Strictly Come Blogging

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

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sunday Service: Week 2

Week 2 is always a marathon, with fifteen couples to watch...

Thom & Iveta kicked things off with a lukewarm salsa to Hot, Hot, Hot. It was quite a brave song choice, since the previous routine to that song is one that always comes up on lists of favourite Strictly dances ever. And Thom certainly did not live up to that. The performance was just OK. There was a mistake in the middle. The lift was impressive, but a little heavy handed. Overall, it was just alright.

Jennifer & Tristan's waltz was much better than their jive last week. Despite working on her posture, it was still a bit awkward. Her shoulders were lifted, especially the left one. There was a point where they were dancing in line, rather than being slightly offset from each other. It was still a bit nervous. She could be in danger.

Simon & Kristina's tango was interesting. It wasn't perfect - there was quite a lot of gapping. Simon captured the mood of the dance, but it didn't do it for me. Maybe it was the choreography I didn't like. I'm not sure. His hips were brilliant. Great swivels. I think Bruno is right, he needs to connect with the dance a bit more. He'll get there. Give him a few weeks and he'll be nailing.

Oh dear. Gregg & Aliona's Charleston wasn't much better than their cha cha. Gregg was off-time a lot. If you didn't know it was a Charleston, you probably wouldn't have sussed it out. He was still looking at Aliona for prompting. There were steps missing, and steps where they didn't belong. I've seen enough.

I didn't really enjoy Alison & Aljaž's foxtrot. There was not enough in hold for me, it was boarding on American smooth, and lacked content. Her footwork was poor. Her feet were too far apart. Her head position was not very pretty in hold. I like Alison, but I was looking for so much more from this routine.

Wow, wow, wow! Jake & Janette's salsa was phenomenal. Jake was in control the whole time. He had great hip action and timing. The neck-drop sequence was heart-stopping, one of the most difficult we have ever seen on Strictly. The drop from the last lift was very brave. It was a faultless performance, and I think the only reason it only got 9s was because it's week 2, and the judges are afraid to get their 10s out too early. What a great partnership.

Judy looked more comfortable as the cha cha progressed. She's certainly not as comfortable with the acting as Anton. It was better when it got quicker and had more content. Her timing was off in lots of places. She's less cringy than Gregg, but equally poor.

I think the music let down Caroline & Pasha's tango. Tangos to pop songs are rarely as good as traditional ones because they just don't have the same atmosphere. However, their whole routine was excellent. Loads and loads of content - Pasha didn't hold back. Caroline was sharp and staccato in her moves. An excellent performance, which I think was worthy of better than 7s. I can't wait to see what else they deliver.

I didn't like the opening to Tim & Natalie's walz. I think being out of hold exposed Tim. In hold was a little better, but not great. His footwork was poor, leading with the toes rather than the heels. He needs to watch his shoulders. It was good enough for a tea dance, but not good enough for Strictly. It wasn't as charming as his cha cha last week.

Sunetra is far from perfect, but she has something about her. I really enjoy watching her. Her cha cha with Brendan was very nice. She needs to watch her shoulders a bit, she lifts and drops them like it's a cockney knees-up. I think the judges were right about her legs, they need to be straighter, and she still needs more core strength. But as her fitness improves, she will improve too. I'm looking forward to seeing her grow as a dancer.

I think Mark & Karen had a really tough job to do this week. To have to do an American smooth without having done any other ballroom previously is very unfair. They had no base to work from. It wasn't very smooth, but I don't really blame Mark for that. I think he will be better in future once he gets the basics perfected.

Oh dear. Scott & Joanne. That tango was difficult to watch. Scott was hunched over Joanne. They were battling each other in hold, but not because it was a tango. It was definitely the wrong song, too jolly for tango. It was still stompy, and I didn't enjoy it as much as last week. Bruno's assertion that it was "weird" probably summed it up.

Pixie & Trent's waltz was very pretty. I loved the 'shawlography' near the beginning. Pixie made the dance look effortless. They covered the floor really well. It was clean and well placed. But I can't say they captivated me. It was lovely, but I wasn't moved. Time will tell if she's captivates anyone else.

I really enjoy watching Steve & Ola dance. His cha cha was lovely. He dances like a man, and is in control the whole time, but there's a lot of fun in the performance too. I enjoyed it so much that I didn't even look at his footwork. I don't agree with Craig that Steve's hips are wooden, I think for a blokey bloke they're pretty good.

I think the cheekiness of the Charleston was lost by having a 50s theme, but Frankie & Kevin did a decent job of it. Whoever decided on the music choice should be fired! Take away the fact that it was supposed to be a Charleston, and it was a good performance. It was high-energy and fun. Frankie is so capable, I can't wait to see what she brings in the coming weeks.

So, the winner for me was Jake. The bottom two should be Gregg and Judy or Scott. Judy is probably marginally better than Scott, but Scott has more personality. Either way, I would like to see Gregg go home.

Here are the videos...

Thom & Iveta

Jennifer & Tristan

Simon & Kristina

Gregg & Aliona

Alison & Aljaž

Judy & Anton

Jake & Janette

Caroline & Pasha

Tim & Natalie

Sunetra & Brendan

Mark & Karen

Scott & Joanne

Pixie & Trent

Steve & Ola

Frankie & Kevin


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