Week 3 Of Strictly Sees The Girls On Top – this series of Strictly is looking more and more like it is going to end up being an all girl final.
Despite picking up a really bad injury this week Natalie Gumede still managed to get herself to the top of the leaderboard again, albeit in a 3-way tie with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Abbey Clancy.
Natalie had injured her back so badly in training that she actually missed half of her training time this week as she visited doctors and physios for scans, injections and other treatments to get her ready to compete tonight. Even with her very limited training time Natalie pulled off a very impressive quickstep with her dance partner Artem Chigvintsev that got her a total of 35 points from the judges.
Sophie’s 35 points came courtesy of her show opening foxtrot with Brendan that showed once again how great she is at the ballroom dances. As well as plenty of compliments for Sophie’s long graceful lines during the dance once again Brendan’s choreography hit just the right spot, perfectly highlighting his partner’s strengths.
The final 35 point dance came from model Abbey Clancy and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec. Abbey has had a couple of less impressive weeks after her great week 1 performance and tonight’s tango was a return to form.
The night’s results will be no surprise to the UK’s major bookmakers who have Natalie as the favourite to lift the Strictly crown with Sophie just behind her followed closely by Abbey.
Tonight saw another improvement in performance from rugby star Ben Cohen. As well as growing in confidence Ben clearly enjoyed showing off his impressive physical presence tonight, with several lifts in his salsa. Dance partner Kristina Rihanoff also clearly enjoyed their performance revelling in being in such a safe pair of hands as she was quite literally thrown around the BBC studio. Ben and Kristina’s performance earned them a score of 31 points from the judges, their best total so far.
As far as the other performances went it was an ok week for Rachel Riley, Ashley Taylor-Dawson, Susanna Reid and Patrick Robinson. Hairy Biker Dave Myers was in more restrained form this week and although not up to the standard of most of the other dancers put in an entertaining and reasonably competent performance. Mark Benton and partner Iveta danced a Cha Cha to MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This which was good fun and full of energy but divided the judges, well Craig disagreed with everybody else!
Having a less good week were Deborah Meaden, whose jive to Bucks Fizz’s Making Your MInd Up was frankly a little lacklustre and also Fiona Fullerton whose rumba had far too many mistakes and lacked her usual fluidity.
We will have to wait until tomorrow night’s result show to see who is the 3rd celebrity to leave Strictly this year but as well as Deborah and Fiona we would have to say that yet again Julien Macdonald is in danger. Despite his clear enthusiasm and hard work he surely lacks the timing and musicality to make it much further in the competition.