Strictly Come Dancing 2012 – Week 11

BBC Strictly 2012 Line-up
Five couples remaining, and now they have to perform two dances each. This should really test their dance abilities and we could see quite a few mistakes tonight I fear.

Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone – American Smooth/Argentine Tango

Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone
American Smooth

A nice beginning and some good footwork in hold, though the first corner looks a bit awkward.

I don’t like her clicking her fingers during the separation section, I’d have preferred shaped fingers. They look to be ahead of the music into the second lift and so the entrance to it feels rushed.

Other than that I think it was a good routine and well performed, I’ll give them a 9.

Craig: 8 “Lovely heel turn…hand position above the head needs attention…needs shaping…ronde could have been held a little bit longer…I thought you danced it beautifully”
Darcey: 8 “Lovely quality all the way through the dance…sweet, clean footwork…I do just miss a little bit of sparkle…bit safe”
Len: 9 “The more I see you dance the more I like what I see…technique is improving…heel turns very clean, very crisp…I thought you did it fabulous”
Bruno: 9 “You carry on like this and your wish [to make the final] may come true…footwork was very very good…lots of flair in the lifts”

Total = 34

Argentine Tango

So Vincent’s signature dance, can Dani live up to the hype? They start with a setup before the music even starts, which is a risky but effective strategy.

It starts well but get’s a little bit shaky at points. Dani really needs to keep those shoulders down and lift her ribcage.

There’s some really intricate movements, though I can’t help feeling it may have been just that little bit too difficult for her at times.

A wonderful ending though and I’m going to give them another 9!

Craig: 9 “Vincent has taught you so well…one lift was a little bit bumpy…other than that spectacular”
Darcey: 9 “I so enjoyed your intensity, and your control…choreography, of course, is beautiful…I would have liked a little straighter, crisper leg”
Len: 10 “I love the start…no music…you captured the mood, you mastered the technique…for me you stole my heart, it was beautiful”
Bruno: 10 “You’ve become the lady of the night with the master of the Tango…so rich in content and structure…always clean, always accurate…a great achievement”

Total = 38

Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace – Jive/Foxtrot

Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace

I can’t say I was that impressed with the training footage from the VT, but let’s hope that was early on in the week.

Well it looks like Louis’ personality is finally starting to come out, unfortunately it appears to be at the expense of his dancing.

The Jive basics seem stompy, whilst the side-by-side flick and kick section looked laboured. He’s out of sync with Flavia as they wave their hands around. The decision to include gymnastics, I assume the reason he’s wearing dance sneakers, is a pointless gimmick and I think his dancing would have looked much better if he’d been in actual shoes.

His Jive basic is all over the place, and he almost knocks over the prop lockers at the end. Quite possibly his worst dance I’m afraid, just a 7 from me.

Craig: 7 “Snaps soft and laid-back…feet are sickled…flat footed…laboured throughout…something seemed to go wrong”
Darcey: 8 “It’s a fun routine, style was great…you don’t have that strength in your kicks…expecting more”
Len: 8 “If your Foxtrot doesn’t come to a better standard, this didn’t cut it for me…too many two-beat Jives…lost speed…wasn’t enamoured with the kicks and flicks”
Bruno: 8 “Got the performance aspect really worked out…Jive kicks and flicks – there’s a big ‘but’ there…they were not as clean and sharp as they could have been…tiny issues with the timing”

Total = 31


I really like this song, but I’ll be interested to see how the singer copes with the powerful sections!

The choreography works well with the choice of song, though I didn’t really see a change up for the chorus which I would have liked.

A few missed heel leads (especially in his three step) which affects his rise and fall, overall a safe dance, if a little messy. Better than his Jive, but we’ve seen better dances tonight. Foxtrot is a difficult dance but I’m only giving them an 8.

