Strictly Come Dancing week 2
Week 2 is where the dreaded eliminations kick in for the celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing, with the viewer vote and the dance-off. Someone will be leaving the show this weekend.
Nicky & Karen take first honours this week, and they dance the Cha Cha Cha. Nicky had a rough time last week, and training hasn’t been easy, but he takes to the floor in black leather and attitude. Slightly shaky attitude, but it’s a solo start which is brave. His hands need attention but his footwork has improved and they hit the ending with impact. Len wasn’t sure – “too much boy band dancing and not enough Cha Cha Cha. There was very little about that that I could rave about. I’m sorry.” Bruno picked up the sync issues but he liked the performance. Craig though it was like a Zumba exercise class but he liked the energy and commitment. Darcey found confidence and attitude, but not enough Cha Cha.
They score 18
Colin and Kristina dance the Viennese Waltz, a test of posture and strength. A beautiful rose highlights the floor between them, to match the song (see below) and Colin is compensating for the height difference between them at the expense of his footwork. You can see the tension in his face too. There is storytelling in the romantic routine. with Kristina in shimmering pink. Bruno liked the extension and line, but he wanted more sweep and musicality. It was a bit too careful, and Craig agreed with the lines. He was vexed with Colin’s hand flicking and thought there was too much rise and fall. Darcey saw elegance but stooping isn’t so great – she wants to see him lifting his chin, not just his eyes. Len found it a “tad timid” but saw sophistication.
They score 24
Dani and Vincent – the self-styled Smurfs – dance the salsa, a dance that should really suit them. Dani has a mean shade of sock in rehearsal footage! Red on the night, Dani shakes those ruffles with intent. There’s a nifty move in the middle, with Dani cartwheeling over Vincent, but the later lift isn’t so neat. Vincent’s armography is in full force, and overall Dani’s upper body is working better than her feet. Craig saw clean finishes, but didn’t like the second lift. Darcey picked up on Dani’s lower body and hips not working quite the same as the rest of her. Len enjoyed it – “full on and flat-out.” Bruno thought Dani blossomed tonight.
They score 27
Fern and Artem dance the Viennese Waltz, starting off neatly and moving with confidence and a lot more skirt wafting. It seems a long time before they are in hold but once they are, it’s very romantic and serene. Darcey loved the dance but wants Fern to extend her arms fully and to believe in herself. Len picked up on the wafting early on, but said it was better than last week, which is the right way to go. Bruno said that sometimes Fern “looked as though she was casually dusting” and wants to see the extension. Craig wants Fern to tuck her thumb under but he loved the flow around the floor.
They score 24
Richard & Erin dance the Cha Cha Cha, and Richard is in full bloom, literally. That shirt is retina-shredding. Signposted to the Love Shack, Richard is making up any lack of technique with camp performance. He loses timing and Erin is doing most of the work but it’s a fun routine. Bruno said it was “blisteringly barmy. Vegas showgirl with a trout pout.” Craig wasn’t convinced with the routine. Darcey wanted to see this Richard – relaxed – but she wants to see some tension in the arms. Len wasn’t impressed.
They score 19
Victoria and Brendan dance the Foxtrot. In a frothy confection that seems to be wearing her, Victoria starts off smoothly. Spins are her bête noir, and so they are here, but her performance is better and she looks confident. Len said “clean, classy and confident.” Bruno loved it too, but wants work on the turns. Craig picked up on the rigid turns but said “well done.” Darcey said Victoria looked beautiful, but doesn’t want splayed fingers.
They score 26
Michael and Natalie dance a ho-down. Ah, no. It’s a Jive, but there are a lot of checks and wood-cutting. Michael’s feet are a bit Happy Feet, possibly without the flair of a penguin, but he’s having fun. Bruno said Michael was “like a wild goose. It was so bad it was good. You couldn’t do it worse.” Craig thought it was one of the oddest ever Jive; bizarre. Len said it has a bit of gusto.
They score 15
Can Louis and Flavia rescue things ? They dance the Viennese Waltz, Flavia in dazzling primrose, over a carpet of flowers. Louis has lots of drive and strength, and a beautiful routine, flawlessly executed. Bravo! Darcey liked it – grace and posture but she wants an emotional connection between them, which was missing. Len saw more turns than the government and the best dance of the night so far. Bruno felt it. “It was like a Valentine’s Day postcard brought to life.”
