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Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Musicals Week! The quarter-finals! All to play for on this jazz hands depict, and the combination of high-stakes rival and rampant theming produced … mixed ensues. Some dances fit beautifully with their hymns, others were swallowed whole- and the judges continued to be consistent only in their inconsistency.

Now, I’ve always considered that we at home can vote on whatever criteria we choose- from a considered, “That was the best dancing technically, ” through to corroborating such partnerships, investing in a celeb’s travel, enjoying the topic, adoration the professional, boogieing to the anthem, or anything more arbitrary than that. The idea is that our passionate subjectivity should balance the judges’ expert objectivity.

So what happens when the panel say things like( direct Bruno quote) “Forget about the evaluate! ”? Or( Craig) the dance wasn’t technically perfect, “but that doesn’t matter”? If they’re celebrating based on sensations rather than, you are familiar with, ACTUALLY JUDGING, why using them to at all? Yes, the odd human time is permitted, and this show is part recreation, but there comes a point where their comments cease to be useful as any kind of guide to the dances.

I’d much rather they act at least semi-impartially, and let us do the rest. We can then choose for ourselves whether it matters that someone had these technological faultings, if we enjoyed their performance- but not pointing them out at all seems suspect, and presenting 10 s for something that clearly isn’t perfect just stimulates the scoring seem redundant.

Other reaches and misses:

A tribute to Mamma Mia !, in which a commonwealth was scarred by the vision of Anton du Beke’s legs. Just … no. MISS On Ts and Cs rando duty: Trevor Dion Nicholas, current Genie in the West End musical Aladdin.( Or per my confused Twitter timeline: “Which panto is he from? ”) MISS Sweet Charity’s “The Rhythm of Life”, accompanied by a giant smash and grab raid on wardrobe’s wig storage. Oti won out with a fab-u-lous red jumpsuit. HIT Adam Lambert yelped. Neil and Katya … made us all feel slightly awkward. MISS

Best in Show

Best concert: Lauren’s American smooth Charming number that oversees not to lose ballroom in its theming. Best costume: Ashley’s ginormous fascinator Plus Pasha in a tux. Best move: Joe being launched into room by the male pros and describing Johannes’s lifting as “like a theme park ride”. Best line: “Then she falls in love. It’s a love story.” Cheers, AJ.

Saturday Tess’s dress: impressed or depressed?

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

Oh TESS. Must you wear colouring that shape you clash with yourself? Or a droopy crest that looks like a present wrap by the world’s most depressed elf? Claudia … you are familiar with, I was only able to look at Tess, and weep.

Lauren and AJ- Love island

AJ Pritchard and Lauren Steadman-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

Family prop degrees for Lauren’s nan- and bonus one for Lauren’s humorous “Hey, Nan, did you have a love story in the campaign that might be useful for my dancing? ” line of questioning. AJ truly has found his VT match. So, this American smooth began on a delightful high mention with Johannes in shorts( the aim antithesis of Anton in shorts ), and continued from there. Beautiful flow and ease in the Viennese waltz, which featured precise footwork and some lyricism in the upper form, well-driven pivots, slickly delivered lifts, and a buoyant pleasure throughout that conveyed the story, without overkill. Lauren’s upper body still too straight sometimes, otherwise gorgeous.

Song: “I’m in Love with a Marvelous Guy” from South Pacific

Judges’ commentaries: Shirley called it outstanding , noting the closed paws, drawn attention to and centred fulcrums. Bruno desired the warmth. Craig said the day was marvelous and acting hugely improved, but continue shoulders back. Darcey adored the clean dismounts from the lifts and strong frame.

Judges’ scores: 8, 9, 9, 9- 35

Faye and Giovanni- Horror evidence

Giovanni Pernice and Faye Tozer-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

Ack. This routine was scarier than anything during Halloween Week. It was pure, unadulterated nightmare gasoline. One of those Aryan Chucky dolls is going to murder me in my sleep while the lobotomised goats point and laugh, and it is Strictly that has unleashed the demons. Curse you all! Somewhere under all of … that was a Charleston- and gifted one of the show’s increasingly random 40 s , no less. My finding: the sync throughout was mighty impressive, great kickings and hoists, and swivel started out brilliant, tailed off somewhat towards the end. Stiff in parts because of the doll hypothesi, but such are theme weeks. Also: A MILLION SHUDDERS.

Song: “Lonely Goatherd” from The Sound of Music

Judges’ notes: Bruno called it a theatrical masterpiece. Craig enjoyed the goats. Darcey believed the sync and characterisation were extraordinary. Shirley procured it flawless.

