There’s only one word on everyone’s lips in Strictly Come Dancing this week - the eight remaining celebrities have finally made it to Blackpool. A Spice Girls tribute, a James Bond parachute entrance and even JK Rowling herself all came to the iconic Tower Ballroom in week nine of the competition.
The change in seafront scenery brought with it a flurry of backing dancers, familiar faces in the audience, and increasingly high expectations. The evening kicked off with a Charleston from pop star Mollie King and her partner AJ Pritchard.
While the pair have struggled in previous weeks, ending up in the bottom two twice so far, some ever impressive lifts and a Bird of Paradise theme successfully lifted their routine and everyone’s spirits.
Also following the flying/soaring theme was Eastenders actor Davood Ghadami, parachuting into the ballroom for a James Bond themed paso doble to "Live and Let Die". It’s been a steady uphill journey for Davood, as the actor received his first 10s last week and scored a solid 35 this evening.
Remaining comfortably at the top of the leaderboard is Debbie McGee, who has continued to impress audiences and judges since scoring the first perfect 40 of the competition last week.
However, her Geri Halliwell costume and Spice Girls mashup didn’t quite reach the top spot in Blackpool, as singer Alexandra Burke delivered a fast-paced, magic quickstep, which earnt a near-perfect score of 39 and the coveted first place this week.
Radio presenter Gemma Atkinson honoured the beloved city with an American Smooth foxtrot set on the Blackpool express. The gliding, swirling performance earned Gemma and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec their first 10s of the competition, ending up with a total of 38.
Maintaining a fervent Twitter support campaign since the very beginning, Harry Potter author JK Rowling showed her support for comedian Susan Calman with a front row seat this week.
If ever there was any doubt about it, the magic of Strictly really was confirmed in Blackpool tonight.
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