They score 30
Denise and James dance the Jive, where she suffered whiplash in training. James starts in the audience but soon packs in everything. Denise is astonishing in the spins and is really acting the part. Timing is great, and given the pace that is really something! Darcey said “WOW” and she loved the style. Len thought it was full on and fabulous. Bruno loved it, including the timing. Craig said “fab-u-lous.”
They score 32
Johnny and Iveta are next with the Foxtrot, with Iveta sat at her dressing table in silver and sequins. Johnny has his facial expressions under much better control this week, and he’s graceful although he loses his posture as the dance progresses. Len liked the enthusiasm, but he wants the posture to be better though he liked the movement around the floor. Bruno saw some really nice movements and Craig wasn’t keen on the posture but saw improvement. Darcey said “wonderfully better than last week.”
They score 20
Sid and Ola dance the Salsa, with Sid starting among the other dancers on the stairs. He has the hips down. Feet perhaps less so. A one arm handstand to match Louis last week, and the routine is over in a flash. Bruno liked the attitude but there were an incredible amount of mistakes and poor timing all the way through. Craig thought it was hit and miss but he loved the actual routine. Darcey wanted a bit more energy but loved the partnering with Ola. Len thought it was hot and spicy but it was more Kingston upon Thames rather than Jamaica.
They score 22
Kimberley ‘Nimble Kimble’ and Pasha dance the Foxtrot this week, and in training Kimberley wears her boots and not her dance shoes. I’d much rather see her training in her shoes, no matter the blisters. Kimberley starts off by the lamppost, dancing on her own, in moody black, and one they are in hold the dance is smooth and travels well over the floor. Kimberley could extend her feet and really stretch, but otherwise she makes some beautiful shapes. It’s very atmospheric. Craig loved the routine. Darcey thought that Kimberley created a beautiful mood and an attitude promenade but there’s some gapping between them and some softness in her topline. Len thought Kimberley went wrong and it was limp; he wasn’t impressed. Bruno loved the set up and the style but he wants her to lead from the spine.
They score 26
Jerry and Anton dance, amid controversy over her own choice of dress, the Foxtrot. Jerry’s hold is loose and she’s clinging on to Anton for stability with a splayed hand on his arm. Turns aren’t her thing and she went a bit wrong. And the dress ? Leave it to the dance pros next time Jerry. Darcey noticed the loss of posture. Len wasn’t impressed; Jerry is too vertical. Bruno wasn’t over the moon and neither was Craig. The last time Craig said he saw posture like that was in his garden this summer, “on a praying mantis.”
They score 18
Lisa and Robin dance the Viennese Waltz as the clock strikes midnight. Romantic and tense, they storm the floor in purple and black clouds. Lisa struggles with her extensions but she has great spins… and then the clock strikes the hour and Cinders departs the ballroom. Len enjoyed it but there’s still work to do in hold. Bruno loved the full-on entertainment but technically there is more to achieve. Craig loved the lightness and grace of the dance, but she wants to let Robin lead the dance. Darcey loves the focus Lisa has but she doesn’t want Lisa to be grabbing Robin.
They score 25
Tonight’s music was ….
Jerry & Anton danced to Pennies From Heaven by Frank Sinatra
Fern & Artem danced to Always A Woman by Billy Joel
Louis & Flavia danced to Puppy Love by Donny Osmond
Victoria & Brendan danced to Moondance by Van Morrison
Sid & Ola danced to Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira
Dani & Vincent danced to Mama Do The Hump by Rizzle Kicks
Colin & Kristina danced to A Kiss From A Rose by Seal
Richard & Erin danced to Love Shack by The B-52s
Denise & James danced to Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
Nicky & Karen danced to Dynamite by Taio Cruz
Michael & Natalie danced to This Old House by Shakin’ Stevens
Kimberley & Pasha danced to Someone Like You by Adele
Johnny & Iveta danced to Everything by Michael Buble
Lisa & Robin danced to Never Tear Us Apart by Paloma Faith
And finally, can I just say a massive thank you to everyone who was rooting for me tonight, after last week’s stress-inducing traumas with technology that were completely out of my control. I’m pleased to say, touch wood, that things are looking up! Thank you.
All photographs © BBC Pictures. Strictly, no unauthorized reproduction.
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