As I’m abroad at the moment I had to catch up on YouTube so I wasn't able to get a feel of the show or the judges scores. Not being able to watch the full Strictly Come Dancing show I really missed seeing the interactions between the couples and the camaraderie of everyone up with Claudia which again reiterates to me that it's the people, the partnerships and the relationships that make the show as special as it is. Just watching the dancing alone however, I really got to see what I liked and disliked. A few of the better dances last night infuriated me because they could’ve been incredible but for me they fell short for various reasons. Let me start with Joe Sugg and Diane Buswell's Waltz. He danced it really well, she choreographed a beautiful number and unlike Craig, I thought his expression was spot on for what was a delicate, beautiful Waltz. However, as a couple they looked like they were in two different performances. She was in an elegant gown yet he was in a cap with a braced trouser? If he’d been in an elegant look that worked with hers, it would have balanced more and that kind of thing should be as important as the choreography or the music choice in something as beautiful as a Waltz.
Joe and Diane's Waltz was like two different performances
Faye and Giovanni's Foxtrot was another dance that missed a couple of really important aspects. They both performed a really beautiful number and she is clearly a fantastic dancer. But in a Foxtrot there are certain technical things that you need to deliver to make the dance what it is. The feet can't be turned out like in a Latin dance and a certain action from the legs and feet needs to be there throughout. For example, the dragging the heel or lifting the toe when going backwards slows the action down and allows you to connect to your partner who is going forward. If these things don't happen, then a major aspect of the foxtrot is missing which for me is a big disappointment. Saying that, she’s superb and still a front runner at the moment.
The other disappointment to me (and call me old fashioned) is the major change in the show by introducing the new dance styles! Don't get me wrong, change is inevitable and in most cases can be a good thing but Strictly is magic because of the two people creating a story together within Ballroom and Latin dance and if you step too far away from this magic (two people hand in hand creating a story with one another), then you change what makes the show special. Charles and Karen were one couple introducing a new element to the show last night with 'Street Commercial'. Now they danced it superbly and it was one of the best of the night! He matched her throughout and for the first time he looked like he belonged on the dance floor and at the top of this competition instead of fighting to stay in it. I loved his energy, the choreography was great, the look was great but tell me where this sits within a Ballroom dancing competition? It's too far removed from the heart of the show which to me is Ballroom and Latin or a variant of! Ok yes, I'm old fashioned! Now let's get to the positives!
Charles and Karen's Street Dance was a disappointment, but I loved Charles' energy!
Graeme Swann and Oti Mabusi! What a Tango. His look, his frame, his power, I loved it! He was completely in the dance from start to finish and I wanted to see more. I couldn’t see his footwork due to the camera shots and I suspect it was a little sloppy but the dance from the knees up that I could see… spot on!
Danny John-Jules and Amy Dowden. What a cracking start to the dance! His Jive kicking action was great, he had superb energy, the story was fun and the first 10 of the series - Wow! Unfortunately I don’t agree with this 10. As the dance went on, the energy started to drop, the kicking action that he started so well with (where he was pumping the legs) became more of just a flick without picking up the leg first. One thing that is frustrating me week after week here is Amy's facial expression! It’s too much and is taking away from the dance. I know this sounds petty but over the top facial expression is one of my pet hates in competition dancing and it doesn't belong on that Strictly stage. Bit harsh on lovely Amy I know, but I’m not here for my looks!
I didn't agree with Danny and Amy's 10
Pasha and Ashley. A beautifully danced Rumba, she is a lovely dancer and this is a perfect pairing. I love what they are creating together but here I was disappointed for one reason and one reason only! The passion that a Rumba can have was non-existent! Maybe this was a choice with all that’s going on at the moment? I don't know but I just wanted them to look at each other and have a moment. It was all quite formal and I think a lot of that was due to the music choice! This didn't yell Rumba to me, certainly not an intimate rumba and that’s a shame because I was looking forward to watching her Rumba from the moment she was announced.
Kate and Aljaz. I think the less I say on this the better because I have loved most of their stuff but this was the second bad week. Maybe it was the story they were going for within the song but it looked like she had no idea the dance was happening. I'm sorry Kate, you know I’m a fan!
Stacey and Kevin danced a great Samba
Stacey and Kevin. This was a good Samba that she danced very well. Her weight really needs to come forward in these Latin dances though. It would change her energy to be more positive within the partnership and make her more of a threat to the front runners. I'd actually love to see her do something more serious. This was yet another Kevi' C special where it’s all a bit too nice and a bit of a Carry On film. I suppose using a piece of music from the movie Strictly Ballroom, it can’t be much else because the whole movie has that feel (a movie that I love by the way) but I feel like I’ve seen it all before.
It must have been a better week for Seann and Katya where they could get back to concentrating on the dancing and I believe it showed. They danced one of the bigger quicksteps you'll see on the Strictly dance floor, it certainly moved and he did an ok job of it! Timing is his problem and he’s got to start listening to the music and start to understand the music if he wants to get much better. I love his enthusiasm but it makes him rush. Another great piece of choreography for Katya! She really is good! I am loving the fact that there isn't a clear front runner this series.
The leaderboard is changing week after week, the stronger dancers aren’t necessarily putting their best foot forward in every single dance and we’re almost at the point where shock eliminations happen. I suspect it will be a Vick and Graziano v Lauren and AJ dance off, but only watching the actual dances on YouTube and not seeing the before and after of every couple, there might just be a tear jerker that makes people pick up the phone and save someone? Who knows? See you next week!
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