It's week four for Strictly Come Dancing (how has it come around so fast?) and what a week it was. As usual, HELLO!'s fabulous columnist Brendan Cole is back with his verdict on the must-see show. From Seann and Katya to Joe Sugg and Dr Ranj, Brendan gives his verdict on what did and didn't work.
Brendan, Strictly Speaking
Well, that was quite a week for Strictly. I can't believe they didn’t make some mention to the elephant in the room – let’s face it, it’s the reason the show would have had massive ratings last night and the reason Strictly has been on everyone’s lips all week. I suppose, the bottom line is that it happened, they made a big mistake and have apologised for it, so it is time to focus on the job. Under the circumstances I think Seann and Katya danced quite well – I don’t know how they got any dancing done last week with the media attention they had, it must’ve been very hard to focus, so to produce an alright dance was impressive. It wasn’t amazing. The judges were nice to them but maybe under the circumstances that’s probably all that could happen.
Sean and Katya danced quite well
Kevin and Stacey came out on top last night but while I agree they did a very nice Foxtrot I’m not entirely sure they deserved to be there. As was alluded to by one of the judges, it was a bit more of an American-Smooth-style Foxtrot, not really to my liking. But I don’t want to take away from Stacey - she danced a really lovely dance, and she’s definitely one that’s doing some great stuff. And when Kevin stuck his head in the cake? Well, let’s just say it improved his appearance ;)!
I'm not sure they entirey deserve the top spot
Ashely and Pasha in number two also surprised me. I’m a big fan, I think she’s an incredible contestant; she’s very able and very good but technically but I thought it was pretty bad (for her). There are certain things about a Tango that make it a Tango – like the way you close your feet and staying down in a flexed leg – these technical details are what make a type of dance what it is. As a performance it was a fantastic spectacle, but on a technical level, it wasn’t there – it was just a theatrical piece, so I was surprised to see the judges put them so high up the leader board.
Faye and Giovanni’s Rumba was one of my favourites – it was excellent. I thought she was hard done by the judges but that isn’t a bad thing. She’s definitely one of the better contestants so I think they’re right to give her harsh criticism – they want her to be amazing, because she can be just that. If Katie Piper for example had danced that dance she’d have had 10s. But Faye could be spectacular and as a dancer I thought she did a very beautiful Rumba and understood what that dance was about.
Kate is one of my favourites
I feel for Kate Silverton. When I heard she was dancing a Samba, I said to my wife Zoe, 'Oh no – a Samba from a newsreader, this is going to be bad!'. She started off OK but then it didn’t go anywhere and it was a bit disappointing. I felt sorry for her – she’s one of my favourites in the whole show. I love the fact that she’s a newsreader and given I’ve danced with a lot of them, I know that they struggle with the performance element of it, and she’s been great at that so far. It just wasn’t up to her usual level. But people love her and she’s done a great up until now - it takes more than one bad dance to be out of Strictly, she’ll be back.
Others that stood out for me? Joe Sugg – I was not overly impressed, I thought the routine was very basic. It was like watching a couple of beginners out there doing a nice dance, it was a bit average and to be honest by this stage I expect something more from contestants on Strictly Come Dancing.
Dr Ranj on the other hand, I had not been a fan of so far, but I thought he danced a really good Paso Doble. It was the first time that I really liked what he did so I think they’ve really stepped into the competition this week.
In general, at this stage in the series, fatigue could be setting in – but I’m afraid to say it’ll only get worse. The pros will be starting to feel the pressure having started in July, the celebs will be both emotionally and physically drained - they’ve been doing something really new and all consuming for five or six weeks, so it will be starting to take its toll for all.
I know Vick is doing her 4am shifts and that is really tough. When I danced with Lisa Snowdon, she had just started her breakfast radio show – and it made her very emotional. Just through being so physically exhausted. It was amazing she handled it but it can be very fatiguing. Basically from now, each week becomes more and more challenging until you get to, say, Blackpool, when the end is in sight and you’re on the home run.
I'm back in the rehearsal room - with Chloe Hewitt
The exhaustion is one aspect that I don’t miss! Thankfully I’m feeling excited this week as I’m back in the rehearsal room for my upcoming Autumn tour and I’ve reunited with another former Strictly dancer Chloe Hewitt which has been a lot of fun. Chloe has very kindly agreed to step in for one of my dancers on four of the dates – so she’s learning the whole show, she’s amazing. I’m really looking forward to having her on the tour with us.
So it’s busy time here – I’d better get back to rehearsals which started yesterday as well as already getting to work on next year’s brand new tour - I can’t keep up! Have a great week and I’ll be back next Sunday with all of my thoughts on Week 5.