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

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Sunday Service: Week 3

Week three? Time for a theme! Yes, it's Movie Week. Where we choose music that's completely inappropriate for the dance we are doing, then theme the dance so much that you can't even work out what it's supposed to be. Action!

Daisy & Aljaž were up first with their Mary Poppins quickstep. After 20 minutes of getting things out of her carpet, Daisy was finally ready to dance. Daisy danced the routine pretty well. She had an odd head position in places, and there was a dodgy-looking moment right at the very beginning where it was a bit off-time, but otherwise it was a good effort.

Anastacia & Brendan's Viennese waltz looked, understandably, very tentative. She looked nervous, rather than the usual confident, sassy Anastacia we are used to. There were a few mis-steps in the routine. However, I liked that it was full of content with no faffing about. 

Danny & Oti were amazing once again. Their paso was almost perfect. It was bang on point the whole way through. Danny's shaping was excellent, and the interplay he had with Oti was fantastic. I worry that Danny has peaked too early, and the public will get bored with him being this good.

Lesley & Anton's quickstep was a bit skippy in places. Lesley acted it very well, of course, and the choreography nicely picked up the accents in the music. I would have liked more dancing, though. There was a lot of walking and acting, with quickstep sprinkled in between.

What can I say about Will & Karen's Bollywood salsa? In Will's defense, he danced the choreography he was given well. It was probably his best performance so far. Great timing, great side-by-side sections. Nice body rolls. And I liked the routine. But it was way too much Bollywood and not enough salsa. Will said there were 24 counts of salsa. 24 counts? In a 90 second routine? It's not enough. If it had been a 'fusion' week, they'd have smashed it. But for a salsa on movie week, it just won't do. The producers need to have a long hard look at themselves. The music selections need some serious re-evaluation.

There was a moment when I thought Naga & Pasha were going to need a Karen Hardy-style do-over, after Pasha struggled to unhook Naga's harness. It killed the mood of their tango right from the off. It meant we missed a whole section of torchography. On to the proper part of the dance, and it all felt a bit loose. Naga was wobbly, especially in the upper body. I agree with Bruno's comment that she shows flashes of greatness, but then it's gone again. It's too fleeting.

I really enjoyed Robert & Oksana's Flintstones Charleston. It was just the right side of bonkers. There was a mistake early on, which Robert didn't cover all that well, but he carried on. There was also a very iffy lift. His timing was good overall. It was very enjoyable.

I've always thought it is very mean to give couples the American smooth before the quickstep or foxtrot, but that didn't seem to matter for Ore & Joanne. Their American smooth was stunning. Gorgeous choreography presented with great musicality and finesse. Beautiful. The only thing that was lacking was heel leads. He was up on his toes way too much. 

Laura & Giovanni's routine had more salsa than Will & Karen's. Laura does odd things with her arms when she's out on her own. The lifts seem to take ages to get in and out of, which made the whole thing a bit clunky. She has potential, and I hope to see her improve as the series goes on.

Greg & Natalie's American smooth was solid. It was a pleasant routine. Not amazing, but competent. Greg is a bit pigeon-toed, and doesn't straighten his legs enough on the travelling steps. But the lifts were clean and smooth. 

Claudia & AJ's Charleston was fab. Her timing was excellent. The whole routine was fast and precise. The lifts were well executed and seamless. It was all very clean.

I really didn't like the music for Tameka & Gorka's tango. The Heat Is On should be a cha cha to my mind, not a tango. I also didn't like the fact that they were both dressed all in black, because it make it difficult to tell their bodies apart in hold. Those niggles aside, which are not Tameka's fault, I thought it was a decent performance. Not a show stopper, but good enough.

What Ed lacked in samba technique, he made up for in attitude and characterisation. He totally thought he was The Mask. He needed more hip action. Katya put together a packed routine, in which she moved her feet a lot more than he did, and I would possibly have liked to have seen even more samba steps. But it was very entertaining for the right reasons. His best performance so far.

I loved Louise & Kevin's cha cha routine, especially all the nods to Flashdance in the choreography. Louise looked great. But she needs to remember to perform to the audience. She was looking at Kevin when they were facing each other, but then her eyeline fell to the floor when she turned away from him. She needs to perform outwards more.

Ore was the best of the night for me. I just loved everything about that routine, and the performance. It's difficult to choose a bottom two because there are so many good couples. Naga could find herself in trouble. And possibly Anastacia. But who knows? It's all so close this year, every exit is going to be tough.

Here are the videos...

Daisy & Aljaž 

Anastacia & Brendan

Danny & Oti

Lesley & Anton

Will & Karen

Naga & Pasha

Robert & Oksana

Ore & Joanne

Laura & Giovanni

Greg & Natalie

Claudia & AJ

Tameka & Gorka

Ed & Katya

Louise & Kevin


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