Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Week 2

125 minutes.



I figure I can start on a pessimistic note just to get it out of my system. I understand why the show has to be one big dump or else the voting would be nie on impossible. But this week two show always makes me long for advertising breaks. It’s too long and the VTs are mainly what does that. Take out the messing about in those, and we have a 90 minute show – if that.

But, although I have been blogging many years, nobody at the BBC is yet to read my blog pick me up for production so…here goes nothing.

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton – Cha Cha Cha to ‘Hot Stuff’ by Donna Summer

Props: a fireman locker, a pole and a fire hose…if ever a theme was in doubt.

Ore needs time to grow as a dancer – even this early on – and he can’t work on technique when he’s wrapped around a long pole. Not a lot of hip action going on but his footwork was fine. And then his hips moved and his kicks were weird. Just a case, then, of getting the two together, I guess. It’s all very well and good being able to keep up with the pace but if you can’t do the whole dance together….eh.

Scores: Craig 6, Darcey 7, Len 7, Bruno 7 = 27/40

Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard – Waltz to ‘You Light Up My Life’ by Whitney Houston

Props: a window

The height difference is hard to get used to with this one – this is clearly a match on age only, or else I reckon AJ would have been benched instead of Neil Jones. They are awkward to watch, because the hold just isn’t there yet. Not a problem that, though, because the time in hold was kept to a minimum as they both bumbled around the floor with AJ looking worse for wear. Tess compared the duo to Romeo and Juliet but I think we need to tell her how that ends.

Scores: Craig 6, Darcey 8, Len 8, Bruno 8 = 30/40

Will Young and Karen Clifton – Jive to ‘Rock Around The Clock’ by Bill Haley & His Comets

Props: a jukebox

A very boring Jive, and consider that I’ve been bored a lot today because I spent three hours in the cold watching a football match that was barely even be classed as that. It felt flat, out of time and low energy. Shame because I had high hopes for this but it felt laboured and in dire need of more content.

Scores: Craig 5, Darcey 7, Len 8, Bruno 7 = 27/40

Lesley Joseph and Anton du Beke – Cha Cha Cha to the Pussycat Dolls’ version of ‘Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps’

Props: a table, a chair, a champagne bottle of confetti and flutes

Anton’s sparkly trousers had me hooked from the start. I found Lesley’s facial expressions a bit scary at first but then she settled and so did the dance which actually turned into a nice piece. Yes it was a bit wobbly but she did well with an Anton Latin, which we know is a genre in itself.

Scores: Craig 6, Darcey 7, Len 7, Bruno 6 = 26/40

Greg Rutherford and Natalie Lowe – Tango to ‘Jump’ by Van Halen

Props: NONE

But what is given in joy, is taken with the other hand in the form of an awful song choice shoehorned in because of Greg’s profession. Because of the song, it was hard to watch this as a Tango and not just a bit of a hot mess. Stiff. Laboured. Lost interest.

Scores: Craig 6, Darcey 7, Len 6, Bruno 7 =26/40

Tameka Empson and Gorka Marquez – Charleston to ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’ by Firehouse Five Plus Two

Props: a beach house, rubber ring and fake waves.

Charleston’s are always a bit hit and miss but thankfully this one was fun and worked. The genre suits Tameka because of her personality and what she can bring to the dance. The technique? Could have been a bit sharper. Good to watch.

Scores: Craig 7, Darcey 7, Len 7, Bruno 8 = 29/40

Laura Whitmore and Giovanni Pernice – Waltz to ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ by Alicia Keys

Props: none

And even a decent song choice. We are truly spoilt. Light, elegant and graceful. Can’t really find anything else to say. I really felt like they were a great match for this dance and they pulled it off nicely.

Scores: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Len 8, Bruno 8 = 32/40

Melvin Odoom and Janette Manrara – Tango to ‘Moving On Up’ by M People

Props: a luggage…trolley? The thing bellhops push…

The second of this evening’s terrible tango playlist. Again, ruined the dance from the off. Although Melvin’s lack of passion and technique didn’t exactly attempt to revive it from plunging to the bottom of the forgettable pile…

Scores: Craig 5, Darcey 6, Len 6, Bruno 6 = 23/40

Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton – Viennese Waltz to the k.d. lang version of ‘Hallelujah’

Props: …lighted icicles?

It was pretty, even if it was a little sickly. Cute and quaint. Running out of short words to through at this one. Full of technique, very smooth and a good frame.

Scores: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Len 8, Bruno 8 = 32/40

Anastacia and Brendan Cole – Salsa to ‘Sax’ by Fleur East

Props: a stage

Anastacia got injured earlier today – not sure how – but the whole thing was choreographed earlier in the rehearsal, which saw the end of the lifts. The routine felt disconnected, clunky and, well, newly made up. A bit messy….but Anastacia just looks like a riot. She brings something nobody else does. I can’t stop watching her.

Scores: Craig 4, Darcey 6, len 6, Bruno 6 = 22/40

Ed Balls and Katya Jones – Charleston to ‘The Banjo’s Back in Town’ by Alma Cogan

Props: banjos and hay bales

Ed’s hilarious character burst through this routine and he managed to sell the dance to me despite having absolutely no technique whatsoever. He kept in time with Katya the whole routine but the steps just weren’t great. But….I loved it.

Scores: Craig 3, Darcey 7, Len 6, Bruno 7 = 23/40

Naga Munchetty and Pasha Kovalev – Cha Cha Cha to ‘Fool In Love’ by Tina Turner

Props: an arch

Wobbly Naga didn’t have the presence of somebody aware of what steps she should be doing next. The nerves and over-focus lost the dance from the start because it disrupted the flow of the dance. The steps were clunky and mistake-laden and it’s a terrible shame to see that it may take Naga a few more weeks to come into the competition. if she gets that.

Scores: Craig 4, Darcey 6, Len 7, Bruno 7 = 23/40

Robert Rinder and Oksana Platero – American Smooth to ‘Marvin Gaye’ by Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor

Props: a bar

This song is a sure contender for the worst song in recent years. Robert never closed his mouth, which is a distraction. But his parts in hold were elegant and really special. The bits out were a little messy and over-filled. Just got to work out that balance.

Scores: Craig 6, Darcey 7, Len 7, Bruno 7 = 27/40

Daisy Lowe and Aljaž Skorjanec – Cha Cha Cha to ‘Forget You’ by Cee-Lo Green

Props: a diner counter with stalls

For some reason, they dressed Daisy like a sexualised Daffy Duck. Len picked up on the illegal lift – not the first of the night but presumably a response to those ‘fix’ allegations made by Hollyoaks fans on Twitter – but I would like to see the lifts abandoned and more dancing. Anyway, Daisy is a strong dancer and she doesn’t need anything other than tradition to excel. She’s on fire.

Scores: Craig 7, Darcey 8, Len 7, Bruno 8 = 30/40

Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse -Viennese Waltz to ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS

Props: a dressing table

A cute offering to end the show. It wasn’t a traditional VW but it was a really nice dance to watch, and Danny dealt with the steps given to him really well. Which is about all you can ask for.

Scores: Craig 8, Darcey 8, Len 8, Bruno 8 = 32/40




Posted on October 1, 2016, in Strictly Come Dancing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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