Strictly Come Dancing | Week 4

October 22, 2011

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing | Week 4

dancers

Robbie & Ola dance the Jive Photograph : BBC Pictures

It’s Strictly Saturday night, and are we in for a night of proper dancing this week ?

Jason ‘The Midwife’ Donovan and Kristina kick off the show, quite literally, with the Paso Doble. Training looks tough but the routine is strong. I’d prefer Jason not to be blowing bubbles with his mouth; timing is a little off by the end and he had trouble with the hand grips throughout, but it’s a great show. Len said Jason had the performance but not the technique; he looked great when he was standing still. Jason responds that “it’s been a difficult birth.” Bruno said that Jason tried to make a meal out of the Paso and ended up with indigestion, and he mentioned the timing issues. Craig said that the intention was sound, but he had plenty of corrections – shoulders down, knees too high etc,.

They score : 27

Alex Jones has perhaps the costume of the night – a catsuit usually reserved for Ola !  Is she ready to Rhumba with James ? They begin crouched down on the floor, embraced, Bolero style, but Alex isn’t using the floor at all. You can see that she’s been really well drilled, and her positions are neat, but she looks completely wooden and stiff. Alesha said she was playing it safe. Bruno said Alex looked sinfully sexy, but at the same time so demure and hesitant and she never used her hips. Craig said it was “sexless, cold and stiff.” Len said there was too much on the floor and no hip action.

They score : 25 (a four from Craig – and James is really not happy with Craig. Expect rumbles.)

Rory and Erin have a challenge on their hands with the Cha Cha Cha, but Rory starts on the stairs and shimmies his hips in front of the judges.  He looks confident but Broadway week is over and there’s nowhere to hide a lack of technique this week.  He seems quite lost and hesitant in between steps, and relieved it’s over ! Bruno said Rory was funny, but that he lost timing and needs to keep the steps on the balls of his feet.  Craig said it was gauche, due largely to heavy placement. Len said Rory was like the government, “there’s a lot going on and not all of it’s good” and he didn’t like the gyrating.

They score : 24 (another four from Craig)

dancers

Harry & Aliona dance the Waltz Photograph : BBC Pictures

Audley has a mountain to climb this week, with the Foxtrot. Audley is having nightmares about his feet, but he feels ballet is a step too far.  Still, he did go, and he did benefit hugely. He is so much improved that he feet actually look smaller! Natalie is very pleased. Craig noticed improvements, but said that swing and sway are still missing, “but, I really and truly liked it.” Len wanted to give Audley a sitting, standing ovation.

They score : 25

Nancy and Anton dance the Paso.  Will Nancy have improved her dancing for the dance of the bullfight ? In training, Nancy thought Anton was taking her to Madrid for some inspiration, but he took her to a farm with domestic cows ! On the floor, Nancy has improved, though her turns are still wobbly and she is still plodding along and something went wrong part way through with a lift.  Still, it’s a dramatic routine with Nancy flung around Anton at the end. Len said that Nancy isn’t that good on her feet, but he enjoyed it and it was entertaining. Bruno said Nancy was fabulous with her legs in the air or wrapped around Anton like clingfilm, but said it was a great effort, if not the success it could have been. He did wonder how Nancy could count out loud and still go off timing.  Craig noticed where Nancy went badly wrong and asked her to concentrate on her talent.

They score : 18 (a three from Craig)

Lulu and Brendan trumpet the beginning of their Samba, and it’s better until Lulu starts turning, as she can’t hold her balance.  They spend time travelling up the stairs towards the other contestants, but Lulu remembers the routine even if she doesn’t excel in it.  Alesha said “full of beans, full of energy, good job.”  Bruno noticed a few mistakes and Craig said they could have done without the run up the stairs which wasted a lot of time. Len liked the enthusiasm which got into the carnival spirit of the Samba but it was a it repetitious.  James Jordan started shouting across the studio from upstairs and Len retorts with “all you’ve got to do is turn up, put up and shut up.”  The row rumbles on.

