Strictly Come Dancing 2014: week three


(Yes, I know they are not the words to that great song. I’m improvising)

We begin pre-credits with one of those embarrassing VTs. This time/year, some of the contestants pretend to audition for movies such as Harry Potter or The Titanic. 

Then it’s on to the professional opening, which features the judges (minus Darcey) singing solo elements of ‘There’s no business like show business’ and the entire cast of 2015 bobbing along to the opening. The professional dancers doing amazing ballroom work. The celebrities standing there bouncing up and down on their knees.

(Side note re Donny Osmond: I’m not sure why we need a fifth judge. When I first saw he was in this week, I assumed Len was taking a break or something but apparently not. Maybe he entered some competition to appear for a week. I want a go!)

Alison Hammond and Aljaž Skorjanec – Jive to ‘Footloose’ by Kenny Loggins from Footloose

I had high expectations of an Alison Jive because of her bouncing enthusiasm and buzzing energy but I think maybe just that meant her technique was slightly off in places. Kicks weren’t as pronounced as they should have been and parts were messy in places. However, I don’t think I can’t like Alison. Ever.

JUDGES: Craig 4, Darcey 5, Donny 7, Len 6, Bruno 6 = 28/50

Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan – Quickstep to ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from The Jungle Book

Steve entered on a rope, somewhat predictably, but thankfully that was the only gimmicky faffy thing. The rest of the routine was a furious and clean Quickstep full of technique and passion. No weird additions to the choreography – just nice and basic from Ola. Basic is what I love. Great speed and excellent face-work as well.

JUDGES: Craig 6, Darcey 7, Donny 6, Len 7, Bruno 8 = 34/50

Jennifer Gibney and Tristan MacManus – Foxtrot to ‘Mamma Mia’ by Abba from Mamma Mia

Didn’t feel like an awful lot of that was in hold which makes it hard to judge – I’m not sure it was a Foxtrot. I’m not sure what it was. No coherency ruined any enjoyment I could take from it. Oopsie.

JUDGES: Craig 3, Darcey 5, Donny 5, Len 5, Bruno 5 = 23/50

Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff – Rumba to ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Berlin from ‘Top Gun’

The Rumba makes me uncomfortable…which I assume is probably something all my readers (all two of you) know by now. I feel like I’m intruding on something. It’s very rare that I enjoy I Rumba.

Personal dance prejudice aside, it was technically well done and I felt him getting in to the groove of the dance but he needs to relax. Much like Len alluded to, he needs to live in the moment.

JUDGES: Craig 4, Darcey 6, Donny 7, Len 6, Bruno 7 = 30/50

Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke – Quickstep to ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ by Barbra Streisand from ‘Funny Girl’

One question: why did a male voice sing?? What’s wrong with the female singers?

All a bit laboured from Judy as she struggled to keep up with Anton around the floor (Donny commented that it felt like Anton was leading her, which would be the point so, Donny, there is a difference between leading and…shlapping around). It was something a mother and a son would do as a Barmitzvah. It wasn’t cute, though. Judy just looks unhappy.

JUDGES: Craig 3, Darcey 5, Donny 5, Len 5, Bruno 5 = 23/50

Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe – Charleston to ‘Money, Money’ from ‘Cabaret’

Characterisation was brilliant. Charleston wasn’t great. Tim got lost a lot – even looking at Natalie desperately at one point. It felt slow for a Charleston and it just…didn’t work. Nothing wrong with the choreography.

JUDGES: Craig 2, Darcey 5, Donny 5, Len 5, Bruno 5 = 22/50


One of my favourite theorists Jean Baudrillard and his work on simulation and simulacra fits nicely into this week’s Strictly. Very basically, Baudrillard questioned everything can be just a simulation of a type of reality. That last bit is what tonight’s show is feeling like, thus far – some weird hyperreality. I would say that some of these dances are purely simulacra using Baudrillard’s fourth description point: the thing is not real…it is only what you think it is because I am telling you it is – like some of these dances and their loose genres. 

