Strictly Come Dancing 14 – Week 9 Performance Summary

BLACKPOOL! And a bit of an odd Blackpool as the whole show seems to have been scheduled in reverse – all of the ringers and frontrunners at the start and our Underdog Males all scrapping it out in the last three slots. Fortunately (even if it isn’t reflected in the scores) a couple of our frontrunners oblige the usual run of things by putting out distinctly underpar performances – Ore tries his best with a Rat Pack casino themed dance that aims to mix foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, American Smooth, and the Mannequin Challenge, but which ends up looking as much of a dog’s breakfast as that sounds, but it’s Cloudia who really screws said pooch, with a cheerleader themed jive that is full of mistakes, forgotten segments, and empty gymnastics, all topped off with a skirt that only highlights how odd her legs look the whole time. Fortunately Louise and Danny both rise to the occasion, with the former giving the most RIDICULOUS Blackpool drama paso yet seen by human eyes. Lord knows where they go from here, but with thrones, backing dancers, constant skirt swishing, pyrotechnics and Kevin in guyliner, I think we just headbutted the glass ceiling. Danny’s Charleston? Just good dancing, letting him show off how light on his feet he was at the beginning of his Charleston expanded out to a full dance. It gets 40, and whilst it doesn’t quite warrant it, Cloudia got 36 so here we are. It’s Blackpool, it cannot be stopped.

The boys fighting it out to avoid the drop? Ed’s flying flaming piano is inevitably less exciting than expected, mostly because it’s sat securely on a platform rather than free-swinging, but his jive kicks don’t look totally terrible. Sometimes. It’s more than I was expecting to be honest. Greg’s handjive quickstep meanwhile is saved by Natalie turning everything up to 12 to distract from the fact that he seems to becoming a less and less assured performer as the series goes on. Poor boy looks TERRIFIED bless him. But it’s Judge Rinder’s Spice Girls salsa that gets to close the evening out and…well it’s a mess. An utterly charming mess, particularly when he styles out a botched lift like a drag queen styling out tripping on the stairs on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but a bit of a mess all the same. He seems most in danger to me, but…PIMP SLOT, so it’s probably all up for grabs in reality.

Best of all though? Right at the beginning? A truly fantastic pro-am group dance being performed to “One” from A Chorus Line. Even if the rest of the night was all downhill from there, at least we started on a high.

29 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 14 – Week 9 Performance Summary

  1. Marcela

    I hated Ore’s VW, hated it! It was a mess and don’t even start me on those silly little jumps he did in the middle.
    Natalie’s demented face during the splits was a sight, wasn’t it? Greg didn’t look neither comfortable nor confident during that, all he looked like was worried and maybe a little scared.
    Louise danced her Paso smiling throughout it and never the “Too nice to Paso” adage was truer. It was alright dance wise though.

    Sorry for the meh comments but it was a bit of a bland affair imho compared to last year and Anita’s Paso.

    1. DJ Mikey

      Indeed – Anita’s Paso was shameless Panto and we all adored it. Louise’s Paso was nice and technically proficient, but it just didn’t live up to the giddy heights of Blackpool Paso – as set by such luminaries as Anita Rani and Pixie Lott.

      The Judge’s Salsa was so much fun – it was everything I want in a Salsa, campy, fun and ridiculous. The Judge’s Paso would have been epic at Blackpool, I think for me it will be the Paso of this series nothing else is going to touch, Danny’s already done his Paso and Ore isn’t going to deliver the mood for a Paso (he only got through his Tango because there was so little Tango in it).

      Danny’s Charleston was epic and is receiving appropriate levels of gushing, right now on YT.

      1. monkseal Post author

        I’m not imagining the little army of caterpillar footsoldiers Rindy would have commanded at Blackpool as KING OF THE BUTTERFLIES.

    2. redfred

      Loved, loved Danny & Oti’s Charleston. That was very impressive.

      Not so impressed with Ore & Jo… good dance but didn’t ‘feel’ like a Viennese Waltz. Music didn’t help, so was that something forced on them or did Jo choose it? Not really clear why that got 6 points more than Greg & Nat – atmosphere again maybe? *shrug*

      Louise & Kevin, I’m wondering if that’s one that was just far more impressive in person. It didn’t have the feel watching it of, say, Anita, Pixie or Susanna’s ones, but perhaps it was different seeing it live.

      Ed… well, I recognised it as a jive, and I couldn’t help but grin at it, so he’s already a step above some of previous beloved Chuckles the Comedy Contestants we’ve had.

    3. Marcela

      Fuck me, I hate when I keep thinking over something I wrote it wrong and have to go back to correct my own grammar: “Greg looked neither comfortable nor confident during that”.
      (it has to do with the day job, soz)

  2. Lesley Rigg

    I watched on a 10 minute delay, and saw Ore’s VW and grabbed the remote to do the ff – WTF was that..?

