A different start tonight - a Pro Cha Cha up first, starting the show with a huge WOW! Phew!
Down to business, Alian out first for the tango, walking with attitude; a little stumble though. Born to be Wild and she is trying her best! Got into the character for most part. Alesha: Came out and attacked, occasional moments of insecurity, great opening to the show; Bruno: Little blunder stopped you living the dance and then he began speaking in tongues or something, really didn't get the rest! Craig: a lot of balance issues, hands beautifully shaped Spanishly, lovely aggression, clean changes; Darcey: created tension between you, loved it; Len: accomplished dancer but a bit one trick pony, come out next week and give it some welly. Score: 42
Lainton out for their American Smooth, I expect Great Things. And once again I'm left seriously underwhelmed. This was their chance to prove they've earned their place, but although there's nice characterisation, she's off balance and - something I wouldn't normally notice - her posture is shocking! The transitions not too good either and I just get the impression that Anton is dragging her. Really disappointing. Craig: Poor posture, didn't hit or finish line; Darcey: Should've been your dance, was expecting more. Shoulders too 'up'; Len: a little bit disappointed; Alesha: Some you coped with well. Score: 33 that's uncompetitive at this stage, even out of 40.
Chrola come out for their waltz and it's so very sweet - and confident, plus no mistakes, he's getting into it now! Len: Seeing signs of a dancer emerging, footwork and hold much better, mostly slick, well done; Alesha: I really like you, confident and composed, just relax; Bruno: effort in footwork, sometimes flowed then suddenly constipated; Craig: Danced it well up to the pivots - just smile, it would relax. Then they all start arguing amongst themselves - come on Bruce, bring them back in line! Score: 41.
Ricalie and a marvellous foxtrot - gorgeous from the band - musicality and sway all there, made my heart thud. Beautiful. Bruno: hit all the spots! Craig: overlooking the pigeon toes and bandy legs A-MAY-ZING! Swing, sway, showmanship; Darcey: smooth, stylish, classy and sincere. Len: too marvellous for words. Well done! Score: 48 (3x10's - Len, Alesha and Bruno.)
Alian samba is full of lovely shapes and beautifully precise as always but a bit too quiet and slow for me personally. The judges were doubting her but ... Craig: difficult amalgamations and changes of rhythm, coped brilliantly, did lose Brian at one point; Darcey: there was a sexy party going on between you; Len: Bit light and fluffy, tad brittle but I liked it; Alesha: Best samba of the series so far. Score: 44 combo 86.
Lainton's salsa started well enough but then the first lot of armography went wrong and that pretty much stuffed them. No hip action at all. Very uncomfortable to watch and really, for this stage in the competition, really quite bad, very little to redeem it. A shame, because Laila promised so much to begin with. Alesha: To borrow a phrase from Len - you're getting on my wick - started well, then went to pot. If you come back, work harder. There's a lot of booing and hissing on the forums at Alesha, but in her defence, I think she's comparing her work ethic with Laila and finding Laila wanting - it winds her up and she's finally lost patience. In series four and five we saw training hours up in the high 20's and 30's - they don't seem to be getting out of the late teens this year. Bruno: I'm sorry, an inflated balloon would have had more rhythm, a mess; Craig: comparable with Fiona Phillips; Darcey: shouldn't be mucking up, you had such a wow factor. They've been too harsh - a massive sympathy vote coming up. Score: 26 out of 50. Ouch. Don't rub it in Tess. Combo: 59/100. Dismal.
Chrola samba is everything we hope it will be and needed to be, to give us a lift after the last one. Best song of the night, it was never going to be the best technically but it was great fun. Darcey: You come out and you sell it, made the biggest improvement; Len: You've had a laxative, full on, give it plenty, over excited; Alesha; You smashed it; Bruno: Crowd pleasing but too little samba, dribbling over her. Score: 39 combo: 80! Hee Hee - that puts him third on the leaderboard - which puts him through if he is topping the public vote like everyone says he is! Oh, Yeah Baby! Much as I don't want to see Ricky or Ali in the dance off, I'm pretty sure they'll get through if against Laila.
Ricalie cha cha and without doubt the best Latin of the night for me, totally rocked. Technical but musical and funky. Len: Another fantastic dance, don't look down; Alesha: A game of cat and mouse, fantastic cha cha walks and hip action; Bruno: Oh, yes, you can really turn it on, that's what it's all about, timing is wonderful; Craig: masculine, sexy and turned out! Score: 47 - tens from Alesha and Darcey - combo: 95.
I'm sacrificing Ali and Chris tonight - Chris doesn't need my vote and Ali is already a point down on Ricky, so I'll try to keep him in. Laila's time is up BUT - if that renowned sympathy vote kicks in, who knows what will happen! I just hope the Chrola fans desperate to get rid of Ali or Ricky don't inadvertently put Laila top in the public vote and Chris in the dance off.
Results Show: Vincent and Flavia give the lowdown on the Argentine Tango and then WOW us with an awesome routine, even by their own exceptionally high standards. Standing ovation! Ok, the rest of you - follow that! Then the Pro American Smooth Quickstep to 'Get Happy' - demonstrating perfectly what is meant by musicality. That's put a smile on everyone's face. The Rose, sung by Bette Midler, danced by James and Ola, lovely performances by both.
The Moment of Truth: Will the harshness of the judges provide a shock? No, Alian are safe, as is Chrola. Jeez, what's Ricky got to do? He's a nice guy, great dancer - are we still voting tactically at this stage? Laila's Charleston beat his Rock'n'Roll last week, did a massive sympathy vote take Laila above him again this week? Did fans, like me, who want to see all three of the now semi-finalists, sacrifice Ricky to save Ali, knowing Chris was safe? I've got a headache. Suffice to say, Ricalie nail the dance off again, they're surely through. They are, 3-0, no need for Bruno and Len. Credit to Lainton, much, much better this time around. But who'll get Lainton's votes next week? Ooh, cliffhanger city!
Anyway, Way To Go - my favourite three are through! I'm a very happy bunny. The only thing that would make me happier is for the PTB to make it a two week final so we see all three do a showdance. Wouldn't that be a nice fitting end to the series?