So let’s do this quickly, because it’s 2am and I’m just back from a wedding and I’ve just watched the entire thing on fast forward.
Katie & Anton : Fall. To. Bits. Seriously, every year the change to two dances claims a life and this year it was Katie Derham’s. Her Charleston is a lacklustre out-of-sync flop that only really comes to life in the lifts, and her waltz, which should be an utter triumph and the scene of Anton’s first ever 10s, sees her apparently forget what a ballroom hold is. She goes as a low as a 4, the first time that score’s been seen in a semi-final since James Martin did the blokerumba.
Jay & Aliona : If Aliona is following the same path to victory with Jay as she did with Harry (and let’s face it, she is) then tonight she comes across two potential bumps to throw her off track – firstly, she did a much better job of polishing Harry into a Propah Ballroom dancer than she’s managed with Jay, as his Viennese Waltz falls flat, has technical flaws abounds, and relies on contempowaft spins to haul itself over the Finish Line. Happily though the comparison in Latin(ish) and the Charleston is a positive in the other direction – Jay’s Dw Who themed effort (…) is far more loose, energetic, and most importantly full of personality than Harry’s was at this stage in her series. A shame then that he utterly pancakes Aliona in the last lift.
Georgia & Giovanni : After the week from hell (pharyngitis to a level where she and Giovanni had to cop out and do a cha cha because she was too sick to even contemplate that Argentine Tango she so wanted to do), it’s a credit to Georgia that she even manages to turn up. And that’s pretty much all she does for her disco cha cha, which turns into something of a grim death march just to get it done, even with Giovanni’s nipples ahoy. Her Viennese Waltz is better, and gets 10s, mostly it feels because like something should tonight.
Anita & Gleb : Oy…so someone apparently tipped off Gleb that he was leaving this week, as he flicks the Vs to the blindfolded pebble chucking Genre Choice Turtles by ditching the salsa entirely in favour of the show’s first ever semi-final showdance, complete with club dancing, hip hop moves, and more Gleb Specials than you even know existed in creation. He’s a soldier and Anita is a cheerleader. They’re dancing to Pitbull. I hope she feels like she got everything for her experience now, and also that he doesn’t feel too stymied for things to do if he has to…you know…choreograph an actual showdance next week. (Oh and there’s also a foxtrot to New York New York. It’s there)
Kellie & Kevin : As annoying as it is for me to admit it…are the strongest pairing of the night. Their rumba is a sweet enough Len-Pleasing effort which is maybe a little lacking in her armography but still by some distance the strongest effort of Round 1. Not that that’s saying much. It all comes together though in the second routine of the night, and in which Kellie manages to break the Curse Of Eastenders by managing to get through the end of her semi looking alive, engaged, and most of all not half-dead as Kevin pulls out every choreographical trick he’s been holding back all series for an American Smooth to Let’s Face The Music And Dance. And it’s a good one.