Strictly Talking: Week 12 – Dancing Instances

Posted on December 13, 2021

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Nicely, what a semi-final! Normally doubling the dances means halving the usual, not less than, however everybody delivered right here – even when the judges did get overexcited with the 10s. It’s not that many have been undeserved, greater than the utmost rating has turn out to be so utterly devalued at this level. Even Motsi realised it, wishing her 10 for Rose might have a crown added to distinguish it. Professional tip: use the decrease paddles extra and the ten will certainly really feel totally earned.

Anyhow, nice to see everybody actually battle for his or her place within the last. Rhys rose to the (admittedly unkind) problem of the samba, John bared his soul in his Couple’s Alternative, Rose turned an unlikely Argentine tango siren, and AJ lastly nabbed her 40 for a fab-u-lous Fred and Ginger quickstep.

Plus, we obtained the correct three for the ultimate – when did that final occur? Ooh it’s going to be an absolute pleasure, seeing one of the best trio duke it out: the three greatest dancers, the three greatest partnerships, and three genuinely beautiful individuals who between them characterize a various combine and have impressed a nation. Carry it on!

Different hits and misses:

  • I usually hate the “regular individuals” messages for the celebs, however it was genuinely candy seeing how a lot John and Rose’s illustration, particularly, has meant to individuals. HIT
  • Oh god, Anton’s obtained a brand new gimmick: whipping off his glasses like a defence lawyer in a nasty courtroom drama. Please, BBC, make my Christmas and ditch him. MISS
  • Disco Motsi! Topping off a really spectacular collection of appears. HIT
  • Ts and Cs rando: Romesh plugging The Weakest Hyperlink. MISS
  • Extra cringe hip-hop from our ballroom professionals. At this level they’re simply trolling me. MISS

Finest in Present

  • Finest efficiency: Rose’s Argentine tango I truly GASPED.
  • Finest costume: AJ’s feathered frock Runner-up: punk ballerina Nancy.
  • Finest transfer: John’s Couple’s Alternative lifts Technically spectacular and deeply shifting.
  • Finest line: Craig snarking “I’ve cherished being in your present, darling” The proper riposte to a different prolonged Anton speech


Tess’s costume: impressed or depressed?

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One in every of her ketchup outfits fought again with a garrotting scarf. Claud: sparkly black go well with. 

Rhys and Nancy – Tunnel imaginative and prescient

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Rhys had apparently fought to bounce to this Queen tune and… properly. Watch out what you would like for. Sure, it gave his tango a rock ’n’ roll vitality and loads of assault, however then vitality and assault have by no means been missing in Rhys’s performances. His opening solo mainly encapsulated his J phrase: it was courageous and demonstrated his potential, however was let down by dodgy ballroom method and lack of management. He went forward of the music (as at all times) and his footwork was fudged. Barely higher in maintain – good delicate knees, a lot improved partnering and body, though his shoulders obtained twisted on the turns. Rhys by no means fairly obtained there in ballroom, however this was an excellent last effort.

Track: “One Imaginative and prescient”, Queen (COPYCAT KLAXON: Ricky Groves and Erin)

Judges’ feedback: Shirley was impressed with the solo. Anton didn’t just like the out of maintain sections however immaculate body. Craig loved the facility and drama. Motsi famous he coated the ground.

Judges’ scores: 9, 9, 9, 9 – 36 

AJ and Kai – Birds of a feather

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Nicely right here’s the argument for utilizing correct basic music and easily letting the dance do the speaking. Kai in a tux, AJ sporting the limp our bodies of 300 swans, together with a number of as pom-pom equipment, precisely as nature supposed. Add in Benny Goodman, a superb routine, finely honed method, and also you get pure ballroom bliss. AJ managed that topline so completely, but in addition launched it sufficient to get swing and sway, and beautiful musical expression, they usually travelled fantastically across the flooring with none seen effort, plus some difficult jazz accents and modifications of tempo that flowed simply. A teeny little bit of gapping, however in any other case GAW-JUS.

