Strictly Come Dancing 2017 week 10 recap: Craig Revel Horwood just wants to be Debbie McGee

'The Black Friday sales set to Spanish music' - it's time for the first ever paso doble-thon

Ella Kemp@ella_kemp
Saturday 25 November 2017 21:36
Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez
Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez

As if the Blackpool special wasn’t exciting enough, week 10 premieres a Strictly Come Dancing exclusive, with the first ever paso doble-thon.

As well as their individual performances, the remaining seven celebrities faced a brand new challenge as they danced an exciting and explosive paso doble on the ballroom floor – all celebrities, all dancers, all at the same time.

But before the new challenge even began – a whole new crop of performances raised the bar yet again.

Holby City actor Joe McFadden opened the show with a New York skyscraper-themed quickstep. With stellar and clever choreography from his partner Katya Jones yet again, McFadden delivered a playful, sharp start to the evening. The pair earned a strong score of ‘38’, no less.

A pin could have dropped during singer Alexandra Burke‘s rumba, described by judge Bruno Tonioli as “a drama set to music” – while other judges failed to pick up on any emotional connection. Clearly with the quarter-finals only a week away, even frontrunners have got to keep improving.

The fictional settings may have reached the peak of imaginative, as radio presenter Gemma Atkinson and her partner Aljaz Skoranejc danced quite literally a sleepy samba. With “arms like soup ladles” according to judge Craig Revel Horwood, the Blackpool lights seem all too far away now.

First a Beyoncé cover, next Rihanna – a swing version of “Umbrella” accompanied popstar Mollie King‘s quickstep; the second of the evening, 140th of the series. While Mollie made huge improvements in her dancing, the lasting memory for her this week will be of all the presenters, dancers and celebrities urging the singer to kiss her partner AJ Pritchard. Rumours of romance have been bubbling for weeks – but hang tight for an official announcement.

Any routine that starts with the splits is sure to redeem any previous dance-off – and that was certainly Debbie McGee‘s intention with her Argentine tango. After a struggling samba last week, McGee’s performance certainly brought her back on top. Craig admitted he wishes he could dance like Debbie and Shirley praised her balance – earning a stunning ‘38’.

While Davood Ghadami and Susan Calman performed some equally smooth and nice dances – all was to play for in the long-awaited paso doble-thon.

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But what in the world is a paso doble-thon?

Following the cha cha challenge of previous years, the paso doble-thon saw all couples take to the floor at the same time, hoping to earn extra points to add to their individual scores. The winning couple wins an extra seven points, second place wins an extra six, and so on.

From where we’re standing, highlights included Susan Calman completely owning her paso cape, and some excellent hip action from Gemma Atkinson.

But first place went to Alexandra and her partner Gorka Marquez, while Susan and her partner Kevin Clifton only scored one extra point, finishing last. However, it’s all still to play for – tune in to Sunday night’s results to find out who makes it through to the quarter finals.

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