Entertainment writer Anna Cryer gives her verdict on the Strictly Come Dancing stars’ Blackpool Tower Ballroom performances.
Jay McGuinness and Aliona Vilani
Singer Jay certainly made Blackpool rock to open the show. While the intricacies of his salsa were lost from my seat in the ballroom, watching it back on TV it was a
real party dance where he looked cool in a relaxed outfit, and danced with sexy hips, clean moves and dangerous lifts.
Jamelia and Tristan MacManus
A tricky and super-speedy quickstep was rightly hailed as singer Jamelia’s best ballroom to date – I’d say her best dance overall. The pair flew around the Tower
Ballroom in fine style, in a cute doll-themed routine. For me, her performance outweighed the judges’ critique of her top line.
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko
Anita went to town with the drama of a traditional paso doble, creating so much tension in the room. It felt spectacularly theatrical and she had amazing Spanish
detailing, although watching it back on TV I’d have liked to have seen more movement around the floor.
Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke
Like a vision from the MGM movies, BBC Proms presenter Katie had the perfect song, dance and routine for the home of ballroom. It was a gorgeous piece, with Anton
obviously in his element to create this American smooth. Some awkward arm lines out of hold and in lifts, but in hold the style was spot on.
Peter Andre and Janette Manrara
This had so much promise; a great track, fun setting and the bouncy floor. But it lacked basic jive steps, those which snuck in were flat-footed. From the waist up,
Peter’s performance energy wins an 8, waist down a 4. He was let down by choreographic content and a lack of technique being taught.
Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
A heavenly American smooth. Again, I missed much of the detail live in the ballroom, but could feel the emotion they created (in fact, caught some beautiful moments
not captured on camera), and watching back on TV it was a wonderful blend of storytelling and elegant waltz.
Helen George and Aljaz Skorjanec
Judge Craig Revel Horwood’s critique of Helen’s overly clean performance seemed a touch unfair, it wasn’t set up to be a full-on madcap Charleston. That said, it did
lack a certain something, maybe the routine pushed her too far from her very competent comfort zone.
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton
Despite a rather ugly dress (which looked worse on TV than in the flesh) Kellie once more delivered a clean, crisp, fun routine with not a foot out of place. Kevin seems
to always keep her challenged without pushing her to breaking point where style could lose out over substance.