Strictly Come Blogging

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

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday Service: Week 11

I think my expectations must be two high, because while I enjoyed last night's performances, at no point did I feel blown away. I think I want to much...

Simon & Kristina opened the show with their American smooth. They did a very nice job. It was clean and precise. There was plenty of foxtrot content and lots of showbiz. It's just a shame the last lift didn't quite come off as perfectly as the rest of the dance. The dance was lovely, but it didn't make my heart beat faster. Simon has come on leaps and bounds since Blackpool, and could not have delivered this performance earlier in the competition.

It was great to see Caroline & Pasha dance to traditional music for their Argentine tango. I didn't think it was the best Argentine tango choreography we have seen, but I thought they performed it very well. It didn't have the sense of heat that some others have had, and for me it wasn't as passionate as their ballroom tango. Caroline seemed to be holding the tension in her free arm, causing some odd shapes in places. And at times she seemed to anticipate the routine. In Argentine tango more than any other dance, the lady needs to wait for her partner's lead to make it look rights. In places, Caroline didn't let Pasha lead enough. That said, I did enjoy the performance.

Pixie & Trent's cha cha lacked cha cha content in my opinion. Pixie performed well, as always, but I don't like what Trent did with the routine. Trent has been excellent this year, so I'm not sure what went wrong here. There were too many kicks and poses, and very little recogniseable cha cha. Pixie's legs could have worked a bit harder. The whole thing was a bit messy and uncontrolled. Under-rehearsed perhaps.

I really enjoyed Mark & Karen's foxtrot, even if it was out-of-hold so much it was heading toward American smooth. It was calm, charming and controlled, with lots of Hollywood glamour and decent footwork. Mark hit his stride just before Simon, on Halloween week, and he's been really good ever since. I really wasn't impressed to see Mark in the line-up, but I've come to really enjoy having him on the show. The 'J' word was made for Mark.

I was a little worried that Jake & Janette had been stitched up again when I heard what they were doing to. I thought their Charleston started a bit show, but ended up being really good. It was cheeky and fun, with some very complex lifts. It's clear Janette totally trusts Jake, and says a lot for their partnership. I can't help but wonder if the reason I enjoyed the routine so much was more because of Janette than Jake. It was unfortunate that, like Simon & Kristina, they missed the entry to one of the lifts. It was a blot on what had been a near perfect routine otherwise.

It was definitely a night for dodgy choreography. I didn't think that Frankie & Kevin's salsa had enough salsa content. It was nice to see a sexier side of Frankie. Although it was still only Saturdays sexy. As I mentioned last week, I think that most of her dances have been on the 'preppy' side, a bit too vanilla. This was still a little too clean and places for a salsa, but at least she gyrated and looked a little less strait-laced. She still needs to close her feet together properly, too. Now, I would like to take a small moment just to honour Frankie's sparkly welding helmet. Genius.

Then we had the 'anything can happen' (but never, ever, ever does) group number. This year, some bright spark decided it should be waltz-a-thon. There is so much to debate. Did Simon have an unfair advantage, having done the waltz last week? I'm not sure he did. Surely this dance favoured the celebrity girls, as they can just follow their pro boys. Certainly, Mark seemed to keep out of the way as much as possible and didn't make much attempt to cover the floor. Simon was the only celebrity man who made the judges' top three, with Jake at the bottom of the list.

Top for me last night were Jake and Mark. The bottom two is getting impossible to predict. And based on the comments on Twitter last night, there are people out there voting for all of the couples. There is no clear leader, or clear loser. Pixie and Frankie were not of form for me last night, but should they be in the bottom two? Probably not. I think it's going to be terrible for whoever ends up in the bottom two tonight. I don't envy the judges at all. Get the tissues ready!

Here are the videos...

Simon & Kristina

Caroline & Pasha

Pixie & Trent

Mark & Karen

Jake & Janette

Frankie & Kevin



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