For the first time in weeks, we were actually talking about the dancing on Strictly tonight – not the Halloween make-up, tabloid headlines or guest judges. There were some stunning, traditional ballroom dances that really showcased what our celebrities are capable of, as well as a couple of dance floor dis-ah-sters. Here are the standout moments:
Ashley tops the leaderboard yet again
Getting a bit boring now, isn’t it? Ashley tried to create some tension by suggesting she wasn’t getting on well with the foxtrot, but surprise surprise she was absolutely flawless! Pasha choreographed a sensational classic big band routine to a Natalie Cole track, and it was everything Strictly should be – elegant, entertaining and effortless. Craig still resisted reaching for a ten, but that’s 39/40 two weeks in a row. Pasha was already the most successful pro in the show’s history, and these scores will definitely cement that status. Special mention to Faye and Giovanni’s incredible tango which would have got the same mark had Shirley not got pernickety about footwork.
Stacey dazzles through injury
Despite insisting she didn’t want to talk about it, it was impossible to ignore Stacey’s bruised rib injury; mainly because she tweeted about it. Tonight, the judges’ favourite couple (there’s no denying it) swapped their Doctor Who tango for a Fred and Ginger-inspired street dance, which aimed to prove that commercial performance doesn’t require a baseball cap. After rave reviews they scored 36/40 and finished third on the leaderboard. Should we just send the glitterball to the engravers now?
The Argentine tango is back
Forget your street dance nonsense, the Argentine tango remains the most hotly-anticipated style every year, which is exactly why they hold it back until the halfway point. Aljaz and an injured Kate (another rib problem – what are they doing in training?!) were the first to showcase it. The routine was choreographed by Argentine Tango King Vincent Simone, and Aljaz fell in love with the dance, but Kate couldn’t really do it justice. And it wasn’t just because of the injury. Shame. There will be better examples of the style to come, wait and see.
The Paso Joe-ble brings the house down
Lovely Joe is just the kind of boy you’d want your daughter to bring home, but he managed to dig deep and find some raw aggression to close the show with a powerful paso tonight. Brrrrruno was extremely excited by the whole thing and described Joe as a ‘young bull dressed by Gucci’. Joe looked scared. But delighted with his hug from Shirley at the end.
Will Danny be in the dance-off?
The unthinkable now looks possible. Danny gave us his trademark level of performance, but he set out on the wrong foot and the timing was a complete mess. He’s at the bottom of the judges leaderboard and will need voted if he’s to avoid dancing again. As for the other spot, it’s a tough one this week. Usually one dance-off means there are more to come, but by ending up mid-leaderboard it’s possible that both Graeme and Charles could have dodged the bullet. Which leaves Kate and Dr Ranj in deep trouble…
Follow the episode as it happened with what was our live blog below (please allow a moment for it to load):
Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday and Sunday nights on BBC1.