Last weekend, whilst we were dancing (and attempting The Strictly) at a wedding, we left our blog in the capable hands of Trishna frmo the People’s Strictly. Here are her thoughts:
Things are starting to get technical on Strictly, and it was becoming obvious this week that the judges were going to start being much more picky about the finer details. It was also the week that Bruno inadvertently swore on air. Oops.
Here’s my take on the dances this week: (DISCLAIMER: I’m not an expert!!!!!! Lol)
SALSAS (GEORGIA & GIOVANNI; KATIE & ANTON)
Honestly, I’ve yet to see a salsa this season that screams to me Latin fever. That’s what salsa should be. It should be hot, fiery, sexy and fun. The hips should have a life of their own and the top half should be shimmying and shaking like there’s no tomorrow. Georgia has come the closest so far this season, with a disco-inspired routine. However, for someone as young and flexible as she is, I expected much more hip action when doing the basic salsa steps. I agreed with Craig too, that you could see her preparing for the lifts. There should be fluidity there. The lifts should provide an element of surprise and give the dance an “ooh” factor. Having said that, it was a fun routine and a nice opener.
Katie’s salsa wasn’t great. The lifts looked awkward, there was no hip movement, it wasn’t loose enough and she was too upright. I do enjoy watching her and Anton though. And I’m glad they’ve survived another week.
RUMBA (PETER & JANETTE)
Probably the hardest dance for male celebrities. Peter did a great job at presenting the dance. However, I do feel that as the weeks go on, he’s going to have to work harder at getting the technical things just right, because the judges are just going to get stricter. There needed to be more softness in his movements, and I agree with the judges that sometimes he’s a bit too staccato. When I watch a rumba I want to sigh and say “ohhhhh, to be in love”!? That was almost there with this dance but not quite all there!
JIVES (AINSLEY & NATALIE; KELLIE & KEVIN)
Ah, this is “my” dance! The one piece of advice I remember being given by the professional jivers who were helping Louis Smith and I when we went to the Jive party in London as part of People’s Strictly, was that you had to look like you were having fun. And boy, did Ainsley look like he was having fun! I think his posture tends to let him down, even with a jive where it’s probably the most relaxed and least upright out of any of the dances. However, the man’s got rhythm and this jive was happy, fun, and he did extremely well to keep up! Yes, technically there were lots of things that could have been improved, however, we already know by now that he’s not the best technical dancer of the bunch. So the fact that he’s able to entertain so well was what I loved so much. He’s going to be missed!
I feel that Kellie and Kevin’s jive could have done with a bit of breathing space, which would have enabled her to work a bit more on getting the bounce rather than trying to remember so many steps. It was a really hard routine but I felt it looked heavy footed in places. I know from experience that the more tired you are, the less bouncy you become, so maybe going for something a bit slower (which still wouldn’t have taken much away from the speed of it!) may have benefitted her and could potentially have scored them more points that would’ve put them further ahead.
HELEN & ALJAZ’S QUICKSTEP
Aljaz has now managed to choreograph two ballroom dances that have been my favourite of all the dances during two weeks now. That’s a pretty good achievement considering I’m definitely a Latin girl! Week 1’s waltz with Helen took my breath away and this week’s quickstep just left me smiling and feeling like everything was right with the world! It was energetic, light, bubbly and made you think of birds tweeting, the sun shining and everything that puts a smile on your face on a cold, rainy, autumnal night in the middle of October! LOVED IT and they deserved to be at the top of the leader board!
TANGO (ANITA & GLEB)
I adore the choreography that Gleb is bringing to Strictly, even if the judges aren’t always fans. I think it’s edgy, different and keeps you guessing every week. In Anita, I think he’s found the perfect student. Someone who doesn’t mind pushing the boundaries and has the natural and technical ability to do so. This was a contemporary tango and Anita’s technique was great. Her legs were doing what they should be doing and the energy created by the dance was raw and electric. That’s what dance is all about! On a side note – Anita’s mum should come on and do salsa cameo because those hips can move! Lol!
WALTZES & VIENNESE WALTZES (JEREMY & KAREN; CAROL & PASHA; KIRSTY & BRENDAN)
I love watching Jeremy because he’s so entertaining and quite obviously loves this whole experience. This was the first time, however, that I felt he didn’t really immerse himself in the dance. Saying that, he still made me smile and I want to see more of him!
Carol and Pasha’s Viennese Waltz was lovely. You can tell she’s much more comfortable with the ballroom dances and I liked the fact that Pasha has confidence in her to leave her out of hold. She’s really improved and I think that should be rewarded. Maybe the judges should be scoring twice – once for effort and once for technical ability!
I didn’t really enjoy Kirsty’s Viennese waltz I’m afraid. While the judges said that technically she’d improved a lot and the dance was good, it just didn’t do it for me. She still doesn’t look comfortable on the dance floor and seems to be quite tense. Maybe if she relaxed a bit she’d settle down into the dance more and it wouldn’t look like she was being “carried” by Brendan.
FOXTROT (JAMELIA & TRISTAN)
I agree with the judges that Jamelia seems to have a mental block when it comes to the ballroom dances, which is a shame because I think it’s holding her back in terms of progress. I have to agree with Bruno – if you make a mistake you have to cover it up. The judges don’t know the choreography so they’ll never know a mistake unless you allow them to. Dancing is also about putting on a performance so even if you’re not comfortable, the only person who need ever know is you and your dance partner. Put a game face on and give it your all. Jamelia would do well to remember that if she wants to stay in the competition for many weeks to come.
PASO DOBLE (JAY & ALIONA)
The Paso is one of those dances where I either love or hate the routine. Too much aggression can just put me into a bad mood, but not enough and it takes away from the whole heart of the dance, which is modelled around the drama of a bullfight. I love what Aliona is doing in terms of choreography for Jay. She’s really bringing out the best in him and you can see his confidence building week after week. He’s starting to immerse himself into the dance and really living it, which I love. I could watch these two all day long. I thought his shapes were great, I know Bruno said something about his bum being in the wrong place which meant at times he lost his shape slightly, but really, who cares when he’s so captivating to watch?! Plus, there’s always a danger that in the Paso male celebrities just strut about angrily and don’t really do that much. Jay worked this beautifully. There was a real sense of exchange between him and Aliona because he was actually moving around the floor and dancing! Mesmerising.
THE EXIT: All I can say about this is that now we’re getting further into the competition, those with lower technical ability will start to drop off the end. Even when the public like them, if people like Ainsley, Carol, Jeremy and even maybe Jamelia and Kirsty, find themselves in the dance-off against the likes of the more technically-able, the judges will be putting them out of the competition. So it wasn’t really a surprise that Ainsley left this week, as I thought it would be either him, Carol, Jamelia, Jeremy or Kirsty. I’m really going to miss him and Natalie – they’ve been brilliant fun and so entertaining! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ainsley twice now, once at Ready Steady Cook years ago and then at the Strictly launch show. He really is as nice and as bubbly as you see on screen and I’m sure he’s going to be missed by everyone there!
Thank you Trishna for reviewing Week 5’s performances. You can follow her on Twitter @TrishnaBharadia and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/trishnabharadia2015.
We’re back tomorrow from 7pm for a spooktacular halloween chat. Hope to see you there!