Remember how the problem last week was that everyone was kind of mediocre, and that, coupled with The Situation, made the show a muddy beige mess? Well NOT THIS WEEK. At the top of the leaderboard, we get two performances that feel like the audience have had a real jolt put up them, for the first time this series, and at the bottom we get three genuine Grade A trainwrecks.
So the two barnstormers? Both Danny and Charles deliver on their training footage in spades, both producing high energy throwback routines – Danny to The War with some primo GI style jive, and Charles back to the 70s with a James Brown soulboy routine – and both getting rapturous receptions from the audience. Danny’s gets the edge with the judges, with Darcey hauling out the first 10 of the series. For a year with so many ringahs, you’d think it would have come earlier.
At the other end? Compared to the effort put into Charles’ routine to get street dance over as a genre, Lauren gets a really grim contemporary routine for her Couples Choice, all Bonnie Tyler power fists, dumb lifts, walking about angstily and truly baffling moments where she pretends to be about to start to run coz she’s a runner innit? Seann’s quickstep is 100% energy and bluster to hide the fact he has no technique to speak of, at all, which is even more noticeable in quickstep than it was in jive and Charleston, and that’s even before we factor in some awkward guitarography and the fact that no, really, Katya has run out of special moves. (Either that or…they were Neil’s the whole time and he’s stopped dishing them out for…reasons). It’s Vick whose downfall is the most sharp though, as after the last few weeks of upswing, Graziano nukes her chances of winning from space with hands down the worst cha cha choreography I’ve ever seen on this show, all done to a terrible remix of a song that was already probably a bit too modern for this show’s audience. (In fairness, Dr Ranj’s American Smooth isn’t that much better, but it’s one of Janette’s usual 50s Housewife Routines and they all just wash over me at this point)
Elsewhere? Stacey and Graeme probably have the best night of it, with a samba and a tango respectively that deliver in terms of the character of both routines if not 100% with the technique. Joe holds his ship steady with a Very Nice Waltz that has some Definite Technical Improvement, although it’s starting to feel like they’re doing a Louis Smith with him and trying to sweep the fact he was getting multiple 8s in Week 2 under the rug so he can be a proper Jurnee Contestant. Kate unfortunately doesn’t quite have the comeback she needed after her samba, mostly because it feels like we’ve been to the “dance with my imaginary soldier boyfriend who is off doin’ a war” well too many times now, as much as she puts her full back into acting it out at the level of Dr Hamela. Oh and our ringers? They’re still going, with Ashley doing a good (albeit thrashy and accidental lift studded) rumba and Faye doing a good American Smooth comma foxtrot (albeit with her hands vibrating the entire time like she’s mid-comedown). In terms of motivating a vote though? It’s finally looking like they might have to get a move on and do something sensational rather than nipping around one another’s edges.
(Oh and Carlton’s here as guest judge. He was on Dancing With The Stars, but they hardly mention it)