    I did like Lou’s Paso – Kev looked a bit under the weather mind – but it dd make me laugh every time she clapped and it looked like a five year old being told they were getting 10 minutes longer in the playground for colouring nicely!!

  3. Elaine

    Loved Danny & Oti, best dance (and a real dance at that!) of the night. Louise looked like she was just going through the motions…nothing like THAT paso of Susanna & Kevin. Hated Ore’s thing, it was more like an American Smooth than anything else, no matter how many bloody fleckerls they threw in! Ed wasn’t bad enough to get just 23 points…watch the public save him yet again. Greg &Natalie are doomed…though suspect will be a dance off with Cloudia & AJ…you heard it here first my friends!
    PS Spinny chairs? They would never read Digital Spy, would they?

  4. ChaChaChavvy

    Absolutely loved the opening routine but it didn’t compensate for the rest of the show being a damp squib. I hate, hate, hate the extra dancers with a passion. They just get in the way and make everyone look tentative and under-rehearsed. And it’s bollocks that they need them to fill the floor, because they managed for 10 series without them.

    For me, the whole show can be summed up in two dances : Greg – great posture, good movement, lots of content (if very basic), lacking in swing and sway, one glaring mistake – gets 32; Ore – good showmanship, hunched posture, skippy throughout, lack of content (making it an American Smooth, not a Viennese Waltz) – gets 38. WTF? I mean, they should have had the same score, right?

    I can’t exactly explain why, but I like the lack of stairs at Blackpool. It feels like it saves a lot of faff.

    1. DJ Mikey

      Has anybody else noticed how daintily the pro-girls run over to the Clauditorium, they don’t run that daintily in Elstree..

  5. Beyonce

    Missed it tonight and now watching Danny Baker being a gobshite on I’m a celeb so thanks for the recap Chris. But I did see Ed’s jive on YouTube when I got in…it had more content than St Peter of Andre 😉 but not much fire. (I have to be honest, I was hoping for an illegal lift or two, the scores being knocked down a point would have been balanced by the public vote). Fair play to Katya for sticking to the rules but it might go against them. (Have not seen the others yet though to compare). Bull. Danny vs Martin for bushtucker trial and Martin’s doing it…

    1. monkseal Post author

      I am enjoying watching Ola and Lisa compete to be the most irrelevant cast member, the little I’ve seen of IAC this year.

  6. jojo

    Oh you are so very mistaken. Danny’s Charleston was one of the best dances on Strictly ever. He’s easily the best ever celeb on Strictly by a clear mile. He has charisma and he has the technique. His partnership with Oti is absolutely endearing and also my favourite partnership ever. Her choreography has been the best throughout this series.

  7. Beyonce

    Yay! Some lovely person posted the whole show.

    Floss: Claudia yes she’s sweet but not much substance
    Rock: Ore, stiff in places. Beaten by paper (tissues) Spock (Tess) and Gloti if she goes full Tonya.
    Waxwork: Lou, that rictus trying not to grin was terrifying
    Towering above everyone else: Danny hard to tell which one’s the pro Mac
    Donkey: probably Mr Ed (sorry, that was a horse) but better on 2nd viewing
    Kiss me quickstep (™heidi) : Ovary voters wanted Zuko, got Maxwell Caulfield
    Illumination: Craig has been saving that Grindr reference all series.

    Preferred Anita’s cheerleading over Cloud’s
    Preferred Brenda’s Charleston waitering skills over Danny’s
    Preferred Pixie’s gladiator over Lou’s GameOfThrones (or titsndragons as it’s known on MN)
    Preferred Ed’s (joke redacted ™monkseal)

    LOVED Rob’s eye rolling the vt tenuous link. Missed seeing Trev. Sweet to see Danny’s mum(?) and fiancé hugging. Kev is becoming the AntNotDec of Strictly, expecting a beard soon.
    Have found another gladiatorial paso that justifies Lou’s tens.

  8. Carl

    My favorite part was when the opening number decided to openly troll the “Danny ringah” base by having Danny leading a troupe of male pros and then slyly sneaking in through the “celeb” door.

    After managing a few strong dances at last year’s Blackpool, this year they somehow managed to, through obtrusive background dancers, poor singing (“Mickey,” “Spice Up Your Life”), and poor camera work, managed to at best not completely get in the way of the best.

    Best in spite of the show:

    Danny and Oti – I can imagine the hoopla over this getting a 40, but it doesn’t bother me, in part because I know the other two couples most likely to get the first 40 probably wouldn’t have deserved it, and in part because I have no idea what this routine might have been without the “background” dancers (who for an odd length of time actually took up the spotlight with Oti while Danny was left behind her) and without the bewildering camera work that at times seemed to be trying to film Danny and Oti from another studio entirely. I thought I would be “charlestoned” out by this point, but this was a lively and sleek number that didn’t have as much of the rictus grin feel as I might have thought. Good work.

