This week we have a new concept (well to Strictly anyway, I believe they tested it out on Dancing With The Stars previously) of a dance fusion, either two dances performed within the same song seamlessly, or a split half-way through.
We’ve seen professionals perform these type of dances at shows before, and I’ve choreographed and performed dance fusions before. These could be amazing, or a complete car crash…let’s hope for amazing!
Denise Van Outen & James Jordan – Jive/Quickstep
A great song choice and Denise really does characterisation well. This is looking to be an excellent dance up until the second Quickstep section when Denise appears to slip at one point (we can see later that she’s ripped her dress, must have caught her heel). They recover well but Denise looks to have lost a bit of confidence. She also puts one too many spins in at the end, leaving James standing there with his arm out, and subsequently they miss the ending of the song.
Could have been an outstanding performance but lost a little shine after the slip. A shame but I think we can only give them an 8.
Craig: 8 “Jive part of it I thought was incredible…Quickstep could sometimes be a little bit smoother…elements fused beautifully…terrible shame you went wrong…did finish late at the end”
Darcy: 9 “Your strength is the Jive…little bit too much bounce in the Quickstep…fabulous to watch”
Len: 9 “I thought the Quickstep had go, and the Jive had show…a proper fusion…you didn’t quite manage [the change in techniques for the flicks]…was a little slip-up…I enjoyed it very much”
Bruno: 9 “Explosive Jive, morphing beautifully into a lively and cheerful Quickstep…except for that moment when you caught yourself…I thought it was incredible”
Total = 35
Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor – Tango/Cha Cha
Robin & Lisa have gone for a half and half split for their routine, starting with the Tango.
Not a bad start but the Tango seems a bit messy in places, the transition into Cha Cha looks a bit awkward with the first moves and Lisa makes a mistake halfway through and you can tell Lisa is making it up on the spot. They end with an awkward looking lift too.
I still think Lisa has reached her talent threshold and I can’t see her improving much more with only two more weeks left. Will need audience votes to keep her in from now until the final I fear. Another 7 I’m afraid.
Craig: 7 “Cha Cha Cha was better than your Tango…topline is failing you in your Tango…a little ahead, anticipating the steps…but I loved the two characters”
Darcey: 8 “For me I thought your Tango was the stronger one…topline had improved and shaping was better…needed more sharp and stronger legs [in the cha cha]”
Len: 7 “Your enthusiasm is infectious…always fun and always joyous…went wrong in the Cha Cha Cha, there was a terrible incident…all a bit too predictable”
Bruno: 8 “I love the way you expose yourself…glistening like a glitter ball under a searchlight…Cha Cha Cha suits you down to a ‘T’…Tango was better than your usual ballroom…Cha Cha was much stronger”
Total = 30
Nicky Byrne & Karen Hauer – Samba/American Smooth (Foxtrot)
Oh great, a chair for a prop…Nicky looks like he almost falls over backwards at the start too. Awful frame in hold and his feet are leaving the floor on every pivot. A pointless and rubbish jump over the chair that really needed to be more emphasised to warrant it’s inclusion.
The best bit is the reverse wave into closed rocks though, quite a nice idea. No clue what the slide under the chair and shoulder shimmy was about though.
Overall I didn’t like it at all, his technique is awful and the combination of dances was suspect. I can’t work out whether to give them a 6 or 7 but I think Lisa’s dancing was better (albeit with a mistake) so I’m going to give them a 6.
Craig: 5 “You need a lot more bounce in the Samba…posture in the American Smooth part was dreadful…I suspect we’re going to be seeing that dance again”
Darcy: 7 “You started really well, you presented very well…all the changes were very neat…your shoulders do let you down…over-extend the arms in your Samba”
Len: 8 “To fuse these two dances together was the greatest challenge we’ve seen so far…I thought that Samba was terrific…your ballroom you never straighten your knees”
Bruno: 7 “A heroic effort…couldn’t be two dances more different…a lot of technical shortcomings…always give a 110% and I commend you for it”
Total = 27
Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone – Quickstep/Charleston
I really dislike the chicken head Charleston move, but that’s not their fault I just dislike it!
Can’t see that many heel leads but the transitions are really good, though the running spin looks like Dani is being flung round Vincent. A few moments that look a little shaky, and she misses the kicks between Vincents legs, but the best dance so far definitely.
