Vinalie jiving first, luckily, because Nat clearly can't wait! I'm smiling already - what a way to kick (and flick) start the show! Full of energy and great timing, fab song. Well done Nat, good job! Craig: Absolutely unbelievable, get up and go incredible; Len: Full of energy, perfect synchronisation, whole package, fabulous; Alesha: Captured the spirit of the jive; Bruno: A firecracker up your bum! Score: 30 Yay - 1 down, 3 to go in Club 30!
Alian Paso with a stubbed toe, which appears to be much worse than just a stubbed toe. Ali's got the look - but now she's smiling! First class Paso, full of content, perfect music, fantastic choreograpy but she clearly can't stamp and overall it feels ... genial - smiling all through didn't help! I loved it though. Bruno: Glistening like a bejewelled cape in the Spanish sun; Craig: holding my breath all through, loved the way you danced it; Len: a very talented dancer, danced beautifully, lovely choreography, lacked aggression; Alesha: best armwork of any female celebrity ever.
Cravia and Matt Di A on hand for tips on how to waltz, plus Lennox Lewis pops in for a ripple (Next year?) Craig's best dance so far but still very stiff, no rhythm. Alesha: Finally I see something I like; Bruno: Didn't please me, very laboured; Craig: Leaps and bounds ahead of what you've done so far, needs way more drive; Len: If determination were all that's needed, you'd be halfway up the M1. Score: 24.
Chrola shake their groove thing, with dad John's encouragement, really went for it, maybe could have done a few more steps but great fun. Len: You were shaking your groove thing, right back to week 1! Alesha: You have a good foundation for dance, great rhythm - shut your mouth though (not in a bad way!) Bruno: You bring the energy on; Craig: a little bit cha cha chunky but amazing dynamic and fantastic timing. Score: 29.
Ianade spend the afternoon at a tea dance and it does the trick! A typically gorgeous foxy foxtrot from Ian, great choice of music, lovely and elegant from Jade - their best yet I'd say. Craig: Gorgeous kick into the oversway, movement round the floor gorgeous; Len: Whole performance was a treat; Alesha: Made it look easy, you two create the most lovely picture together; Bruno: My fair Jade, smooth, elegant, loved it. Score: 35.
Zojam and another disco samba, Boogie Nights gets the audience all clapping along and Zoe lets herself go - I'm not sure about the bump'n'grindy bits though! Len: Always good, occasionally great - you have the potential (to knock the top lot off) Alesha: I liked all the gyrating, nice to see you let go, a nice feel for the samba; Bruno: I'm loving it too when you go down and dirty of your feather duster! Craig: Missing bounce action but enormous amount of rhythym, timing good, more animal needed; Bruno: She's got a rainforest ... ; Craig: You need locking up! Score: 32.Rickin rumba - from entertainer to lover - and ooh, I say, very masterful! Interpreted the feel of the song very well. I enjoyed that, good effort Ricky! Alesha: Ricky, Ricky, Ricky - coped with really well, acted it superbly; Bruno: Daniel Craig has nothing to worry about; Craig: More resistance needed; Len: (after telling Craig off and even pointing at him!) it's a hard dance, good on ya! Score: 24 Len gave an eight to counter miserly Craig.
Lainton's VW - best Strictly dance ever? No, sorry Anton, it didn't do much for me at all if I'm honest - the lilt of the song sounded great on ITT but then it didn't actually go anywhere, failed to engage. Too much anticipation I think and not enough highlights. Craig: A classic VW with a modern twist, delightful; Len: Lovely rotation and movement, great; Alesha: A tad skippy but loved it; Bruno: Back in your comfort zone. Score: 33
Phitya - Tango Tuffers hits the floor with a "little bit of woo, a little bit of wam". The Cat awakes! Back to Black the song which makes it almost a groovy kind of tango, but it works for me. Terrific. Bruno: Ooh, yes you did (please him) Full of content, no gimmicks, all Antonio Banderas (a nod to Katya's Take the Lead role) Craig: It worked, choreographically fantastic but too lyrical; Len: Work on the refinement; Alesha: Tricky routine, I liked it; Score: 30 Woohoo!
Ricalie Quickstep their way to the top of the leaderboard with a routine that had shades of Tom! Absoutely one of the best QS I've seen, adored it - that's going in the video panel! Another Buble song *Note to Heart FM: Buble - see, Buble. I'll give'em "not exactly a Strictly question" Sorry, I'm digressing, ignore me. Trick Questions. Grrr. Where was I? Oh, yeah, my favourite dance so far this series! Len: Best dance of the series; Alesha: A league of your own, beautifully exected, magic; Bruno: Take it away, Ricky; Craig: Bandy legged and pigeon toed ... never stopped Brendan. A-MAY-ZING! A standing ovtion from the other competitors, Ricky's shaking. If Craig gives a nine, the others will be tens. Score: 39! What a dance to finish on.
Ok, now even I'm getting a bit Meh about Craig's birthday and Blackpool ambitions - the other's have them too, do they not? Let's move on to the Pro Moulin Rouge Cha Cha with Darren and Lilia, Matt and Aliona and Vincent and Flavia, which was fantastic, especially loved the breakdown section. Behind the scenes, with the Jordan's at home on Sunday morning, choreographing; Monday is technique and steps, what the dance is about; Tuesday photoshoots; Wednesday, more interviews, back to costumiers; Thursday is bye bye studio; Friday the first chance to see what the competition is up to; Saturday: Hair. Food. Dress Rehearsal. Len and Ian dancing. Brucie warming up the audience. Those stairs look steep. Showtime!
Pro samba with a twist as Matt and Aliona wow us with a Hip Hop Samba, completely mesemerising, awesome routine and a taster of what we can expect from So You Think You Can Dance (I hope!) The Bee Gees You Should be Dancing - nice to see Joanna Lumley's keeping herself busy wth a bit of backing vocals and percusion since the Sherpa thing settled; prefer her blonde though. Brian and Kristina and James and Ola do a disco samba - but when they do it, it's cool! That woman behind Bruce didn't enjoy it though ... oh, hang on, she's smiling now, they must have told her.
Begging for Blackpool time, it's too late though, the lines are closed! The Moment of Truth: Safe - Cravia! Ianade, Rickin, Vinalie, Ricalie, Lainton - which means one of my faves is going out - Phitya *Phew* Chrola! *Double Phew* But can't believe it's Alian versus Zojam! Paso v Samba. A sterling job from Ali, minus shoes, a bit of a stumble; Zoe again comes out fighting for her place, also a wobble, unsurprisingly. I wouldn't like to be a judge. Oi, Brucie - nicking my lines again! I'd have to go with Alian, taking all the dances into consideration. Craig and Bruno choose Alian; Alesha goes for Zojam - it's all down to Len: Alian! Glad for Alian but sad to see Zojam go, it wasn't their time yet.
Right then, I've got me bucket and spade all packed for Blackpool - I don't care what the weather's like, it's the seaside. See you there!