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James and Ola Jordan: Why Maisie should be top, Craig's dig at Anton and how Bill could win!

Strictly's couples wowed this week…

Sophie Hamilton

Strictly served up a fabulous show on Saturday night, with fantastic performances from the seven remaining couples and Motsi Mabuse returning to the judging panel after two weeks at home isolating.

Former Strictly professionals Ola and James Jordan loved it too, telling us: '"It was the best show of the series". Like many of us, the couple missed Anton Du Beke on the panel, who had stepped in as Motsi's replacement.

From Maisie Smith's incredible Quickstep to Jamie Laing's surprising Tango and how Bill could win the whole series, keep reading for James and Ola's Strictly Speaking column…

MORE: HRVY and Janette Manrara emotional as they makes Strictly history

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WATCH: HRVY and Janette celebrate a perfect score

James: Saturday night was the best show of the series! I'd actually go as far as saying it was the best Strictly show I've seen for quite a few years. I've been complaining about the music for ages, but last night all the songs were absolutely brilliant.

Ola: I reckon they read your tweets!

James: Honestly, it was such a massive difference. I loved the show from beginning to end.

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Craig Revel-Horwood made a jovial dig at Anton during the show

Ola: Motsi is back but Anton is not there! Why don't they put Anton on? Bruno isn't on Strictly this year, so why would they not give him that chance? And then Craig had a little dig at Anton. Come on! We all know that Anton wants it and the public want him there.

James: Craig was obviously having a little bit of a banter

Ola: With a slight truth in it…

James: It didn't go down well in the studio either and I could see from a lot of my tweets that people would love Anton to be on the panel. Craig's comment was a bit unnecessary really. It was a joke but it was still a dig.

MORE: Strictly fans stick up for Anton du Beke after Craig Revel Horwood dig

maisie-smith

Ola and James were impressed by Maisie and Gorka's quickstep

James: For me, the highlight was Maisie and Gorka. It was the best quickstep I've ever seen in all the years on Strictly. It was exceptional.

Ola: Yes, everything from her arms when she was out of hold, to her posture, her frame and timing - I'm actually surprised they weren't top of the leader board. She's very good and I hope she's not in the bottom two again.

James: I don't think she will be. Don't get me wrong – HRVY was brilliant as well but Maisie and Gorka were far superior. Not even a question they should have been top of the leader board.

Ola: We were gutted for Clara. She had the music, the costume, the choreography, she was moving well when the steps were right - but how much did she mess up, bless her. But you know, it happens. As soon as you put one step wrong the whole thing sort of falls apart and that's what happened to her last night.

James: I reckon that was nerves that got the better of her.

Ola: She fell apart from the first step.

MORE: 17 couples who found love on Dancing on Ice, Strictly and other reality TV shows

clara-amfo

Clara unfortunately made a few mistakes in her routine

James: Yeah, when she jumped off the stage and lost balance, that was it. It was a bit of a disaster. They were bottom of the leader board, which was rightly so, but to get a seven from Motsi when they literally messed up the routine, that baffles me. I really like them as a couple so I'm gutted for her.

Ola: Let's talk about Jamie's Tango. The music was amazing!

James: He did a great job, he was totally in character. Yes, he could have been a lot more in his knees and driven more, but I loved the whole performance. I don't think Jamie will go on to win it but he's the most improved.

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Made in Chelsea star Jamie impressed with his tango

James: I thought Bill's jive was average…

Ola: Yeah, he's raised the bar high for himself, so now if he doesn't do such a great dance, people go oh…

James: It didn't suit him as much as some of the other dances. It was still good but the chassis and pivots were awful. He made a couple of mistakes. It just wasn't his dance; maybe it was too high energy for him. His kicks and flicks were a bit laboured. As Ola said, in comparison to other dances he's done, it was a massive step down.

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Ola: And Ranvir's dance was beautiful. I liked the beginning where she was on her own and looked comfortable on the floor. I really like her. You can tell she's loving every single minute on that dancefloor, which I love.

James: I agree. It was pretty, beautiful, understated; it was just a little bit flat for me. As the judges said, it was all a little bit safe. We've got to remember, it's still a competition and she's a non-dancer, but if you compare her to Maisie or HRVY, she's not even close.

I also thought JJ and Amy's dance was very romantic, but in my opinion he was way over marked. I would have had him second from bottom. His head is way too far left, his posture isn't brilliant, he doesn't drive across the floor properly, he's not lowering into his leg and he doesn't finish his moves.

However, he did an exceptional job for someone who's not a trained dancer like others, so I give him more kudos for that.

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James and Ola thought JJ was overmarked

Ola: I agree. And talking about the leader board, there were three ties and JJ should be underneath that tie.

James: I don't think there should be ties on the leader board. You should always be able to say that one couple was better than another couple. As soon as there are ties, the people above them only have to drop one place to move down three spots. Maybe the judges need to do half points so we don't get these ties.

That leader board makes a massive difference to who goes home. For example, it's not far for Maisie to drop to be in the bottom two again – and that's unfair, she should be safe.

Ola: Who do you think should be in the bottom two this week?

James: JJ and Clara should be in the bottom two. This week it's a tough one but because there's three ties. If Maisie's in the bottom two then that proves my point that the leader board is a joke and they need to do something with the judging. It could be anyone apart from HRVY.

bill-bailey

Could Bill Bailey win the whole series?

Ola: When it comes to who'll win this series, I was hoping it was going to be Clara but I don't think she will now.

James: It's probably between Bill and HRVY.

Ola: I reckon Bill actually. More people will vote for Bill in the final.

James: Yes. Then it would be the first pro (Oti) to ever win the show two years running and Bill will be the oldest competitor to win.

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