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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Service: Week 9

Blackpool is a bit like Halloween. Highly anticipated, sometimes underwhelming. The standard is so high this year that I expect to be blown away every week, and I'm often left disappointed.

Last night there was definitely a sync issue with sound and vision. It made Claudia appear to be totally out of time on her jive. It looked better watching it back on YouTube. She wasn't out of time. However, it still wasn't amazing. I don't know if her heels were too high, or if AJ's routine was too fast for her, but she seemed to be struggling to keep up throughout. She also needs to keep her legs together when she's standing still to avoid a masculine look. Claudia is definitely a ballroom girl. Latin is not as kind to her.

I liked the use of the mannequin challenge at the start of Ore & Joanne's Viennese waltz, and then the slow motion as they came out of that. The rest of the routine was nicely danced. Ore's footwork was good, getting most of the heel leads. But I really didn't need a 20 minute flekerl (actually 24 counts, which is way too long), and that kind of spoilt the routine for me. Ore is better than the need to kill time, even if it is with a difficult step. They could have stopped and reversed or something.

Louise is way too nice for these aggressive dances. Her and Kevin's paso was a bit on the tame side. The skirt work looked a bit messy too. And she needed to get her eyeline off the floor. It should have been amazing - paso at Blackpool to Explosive. Louise is a lovely dancer, but she's starting to leave me a bit cold. I want to shake her and get her to really attack the dances, and give even more performance. She's exactly like Holly or Rachel or Sophie or Kara. All lovely dancers, all very controlled and all struggled to really let go and push over the edge. Some managed it, some didn't. Louise hasn't so far for me. However, I did vote for her because I believe she still deserves to be in the competition.

I love Danny & Oti usually. But that was not a perfect performance and should not have got a 40. I'm ashamed of Craig. For one, they were not in time with each other on the first couple of side-by-side sections. It's really obvious! He also went a tiny bit wrong up on the table. I don't want to take anything away from Danny. It was a lovely routine, it did deserve to be top of the leaderboard, and it was well-danced for the most part. It just wasn't perfect for me.

Ed & Katya did everything they could to get to Blackpool. Last week was a fantastically entertaining routine. Now I feel like they know they are on borrowed time. Their jive wasn't a patch on past weeks. Ed was very heavy footed. It was in time, but his technique was poor. He didn't have the retraction needed on the flicks. And it wasn't entertaining enough for me to forgive the technical shortcomings.

I really enjoyed Greg & Natalie's Grease-inspired quickstep. They moved around the floor really well. It was smooth, and Greg showed great musicality. Greg's topline was better than in other weeks, although that could be because he didn't have any pivots, which really expose a poor posture. The grande jeté was clearly on the inside foot, and he landed it very heavily. And now that he's 30, he needed a little sit-down in the middle of the routine. I've really enjoyed seeing Greg's progression. He's come so far. 

I thought that as Robert & Oksana were last, that their routine would be a showstopper. Sadly, it wasn't. Like Greg, I think Robert has progressed really well, and I've enjoyed watching him, but I felt that the salsa was a step back. The whole thing looked a bit chaotic and uncontrolled. The faces were back again as well. There were good points, though. The lift was very clean. 

Danny and Ore were the most impressive this week, and I enjoyed Greg as well. I really hope that Ed is in the bottom two tonight, as I feel if he remains, it will be the expense of someone who really deserves to stay. Claudia could end up in the bottom two tonight. And if Ed it not there, Robert, Greg and even Louise could be with her. It's going to be an interesting results show.

Here are the videos...

Claudia & AJ

Ore & Joanne

Louise & Kevin

Danny & Oti

Ed & Katya

Greg & Natalie

Robert & Oksana


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