Another week, another display of stunning routines on Strictly Come Dancing.
Glossing over the obsession with Blackpool, there was lots to enjoy tonight (10 November), and it was heartening to see Lauren and Charles climb the leaderboard, mixing up the competition.
We had tears from the judges, Rylan Clark Neal announcing the Ts and Cs, and more mentions of the Tower Ballroom than even the tourist board would think reasonable. Here’s what happened…
Ashley makes Shirley cry…
…in a good way of course! Ashley has, perhaps unfairly, received a lot more stick than Faye for being a trained dancer. That’s probably because Faye is fizzing with excitement to be on the show, whereas Ashley can come across as rather blasé.
Not tonight though. She shared the story of her recent bereavement and dedicated her breathtakingly emotional couple’s choice contemporary routine to her late dad. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and even Shirley was blubbing. The routine still didn’t get a full 40 though, Craig is still looking for his ten paddle…
Faye and Joe come crashing down to earth
By this stage in the competition, we can usually predict which couples will sail through the judges’ comments without any serious putdowns. Faye and Joe both have a foot in the final already, but it wasn’t the best week for either of them.
Yes, Faye finished second on the leaderboard but Shirley really went to town with her critique, telling the Steps star that all the other couples looked like they were fighting much harder than her. A bit of a kick in the teeth for a woman who has spent a big chunk of the week in physio because she’s training so hard.
Golden boy Joe couldn’t nail the samba either and finished fourth from last. You can bet your Facebook password he’ll be back on the show next week though.
Graeme channels Mr Motivator
There should have been a ‘do not adjust your set’ warning for Graeme and Oti’s fluorescent aerobics-inspired routine, complete with treadmill choreography, tiny shorts and impressive lifts.
Entertaining and energetic, the judges mostly just looked shocked at what they had witnessed and couldn’t help but smile. It didn’t translate into amazing marks though – they’re third from bottom and with one dance-off under their belt could be about to face another.
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Charles nails the Charleston
Every year there’s a celeb who faces the humiliation of repeated dance-offs. This series it’s Charles and his partner Karen, who have survived it three times. I’ll be surprised if they’re back there tonight though – their window-cleaning themed Charleston (yes, really) earned them a whopping 35/40 and helped them finish third on the leaderboard. Strong work.
Danny’s in danger
Oh, how the tide has turned since Danny wowed us in the early weeks. He’s been the subject of headlines after a training room spat with Amy, and must be worried he’ll face trial by media as happened to Sean(n) and Katya. We’d all hoped his fall to the bottom of the leaderboard last weekend was a one-off but he’s back there again tonight after the judges found his samba too spiky. Will the public still be supporting him?
Something’s happening in Blackpool
Yes, the annual Tower Ballroom spectacular is on the horizon next week and all the couples are desperate to take part. They only mentioned it 6000 times. Claudia mocked the obsession and recommended strong black coffee for anyone who had been taking a shot for every mention.
Still, Strictly faces the strong possibility that everyone is now bored of Blackpool already. But much fun can be gleaned from watching rich celebs pretend they’re desperate to visit the British seaside in November rather than jet off to Barbados.
The Independent live-blogged along with all the action. Catch up on everything that happened, moment-by-moment, below.
Catch the Strictly results show on BBC One at 7.50pm.
Hello and welcome to The Independent's Strictly Come Dancing live-blog, bringing you all the latest glitz and glamour news from the BBC show.
First, catch up on all the biggest talking points from last week below...
Reports this morning claimed there had been issues between couple Danny John-Jules and Amy Dowden. The professional dander has admitted things got "a little bit intense" during rehearsals, but that tensions quickly subsided.
Speaking on It Takes Two, she said: "I've never felt bullied or threatened by Danny. I really want to get this man to Blackpool and then to the final."
The pair ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard last week but avoided elimination. Instead, Dr Ranj Singh left the show after dancing off against Charles Venn.
Half an hour to go! Craig Revel Horwood told a magazine this week that he's desperately trying to cut down his use of the word 'darling', and fears he says it too much. Reckons he's never got through a show without saying it. We predict he never will... In other news, be prepared for everyone to be obsessed with Blackpool this week - if they avoid elimination they get to dance at the prestigious Tower Ballroom next Saturday.
A little something to pass the time while we wait: the celebs try to emulate Craig, but just dissolve into giggles...
Dear God, Brrrrrruno has been drinking before the show. Literally anything could happen.
Here we go, Joe Pasquale has finally stopped wittering on/playing Pointless. Close your sequinned curtains and cease conversation. TIME FOR STRICTLY.
That's three mentions of Blackpool before the opening music. Take a deep breath guys...
Always funny when they show the opening titles, had totally forgotten Susannah Constantine was in the series. Good job, I wasted so much time on Google trying to remember if it was Susannah or Susanna. In other news, what on earth is Tess wearing?
Wow, Shirley and Darcey look amazing. But I remain baffled by how terrible their walk-on routine is. This is the point in the series where it becomes clear which couples are favoured by the production: Stacey is in a stunning ballgown, while Charles is in some old blue trousers you'd put on while decorating.
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