Week 5, no themes, just pure danceability - and the leaderboard toppers predicted by a meerkat! Who'd a thought?
Except of course, watching Jamise's training footage, you knew that if Denise could nail the spins it was pretty much a given! A stunning routine to a stunning song, a real emotional connection producing gorgeous and elegant warm floatiness around the ballroom. A equal top score of the series 35 set them firmly at the head of the board.
Robisa again, even in serious mode, still showed enough personality in their tango, with a rousing Let's Get Together driving them on in a well executed, sharp yet rhythmic and focused routine which I loved. "It's lovely to see us all grow, week after week." - Lisa. "Except Vincent!" - wisecracker at the back!
Michalie's VT, complete with cricket commentary to Jerusalem got me anticipating their foxtrot and it didn't disappoint. The dark horses - brilliant partnership, goes for it in the Latin, lovely ballroom - I Got The Sweetest Feeling about this delightful routine - they're having fun and I sense a bit of Goughieness, i.e. falling in love with dance.
The sambas and salsas were a pick'n'mix - Kisha's performance was stunning, channeling Alesha unleashed without the abandon but with an awesome lift - I'd have just preferred them to have danced to Flouvia's music to lift it up my list. Flouvia delivered on the hips and the lovely, fluid bouncy rhythm but where oh where was the fun, the laughter, the gaiety of a samba? Playing with your zip upstairs is too late! Brendleton was hot one minute and not the next but overall a good performance - brave to be out on her own on the judges desk to begin with. She still needs to trust in her ability and let go like she did in the tango - we're running out of weeks!
Bruce: "A little bit of what you fancy does you good - in your case, Darcey, it doesn't include Louis!"
Brendan: "That wasn't batucadas, that was walking backwards funny!"
Kicky's rumba I engaged with. Now, considering I'm not a Westlife fan, nor a rumba fan, this surprised me. It was well acted and had great partnering and chemistry. A great song helped - well done Kicky! "I spoke to James and Brendan before we went on and they gave me tips - obviously the wrong ones!" - Nicky, in response to mixed judges comments.
Proper Paso Doble music for Arfer certainly helped, although I'd have liked a bit more attack from Fern - loved the look of disdain she held all through, while Vani delivered again. A superb jive, spot on in every department: costume, song, content, feel, togetherness. Craig: "You need to keep your feet together when you go through his legs; I copped a massive eyeful!"
Colina and Richin, foxtrots both, one a good, solid performance, the other a shambles. Prompting Richard's "The camera's are rolling, this is live, this is no dress rehearsal - we're gonna be on the internet forever!"
Jamise 35 = 11; Kisha 33 = 10; Vani 33 = 10; Michalie 31 = 9; Flouvia 29 = 8; Robisa 27 = 7; Colina 27 = 7; Kicky 25 = 6; Arfer 24 =5; Brendleton 23 = 4; Richin 17 = 3.
Onto the results and a little less conversation, as all the women in the audience stop to admire the male pro dancers athleticism in the opening routine *coughs*. Backstage, Claudia was trying to dance - jive with Dani; tango with Lisa; samba with Victoria, rumba with Kicky - and Gangnam style with Lionel Blair.
Safe: Jamise; Arfer; Vani; Kisha; Flouvia
Dance off: Colina
Claudia: "Louis, you disappointed Darcey - what will you do next week, bring her kittens?"
The Malcolm in the Middle lookalike in The Wanted has a powerful voice, doesn't he? I'm quite impressed. Pasha and Karen beautifully accompany Andrea Bocelli for Nessun Dorma.
Len's lens: Lisa's eyes; Colin's legs; Richin's "Go on!" "Go left" *gets giggles* Len's "Pull yourself together!" at them. Bruno laughing. Darcey and Craig playing with his quiff; Len flaunting his 9 for Vani. Bruno's reaction to Kimberley flaunting herself at Len!
Safe: Michalie; Brendleton; Kicky; Robisa
Dance off: Richin
It's Battle of the Foxtrots! Richin versus Colina and it's a reversal of fortune - Richin remembered and Colina struggled after a good start - evens Hollywood actors get nervous; Colin's reconciled to his fate. It's unanimous in favour of Richin and we say Ciao Colina.
Bruce is taking next week off and The Corbett is on a cruise, according to Clauds - so she'll be joining Tess next week. Yay! See you then, and if you need a fix, visit the official BBC Strictly Come Dancing website.