Strictly Come Blogging

Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Service: Week 12

It's the semi-final! And while I thought last year's competition was close, this one blows it out of the water.

I was in the studio last night, so I have a slightly different perspective, and having watched the dances on TV, I think some of them came over better on TV than they did in the studio.

Natalie & Artem's salsa was brilliant, but fell a little flat in the studio, hence no standing ovation (which Sir Bruce was not happy about). But watching back, it was excellent. It had loads of salsa content, and was presented so well. It was clean and precise. And those turns at the end were amazing. I haven't seen turns like that since Nicole Cutler was a pro on the show. A brilliant routine, and totally deserving of four tens.

I just loved their Argentine tango. The choreography was sublime, the music was traditional but modern, and the routine was beautifully danced. The only thing I didn't like was Natalie's expression. She was smiling a bit, and I wanted her to look more intense. That would be the only thing that could have been better.

Patrick & Anya started with a waltz. Patrick has improved so much. His footwork looked pretty good, and he led Anya, but his shoulders looked a bit twisted. The routine was nice, and they covered the floor well.

Their paso fell a bit flat. I spent the whole thing watching Anya and didn't actually notice Patrick very much. He seemed to be acting with his chin. It wasn't very pretty. Listen out for Len's comment about the paso on Len's Lens tonight. Very funny.

Sophie & Brendan's paso was strong and dominant. I loved the crouched spin at the beginning. Sophie was possibly still a little woolly and uncontrolled like in the tango, but her performance made up for it. She looked a bit angry, rather than aggressive. She also needs to watch her long arms in places, which can look a bit gangly. But she's still good to watch.

Their American smooth didn't impress me completely in the studio, but looked better on TV. I loved Brendan's slide down the bannister! The lifts were really good, and as Darcey said, she did a lovely job of transitioning in and out of them.

I was really willing Susanna & Kevin to be amazing, but they seemed to fall a little short. They had two amazing tracks, but I didn't feel that they were fully realised. Like Sophie & Brendan's American smooth, Susanna & Kevin's foxtrot looked better on TV than it did in the studio. It was very cute, but her footwork wasn't very good. She didn't flick up her toes, and there were some heel leads missing. She could have strode out more too.

The salsa was a bit disappointing too. There was a bit too much shimmying, and not enough salsa content. It was a bit repetitive, and just didn't quite get the party started. It's clear that Susanna was having a brilliant time, but it just didn't translate to the dance.

I thought that Abbey & Aljaž totally nailed both of their routines this week. Their samba was lovely. Loads of samba content. It had lovely musicality, and I loved how their picked up the accents in the music. It was a shame there weren't any samba rolls, but there was loads of other basic steps. Abbey had a fairly decent bounce, and their chemistry is gorgeous.

The American smooth was really sweet. I loved the story. The lifts were smooth, and again, Abbey totally nailed the interpretation of the music. Abbey's coy smile was so cute. Again, the choreography picked up the accents in the music. I think this week was Aljaž's best choreography of the series.

Since I already know who has gone through, I won't comment on the bottom two. But I did feel that the leaderboard reflected what had happened perfectly. Abbey and Natalie were impossible to split at the top, Sophie was excellent but not quite as good as them, Susanna didn't quite realise her potential and Patrick didn't have the best week. The final is going to be a corker!

Natalie & Artem - salsa

Natalie & Artem - Argentine tango

Patrick & Anya - waltz

Patrick & Anya - paso doble

Sophie & Brendan - paso doble

Sophie & Brendan - American smooth

Susanna & Kevin - foxtrot

Susanna & Kevin - salsa

Abbey & Aljaž - samba

Abbey & Aljaž - American smooth


  • At 9:34 pm, Blogger kasmith29 said…

    Having to endure Celine Dion miming when we have had brilliant live singing/playing from the Strictly Band week in/ week out. Too much to bear. No more Strictly for me.


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