Track: “Sing, Sing, Sing”, Benny Goodman (COPYCAT KLAXON: Denise Lewis and Ian, Chelsee Healey and Pasha, Graeme Swann and Oti)

Judges’ feedback: Anton stated it was worthy of Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom. Craig gave it an “O-M-G, darling”. Motsi praised her conquering a very troublesome dance. Shirley stated it was pure Strictly magic.

Judges’ scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40

John and Johannes – It will get higher

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So, I used to be already welling up watching John’s candid VT, which included the revelation {that a} instructor outed him to his household (!), and studying that he was apprehensive about dancing with one other man on Strictly. I hope he and Johannes are actually happy with what they’ve given the nation with their braveness, their sensible dancing and their vulnerability, significantly the LGBTQ+ group. Illustration issues; visibility issues. That emotional outpouring continued of their modern Couple’s Alternative. Technically, John might have continued his strains extra and had extra resistance, however this was a very difficult piece delivered with such dedication and coronary heart – and whereas it was a particular workforce effort, it was so thrilling to see John take cost of it. Bravo.

Track: “Hometown Glory”, Adele

Judges’ feedback: Craig wished extra movement, however stated that John was the star. Motsi felt he let go, and that we actually noticed them. Shirley stated he helped so many others by sharing his soul. Anton known as it highly effective and emotional.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

Rose and Giovanni – The best love

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I can’t consider this collection will quickly be over and we received’t get to see any extra ballroom from these two. It truly is the best pleasure: it seems like all’s properly with the world so long as they’re dancing collectively. Only one niggle right here: the bizarre Dolly Parton-esque cowl of the Ellie Goulding monitor to drive it into the correct time signature Guys, we’re not wanting songs in 3/4. In any other case this was simply elegant: a mild whisper of a routine that made us all lean in, simply as Rose is so delicate to Gio’s lead and the musicality of his physique. The encapsulation of partnership.

Track: “How Lengthy Will I Love You”, Ellie Goulding

Judges’ feedback: Motsi praised the attractive connection. Shirley stated Rose has introduced us a lot pleasure. Anton… cried. Craig famous one tiny foot fault, in any other case superb.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39

Rhys and Nancy – Jungle fever

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It’s the return of Awkward Gogglebox: our {couples} watching the judges critique them. Not many revelations right here, mainly simply Rhys = vitality, for higher or for worse. Craig caught his neck out and stated samba could be a great dance for Rhys, and he was mainly proved proper. It wasn’t a technically nice efficiency: wild footwork and leg motion, the standard speeding and he wanted to work into the ground extra, however I cherished how he threw himself into it, leopard-print shirt and all. Some nice bounce and hip motion, “Assist I’m being electrocuted” shimmies, and he labored properly off Nancy. That’s an enormous change from Rhys the soloist. Sidenote: one other woeful music selection. SIGH!

Track: “It Had Higher Be Tonight”, Michael Bublé (COPYCAT KLAXON: Katie Derham and Anton)

Judges’ feedback: Shirley cherished his rhythmic hips. Anton famous one clunky part, however marvellous effort. Craig wished a smoother bounce. Motsi stated he actually led and fought for it.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 9 – 38 

AJ and Kai – A match made in heaven

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Two vital takeaways right here: Craig ought to have given AJ’s Charleston a ten, and Shirley is a shipper. Oh additionally AJ isn’t as robust in Latin – can her rumba change all of that? Ooh sure. I truly suppose her difficulty is extra with quick Latin, however given the time right here to excellent her method, she was a shimmering goddess with beautiful, languid strains, expressive again bends and (quelle shock) smoking-hot chemistry with Kai. By no means thoughts the smoke monster; they will generate sufficient warmth between them to resolve the vitality disaster. A couple of tiny points, like her free arm typically getting caught or a leg missing extension, however actually magnificent.

