Strictly Come Dancing returned to our screens last week – and this year’s cast of celebrities have already set an incredibly high bar, with a show full of sensational performances.
Last night our 15 couples were back on the ballroom floor for round two, and this week is where things really start to heat up, with one of them hanging up their dance shoes for good after tonight’s results show.
Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were on hand to keep things running smoothly and soothe the contestants’ nerves, whilst judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and head judge Shirley Ballas shared their views on every foxtrot and fleckerl.
It was another standout week with some great dance, but who were our favourites? In no particular order, here’s our top five routines from last night’s show:
1: Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola – Foxtrot to ‘Perfect’ by Fairground Attraction
Ellie impressed with her Jive last week and tonight we got the chance to see what she can do in Ballroom. In a gorgeous ice cream-striped dress, she showed off her acting chops throughout this routine and filled it with humour and fun, as well as having some lovely lines in her arms, nice footwork, great flow across the floor and good control in her spins. There was no gapping to be seen and I thought the storytelling was brilliant throughout. She’s definitely a contender and I cannot WAIT for her American Smooth after this!
2: Nigel Harman and Katya Jones – Viennese Waltz to ‘Until I Found You’ by Stephen Sanchez
It may not have hit the heights of last week’s Paso score-wise, but I adored this routine from Nigel and Katya. For me it felt so gorgeous and romantic, really showcasing his acting skills and there was a tenderness about it I really liked, as well as a very strong emotional connection between the two of them. The storytelling really drew me in and I thought they flowed beautifully across the floor as well. Yes his footwork needed a little refinement, but overall it was another standout performance and should see them safely through to next week.
3: Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu – Jive to ‘Trouble’ by Shampoo
After a strong start with her Tango last week, tonight Angela got to show us her sassy side with this playful, content-packed Jive. I loved her energy levels and stamina throughout, as well as her sharp kicks and flicks (extra marks for pointing her toes), and her spring and drive through the floor as well. The drunken sailor move and armography were also standouts for me, and it was a huge improvement on her performance last week. She absolutely smashed it – literally with the camera effect at the end! – and I can’t wait to see where she goes next week.
4: Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington – Foxtrot to ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’ by Frank Sinatra
Angela dazzled us all with her Cha-Cha last week (I’m still thinking about *that* leg extension!) so I couldn’t wait to see what she’d do with a classic Ballroom routine, and she delivered in spades. Channelling Dior’s New Look on a flower-filled set, she made the simple, charming routine look absolutely effortless, with some gorgeous heel leads, nice rise and fall, great frame and the most beautiful smile throughout. It was a classy and sophisticated dream of a performance and the partnership between her and Kai is just so sweet to watch – I actually found myself shedding a tear at the end!
5: Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin – Quickstep to ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’ by Gregory Porter
Closing the show were Layton and Nikita with a cool, slick Quickstep that featured incredible pace across the dancefloor, some seriously impressive leaps and outstanding precision. I could really tell Layton took on board last week’s feedback from the judges as his footwork has improved considerably, particularly in the opening section where his feet were practically a blur throughout, and also thought he had some really nice shapes in his arms. The performance quality was absolutely through the roof again and I loved his energy too, as well as that very impressive high kick! For me it was the dance of the series so far and I cannot wait for him to see him back on the ballroom floor again.
Tonight’s leaderboard was:
Layton and Nikita – 36 (9, 9, 9, 9)
Amanda and Giovanni – 32 (8, 8, 8, 8)
Ellie and Vito – 31 (8, 8, 7, 8)
Angela and Kai – 31 (8, 8, 7, 8)
Bobby and Dianne – 29 (7, 7, 7, 8)
Angela and Carlos – 29 (7, 7, 7,8)
Nigel and Katya – 27 (7, 7, 6, 7)
Adam and Luba – 23 (5, 6, 5, 7)
Zara and Graziano – 23 (6, 6, 5, 6)
Annabel and Johannes – 22 (4, 6, 6, 6)
Eddie and Karen – 21 (3, 6, 5, 7)
Krishnan and Lauren – 20 (4, 5, 5, 6)
Nikita and Gorka – 18 (3, 5, 5, 5)
Jody and Jowita – 16 (3, 4, 4, 5)
Les and Nancy – 15 (2, 4, 4, 5)
When added to last week’s score, the total leaderboard for the first two shows was:
Layton and Nikita – 29 + 36 = 65
Amanda and Giovanni – 29 + 32 = 61
Ellie and Vito – 29 + 31 = 60
Nigel and Katya – 32 + 27 = 59
Angela and Kai – 28 + 31 = 59
Bobby and Dianne – 29 + 29 = 58
Angela and Carlos – 23 + 29 = 52
Annabel and Johannes – 28 + 22 = 50
Eddie and Karen – 22 + 21 = 43
Adam and Luba – 19 + 23 = 42
Krishnan and Lauren – 22 + 20 = 42
Zara and Graziano – 19 + 23 = 42
Jody and Jowita – 21 +16 = 37
Nikita and Gorka – 18 + 18 = 36
Les and Nancy – 16 + 15 = 31
So who do we think will miss out on Movie Week? Personally I’m nervous for Nikita and Jody – but we’ll find out tonight…
Strictly Come Dancing: The Results will be broadcast at 7.15 PM tonight (Sunday 1 October) on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.