October 4, 2023


Make Some Fun

Strictly Talking: Week 11 – Dancing Occasions

8 min read

Posted on December 6, 2021

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Thank the Strictly gods for that! Sure, our lengthy nationwide nightmare is over – Dan Walker has lastly exited the ballroom. It was the primary correctly riveting dance-off since… effectively, just about ever, with Dan some extent up however AJ capable of redeem herself with that remaining carry. Even then, the judges have made some insane calls this collection (Shirley giving that tango a 9??), so I couldn’t fairly consider it till they really saved AJ.

It really would have been a travesty in any other case. AJ and Kai have persistently pushed themselves on the present, taking thrilling artistic dangers. To punish them for that, and to see Dan amble by means of but once more for doing the naked minimal, would have been enraging. To not point out persevering with an unlucky sample on the present of over-rewarding the white males over everybody else.

Nonetheless, after a superb dose of the judges killing-with-kindness, and even Anton seeing sense (twist!), the Dan followers lastly deserted their trolling undertaking. Which means we’re now left with roughly the right remaining 4, and will but see the three strongest reaching the final stage. Subsequent week’s two-dance take a look at ought to hopefully lead to the most effective finals in years. Onwards!

Different hits and misses:

  • A wierd dance pile-up, with two salsas and two tangos in 5 dances, plus John’s Couple’s Selection will come simply forward of a equally freestyle showdance. Poor planning, guys. MISS
  • Extra irritating tune picks. That Phil Collins needed to be a rumba, Gotan Mission needed to be Argentine (and was wasted on Dan), and disco IS NOT SALSA. MISS
  • Associated: Anton’s assertion that he’d by no means seen disco Latin on Strictly earlier than? Reader, I screamed. MISS
  • To social gathering or to not social gathering: that’s our Christmas coronavirus dilemma as soon as once more. The professionals got here down on the aspect of partying, however solely whereas sporting preventative lengthy gloves and dreaming of happier occasions. HIT
  • The second professional quantity was set to a Janet Jackson medley. Huh and why? Nobody is aware of. MISS
  • Ts and Cs rando: Professor Brian Cox, including to our stack of proof that studying out an autocue on an leisure programme is an underrated ability. MISS
  • JLS… are apparently nonetheless a factor. Neil and Dianne gave us some red-headed bopping. Transferring swiftly on. MISS

Greatest in Present

  • Greatest efficiency: Rose’s American easy Whole pleasure.
  • Greatest costume: AJ’s gold fringe Runner-up: John and Johannes’s sparkly shirts.
  • Greatest transfer: Rose’s diving carry One other wow second.
  • Greatest line: Craig’s “I find it irresistible when it goes unsuitable.” Not less than somebody had a superb night time.


Tess’s costume: impressed or depressed?

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Tortured foil mini costume. Claud in wet-look ketchup.

John and Johannes – Emergency touchdown

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“There’s no room for error!” mentioned John in his VT, after outlining his hopes of nabbing that elusive Craig 10. Was that sufficient to jinx it? Or was some disco-salsa-hating individual on the market with a voodoo doll? (It wasn’t me, I promise.) Anyway, the majority of this routine was a delight, with John including a newly liberated efficiency to his nice hip motion and pristine timing. Their sync work continues to be insanely good, even when Johannes provides the odd flourish that upstages him. What a disgrace, then, that it turned all about The Elevate, which, following a fumbled entry, noticed John holding his accomplice like an ungainly pile of kindling after which dumping him on the fireplace. Not less than Johannes styled it out. OF COURSE.

Tune: “We Are Household”, Sister Sledge

Judges’ feedback: Shirley praised the methods and leisure. Anton cherished the novel disco type (…) and thought John conquered his inhibitions. Craig preferred the hip motion however needed extra dynamics. Motsi mentioned it was effectively rehearsed and you must take dangers.

Judges’ scores: 7, 8, 8, 9 – 32

Rhys and Nancy – Elevate me up

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No wobbly lamppost, although we did get its cousin: the very crimson site visitors gentle, including to a quantity that solely about 50 per cent seen. This was most likely my favorite of their dances since their manic power was reined in by the type – or simply about. Nonetheless moments the place Rhys rushed and misplaced his stability, and his ft had been too flat and wild. Nonetheless, thrilling lifts through which Nancy really inherited the Janette mantle of “No actually, you’ll be able to juggle me like a set of golf equipment whereas my insane core does all of the work”, plus that strangle spin (don’t strive it at residence, youngsters) and a few nice ganchos and sharp musical accents from Rhys. Extra concerning the methods than the emotional connection, and undoubtedly didn’t want the ground spin, however a robust efficiency total. 

