guyliner and all. Nonetheless a whole lot of work to be finished posture sensible, and the odd mistake, however Graeme continues to enhance – and extra intelligent Oti choreo, including flash with thrives that didn’t require an excessive amount of from him.

Music: “Roxanne”, The Police (COPYCAT KLAXON: Claire Sweeney and John, Denise Van Outen and James)

Judges’ feedback: Craig praised the assault, however needed extra ardour. Darcey appreciated the main target, intent and body, although head a bit inclined. Shirley disagreed with Craig on ardour, and loved the musicality and footwork.

Judges’ scores: 6, 7, eight, eight – 29




Ashley and Pasha – Spin management

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

I do admire Ashley’s continued makes an attempt so as to add jeopardy, however since she’s firmly within the evil ringer camp, she may as nicely personal it. Spend rehearsals consuming a sandwich. Heckle the opposite contestants. Throw in a collection of spins it took Shirley years to good. Ah, wait. Nicely, she definitely didn’t shame herself within the rumba – like Faye, wanted to loosen up into her hips to make it much less spiky, however lovely shapes and extensions, spectacular turns, and management (aside from one unintentional carry). Oh, and Lauren? THIS is the way you seize the air such as you’re making an attempt to pluck your kitten from a tree AND THAT KITTEN IS A PART OF YOUR HEART.

Track: “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”, Elton John

Judges’ feedback: Darcey famous the belief between them and nice resistance, however some jerky closes. Shirley praised the timing and spins. Craig beloved the eagerness – a-maze-ing.

Judges’ scores: 9, 9, 9, 9 – 36




Sean(n) and Katya – Lightning rod

Katya Jones, Seann Walsh – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

This week in chaperoning: coincidentally a lot-appreciated Graeme and Oti pop by for a go to. Now, both the scandalous pair have been ordered to maintain a guitar between them always, or Katya’s choreo nicely has run dry. Irritating begin to their routine, with Sean(n)’s busking and the guitar third-wheeling (it’s no Dr Ranj’s angel choir), and later some bizarre rolling pin strikes. Precise quickstep: the velocity confirmed within the lack of element, like chasses with out closes, Sean(n) too flat-footed, and occasions they acquired out of sync with one another and/or the music. Potential there, however lacked clear execution.

Music: “Lightning Bolt”, Jake Bugg

Judges’ feedback: Shirley stated there have been moments of good body, however not his greatest. Craig famous messy footwork with big steps, however energetic efficiency. Darcey thought it was mild and quick, however acquired overexcited.

Judges’ scores: 5, 6, 6, 7 – 24





Stacey and Kevin – Shake a tail feather

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

I’ve usually uninterested in Kevin’s misty nostalgia by this stage of the collection, however a Strictly Ballroom reference will all the time win me over. This was enjoyable, foolish however truly content material-packed previous-faculty samba, from the hen-carcass-as-bustle and large, winking efficiency to the essential steps danced with aplomb. Sensible dedication from Stacey, who’s now gone Full Strictly, and she or he made a packed routine look easy and enjoyable. Nevertheless, actually must study to distinguish between a straight and a bent leg (a lot of the routine danced someplace in between), level toes, slide ft in Latin relatively than choosing them up, and get management of her arms.

Music: “Tequila”, David Hirschfelder and The Bogo Pogo Orchestra model (COPYCAT KLAXON: Denise Lewis and Ian, Michael Vaughn and Natalie)

Judges’ feedback: Craig stated she didn’t spot on the turns. Darcey liked the carnival spirit, however too wild. Shirley praised her samba roll and a correct primary routine.

Judges’ scores: eight, 7, 9, 9 – 33




Joe and Dianne – It’s not straightforward being inexperienced

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

Household prop factors galore, with a go to from Joe’s even-extra-YouTube-celebby sister Zoella and a waltz devoted to his grandmother. Really overlaying the entire spectrum of human expertise there. This was a pleasant unfussy routine from Dianne, pitched nicely for Joe – it capitalised on his pure efficiency, slightly than demanding one thing extra overtly romantic or dashing. A lot improved posture, although nonetheless occasional gapping and rigidity, respectable footwork and delicate movement with some rise and fall, however would have extra energy with a correct drive via Dianne. Sidenote: Joe was fairly the Dickensian urchin in his cap. “Please, sir, may I have another million views?”

Music: “Rainbow Connection”, Sleeping At Final

Judges’ feedback: Craig praised the motion spherical the ground, however lacked expression. Darcey stated he’s truly main and candy romance, however obtained out of sync. Shirley thought the expression was pretty, and nice footwork.

Judges’ scores: 6, 7, eight, eight – 29




Vick and Graziano – Two steps again

Graziano Di Prima, Vick Hope – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Journey residence to Newcastle as a final-ditch voting effort. Given his lacklustre line readings, the vacationer board won’t be re-using Graziano. And nor, on this proof, ought to Strictly. A woeful cha cha routine, with little semblance of content material, timing or method (from both of them frankly), doomed Vick – a contestant who can be crusing into the ultimate with a cannier, much less self-absorbed companion. Graziano could also be completely good, and he has fairly hair, however he’s not outfitted for what is definitely a really skilful job; the great execs make it look straightforward. Sidenote: beginning up prime after which simply…type of mooching down the steps is grade-A Goodman Memorial Messin’ Abaht.

Track: “More Than Friends”, James Hype feat. Kelli-Leigh

Judges’ feedback: Darcey stated there have been moments of straight leg, however inconsistent. Shirley famous 16 bars earlier than they began doing any cha cha, no straight legs or physique motion, and her expression didn’t match. Craig appreciated the power, however the method suffered.

