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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Chatter: Week 8

Strictly certainly turned up the wow factor on Saturday night, and all the couples raised their game to fill the stunning Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. I was lucky enough to be there, as my mum's name finally came out in the ticket ballot. It was completely worth the journey north to be a part of the audience.

First up were Frankie & Kevin with their quickstep. To be honest, when thinking back over the night, theirs is a dance that I almost forget about. It was a great routine, though. They traveled around the larger floor well, and with no gapping. The routine was packed with content, and all well executed by Frankie. I think the problem is that Frankie has always been good, so we take her a little for granted. Everything is good, but she needs that wow routine.

Jake & Janette's take on the American smooth was a little different, but totally played to Jake's strength as an actor. I absolutely loved the almost tango-like routine. The story was great and Jake totally sold it. At the same time, I can't help yearning to see Jake's softer side. I want to see a bit of glamour and romance from Jake, rather than these moody characters. That aside, the American smooth was stunning. Jake has wonderful musicality and Janette's choreography was wonderful. I loved it.

Sunetra & Brendan were the most disappointing couple of the night. It was the only music selection I really hated - why would anyone do a dance to I Don't Feel Like Dancin'? I hated it the last time it was used (Ray Fearon & Camilla Dallerup also did a samba to it, and ended up going home). The whole thing was a bit messy. It looked like there were a couple of mistakes in there. She didn't use the floor enough to get the right leg and hip action. Samba is one of the most difficult dances to make look good (genuinely, it's hard!), so I do forgive Sunetra.

I was't sure about Simon & Kristina's Argentine tango in the opening seconds. Simon's hands looked odd, and I thought the whole thing was going to awkward. I was glad to be wrong. In hold, Simon was brilliant. He was in control, and seemed to really connect with the dance. He lead Kristina, and it seemed to have improved from the training footage from It Takes Two earlier in the week. He's set the bar for Argentine tangos this series.

Judy & Anton's Viennese waltz was OK. It was fine as a showdance, but lacked enough Viennese waltz content for me. What content there was was a bit skippy. They didn't even attempt a standing spin! However, the routine was charming, and it was easily Judy's best performance. 

Mark & Karen keep getting better and better. Their Charleston was brilliant. They were so in sync with each other. The whole thing had energy from start to finish. Mark's swivel action was one of the best of the series. He had not trouble keeping up with a fast and busy routine. I loved the throwing lifts at the end. He and Karen have a brilliant partnership, and I really enjoyed their routine.

After hearing that Pixie & Trent would be dancing to The Eve Of War, I had very high expectations for their paso. They did not disappoint. Pixie is able to make such beautiful shapes with her body. The routine was packed, and completely brilliant. They totally nailed it. Showstopping, and totally deserving of two 10s.

Rolling In The Deep was another odd song choice. I don't think it really suited the American smooth, and would've been a better tango. Anyway, that aside, Steve & Ola's routine wasn't smooth enough for me. It was perfectly adequate, but lacked something. I'm just not sure what. The lifts were well executed, Steve makes them look easy. And his foxtrot was fine. I just found it a little underwhelming.

Before I comment on Caroline & Pasha's jive, I want to take a minute to praise Vicky Gill and the costume department. Caroline's dress is one of my favourite costumes ever. I loved it. I liked that there was so much traditional jive content in their routine. But I don't think it was Caroline's best performance. I think the 10 from Bruno was a little generous. Caroline came over as a bit stompy in places. She wasn't light enough on her feet. It was a great routine, and Caroline performed well, but perhaps it should't have closed the show.

The best performances of the night were Pixie, Simon and Mark. I think the right two pairs were in the bottom two, and there is no doubt that it was right for Judy to go home. Steve and Sunetra are going to have to work hard if they don't want to end up in the bottom two this week, but anyone could be in danger now. I can't wait to see how the next few weeks pan out!

Here are the videos...

Frankie & Kevin

Jake & Janette

Sunetra & Brendan

Simon & Kristina

Judy & Anton

Mark & Karen

Pixie & Trent

Steve & Ola

Caroline & Pasha


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