Of course, Baudrillard’s would only go so far in explaining what I am trying to say here so, I guess, the above little babble is an inverted and adapted form of a tiny part of a fantastic piece of writing.


Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev – Rumba to ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ by Aerosmith from ‘Armageddon’

Enjoyed this Rumba offering slightly more than Simon’s because Caroline threw everything at her routine with great armography and characterisation. I felt it. Such lovely shapes produced. Maybe it’s because Pasha is the professional that Caroline felt safer and able to trust more. Simon’s issue was that he seemed nervous of himself as the leader. Just how it goes.

JUDGES: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Donny 9, Len 8, Bruno 9 = 42/50

Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton – Samba to ‘Under the Sea’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’

HE’S DRESSED AS A CRAB. I told you this was all just a fantasy. A bad one.

Truly…weird. Scott paraded Joanne around the floor like she was prisoner at first and then persisted to show no technique what so ever. It didn’t work, I’m sorry.

JUDGES: Craig 2, Darcey 5, Donny 7, Len 5, Bruno 6 = 25/50

Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton – Paso Doble to ‘America’ from West Side Story

Frankie has the intricate footwork down as you could see when she crossed the floor in the middle of her routine and then with the skirt wafting work at the end. They’re great in hold – very fierce. Great choreography from Kevin, in my opinion.

JUDGES: Craig 8, Darcey 9, Donny 10, Len 9, Bruno 9 = 45/50

Jake Wood and Janette Manrara – Waltz to ‘Godfather Waltz’ by Nina Rota from The Godfather

Excellent music choice and great choreography from Janette this week. A strong performance from last week’s frontrunner with such great characterisation – suave and sophisticated from Jake. He owned that floor but perhaps, in some parts, could have relaxed in to the dance a little more.

JUDGES: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Donny 8, Len 8, Bruno 8 = 40/50

Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon – Quickstep to ‘Be Our Guest’ from Beauty and the Beast

These two are just so adorably cute so Disney seemed like a perfect choice for them. A very detailed routine with some really ambitious choreography – some she nailed and some not so brilliantly done – but overall a beautiful performance. They just look like a couple of kids, I can’t take them seriously. It was light and fluffy. Loved it.

JUDGES: Craig 7, Darcey 9, Donny 9, Len 9, Bruno 9 = 43/50

Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute – Charleston to ‘New York, New York’ from On The Town

Thom appeared to be less bogged down with nerves this week which allowed him to tap – some way – in to the spirit of a bubbly and vibrant Charleston. The Charleston often brings out personality and nobody needed it drawn out of him more than Thom. Got a bit ahead of himself toward the end and the last couple seconds or so completely unravelled, though.

JUDGES: Craig 7, Darcey 8, Donny 7, Len 8, Bruno 8 = 38/50

Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole – American Smooth to ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ from Swing Time

Simple and elegant – like something you might see in a wine bar. Brendan knows how to play to his partner’s strengths and maximise them. Sunetra looked right at home which allowed her to perform to the best of her ability.

JUDGES: Craig 7, Darcey 8, Donny 8, Len 9, Bruno 8 = 40/50

Mark Wright and Karen Hauer – Paso Doble to ‘Superman’ by John Williams from Superman

It’s very hard to take somebody seriously while they are playing dress-up from a five-year-old’s toy box but I tried. We all did.  I didn’t get the strong matador vibe from him and it was all just a bit weird. Didn’t feel threatening. Not commanding the floor.

JUDGES: Craig 6, Darcey 6, Donny 9, Len 7, Bruno 7 = 35/50


So there you go, all 14 movie week dances done with. Tomorrow…one couple will be cut from the cast.

Now, if you don’t mind, I have a will to live to go and find…


Posted on October 11, 2014, in Strictly Come Dancing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A reference to Baudrillard in a review of Strictly – I love it! 🙂


  1. Pingback: Strictly Come Dancing 2014: week three results | tashaontv

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