Judges’ scores: four, 6, four, 6 – 20




Kate and Aljaž – On the write monitor

Aljaž Skorjanec, Kate Silverton – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Some comprehensible nerves from Kate submit-Nightmare Safari, so being again in ballroom, and Aljaž’s arms, undoubtedly an excellent factor. A pleasant (if over-acquainted) story, too, giving her a personality aside from “African tourist who can’t remember her samba steps”. Viennese waltz clever, good fleckerls and pivots – although picked up ft on the latter and a few gapping within the former – moved properly spherical the ground, lowered into driving steps higher as she relaxed into it, and enhancing body if nonetheless constricted at occasions. Not fairly at Jessica Rabbit ranges, however a superb return to type. Sidenote: Graeme took in an image of that writing desk when he went to the pretend tan sales space.

Track: “Finally Mine”, Juliet Roberts

Judges’ feedback: Shirley praised her mild left arm, and body higher however inconsistent. Craig stated it was mediocre – she’s able to distinctive. Darcey discovered it refined, however wants extra feeling in her again.

Judges’ scores: 6, 6, 6, eight – 26




Danny and Amy – Flying excessive

Amy Dowden, Danny John-Jules – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

OK, the VTs are nonsense, this isn’t information, however HONESTLY – Danny “dancing on” (learn: strapped to) a aircraft?! Simply let the poor man practise. Or have a cup of tea. He’s 58, you realize! Anyway, a very spectacular jive: mild, shiny, crisp steps, exact timing, a lot looser really feel than his previous dances, and his weight ahead and into the ground, which meant a greater reference to Amy. Slight stumble, one set of kicks out of sync (kicking up and out whereas she retracted), and unsure concerning the hand on the hip – felt like an answer to a problematic free arm. However a quick and livid routine brilliantly delivered.

Music: “Flip, Flop and Fly”, Ellis Corridor (COPYCAT KLAXON: Jade Johnson and Ian)

Judges’ feedback: Craig: “That is a dance for the final.” Darcey praised his precision and stretch on the kicks and flicks. Shirley thought it was completely superb.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 9, 9 – 37





Faye and Giovanni – Love me or depart me

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

I can’t point out the bridge once more. It can make me loopy. Additionally maddening: seeing half an incredible foxtrot after which plenty of bopping about. Whereas wandering by way of a park, in a ballgown, as a result of…Autumn is actually AMAZING? International warming makes us respect seasonal change whereas we nonetheless have it? This quantity was a wierd hybrid – not helped by the music. Of the bits in maintain, some good footwork from Faye, although wanted extra fluid drive, and an awesome topline rising. I do know it’s not probably the most impactful dance, however cleansing up these particulars would have made it stronger – without having to interrupt maintain – and cemented her basis for future ballroom.

Music: “Just the Way You Are”, Bruno Mars (COPYCAT KLAXON: Harry Judd and Aliona)

Judges’ feedback: Craig famous some leg bumping, however in any other case beautiful foxtrot. Darcey thought it was elegant and managed. Shirley stated getting Faye extra to the proper in maintain would clear up the bumping, however respectable heel flip and footwork.

Judges’ scores: eight, 9, eight, eight – 33




Charles and Karen – Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be…

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

This was fairly the X Issue onslaught from Charles, one way or the other packing in his onerous-working mom, late father, a passing reference to Grenfell, Charles Venn Evokes Youngsters, AND his lifelong devotion to James Brown. So, their road/business Couple’s Selection… I’m genuinely unsure what to say about this within the context of Strictly – it felt extra like Let’s Pastiche For Comedian Aid. Enjoyable zoot fits. Good splits, physique popping, hanky-ography. Just about all in sync. However no concept how a lot of this was in his repertoire pre-present. And given that each one his ballroom has felt too just like this Seventies groove, how on earth will it assist him going forwards?

Music: “Get Up Offa That Thing”, James Brown

Judges’ feedback: Darcey praised his dancing on the desk, isolations and jazz cut up. Shirley referred to as it a breakthrough. Craig famous he was late on the hanky.

Judges’ scores: 9, 9, 9, 9 – 36





Danny and Amy – 37

Ashley and Pasha – 36

Charles and Karen – 36

Stacey and Kevin – 33

Faye and Giovanni – 33

Graeme and Oti – 29

Joe and Dianne – 29

Kate and Aljaž – 26

Dr Ranj and Janette – 25

Lauren and AJ – 24

Seann and Katya – 24

Vick and Graziano – 20


Danny, Charles, Graeme and Kate up, Vick and Seann down.



Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

Precariously strapless plum quantity, Claud extra sequins.



Katya Jones, Seann Walsh, Vick Hope, Graziano Di Prima – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

With voters once more following the leaderboard, we obtained Vick and Graziano versus Sean(n) and Katya. Craig went for Vick, everybody else for Sean(n).

A disgrace to lose Vick so quickly, given her clear potential, however Graziano’s choreo doomed her right here – loads of the judges’ criticism stemmed from that, plus his disinclination to show her primary method.

Maybe, given the time pressures of her job, he was going for flourish and distraction (like looooong stair descents) to cowl up weaknesses, however this nonetheless appeared poor for Week 5. Disgrace on the BBC in the event that they prioritised tabloid-pleasant seems to be (and locks) over the power to show and choreograph on this extremely specialised surroundings.

Who impressed you this week? Does Couple’s Selection get your vote? And who deserved to go house? Get in contact on Twitter: @mkmswain

See you quickly for (eek) Halloween. Within the meantime…hold dancing!



Pictured, prime: Craig Revel Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas, Alfonso Ribeiro – (C) BBC – Photographer: Man Levy

Marianka Swain

Marianka Swain is a contract author and social dancer at a number of London venues. Yow will discover extra of her work at mkmswain.com.