It was a generous, colourful evening full of love for Week Five on Strictly Come Dancing, despite the obvious missing firecracker. For the first time in the show’s history, judge Bruno Tonioli was not on the panel this evening.
Due to a busy work schedule, Bruno took a week out and each performance was scored out of 30 instead of 40 in his absence. However, the 12 remaining celebrities brought vibrant energy and buckets of feel good footwork throughout the night.
Off the back of his nerve-wracking performance in the dance-off last weekend, Eastenders actor Davood Ghadami kicked off the show with an upbeat barista-themed jive. Finally finding the perfect dance to channel his passionate physicality, his nod to Bruno’s most iconic comments set the tone for a hugely enjoyable evening.
Feel good showmanship seemed to be the running theme in Week Five, as chef Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton donned matching yellow gingham suits and fitting fiddles for their Charleston to the Singin’ in the Rain classic slapstick number.
Sunshine yellow accompanied other stars too, as Brian Connelly performed an energetic holiday camp-themed jive and Alexandra Burke brought electricity to the samba this week.
However, the bold, brightest moment was cemented with TV presenter Ruth Langsford’s samba - not necessarily through her moves, but in the neon pink outfits that Strictly Ballroom would have been proud of. It was an invigorating performance, but more importantly it did make you wonder whether the saturation settings on your TV were still working properly.
There was something in the air for sure, as when colourful playfulness was lacking, intense romance and emotion was brought to the dancefloor. Highlights included a wonderful Viennese waltz from pop star Mollie King, after which head judge Shirley Ballas might have confirmed off-screen gossip rumours of blossoming romance, by highlighting the "very believable chemistry" between King and her dance partner AJ Pritchard.
Frontrunner Debbie McGee honoured her late husband, magician Paul Daniels, with a romantic rumba which took her to the top of the leaderboard for this week. In Bruno’s absence, fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood seemed to soften and somewhat transform, as he expressed his appreciation for Debbie’s performance in a flamboyant and extravagant exclamation.
Surprising everyone in a thrilling display and falling off his chair, the judge captured everything that made this week such a joy: surprise, energy, and pure love all around. A bright, unadulterated display of happiness brought the most feel good moment to the series so far. Onwards and upwards for the second half of the competition.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies