Strictly Come Dancing week three begins without Tina O’Brien, who is ill and is allowed to miss one show.
Kara Tointon and Artem start the evening off with a quickstep. Kara seems quite confident and fairly belts down the stairs, into a cartwheel! It’s very fast, with Kara looking serene on top with furious footwork underneath. Len notices this ! Such a great start to the show, with Bruce calling her a dancer. She did make the odd mistake, which Bruno pointed out, but Craig called him picky. Cartwheels in heels are difficult !
Felicity Kendall and Vincent have the Rhumba, which Felicity has been enjoying in training. She’s shy, so you might think she’d find this one difficult, but she starts off by displaying her incredible flexibility (truly flexible!) though it was a little awkward at times. She could do with pointing her feet in some of the extensions but Len pointed out her hip action and that it was, for him, her best dance.
Patsy Kensit and Robin have the quickstep, which Robin has made incredibly fast now that Patsy has found her mojo. Their timing at the start was out, making it look messy, and Robin seems to be dragging her around the floor. Robin is so fast and fleet footed that Patsy looks slow and heavy and there is quite a gap between them in hold. Patsy looks exhausted at the end, in her sparkly floor length red dress. Bruno points out her mistakes at the start, and her poor footwork, and Patsy agrees with him. Craig found it all a bit yee-ha and ho-down.
Paul Daniels finds more tricks to start his Rhumba with Ola, but magic isn’t going to save him tonight because he’s basically walking around the floor, proferring a flower at the end. Craig wasn’t keen on the ‘armography’ and thought that he’d spent most of the one minute thirty ogling Ola.
Everyone has such high expectations for Matt Baker and Aliona, training is hard in the quickstep. They make a great start; the audience are whistling, and Matt has great feet. There is a section when they are apart in the middle – will Len like that ? They seem pleased and the audience are on their feet. Bruno commented on Matt’s perfect timing, and wants him to relax a bit more because he’s a great dancer.
Gavin Henson and Katya are next up with the Rhumba. Will he be able to find any chemistry or emotion ? Katya certainly has given him a hard time in training. Katya has the most amazing FLORAL dress – unheard of in Strictly. Gavin seems to hardly be moving and even then he went wrong a few times. Len picked up on the fact that he seems to be walking rather than dancing.
Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe have quite a task ahead – the quickstep – following their great performance last weekend. He starts off with a yawn and a stretch, to the Jungle Book music, but once the monkeying around is over, he launches into a great hold with Natalie and they launch into some Charleston steps, ending up where they started, halfway up the stairs. Bruno can hardly believe what he’s seen – an action packed dance with story telling and great technical mastery from Scott. Len says he is very close to being a very good dancer.
Now this will be interesting. Michelle Williams has the Rhumba with Brendan. Michelle has lost confidence since she started Strictly, and she starts off very stiffly with pigeon toed feet. She looks awkward in the turns, with Brendan helping her out as much as he possibly can without doing it for her. Bruno senses some improvements, but she needs strength through her legs now. Craig pointed out the stiffness, and Len suggested that Michelle tries a lower heel to see whether that helps.
Peter Shilton and Erin have the quickstep, and though it’s a good bit slower than the others, it’s clean and Peter looks less nervous. Bruno noticed the confidence, though there were some timing issues. Craig notices the work that Erin has put in, and said that Peter had done very well.
Jimi Mistry and Flavia have been training hard for the rhumba. He’s certainly comfortable with the dance – very serious and though I’m not keen on his hand placements, he is working the floor very well. Len noticed the strange arms – staccato and cranky – and he says that something is going wrong. Bruno is also confused – saying it was neurotic rather than erotic. The judges feel that he is trying too hard, and has lost the fluidity that must be evident in the rhumba.
Ann Widdecome and Anton have a lovely time in training, but still… the quickstep ! Fred and Ginger ? Hmmm. Ann has a red feather boa which is quickly discarded, and she really has been working hard. She is dancing much more ‘to her height’ and though they are a little mis-matched, her feet really are working overtime, but she gets very lost by the end! Everyone is on their feet. Bruno said she swirled around the floor like Flora the red menace, though he said it did look like a quickstep. Craig said that she did, at least, dance. Ann asks if it was better than the Salsa. Craig drawls in reply, “I can’t tell you how much better.”
Pamela Stephenson and James have been training very hard for the rhumba, in between joking about the ‘Pamela’ step from last weekend when she nearly fell over but saved the day and had Claudia Winkleman in stitches on It Takes Two. Not sure her dress is the most flattering – metallic silver and pink, ruched and ruffled. Pamela really looks to be enjoying the dance, and she has great feet. Another floor spin, that doesn’t end very elegantly, but a good dance. Craig thought it was fab-u-lous. Len didn’t quite get the ankle spin, because it detracted from the beautiful feel of the dance, but he liked the rest of it. Pamela is top of the leaderboard and overjoyed !