    What can you do:

    Claudia and AJ – I doubt she would have been very good at the jive even in more streamlined weeks, but the ridiculous amount of time spent on her having to cheerlead, on the background dancers and the football motif, etc. made her feel sidelined and made the actual dancing seem like an afterthought. This was just not good. I wonder how many of the judge marks were out of pity.

    Greg and Natalie – I can’t blame the show for Greg continuing to look like he’s in her own personal Groundhog Day, but I can blame them for having “hand jive” for a quickstep, and then, on a night where background dancers repeatedly got in the way, chose to restrained the background dancers on a number where their personality and showboating was most needed. This felt like a very dead, sparse dance.

    Not great but they made it worse:

    Louise and Kevin – Paso was never going to be her dance, as her idea of intensity is occasionally managing to move her face, and she didn’t even manage to move it here. But adding 5 million dancers, awful camera work, a ridiculous dais where she seemed to be, rather than doing paso steps, clogging, a cheesy song that sounded like the intro to Hercules or Xena: Warrior Princess, and keeping her detached from Kevin (who got lost in the midst of all of it and also seemed to be dressed in a badly dyed version of one of Graham Parson’s old Nude Suits) just kept on dragging this further down. Second week in a row that a dance that is supposed to blow everyone away just sort of dies.

    Good routine, bad partners:

    Ore and Joanne – This was the one dance of the night that properly used background dancers, that had good music, and had genuine atmosphere, yet Ore and Joanne overdanced it, badly overacted it, and struggled to execute the routine to the point where they spun around in a circle for 30 seconds and Ore jumped up and down for no apparent reason for 10 seconds. And Joanne seems to think she’s in an old Lucy Ricardo routine at Ricky’s club. Why is she always making those Nancy Grace faces? She never completes Ore – instead she just clashes badly with him, even after two months.

    Same old same old:

    Ed and Katya – The piano was, thankfully, not as big a distraction as I’d expected. Katya did try to teach him jive, and he did try to dance. While it wasn’t that great, it was still more than poor Claudia managed. Another week where it’s difficult to tell much difference between “bad” dancer Ed and most of the “good” dancers.

    Rinder and Oksana – I just found this cringeworthy and very forced. It’s nice that he can shake it all about, but everything about him puts me off. I keep thinking he’s in a Christopher Guest film I haven’t seen yet.

  9. Pops

    (Whispers) I liked Ore’s dance. I think the Viennese Waltz was probably one of the tougher dance draws of the night in terms of big, crowd-pleasing spectacle, so I can see why Jo chucked everything but the kitchen sink at it. I don’t think it was a 10, but after they gave Claudia nines, they didn’t have anywhere else to go and the leaderboard looked about right to me at the end.

    (Although maybe Rinder should have been higher just for highlighting the tenuousness of the VTs. Kevin probably got his paso expression practice in trying to say “Louise needs to bring the aggression she showed making rock to the paso” with a straight face.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Viennese Waltz is always one of those dances where I think they could really use the floorspace at Blackpool to go all out (Katie’s Viennese Waltz last year would have been amazing for it) and then they hamper it with the wrong type of music or clogging everywhere up with props and staging.

  10. John

    I (whisper) liked Ores VW as well. I think he just brings the smooth rather than tried to make it a Smooth but maybes that’s just me. Joanne really does vary with the choreo though.

    Louise’s paso lacked intensity and really wasn’t her dance. It was clean but kinda anemic. We’ve not had a great paso this season. Lean times!

    Danny’s charleston, reminded me of Natalie Gumedes. Virtuouso and eccentrically classy.

    I’m still sick of Ed, sorry Ed stans. When you watch a jive and think ‘Hey I could do that’ at week Blackpool you know someone probably has overstayed their ability. And darnit I find him to pleased with himself and nowhere near funny enough. Not getting it! If he makes the final….why I oughta

    I loved Cloudias jive. It was slick and snappy. Missed the mistakes I have to say.

    Gregs QS. Perfectly fine. The very definition of an 8. I love his chemistry with Natalie.

    Rinders the man. Still.

  11. Penny

    I loved the opening number, and have been humming bits of One while doing surreptitious kick ball changes and jazz hands at intervals all day, much to the bemusement of other passengers on the Tube.

    I know that there have been many other group numbers in previous years where the remaining comedy duffer has been ostentatiously sat on a chair (TM DVO) or similar but I can’t remember another group dance where the ringer’s full-belt spotlight choreography has so noticeably outstripped everyone else’s “vamp for a bit while surrounded by pros”.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I remember there were a few group dances in Series 11 where all the female pros got to do loads and Mark and Ashley and Patrick always ended up stuck at the back pulling silly faces. Not quite the same thing but almost.


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