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Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Service: Week 12

The semi-final seems a bit more brutal this year. If it wasn't for Will's premature departure, the four remaining couples would have likely all been in the final. But now, we are forced into seeing one couple miss out. Such a shame that any of them have to leave.

I was a bit dubious going into Louise & Kevin's tango, as despite the accents in the music, Glad All Over felt like an odd track. Then we had the packing line prop which made no sense. But once they got into the routine, I thought it was very good. The choreography went well to the music, which Kevin picking up the accents and using them to good effect. The thing that continues to bother me about Louise is her eyeline. She spent more time inspecting the floor than any any of the glitterballs on her packing line! Not good enough in the final.

Their samba was quite nice. Not showstopping, but I kind of liked it. Although if I had a quid for every time Louise looked at the floor, I could have paid for my Christmas turkey, and probably the trimmings too. I don't know if it is embarrassment and self-consciousness, or what, but I'm finding it intolerable. It's possibly excusable in an Argentine tango or rumba, but not in a bloomin' samba.

Danny & Oti's salsa was great. I felt that perhaps Danny could have had more to do, but this is salsa, and the idea is to show off the lady, which Danny did to a tee. He knows when he needs to shine, and when he needs to present Oti, and he does both so well.

Their American smooth was a complete showstopper. I could watch it over and over and over. The lifts were gorgeous, the storytelling was magnificent, and that final leap that Oti did into Danny's arms was heartstopping. So beautiful. So amazing. So emotional. So worthy of a place in the final.

Claudia & AJ's rumba was very well danced. Claudia hit all of the positions, and the transitions between steps were smooth and effortless. As the judges commented, her développés were beautiful. The only thing they were lacking was the emotional connection required in the rumba. AJ seemed to look intently, but Claudia didn't reciprocate. It's a shame, because an emotional connection would have lifted the dance from very good, to amazing.

Their quickstep put them back on track. I was worried that their height difference was going to lead to loads of gapping, but actually they were together most of the time. I liked the choreography, especially how they came out of hold for the short bridges in the music. For once, Claudia seemed to be able to keep up with the fast music.

Ore & Joanne's quickstep was fast and furious. They flew around the floor. Joanne also choreographed nicely to the accents in the music, and it was clear that this is her favourite dance. They kept glued together. I think there may have been a tiny incident somewhere in the dance, but blinked and you missed it. Or maybe I was mistaken. I do wish wardrobe wouldn't dress both partners in black, though.

And then they were both in grey for the Argentine tango, which isn't much better. I was intrigued to hear the arrangement of Can't Get You Out Of My Head as a tango, and it kind of worked. Ore didn't seem to do very much in the routine, but like the salsa, it's kind of the point that the man shows of the woman. He didn't seem to command the routine enough. He and Joanne felt like equal partners. I prefer to watch more of a battle between the couple. The mood just wasn't quite there.

Personally, I think I'd rather see Louise go home than any of the others. Her floor-gazing embarrassment isn't going to win the competition. She lacks the technique of Claudia and the emotion of Danny. But since Kevin is so popular, I suspect they will be spared the dance-off. I think we're likely to see Ore and Claudia in the dance-off. And then it will come down to which dance they preform again. If they both do their quicksteps, it will be virtually impossible to split them. Whoever goes home, it will be emotional. 

Here are the videos...

Louise & Kevin - tango

Louise & Kevin - samba

Danny & Oti - salsa

Danny & Oti - American smooth

Claudia & AJ - rumba

Claudia & AJ - quickstep

Ore & Joanne - quickstep

Ore & Joanne - Argentine tango


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