Craig: 9 “[mimes a thumb up movement – referring to the hand on Flavia’s back]…I really did love it…move round the floor with great authority and drive”
Darcey: 10 “Thank goodness, you’ve got it…travelling, the gliding, was seamless…grace, quality, you’ve got it”
Len: 9 “I found the rise and fall not too smooth, on occasion…you are the true sportsmen, you get knocked down in one dance and you come back stronger”
Bruno: 10 “The smooth operator with a twinkle in the eye…back on top where you belong”

Total = 38

Denise Van Outen & James Jordan – Tango/Rumba

Denise Van Outen & James Jordan

It feels a bit too much like Paso Doble at the start, and I’m never a fan of a floor spin. Once they get in hold though it approves a lot, however there are a few moments where she looks off-balance.

The accents where Denise is kicking in time with the drum are performed marvelously, though I wish Denise would keep her chin up as otherwise her head position is great.

A steamy ending and a much better dance than we saw last week, I think I’ll give them a 9.

Craig: 9 “Off to a flying start with that floor spin…it did not stop there…sharp staccato heads…posture was absolutely brilliant…little bit of gapping on occasion…loved the routine”
Darcy: 10 “The attack you have is extraordinary…so clean…many kicks [little bit of a bent leg]”
Len: 10 “You’ve come out like the no-stress express…start was a bit Paso…once you got into hold, that was a PROPER Tango”
Bruno: 10 “That Tango was fantastic…build up to the end was sensational…it was fabulous”

Total = 39


Another finalist contender, with another difficult dance to perform. Denise struggled in the Cha Cha, and the Rumba has very similar technique.

Denise really can act a part. I would like to see a better hip action during her opening outs but a nice extension in the first line/dip.

The problem Denise has in this routine is that her performance is actually overshadowing her dancing, in trying to portray the emotion she’s softened her core and so looks hunched over in a lot of the movements.

The emotion is there all the way through the dance, but I feel the technique was lacking at times. An 8 from me.

Craig: 9 “Absolutely fantastic storytelling…I just wanted to lift your dress up to see the hip action…seemed to come in and out of hip action”
Darcy: 9 “You have the most stunning arms…feeling right to your fingertips…it’s more of a romance than a passionate love story…beautiful feeling”
Len: 10 “For me the final wouldn’t be the proper final if you weren’t there”
Bruno: 10 “I was deeply moved by this Rumba…so effective, so beautiful, so well acted…wasn’t a moment in which you was not on it 100%”

Total = 38

Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev – American Smooth/Charleston

Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev
American Smooth

I’m sorry, but even on repeated viewings I still can’t see last week’s dance as perfect, it just felt too messy. Let’s hope for better this week.

There are still moments when Kimberley looks uncomfortable, especially at the start of the second lift and with her arm just flopping around. Some nice accents throughout the dance but there’s barely any actual Foxtrot in this routine – the rules are that there should be 30% in hold.

A nice performance but not really an American Smooth, more a show-dance, but I will give them an 8.

Craig: 9 “I would put that routine straight on stage in one of my shows…it was just great…chin was a little bit too far down [at one point]”
Darcey: 10 “I love this Kimberley…like a true film star…timing [is great]…I am well impressed”
Len: 9 “I got a bit hot under the collar…I would have liked a bit more of that dance to be in Ballroom hold…other than that I thought the rest of it was fantastic”
Bruno: 10 “It was an American sexbomb…the way you interpret the music is absolutely fantastic to see”

Total = 38


It was all going so well, but the later third she just lacks a little swivel, the exit from the second-to-last lift is awkward, and there’s a slight stumble before the end.

However that’s really nit picking on what was a great performance, I’m going to give them a 9.

Craig: 10 “Fab-u-lous”
Darcey: 10 “Quirky, naughty, flapper…great interpretation”
Len: 10 “It was fun, it was frivolous…you were flying first class”
Bruno: 10 “Flying high…upside down…looking good from every angle…a feast for the eyes”

Total = 40, her performance was better than last week’s fusion, but I still don’t think it’s perfect I’m afraid – getting closer though! Hard to justify Denise’s 9 now though Craig if you ask me!

Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor – Salsa/American Smooth

Lisa Riley & Robin Windsor

Just when you’re wondering where Lisa & Robin are, and why we’re focusing on the judges table, they suddenly pop up from behind to use the judges heads as bongos.

