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Kimberley takes full marks in Strictly Come Dancing semi final

Craig was left in tears of laughter after Lisa's performance, while Kimberley and Pasha won their second perfect 40 of the series

Bruce Forsyth promised tonight’s semi final would be full of “blood, sweat and sequins”, and boy was he right (minus the blood). The octogenarian made it to the stage despite rumours that he would have to cancel due to illness.

The five remaining couples were dancing their socks off (and in Lisa’s case- her dress off) for a place in next weekend’s final. One will be eliminated tomorrow night after the public vote.

Kimberley and Pasha - 78

The pair topped the leader board, gaining their second perfect 40 score from the judges for the second time this season. They are the only couple to have done so.

Kimberley was cheered on in the crowd from fellow Girls Aloud band members Cheryl Cole and Nicola Roberts. Let’s not forget they formed on Simon Cowell’s ITV talent show Popstars the Rivals in 2002. Kimberely seems to be a fan of prime time Saturday night telly.

Their first dance was an American Smooth to Fever by Peggy Lee. Kimberley sported a backless fishtail red sequined number. For their second turn the couple danced the Charleston to Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Decked in a bizarre tasseled sequined green crop top and shorts, the couple looked like elves from a Christmas classic.

The wardrobe choice did not seem to concern the judges one bit. Even Craig had only words of adoration, telling Kimberely “It’s the F-word darling, FAB-U-LOUS” and they were awarded 40 marks.

Darcey Bussell slipped into a bit of a Tulisa when she said she was “well impressed” with the two’s performance.

Denise and James - 77

Denise was dancing for her life tonight after she was left in the bottom two last week. The couple’s first dance was to Roxanne by The Police, and the pair received a standing ovation and a respectable 39 from the judges.

Their second dance was the Rumba to the Leona Lewis version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Yet more X Factor cross overs…

At the end James told Tess Daley, who wore her black strapless ballgown with polka straight hair and big festive gold earrings, “that Rumba was the best dance I’ve ever danced on Strictly.” The Rumba earned them 38, putting them one behind Kimberley and Pasha.

Dani and Vincent - 72

Child star Dani really revved up her performance tonight with her second dance, an Argentine tango to Libertango by Astor Piazzolla. Len told her “you stole my heart” and the two were awarded 38 for the performance.

Their first dance was the American Smooth to I Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Buble. Dani was told she still needs to work on her posture but is improving with her clean kicks.

Louis and Flavia - 69

The pair kicked off with the Jive to Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Frankie Lymon in some kind of American high school cheerleading get-up. During the rehearsals Louis was visited by a mate who he grew up with- not just any old mate but Ashton from JLS, who was there to give him some tips on performing. Ashton’s appearance marked the third Syco / X Factor cross reference in tonight’s show.

Their second dance was the Foxtrot to Somebody That I Used to Know. Flavia wore a pretty pink dress that was sadly ruined by a black meshed bodice and sleeves that attached to her middle finger- all a tad  Claire’s Accessories.

Len told Louis: “You are the true sportsman. You get knocked down in one dance and you come fighting back in the next.” Well he is an Olympian Len.

Lisa and Robin - 63

During rehearsals Lisa tells the camera: “Getting into the final of Strictly would be the icing on the biggest, fattest cake I've ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of cake in my life.” What a lass.

She first appeared popping up from behind the judges’ heads dancing the Salsa to Best Years of Our Lives by Modern Romance. It was a remarkably gung-ho performance with Lisa left stranded on the floor for a couple of moments not quite sure where Robin had gone. Parts of her dress also flew off.

Craig could barely deliver his judgment he was crying with laughter so much.

For their second number the couple danced the American Smooth to All That Jazz from the musical Chicago. Lisa seemed in her element here, and would make a convincing on-stage Matron Mama Morton. Darcey seemed to agree, telling her she was the next musical theatre star.

Len said: “You’re not always the judges’ champion, but I’ll tell you what you are, you’re the people’s champion.”

Will Lisa have her cake and eat it? Find out which couple gets voted off tomorrow night ahead of next week’s final.

The Strictly Come Dancing semi final aired on BBC at 6:30pm on Saturday 15 December.