Strictly Talking: Week 10 – Dancing Instances

Posted on November 29, 2021

Celebs and Pros

Are you able to consider it’s practically the quarter-finals already? Dan Walker remains to be right here, so I actually can’t. At this fee he’ll be hoovering up a spot on the judging panel the following time somebody has a bye week. Be careful, Anton: your schtick is underneath severe risk. 

So, we had a second outing from Cynthia with Craig returning (thank God) however Motsi now unable to get again into the UK. I undoubtedly missed Motsi’s vitality, however Cynthia’s critiques have been extra explicable – although her scoring completely wasn’t. In what parallel universe is Dan price a 9 and AJ simply an 8? Clearly Dan now thinks he’s a dance god, nevertheless it’s completely terrifying that the delusion has unfold. We want a vaccine, stat.

I may even have performed with out the countless crying. Sure, it’s been a tough 12 months and we’re all on edge, nevertheless it’s not even the ultimate but. It additionally pushed Tessbot into high-pitched patronising “Have a look at the widdle tears!” overkill. Solely the COVID-19 protocols prevented her from pinching Rhys’s cheeks off his face and yelping immediately into his bawling mouth like a mama chook. 

Different hits and misses:

  • Anton. Ugh. I’m so bored of the noises, the demos, the Len cosplay, the rehashing of his Strictly historical past. It. Is. Not. About. You. MISS
  • Neither is it about Gordon Ramsay. MISS
  • Or the High Gear “lads”. MISS
  • Dangerous dancing robots: NO. Please make it cease. MISS
  • Luba and Karen dancing to Years & Years? A lot better. See, we may be progressive with out being cringe-worthy. HIT
  • It seems to be like we’re solely getting one week of two dances, the semi-final. Which might be a great factor for the {couples}’ common sanity and in addition that of us recappers… HIT

Greatest in Present

  • Greatest efficiency: John’s Argentine tango Totally thrilling.
  • Greatest costume: AJ the inexperienced goddess Runner-up: Nancy will get an precise ballroom gown!
  • Greatest transfer: AJ’s insane soar/elevate The lady has no worry.
  • Greatest line: Shirley telling Dan he danced like a tall cucumber So… stiff and tasteless?


Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

Tess Daly Claudia1

Attractive tomato ketchup bottle. Claud: alarmingly shiny jacket.

Rose and Giovanni – Rained off

Rose Ayling ellis

Rose has usually performed a superb job of hiding her apprehension about most dances, nevertheless it was fairly evident that paso simply wasn’t a pure match. The music alternative didn’t assist both, nor may I make sense of why you’d wander round with a fan throughout a rainstorm. Nonetheless, one other sturdy solo opening from Rose, some pretty shaping although wanted to be extra excessive, and good characterisation. It simply lacked that sense of assault and actual dynamics. I additionally agree with Craig that it had an excessive amount of ahead and again, as if they have been dancing all of it in a slender hall. Not their finest, however a reputable effort.

Tune: “California Dreamin’”, Sia (COPYCAT KLAXON: Mark Ramprakash and Karen)

Judges’ feedback: Shirley praised the elevation and shaping however wished extra breath by the physique. Anton liked the clear work. Craig discovered it too upright and stiff however liked the characterisation. Cynthia signed “I believe you’re fierce” and disagreed with Craig: she felt the strain was vital.

Judges’ scores: 8, 8, 8, 9 – 33 

Dan and Nadiya – Determined occasions


Strictly guidelines dictate that the more serious the celeb male, the skimpier the professional’s outfit or the tighter the catsuit. So Nadiya deploying a backless crimson gown that plunged to her navel set off main alarm bells. Within the occasion, Dan’s rumba was primarily… uninteresting. In fact, he didn’t dance a lot of it. He was extra like a tree swaying within the wind, whereas Nadiya climbed up and down him with growing urgency like a squirrel who’d misplaced her stash. No hip motion, no musicality by his physique or arms, no circulation – he simply stopped lifeless between steps. Certain, he seemed relaxed as a result of he now has the kind of deranged confidence that leads individuals to invade a neighbouring nation, however ought to the judges actually be fuelling that?

Tune: “Desperado”, The Eagles

Judges’ feedback: Anton added to the dad-dancing. NO ANTON. Craig mentioned it was jolty, non-existent hip motion, marching and stopping on 2, however not fairly a disahhhster. Cynthia famous he’d labored on his traces and it felt relaxed. Shirley mentioned it was like a Saturday afternoon (the sexiest time of the week, obvs), with clear timing and delicate (ha) hip motion.

Judges’ scores: 6, 9, 8, 8 – 31 

AJ and Kai – Jazz sizzling

AJ Ododu

A beautiful VT which by no means fuelled showmance hypothesis by having AJ introduce Kai to her complete household. Now, I proceed to abhor Couple’s Selection, however this was an thrilling quantity. Vastly demanding dance kinds (the isolations! The extensions! The again bend! The Singin’ within the Rain Cyd Charisse leg!) plus all of the lifts and methods, and AJ maintained that cool, funky character. It wasn’t excellent – she had the odd wobble – nevertheless it began at such a excessive ability degree that it appears churlish to knock off one level for that, not to mention two. In spite of everything, what’s worthier of excessive scores: not actively offending anybody whereas barely transferring or having the odd niggle whereas really retreating? If we punish ambition, the present suffers.