Track: “Present Me Heaven”, Maria McKee (COPYCAT KLAXON: Claire King and Brendan)

Judges’ feedback: Anton likes rumba all refined and chic. Beautiful strains. “I reasonably cherished it.” Craig praised the great turnout and straight legs, and identified how troublesome the rumba is. Motsi was actually impressed on the work AJ put in and stated it got here collectively completely. Shirley stood and bowed down, praising the sensuality and tracked ft. 

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

John and Johannes – A better gear

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A John criticism right here already answered by his Couple’s Alternative: that he’s reliably good however should not play it secure. Nonetheless, I felt like we would have liked one other emotional VT for the sheer trauma of watching our boys dance a jive to this horrendously soporific Coldplay monitor – the place’s the help group for that? It did sap their efficiency barely, and but once more numerous side-by-side work which made John look a tad subdued in distinction with the unimaginable Johannes, particularly within the kicks. Nevertheless, I do suppose John has silenced that vital voice telling him to not be flamboyant, so this was a crisp, playful jive with robust method, spot-on timing and a great deal of character. 

Track: “Increased Energy”, Coldplay

Judges’ feedback: Craig wished extra retraction, however “A-maze-ing.” Motsi stated she knew John had it in him. Shirley cherished the basics and risk-taking. Anton praised the side-by-side work and physique motion.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

Rose and Giovanni – Merely one of the best

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I actually shouldn’t be shocked by Rose any longer, and but I simply didn’t suppose she might pull off a horny Argentine tango with Gio. Nicely, extra idiot me! Not solely did their excellent lead/comply with dynamic imply that they really responded to one another all through, however Rose made the whole lot look supremely easy. She floated into the lifts, her impeccably launched legs whirled by way of the ganchos, and IT WAS SO HOT. Her pulling Gio’s face to hers, the gasp as he rolled her up from the again bend, the attention contact, the intimate little exchanges… It actually felt like we have been spying on lovers who had a decade of advanced feelings swirling between them. Goosebumps.

Track: “A Evaristo Carriego”, Eduardo Rovira

Judges’ feedback: Motsi known as it the dance of the collection. Shirley stated it had star high quality, and congratulated Gio for the entire collection of working with Rose. Anton cherished the serenity. Craig stated it belonged within the last.

Judges’ scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40 


AJ and Kai – 40 + 39 = 79

Rose and Giovanni – 39 + 40 = 79

John and Johannes – 39 + 39 = 78

Rhys and Nancy – 36 + 38 = 74

AJ is up, Rhys is down, however it’s a detailed one… 


Tess’s costume: impressed or depressed?

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Highlighter pink with a slit. Claud joined Workforce Leopard Print.


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As anticipated, it was the boys hitting the dance-off: first time for John… not the primary time for Rhys. With jive (39) versus samba (38) it was a close-run factor. Although John is technically superior this wasn’t his greatest type, whereas Rhys actually danced for his life in that samba. Nevertheless, the judges all saved John.

Rhys positively grew on me, even when he by no means actually blossomed right into a ballroom boy. I’m wondering if he might need fared higher with a extra skilled professional? Nancy was a captivating addition however in all probability didn’t assist by giving him so many frantic routines. Nonetheless, they helped make this a very thrilling semi-final and introduced a whole lot of enjoyable to the collection.

Hurrah, although – we’ve an A-MAZE-ING last three! I’m so excited for subsequent week. It actually seems like anybody might win it, particularly in the event that they nail their showdance. Rose is definitely the favorite, as the one one by no means to hit the dance-off and probably the most extraordinary story, however I anticipate the opposite two to push her all the way in which.

What did you make of the semi-final? Do you suppose the judges overmarked? Who do you suppose will win? Get in contact on Twitter to share your ideas: @mkmswain

See you once more quickly for the grand last. Within the meantime… hold dancing!

Images: Man Levy courtesy of the BBC.