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Now It’s Down To Business

November 8, 2009

We’re over the halfway point in Strictly and have got the Blackpool distraction out of the way. Thankfully, we have also lost the last of the truly terrible, yet vote skewing, contestants. And we only lost one decent dancer in the process. Zoe and James, it’s a shame you’ve gone, I enjoyed watching you and I voted for you every week.

Of the remaining celebs, Ricky Whittle is clearly the best dancer there, and I enjoy watching him and Natalie every time. It’s a shame they had a couple of mistakes in the tango, and I didn’t like the music, but it was a good dance. Ricky Groves was a disappointment this week, I was expecting another really entertaining routine like his cha-cha, but it just didn’t happen. Phil Tufnell’s rumba was ok, I’m glad they didn’t go for a really sexy routine, as I don’t think that would have worked. He does need to work a bit harder, though, as I think he’s coasting a bit.

Natalie coped well with a tricky routine from Vincent, but I do not think she is good enough to make it to the final. Laila’s paso was also disappointing for me. It was her best latin, but that’s not saying much, and Anton should know better than to sneak lifts in – it was a cheap shot, and overall the routine lacked a lot of bite, in my opinion. Ali’s Viennese Waltz was always going to get a massive score, especially after last week, but it was far too sweet for my liking. I’m not convinced by her, she still has a couple of tricky latin dances to do, which I think will show that she’s really only good at the princessy ballroom.

Jade and Ian were lucky this week, getting the jive at Blackpool. I don’t particularly buy that the jive is hard for tall people, Ian and Matthew certainly have no problems with it in the pro dances, but it is difficult if one partner is a lot taller than the other. I think that their routine would have looked a lot more hectic in the smaller space of the usual studio, but I enjoyed the dance – it had a lot of energy and was more technical than a lot of jives we’ve seen this year. My favourites overall are Chris and Ola, I thought their foxtrot last night was beautiful, I love the way they have developed as a team, and for me, of the non-performer celebs left, Chris has made the most improvements. I would be very happy to see them continue to improve and make it to the final. He has the samba still to come, maybe even this week, and if he makes it through that, he might be ok. I’d love to see him become the Darren Gough of this series – not the best dancer technically, but very good, and the most improved. That would make me very happy!

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