Tune: “Make Me Really feel”, Janelle Monáe

Judges’ feedback: Craig praised her for taking up all these kinds, although famous her arms have been messy within the turns. Cynthia favored that she stored up the character. Shirley liked her flexibility and fearlessness. “An final efficiency.” Anton loved the industrial jazz model.

Judges’ scores: 9, 8, 10, 9 – 36 

Rhys and Nancy – Cry me a river

Rhys Stephenson

To start with: they made it out of the dressing-up field! Let’s take a second to take pleasure in that victory. Sure, that they had what seemed suspiciously like a Christmas tree IN NOVEMBER, however I shall let that slide as a result of this was in any other case a really charming waltz. Lastly, Rhys found management and fluidity and really danced it with Nancy. Nevertheless, that simply meant he was lastly doing an honest ballroom quantity, in Week 10 – not, per the squawking judges, about to triumph on the British Open. He was nonetheless sickled within the toes and wanted to journey way more, plus spatulistic palms when out of maintain and it was too boxy. Sidenote: I howled at Rhys’ “Make it cease, Claudia!”

Tune: “You Gentle Up My Life”, Whitney Houston (COPYCAT KLAXON: Julian Clary and Erin, Gavin Henson and Katya, Susanna Reid and Kevin, Claudia Fragapane and AJ)

Judges’ feedback: Cynthia liked the connection and style, nevertheless it wanted extra breath. Shirley was apparently astounded and felt the emotion. (Properly, all of us did, my telly’s nonetheless waterlogged.) Anton praised the advance. Craig thought he was following not main, lacked drive, swing and sway, too sq. and his backside caught out.

Judges’ scores: 7, 9, 10, 9 – 35 

Tilly and Nikita – Rolling again

Tilly Ramsay

In every week the place I’ve received an immensely troublesome Latin dance, I in all probability wouldn’t waste half my coaching time curler skating? Particularly if the precise routine has NO ROLLER SKATING. I’d hoped for Starlight Categorical carnage – as an alternative we simply received huge nightmare-inducing skates lurking within the background. Anyway. Full marks for Tilly’s rainbow fringe and a enjoyable music alternative, however this simply didn’t come collectively. A difficult routine left her too uncovered and chasing the steps, making the footwork and legs look clumsy, the arms wild, and all of it lacked the double bounce motion. Nice shimmies and he or she did go for it, so an honest effort, however a weak dance at precisely the incorrect second.

Tune: “Levitating”, Dua Lipa

Judges’ feedback: Shirley thought the arms wanted tidying up and he or she misplaced timing, however executed some actually good figures. Anton mentioned she ought to flip her toes out, however nice vitality. Craig discovered it awkward and disconnected. Cynthia suggested letting her sexiness come out.

Judges’ scores: 7, 7, 8, 8 – 30 

John and Johannes – Males in black

John Whaite

Ooh sure! What a thriller of a dance. I liked seeing these two rediscovering their efficiency energy. It was additionally actually thrilling to have an all-male tango that nodded to the model’s historic roots, as Craig identified. It balanced scorching intimacy with competitors, synchronicity with particular person expression, and energy with stunning articulation. John led it actually confidently, supporting Johannes within the lifts and leg decorations whereas additionally expressing himself. It actually did have that natural high quality of 1 reacting to the opposite, constructed on their gorgeously linked partnership and absolute belief. Sidenote: By no means thoughts Russell Crowe – an endorsement from Mary Berry! When the following decide goes down with COVID-19 (is it Anton’s flip?), get her on the panel stat.

Tune: “The fifth”, David Garrett

Judges’ feedback: Anton mentioned it was pretty much as good as their piratical paso. Craig liked the mortal fight really feel. Cynthia applauded them once more, and praised the push-pull depth. Shirley stole Craig’s “Fab-u-lous”. 

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 


John and Johannes – 39

AJ and Kai – 36

Rhys and Nancy – 35

Rose and Giovanni – 33

Dan and Nadiya – 31

Tilly and Nikita – 30

The boys combat again: John and Rhys are up, Rose and Tilly down.


Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

Tess 2 Claudia2

Tulle pouffe bizarrely repurposed as a crop prime. Claud in a sensible tux.


Send off

Tilly versus Rhys, with Dan spared but once more. SIGH.

Each have been dance-off veterans and each fared properly, however Rhys simply had the sting whereas they have been doing these specific kinds – even when Nikita did hilariously rip his shirt off for the trigger, leaving it hovering whereas suspended on a mic wire like The Ghost of Disco. Anyhow, all of the judges agreed for as soon as, in order that was one thing. 

Tilly actually grew on me over the weeks. I liked her willpower, her surprisingly versatile performances and her dedication, however, although she in all probability deserved to outlast Rhys and definitely Dan, she had a great run – as did Nikita, making an ideal professional debut.

What did you make of the judging this week? Had been the appropriate celebrities within the dance-off? Who do you suppose is heading for the ultimate? Get in contact on Twitter to share your ideas: @mkmswain

See you once more quickly for the quarter-finals. Within the meantime… hold dancing!

Images: Man Levy, courtesy of the BBC.