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Strictly Speaking – James and Ola Jordan: We want Anton in the final, Craig undermarked Alex and Chris saved the show

Find out James and Ola's thoughts on Strictly's week ten

strictly james jordan ola jordan column 1
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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James and Ola Jordan settled in to watch Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night when they realised that their unborn baby was enjoying the show just as much as they were! "The baby was dancing during Strictly," Ola said. "It was moving a lot in my belly! It was so exciting, it's definitely moving more." The pair are about to have an incredibly busy time as they are beginning rehearsals for their upcoming pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, and James chatted about their roles, saying: "I'm the flesh creep because I want to be the nasty person who gets booed all the time, and Ola's the fat fairy!" Despite their hectic schedules, the pair still had plenty of thoughts about Strictly week ten. Find out what they had to say...

James: I felt like this week was a come down. It was all a little beige. It was average. Last week, for me, was absolutely exceptional and it blew me away. I understand it's not going to be like that every week and I think it was just a come down from Blackpool perhaps.

Ola: They're all tired from Blackpool as well. Starting another week after that is hard.

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James: It is hard, it's tough. I do feel for them. It was good, it just wasn't as good as last week, that's all. And I have to say, I don't know if they're struggling with budget but Bruno doing the singing act, what was that? I just felt like the budget has been cut and maybe they were supposed to have Robbie Williams but he went on the Jonathan Ross Show instead, so they had to do a last minute thing where Bruno stood in and they just thought, 'We'll just do a number with a load of feathers and wear pink, that'll be lovely. I just didn't get it, it was really not good.

Ola: Oh stop, I think Bruno's an amazing singer, he should go on the Celebrity X Factor!

READ: Ola Jordan reveals her favourite perk of pregnancy

James: There you go. Ola loved it and I didn't. Two different opinions there, Ola was telling me I was a miserable, old, grumpy sod and that it was lovely and a bit of fun and not to take it too seriously, but for me it was naff! Maybe Craig will be singing next week, who knows! It must have been a nod to something but it was actually a serious number. I didn't get it! It was random.

Ola: Shall we actually discuss the performances?

James: Yes! Saffron had a brilliant week last week, I hope people get behind her because she had a really tough dance at a tough time in the competition. Samba is the most difficult dance! She was in the bottom two last week with a brilliant dance where I thought she was fantastic, then this week she gets the Samba. It's the dance of death.

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Ola: It's hard to come back from that because Samba is such a hard dance.

James: You don't want a Samba this week, trust me. As a pro, I would have pretty much insisted that she is not doing the Samba but that's why I'm not on the show anymore, I'm too outspoken!

Ola: I would have said the same thing to the producers, that I'm not doing the Samba. We're at the part of the competition now where it is really important to be good, and really important to stand out. And last night the one who stood out for me was Chris.

James: Yes! His performance was brilliant. It's the first week I'd say he was brilliant. I've given him a hard time, I know he's not a dancer, he's up against trained dancers which is obviously difficult, but I've always commented on his dance ability because that's what people want to hear. I like him, he's lovely, I want to see him in the competition, but at the same time he's never been that great. That being said, last night was another level. He saved the show. In my opinion, he saved the week.

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Ola: They had a great number. Everything came together with the costumes and the music and the lighting and everything and that's important, but he pulled the dance off! He did a really good job.

READ: Ola Jordan shares peek inside her stylish home in new video

James: It was his persona, he got into the character and he sold it. That is what Karim is missing. Karim is technically the best dancer in the show by a million miles but he doesn't have the Kelvin factor. He doesn't have the rawness, the exuberance. It's almost like Karim is too good, he's too polished. That sounds really weird but if he had the persona to go with it... he needs to work towards endearing people to him. Work on a persona, because it's so important. If you're doing the Paso, you have to believe you're that Matador. If you're doing the Rumba, you have to look like you're totally in love with your partner, and I don't feel like he's selling that - he's just doing amazing technical routines. I find myself, as I'm getting older, agreeing with Craig more and more which just shows how grumpy I'm getting but he was right. So yeah, Karim had a great performance but it left me feeling cold.

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Ola: Did you prefer Kelvin's dance?

James: I didn't get Kelvin's dance at all. It's supposed to be couple's choice but they kind of invented a new dance - well i I know it's a dance style - but it's not one of the ones you're supposed to choose. I agree with Craig, I didn't get the thing in the kitchen at the beginning. I love Oti and I think they're great but it wasn't one of the performances that I'm going to remember for Kelvin. It was just okay. I still think he's the favourite to win and I think he deserves to win. I think you feel the same, right?

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Ola: I think that Kelvin is the winner.

James: It's all down to public vote though, it's not just about the dancing.

Ola: I know what you mean, but people are going to vote for the dancing in the final. Who else do we need to talk about? What did you think about Anton and Emma?

James: Anton and Emma last night did a really good job. They're hanging in there, I think people want to see Anton in the final. I don't feel that what they're doing is brilliant, they're doing a great job, but everyone loves Anton. I love Anton, Ola loves Anton, I'd like to see him in the final. They're hanging in there but at this stage they need to bring out some brilliant performances.

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Ola: I did feel last night that the performance wasn't very clean. Great idea and great choreography but the whole thing didn't come together again. Do they deserve to be in the final if they're going to mess up like that again? I enjoyed Chris' dance more because he didn't mess up as much.

James: Chris just sold it, that's what I loved.

Ola: But Emma has danced before so I expected her dancing to be amazing, the Quickstep footwork to be amazing. So I wasn't that impressed to be honest.

James: Especially when you think that Chris and Alex are complete novices. I feel at the beginning there was such a massive difference between the trained dancers and the non-trained dancers, but now that gap is closing. Neil and Alex and Chris and Karen are starting to improve more and more, week on week. They are selling it and getting into character and that's what the public are voting for. The gap is definitely closing. And to be fair every single year you've had people who have had dance training, you can't get away from that.

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Ola: We used to have rugby players and cricketeers on the show who could compete with the trained celebrity dancers but nowadays you couldn't have someone like that compete with the trained celebs.

James: Impossible. Even if you look at Chris. He's much worse than some of the other celebs, but so far he has been so likeable that's it has made people pick up the phone and vote. For me, If he had the dance ability as well he'd walk the competition. As for Alex and Neil, their dance definitely wasn't a four. Never in a million years. I think Alex has improved and the Argentinian Tango is difficult. Even Neil would have had to have learned that dance, it's a tricky dance. I thought they did a fantastic job. You can see she's not a natural mover, for me it was a seven, worst case scenario, a six. It was never a four. But to be honest with you because he gave her a four that makes the public angry and they're like, 'Well it was never a four, so I'm going to vote for them.' So to be honest, it probably did them a favour! I'm very harsh. It takes a lot to impress me so I'm giving nines when people are saying it was definitely a ten. So it was never a four, and if it was I would have said. I have nothing to lose, I'm not involved in the show, I don't know the celebrities, so it was really random that he gave a four because it was never ever a favour, but I think it might have worked in their favour. Maybe that was why he did it!

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Ola: So who do you think should be leaving tonight?

James: In a just world, on dancing, it should be Saffron or Alex.

Ola: I'd agree actually.

James: Forget public vote. Would I want one of those people to go? No. But I actually put on Twitter yesterday, and it's the first time on Strictly that I've felt like this, I don't actually want any of them go! I like them all for different reasons. I've never felt like that!

Ola: But it now comes down to popularity, which is fine because that's what the show is about. We'll just have to wait and see.

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