Salsa could see a return to form for Lisa, with the fun party atmosphere, and a less strict technical requirement. Unfortunately it’s not long before the armography gets caught up, though they carry on perfectly. There’s a very strange movement with Robin dancing around the outside of a ‘whooping’ Lisa, and then the floor spin goes completely wrong (I suspect Robin released a little early) and the recovery involved Robin hoisting Lisa off the floor in a very ungainly fashion.

They get back into the dance but you can tell Lisa’s lost a bit of confidence. A fun trick lift at the end with Lisa flipping Robin but still not more than a 7 for me.

Craig: 7 “The floor spin did it for me darling [that’s all Craig can get out amidst a giggling fit]”
Darcey: 8 “It’s just fabulous, I love it…it’s true you’re missing a couple of isolations, those hips”
Len: 8 “You make me into a happy chappy…it is so much fun…technique is a little bit laboured”
Bruno: 8 “The embodiment of the good-time girl…what the hell with the Salsa…the crash landing and the remount, I thought I was going to explode…it’s pointless making a technical assessment”

Total = 31

American Smooth

An American Smooth Foxtrot, for a girl that hasn’t really mastered any of the technique, I think they’re going to need every audience vote as they won’t survive a bottom two against any of the other competitors I fear.

Lisa misses a step on the way down from the stage, and doesn’t appear to actually do her Jazz hands. Her first kick line is just a little ahead of the music.

A little stumble in their reverse wave but you can see Lisa really liven up in the build up to the crescendo. Unfortunately the Foxtrot elements just weren’t good enough. Their final 7 from me I think.

Craig: 8 “I love a ball-change kick…have to watch your free arm…occasional gapping…timing was out just ever so slightly…love, love, love what you’ve done”
Darcey: 8 “It does suit you…the next theatre musical star…you match each other so well…only in hold you raise the shoulders a little”
Len: 8 “When you kicked your leg up I think I saw your razzle-dazzle!…you’re not always the judges champion, you are the people’s champion”
Bruno: 8 “Plenty of Jazz and plenty of pizzazz…little bit of a stumble here and there”

Total = 32

So the leader board (my combined score in brackets) stands at:

1. 78 – Kimberley & Pasha [17]
2. 77 – Denise & James [17]
3. 72 – Dani & Vincent [18]
4. 69 – Louis & Flavia [15]
5. 63 – Lisa & Robin [14]

Lisa will be going home tomorrow I think, unless the audience really get voting. As for who could join them it’s going to be a tough call, it should really be Louis as he just can’t quite match the three ladies above him this week. Emma reckons Lisa will have the public vote and that the bottom two could be Louis & Denise. The results show is going to be a tense one this week!!!

The Results Show

The first couple into the final are:

Kimberley & Pasha

First couple in the dance off are Lisa & Robin, think that puts them out then I’m afraid!

Talk with the Judges

Len’s Lens

  • Kimberley’s 3 cartwheels
  • Denise’s face during the Tango
  • Vincent being given a lucky coin, then dropping it into the fountain and wishing to make the final
  • Brucie washing himself in the fountain
  • A variety of highlights from Len’s Len over the series

Also in the final is:

Louis & Flavia

That leaves Denise & James or Dani & Vincent as the final couple in the bottom two. Joining Lisa & Robin in the dance off is Denise & James.

Lisa is definitely going home then!

So they’ll dance their highest scoring dance in this dance-off.

Lisa & Robin – American Smooth

Manages to pull off the stair dismount this time, though still lacks the jazz hands unfortunately. Her kicks are a bit too fierce all the way through though. Performs the dance much better than during the show, but I think they know they’re going home.

Denise & James – Tango

I think it’s improved, though a bit shakier in places, however it would be a travesty if Denise wasn’t in the final.

Judges Votes

Craig: Denise “Purely based on technique”
Darcey: Denise “Technically the one I’m going to save”
Len: Denise “I did agree”
Bruno: Denise “I have to go for the best dance”

Denise: 4
Lisa: 0

Going Home: Lisa Riley

Lisa: “It’s been the best time of my entire life…I’ve had the time of my life…Robin Windsor has been amazing…having me as a partner has been a big ask…I owe every inch of Strictly to Robin”

An emotional farewell, I will be sad to see Lisa go but I think the time was right.