Tune: “Within the Air Tonight”, Phil Collins

Judges’ feedback: Anton cherished the depth. Craig loved the drama and ganchos, however the grapevines bought out of sync. Motsi preferred the stillness of Rhys’s higher physique. Shirley mentioned he’d realized from being within the backside and praised the lifts.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

Rose and Giovanni – Leap of religion

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That this American Clean employed a gazebo and the sentiments bench and a jazz normal and Love Truly and a fluffy white frock and STILL managed to be wonderful quite than sick-inducing was frankly a Christmas miracle. It’s watching this pretty pair in ballroom that simply overrides every little thing: they really transfer and categorical as one, just like the platonic ideally suited of the dance kind. Stunning body and footwork from Rose – although, sure, lacking some heel leads – nice flooring protection and musicality, and I cherished the giddy dance breaks that actually confirmed her persona. Plus that dive! Braver than coming into a department of Waitrose on December 24, however gasp-inducing because it was, it additionally stayed in step with the fashionable, easy quantity. Simply pure sunshine. I’ll fortunately rewatch it on each gloomy winter night.

Tune: “This Will Be (An Eternal Love)”, Natalie Cole 

Judges’ feedback: Craig was wowed by the carry and the storytelling, simply famous the pivots weren’t on a heel. Motsi cherished the adjustments of temper. Shirley, which means effectively, mentioned she’d carried out effectively to dam out the noise round Rhys’ routine… Anton adored the traces and musicality. 

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

Dan and Nadiya – Time to tan-go

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Yeah. Perhaps not one of the best concept to spend your VT explaining how not remaining flat actually impacts the move of the tango… after which spend the entire efficiency arising and down like a rabbit on a trampoline. Ditto calling consideration to Dan’s proper hand, which did certainly resemble fish fingers. Anyway, because the judges mentioned, it began OK: Dan appearing as a solemn pinstriped pole for Nadiya to seize onto whereas growing smouldering chemistry with a close-by desk. That mentioned, the precise ballroom part confirmed he’d trailed far behind the others in technical phrases – too upright, distracting rise and fall, lacked cleanly outlined staccato, and really troubled posture, significantly going into promenade. Not actively horrendous, simply not ok for this stage of the competitors.

Tune: “Santa Maria”, Gotan Mission

Judges’ feedback: Motsi mentioned he misplaced management within the second half – too hasty and leaning too far ahead. Shirley famous a sensual really feel (?!) and he stayed centered. Anton cherished the opening however his body went, rise and fall, and his hand opened. Craig mentioned it was suffering from stability points, which made him really feel uncomfortable. 

Judges’ scores: 7, 8, 9, 7 – 31 

AJ and Kai – The ending is gonna get you

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What’s it about remaining salsa lifts? The curse descended as soon as once more on poor AJ and Kai, who nonetheless, crazily, have but to hit that good rating (and jinxed themselves by bringing it up beforehand – mainly that is all of the producers’ fault for crafting gremlin-ridden VTs). Now, I’m undecided they might have gotten there anyway with this highly effective but messy salsa, a lot as I cherished AJ in her glittering gold fringe giving it perspective, plus that fabulous solo entrance and the large cartwheel carry. Craig is correct that the dismounts weren’t nice and she or he saved selecting her ft up quite than working into the ground. However oh, that finish carry. It actually did go on eternally, with AJ trying like she was caught on a barbed-wire fence in between two circles of Hell.

Tune: “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You/Get On Your Toes”, Gloria Estefan 

Judges’ feedback: Shirley cherished the sass and braveness – a disgrace it went unsuitable. Anton mentioned the remainder was terrific however yelped for hours concerning the finish carry (we’ve suffered a lot worse from you, love). Craig famous the transitions had been ropy and too flat-footed, however completely watchable. Motsi known as AJ a queen, however the ending killed her.

Judges’ scores: 7, 8, 8, 7 – 30 


Rose and Giovanni – 39

Rhys and Nancy – 39

John and Johannes – 32

Dan and Nadiya – 31

AJ and Kai – 30

One other week, one other swap: Rhys and Rose are up, John and AJ are down.


Tess’s costume: impressed or depressed?

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Bizarrely chopped black tube with bedazzled stripes. Claud in a fab-u-lous glitterball-esque high.


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AJ and Kai versus… Dan and Nadiya, lastly!! This was genuinely tense: sure, AJ had the better job of an apparent error to appropriate, however she needed to repeat an extremely advanced and high-risk dance and overcome the trauma of that first dance disahhhster, whereas Dan simply needed to potter by means of a fairly fundamental tango. 

So, HURRAH! I really yelped when AJ and Kai nailed it second time spherical, securing a much-deserved place within the semi-final – and concurrently ridding us of Dan earlier than his ego bought any larger and he challenged Craig to a dance-fight, West Facet Story type. Medal for AJ, please.

In all seriousness, I do perceive the enchantment of the underdog and the J phrase – I simply don’t suppose Dan was a really constructive instance of both, or that he ought to have lasted this lengthy. Nonetheless, I cherished attending to know Nadiya higher this 12 months. She was humorous, form, artistic and a beautiful performer and accomplice, and she or he’s undoubtedly earned a hunky younger ringer in 2022.

What did you make of the quarter-final? Did you agree with the judges? Did the fitting pair go residence? Get in contact on Twitter to share your ideas: @mkmswain

See you once more quickly for the semi-final. Within the meantime… hold dancing!

{Photograph}: Man Levy courtesy of the BBC.

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