They score : 25

Holly has been working on her elegance this week. Three lamp posts adorn the stage. Holly at one end, Artem the other.  When they meet, the twirl around the lamp posts and Holly looks strong and confident.  Holly looks slightly taller than Artem. Bruno enjoyed the atmosphere, and Craig said it was a little bumpy and both noticed Holly’s mistake. Len said it was light and fluffy but he got fed up with the poles in the end, and he wants Holly to step forward on her heels.

They score : 30

Chelsee and Pasha have the Quickstep, and she’s training and working hard all week on Waterloo Road. She beings behind an airline check-in desk, with Pasha rushing in with a case which is quickly dispensed with as they head off across the floor (jumbos flying overhead). It’s fast and furious, and Chelsee gets the ticket! Craig said “first class.” Len is certain that Chelsee won’t be checking out of this competition this week. Bruno called Chelsee a “pocket rocket.”

They score : 36 (four nines!)

Harry has to follow that routine ! This week, he and Aliona have the Waltz, and they begin close together, Aliona opening like a flower and turning quickly on the spot. Harry has great rise and fall and is completely in the romance of the dance, whispering and kissing Aliona to entice her back into the dance. Len didn’t get the bit out of hold, and wanted to give him a 10, but he just didn’t get it.  Alesha said that Harry makes ballroom look cool. Bruno loves Harry’s musical phrasing. Craig loved the whole routine, especially the story-telling. The judges end up bickering again !

They score : 35 (a 10 from Alesha – the first of the series)

Anita and Robin have the American Smooth this week, and they are working hard on technique. It’s a little stilted, and Anita’s lines aren’t finished properly. Bruno noticed the poor arabesque, and Craig noticed little mishaps and the lack of body contact, but said it was classy. Len noticed two heel turns and thought it was fabulous.

They score : 32 (Anita is amazed by the scores – she has been terrified all day!)

Robbie and Ola dance the Jive, to Love Man, made famous from Dirty Dancing.  He’s no Patrick Swayze; no-one could be, but he’s giving it his all. He ends by kissing the camera. Bruno said he’s never seen anyone work his hair as much, but he loved it even though it was far from technically perfect. Craig isn’t happy.  He said it was ploddy and the kicks and flicks were sloppy, though he did enjoy the characterization. Len loved it.

They score : 27

Russell and Flavia have the Tango this week; what will Russell make of its usual macho content ? He begins in bed, a crescent moon surrounding him, but he is soon in Flavia’s arms with his Tango face firmly in place. Flavia has been clever with the choreography, and it’s a long way from macho, but fun, with Russell finally crashing out with his teddy bear, onto the bed. Craig said that Russell’s head didn’t really look as though it belonged to him, even Len said it was a bit nodding dog and airy fairy. Bruno totally got it and thought it was brilliant.

They score : 24

Chelsee and Pasha head the leaderboard, with Nancy and Anton at the other end.

This week’s music was :

Chelsee and Pasha dance the Quickstep to Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman 

Holly and Artem dance the Viennese Waltz to Cry Me Out by Pixie Lott 

Harry and Aliona dance the Waltz to Come Away with Me by Norah Jones 

Anita and Robin dance the American Smooth to I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra

Robbie and Ola dance the Jive to Love Man by Otis Redding

Jason and Kristina dance to the Paso Doblé to I want it All by Queen 

Alex and James dance the Rhumba to Run by Leona Lewis 

Rory and Erin dance the Cha Cha Cha to Dance to the Music by Sly and the Family Stone

Audley and Natalie dance the Foxtrot to I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself by Dusty Springfield

Nancy and Anton dance the Paso Doblé to The Rodrigo Concerto

Lulu and Brendan dance the Samba to Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

Russell and Flavia dance the Tango to Sweet Dreams by The Eurythmics

All photographs © BBC Pictures. No unauthorized reproduction.

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Strictly catch up 

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The Strictly launch show 

Strictly week’s 12, Strictly’s Broadway night  

Strictly Results show

Week 12, 3,

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