Strictly Come Dancing Week 11, The Quarter FInals Stage – tonight saw this year’s Strictly series go into an even more serious mode and it must be said that the show was not necessarily the better for it.
Standards overall did not hit the levels of the last couple of weeks and the pressure looked like it was starting to tell on some of the celebrities. In some of the earlier series there were a number of celebrities who were struggling with injuries at this stage of the competition but this year it looks like most of the injury problems have hit the pairs during the earlier rounds of the show.
As far as tonight’s main dance went the winners in the studio this week were Abbey Clancy and her partner Aljaz who scored a total of 37 points from the judges for their Viennese Waltz, which they danced to Tom Jones’ Delilah.
For the normally flawless Natalie Gumede it was more of a mixed week as she received some critical comments from the judging panel who noticed that as well as a small slip in her routine she also lacked a little contact between her and partner Artem in their Paso Doble. Dancing to the classic Paso track El Gato Montes Natalie and Artem their routine scored 35 points from the judges and it was the first time since their Samba way back in Week 5 that they failed to see a 10 paddle from any of the judges.
Someone who had a much better week than normal was Patrick Robinson whose Rumba with partner Anya scored a total of 36 points. Dancing to When I was Your Man by Bruno Mars they received some good comments from the judges for a dance that is always considered something for a minefield for the male celebrities.
The most disappointed pair fo the week are almost certainly newsreader Susanna Reid and her dance partner Kevin Clifton whose Argentine Tango failed to raise any of the judge’s pulses tonight. After mounting a strong challenge in previous weeks Susanna only managed a total of 32 points for tonight’s routine, which they danced to Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal.
Adding to her woes after her poor Argentine Tango score Susanna was the first celebrity to be ejected from the floor during tonight’s Swingathon section. This meant that she was left languishing at the bottom of the leaderboard tonight and is in desperate need of the public vote to get her to next week’s semi-final stage.
On the plus side for Susanna her sexy black Argentine Tango top which gave the illusion of being see-through was one of the evening’s best looking outfits. Sadly for her and Kevin the judges do not hand out points for the celebrities outfits.
The Swingathon competition was won by Natalie and Artem and as we pointed out in an earlier article both winners of the previous Swingathon competitions went on to win the main competition that year. What odds on a Natalie win after tonight?
Sophie and Ashley both had fairly middling sorts of performances as far as the judges went although Ashley and Ola kicked the show off with a pretty high energy Salsa which did look to be their best dance so far in the competition.
As always tomorrow night will see the Sunday Strictly results show with the dance-off likely to be a very tense affair indeed at this stage of the contest. Although she clearly had a poor week by her usual standards, we would not be surprised if Susanna’s large public support saves her from the dance-off. As we have often seen in Strictly it may actually be safer to end up at the bottom of Saturday’s leaderboard than languishing mid-table.