A very high standard on Saturday night’s Strictly Come Dancing.
The leader board
At the top is Rachel Stevens. She got 39 for her tango and 37 for her cha cha cha, giving her a combined score of 76 which is three points ahead of her nearest rival on the leader board.
Tom Chambers is second with 73 and Lisa Snowdon is third with 72.
Austin Healey is bottom with 70.
Here is our review of Saturday night including, as usual, a summary of the judges’ comments, our view, blogger’s wife’s view and Brucie’s enthusiastic comments as each performance ends.
Brucie did not pick out any couple as his favourites.
Judges’ scores are noted in the order they are given in the show: Craig, Arlene, Len, Bruno.
First round: ballroom
Austin Healey and Erin Boag– American smooth
Brucie: What a start. Come here.
Our view: I did not like the second lift and overall I was a tad underwhelmed by it. I feel Erin’s choreography let them down this week.
Blogger’s wife: I disliked Erin’s dress and the choice of music. Their dancing was light and smooth but it lacked a killer punch. The lifts were exciting but why leave them both to the end?
Head judge Len Goodman: I thought you did a great job. You mastered the lifts beautifully. One or two times in the open parts you could have been a bit more Hollywood.
Judge Bruno Tonioli: Like a glider on an upward swell. Spectacular lifts at the end.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood: I don’t have that much to complain about. Rather a safe performance until those dangerous lifts. I was slightly bored in the first half.
Judge Arlene Phillips: Your hands and your arms have improved. Now you mustn’t let Erin outdance you. You played rugby for England, now you must dance for England.
8 8 9 9 = 34
Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole – waltz
Brucie: What about it? Beautiful.
Our view: Brilliant. The only thing better than that was the singer who outdid everyone with a truly magnificent performance.
Blogger’s wife: Beautiful song, beautiful dance, lovely to watch.
Judge Bruno: Lisa, the ballroom dream continues. Exquisitely beautiful.
Judge Craig: The genius of that dance was in its simplicity. Absolutely beautiful. Well done.
Judge Arlene: Every breath you took matched the flow of the dance and the footwork.
Head judge Len: Beautiful, majestic, breath-taking.
9 10 10 10 = 39
Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup – foxtrot
Brucie: Oh, what a night.
Our view: Serious wow factor. Terrific.
Blogger’s wife: All the Hollywood that Austin’s American smooth lacked was in that foxtrot that Tom did. I loved it.
Judge Craig: That has to be the best I’ve ever seen you dance.
Judge Arlene: In the words of Dolly Parton all you’ve got to do is smile that smile and you’ll go all the way to the final.
Head judge Len: Tom, you’re an absolute beauty. Fantastic.
Judge Bruno: TomCam, the golden couple. You aimed high and you hit the spot.
9 10 10 10 = 39
Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone – tango
Brucie: Another one. Well done. What a team you are.
Our view: Excellent dancing. Just wondering where the story was.
Blogger’s wife: I loved her dress. Absolutely beautifully danced just lacking a Zoe Ball-esque killer look in her eyes.
Judge Arlene: Possibly the most erotic tango I’ve ever seen.
Head judge Len: I wish I had an eleven. Fantastic.
Judge Bruno: A performance that sends chills down my spine. Tango terrific.
Judge Craig: Very, very classy choreography. Two things: displaced balance and your kick ball changes were slightly ahead.
[When speaking to Tess, Vincent and Rachel agree they lost their balance]
9 10 10 10 = 39
Second round: ballroom
Austin Healey and Erin Boag– salsa
Brucie: Shame about the cartwheel at the beginning. I was going to do that next week and Tess was going to catch me in a net.
Our view: Spectacular start but there were times when he looked like he didn’t have anything to do.
Blogger’s wife: The drops were great but not his best performance.
Head judge Len Goodman: Typical sportsman: you get knocked down and come back stronger. I absolutely loved it.
Judge Bruno: This performance will get you the pink pound. You lost a bit of timing in the middle.
Judge Craig: Very entertaining. I found some of it a bit awkward and I didn’t believe your hip action.
Judge Arlene: Craig is right. The salsa hip action was not there. When you’re dancing with Erin your performance is electric and masterful and sometimes when you’re left on your own there’s a bit of timidity. Just be fearless all the time.
8 9 10 9 = 36
Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole – jive
Brucie: Yes. You must be worn out.
Our view: I did not enjoy that.
Blogger’s wife: I loved her dress but Brendan outdanced her.
Judge Bruno: Why did I worry? You did it.
Judge Craig: Definitely a brave endeavour. You danced that to the very best of your ability. I still don’t think that it completely and utterly suited you.
Judge Arlene: You tackle everything you do like a rugby player: you just go for it. Occasionally you lost your timing. Your knees were bent when you needed to flex them.
Head judge Len: I like the fact that you acted out the dance. It was just a bit loose.
8 8 8 9 = 33
[Brendan tells Tess his view of the judges’ comments: “That was absolute rubbish. It was much better than an eight.”
That’s the same Brendan Cole who said a few days earlier that he doesn’t believe in tens because nothing can be perfect.
Brendan eventually storms off despite Lisa trying to hold him back. I don’t think that was a vote-winning strategy.]
Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup – rumba
Brucie: What about that? Marvellous. A red hot rumba.
Our view: For the first time Tom didn’t quite get the character right but I enjoyed watching it.
Blogger’s wife: I really enjoyed it. I loved the music. I didn’t feel awkward at all watching it.
Judge Craig: There is sign of improvement. I fell in love with it, it was great.
Judge Arlene: Lots of shapes and lines, not a lot of content but it was the first time my heart was beating faster because the true dancer you are came out.
Head judge Len: Far too hectic, too many lines, not enough of the basic rumba.
Head judge Bruno: For me the balance was not right.
9 9 8 8 = 34
Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone – cha cha cha
Brucie: Yes. What about it?
Our view: The opening was supposed to be cheeky but it just felt contrived. Overall, it just didn’t ignite.
Blogger’s wife: Technically very good. For me not the right performance, not cheeky enough.
Judge Arlene: That performance sparkled like the shine on your dress.
Head judge Len: Two fantastic dances tonight. Well done.
Judge Bruno: You are a great dancer.
Judge Craig: Absolutely gorgeous.
9 9 9 10 = 37
Get ready for the dance-off on Sunday night
So that was Saturday night week 12 of Strictly Come Dancing 2008 with just the dance-off and elimination to come on the Sunday night results show.
My pre-show prediction of Tom and Lisa in the dance-off now looks unlikely to come true.
Austin is in real trouble. Not only is he bottom of the leader board, he also has little chance of surviving if he’s in the dance-off.
His higher scoring dance (the salsa that got 36) won’t be good enough to compete with any of the other contestants’ higher scoring dances (the other three contestants all got 39 for their better performances).
So his only hope is to get enough votes to avoid the dance-off.
What did you think of the show? And who do you think will be eliminated?
Click the Add a Comment link below to have your say now and check back on Sunday evening – we’ll post the result of the dance-off as soon as it happens.
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