Strictly Come Dancing 2017 week 11 recap: Celebrities outdance professionals and sparks continue to fly

'Did you just kiss there?' - nothing out of the ordinary in Musicals Week 

Ella Kemp@ella_kemp
Saturday 02 December 2017 22:45

With only three weeks to go until this year's winner is revealed, there's no room to mess around anymore in Strictly Come Dancing. Week 11 is Musicals Week, this year's quarter-final - and a night with the highest standard of performances yet.

From Hello Dolly to Mary Poppins, iconic musicals set the scene for the six remaining celebrities' performances. Radio presenter Gemma Atkinson kicked off the show with a quickstep to the theme song from Hello Dolly. Despite her precise "swanlike posture", a lack of acting somewhat let her down.

But what Gemma lacked in Broadway acting, popstar Mollie King made up for with romantic chemistry that the whole ballroom couldn't help but point out - yet again.

"Did you just kiss there?", presenter Tess Daly asked Mollie and her partner AJ Pritchard after their Grease-inspired rumba. While rumours of romance have been bubbling for weeks, the pair remain coy and continue to focus on the dancing. Mollie and AJ scored two '9's this evening, despite including an illegal lift in their routine. Perhaps chemistry outweighs technique at this stage?

Elsewhere, a showstopping performance combined polished theatrics and slick technique in Joe McFadden's samba to 'Money, Money' from Burlesque classic Cabaret. The Holby City actor has gone from strength to strength each week, and he now stands as a favourite to win the competition.

Frontrunner Debbie McGee impressed yet again, with a stunning American Smooth inspired by Cats. Despite mentioning back problems and struggles throughout the week, McGee was a twirling and spinning cat across the ballroom ending up with a near-perfect score of '39'.

Ever adored by the judges, Darcey Bussell praised Debbie, "purring with delight". And taking Darcey's comments to the next level, Craig Revel Horwood just purred. No words in response to Debbie's performance. Just cat noises.

After two stunning performances already, the third Argentine Tango of the series was performed by Eastenders Davood Ghadami, the first male celebrity to do so this year.

Taking on the epic role of the Phantom of the Opera, Davood with his partner Nadiya Bychkova delivered an electric number. However, despite sharp characterisation, the actor struggled with balance issues in a somewhat uneven performance.

Closing the show was Alexandra Burke, coming back on top form after her time in the bottom two last week. Dancing a charleston to Mary Poppins' 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', the singer claimed back her top spot this week after proving her dance skills were just as strong as her professional dance partner, Gorka Marquez.

Tieing Debbie's score of '39' (and further solidifying the pair's fierce competition), Marquez joked that he was the weak link that prevented Alexandra from scoring top marks. It's all to play for ahead of next week's semi-final, as no one is safe anymore.

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