Judges’ ratings: 10, 10, 10, 10- 40

Charles and Karen- Last-place stand

Karen Clifton and Charles Venn-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

Theatre trip to get into thespian mode, which … I feel like that’s scarcely necessary for Charles Venn. I groaned early at the sight of both the cloud monster and Karen not even bothering to wear Latin shoes- of course, because this was more contempowaft than rumba. Mind, Charles barely did either, apparently playing by netball rules: formerly in contact, you can’t be removed from the place. Some nice content initially, but too soon he became a static spar for Karen to dance around. Also, his feet flat and turned in, treads merely plodding rather than stroking the storey, and shoulders hunched. Became all about the anthem and the soft-focus lens, rather than what he could actually create rumba wise.

Song: “Maria” from West Side Story

Judges’ statements: Craig mentioned free limb both problems and his feet bolted to the floor, but masculine and good storytelling. Darcey praised his resist. Shirley liked the hip act and sensitivity. Bruno called it tender.

Judges’ scores: 8, 9, 9, 9- 35

Ashley and Pasha- I gotta fly once

Pasha Kovalev and Ashley Roberts-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

My brand-new happy place is Pasha clarifying “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. Pasha to summarise all classic musicals, delight, let’s crowdfund this spin-off stat. So, you’ve got to feel for these two: coming back from the dance-off with a jam-packed procedure, trying to show how dedicated they are, and then getting slammed for it.( Though more in comments than scores- oh Darcey, you loon .) Yes, this was a manic quickstep, and that entailed some gapping, Ashley’s right arm straightening too much, and the odd inelegant transition, but WOW at the contents and desire. Sidenote: I take Shirley’s level, but the sung doesn’t let up, so hard to see how the routine could.

Song: “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl( COPYCAT KLAXON: Russell Grant and Flavia, Judy Murray and Anton)

Judges’ remarks: Darcey praised her staman deliver all the content, but loosens the arm. Shirley concurred, and met the choreography too busy, but lovely concert. Bruno said it was a smash hit. Craig enjoyed the procedure, but gapping.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 9, 10- 38

Stacey and Kevin- Dreaming world

Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

Les Mis suns Dean Chisnall and Carley Stenson popped by, chiefly so that Carley could fangirl over Stacey’s documentaries. From that came the #girlpower theme, which … Hmm. Admirable to emphasise women’s strength in catastrophe, but it still undercut the song’s primal hopelessnes; ditto Kevin focussing on the “lost dream” aspect, which felt rather Disney-fied. All of which meant Stacey could toggle between stoic and smiley, rather than amply emoting. Everything else did that around her, from the ballad and patronage dancers to Kevin’s Joey Tribbiani smell the fart acting. Dance wise, tons of lifts, merely a tiny bit of rushed foxtrot- topline there is a need project and footwork variable. Again, theatrics dominated.

Song: “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables

Judges’ remarks: Shirley called it magical. Bruno: “Forget about judging! ” Err … Craig said it wasn’t technically perfect, but that “doesn’t matter” because it was real. Darcey praised her transitions and lifts.

Judges’ ratings: 9, 9, 10, 10- 38

Joe and Dianne- True colours

Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg-( C) BBC- Photographer: Guy Levy

All hail Jason Donovan, returning to VERY SLOWLY quote lyrics from a musical as though giving a divine prophecy. Truly the hammiest of all hams- move over, Charles Venn. So, after a night of histrionics and demon dolls summoned from the bowels of hell, it was a succor to end on a camp-tastic, gloriously cheesy tone. Was I yelling out all the coating colours throughout? Yes, yes I was. Salsa wise, grounded, relaxed, good rhythm, strong partnering and armography, and game with the shimmies. Nonetheless, hip act more variable, paws a bit flat( coaches again !) and the odd gawky instant, but enjoyed Joe being hoisted, particularly the big finish.

Song: “Joseph Megamix” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Judges’ comments: Bruno said it had the vigour and merriment of salsa, plus the magic charm of Joseph. Craig wanted more fluidity in the hips, but presented brilliantly. Darcey praised the sentence, armography and raises. Shirley said he made it his own.

Judges’ ratings: 8, 9, 9, 10- 36


Faye and Giovanni- 40

Stacey and Kevin- 38

Ashley and Pasha- 38

Joe and Dianne- 36

Charles and Karen- 35

Lauren and AJ- 35

No movement at all this week, with Faye retaining her top spot and everyone else locked in.


Tess’s dress: impressed or depressed?

Apparently the studio temperature differs dramatically: Tess in a glob of velvet, Claud a silky slip.


Two repeaters: Ashley and Pasha versus Charles and Karen. All the judges saved Ashley.

What did you construct of Musicals Week? Who impressed you, and who’s looking like a definite finalist? Get in touch on Twitter: @mkmswain

See you again soon for( gulping) our first two-dance week. In the meantime … retain dancing!

The post Strictly Speaking: Week 11 showed firstly on Dancing Hour.

Read more: dancing-times.co.uk

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