I would have liked to have seen a more challenging fusion (I think probably the only easier fusion would be Rumba/Cha Cha) but the performance earns them a 9 from me.
Craig: 9 “Choreography has been absolutely brilliant…great job on that routine”
Darcey: 10 “That was extraordinary…you’ve got it made with those two dances because they’re both from the 1920s so they mould perfectly together…upped the technical ability…beautiful wave going round the floor in the Quickstep”
Len: 9 “Would have been more happier with your feet if I’d seen the occasional heel lead…having said that…I loved it, well done”
Bruno: 10 “Exuberant fusion frenzy…they’re really like two sides of the same coin…stylistically it was absolute perfection”
Total = 34
Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace – Tango/Rumba
I would still like to see Louis put some shaping into his fingers, when out of hold the fingers are splayed all over the place. The timing looks a bit suspect at times in the Rumba and the running drag back looks off balance.
Transition into Tango is clumsy and the Tango itself feels a bit too quick.
His performance is definitely improving but just an 8 for me.
Craig: 9 “You danced that with effortless dexterity…your thumb was up in the Tango”
Darcey: 9 “The emotion was perfect…it was expressive…Tango was crisp…one of your best”
Len: 9 “Two dances, each end of the dance spectrum, and you pulled it off great, well done”
Bruno: 10 “The build up from soft and sensual, to passionate and hot…the climax at the end…keep it up”
Total = 37
Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev – Cha Cha/Tango
Some good transitions, some not quite good ones. Kimberley has a tendency to fling her arms out behind her shoulders during the Cha Cha segments.
What’s this…a second lift?! That’ll lose them some marks, also the transition back into Cha Cha starts with a slip-up.
Promised a lot but didn’t deliver for me, Tango was good but the Cha Cha felt lacklustre, just a 7 I’m afraid.
Craig: 10 “That is dancing!”
Darcey: 10 “Wowee Kimberley…fabulous pout…suited you perfectly…I loved it”
Len: 10 “Well done [gives standing ovation]”
Bruno: 10 “Nicky[?] you started a nuclear fusion…surprise at every turn…Cha Cha sexy kitten to Tango’s mischievous mistress…the dance of the season so far [can’t say I agree even in the slightest there]”
I fear a perfect score here and I really don’t think it deserved it I’m afraid, certainly not the best dance of the season!
Total = 40
So the leader board (my score in brackets) stands at:
1. 40 – Kimberley & Pasha 
2. 38 – Dani & Vincent 
3. 37 – Louis & Flavia 
4. 35 – Denise & James 
5. 30 – Lisa & Robin 
6. 27 – Nicky & Karen 
Our first perfect score of the series, but one I really can’t agree with, the rest of the board is accurate though.
Nicky will be going home tomorrow I think, and Lisa will most likely join him in the bottom two, but it all depends on the audience votes now.
The Results Show
The first couples safe were as follows:
Kimberley & Pasha
Dani & Vincent
First couple in the dance off are Nicky & Karen
Talk with the Judges
- Darcey’s reaction to Craig’s 10 for Kimberley
- A look at one of Kimberley’s transitions from Cha Cha to Tango
- Louis’ Tango and then some of his Rumba
- Denise’s Jive flicks and then her Quickstep flicks getting caught in her dress
- Dani & Vincent’s dancing
- Lisa’s dress being ripped off
Next week they’ll be performing two dances in the Semi-Final
Other couples safe are:
Lisa & Robin
That leaves Denise & James or Louis & Flavia as the final couple in the bottom two. Joining Nicky & Karen in the dance off is Denise & James.
Nicky is definitely going home then!
Denise & James – Jive/Quickstep
Denise managed to avoid catching her dress this time, but a couple of slips at the end with still doing one extra spin. However I don’t think that’s going to prevent Nicky from being sent home.
Nicky & Karen – Tango/Samba
Nicky is actually dancing better but he still has an awful frame and it won’t be enough to save him.
Craig: Denise “Denise & James”
Darcey: Denise “Both very strong performances”
Len: Denise “Denise & James”
Bruno: Denise “Both improved but the outstanding couple is Denise & James”
Going Home: Nicky Byrne
Nicky: “It’s so much fun, it’s the biggest and best show in the world…every week, every day it’s just been incredible”