Fleur East tops the standings on an psychological evening

We have handed the midway mark in this dramatic collection of Strictly, but the stakes are notably superior for our superstars tonight: no just one wants to go out correct just before the all-crucial vacation to Blackpool upcoming 7 days. It will be the show’s grand return to the property of ballroom after an enforced Covid hiatus Strictly very last frequented the Tower Ballroom in 2019.

So, who is guaranteed a seat on the Blackpool bus, and who may well miss out? Ellie Taylor will be praying for a bounce-again after her in close proximity to-lethal rumba, and really should suit a goofy Charleston – though it is proving to be a cursed design in this sequence. Bizarrely, four superstars have been eradicated on what’s usually a crowd-satisfying dance.

Helen Skelton is hoping to bring the celebration with a salsa to the inescapable earworm Despacito, right after scoring her very first 10 previous week, as is Fleur East with a samba to Sizzling Hot (aka Mark Ramprakash’s infamous salsa observe from collection 4). But might Molly Rainford, who is presently having difficulties to have interaction voters, be in issues with a sluggish rumba?

Probable the two most eye-catching quantities will appear from either stop of the leaderboard. Hamza Yassin, who racked up another three 10s very last week, is bringing us an Afrobeat Couple’s Selection number, while Tony Adams, who survived a salsa catastrophe many thanks to viewers assist, has a large test with a jive to Land of 1000 Dances. Can the people’s champion make it to Blackpool? Sign up for us for all the motion tonight on BBC 1 at 6:55pm.

Fleur East brings the heat

She’s had a challenging time of it, landing in the dance-off 2 times, but East arrived storming back with an a-maze-ing samba to Hot Incredibly hot Very hot. A brilliant regimen from Vito Coppola blended simple samba choreography with a lot more formidable figures, superb partnering with a sultry solo minute for East. Most importantly, she retained her musicality and explosive functionality electricity – although also getting crisp, disciplined control and sharp isolations in this challenging design and style. The only flaw: their crimson pepper-referencing costumes, which appeared much more like off-model Xmas tree decorations.

Revel Horwood: “If that dance does not get you to Blackpool, darling, I do not know what else will!” A tearful Mabuse reported she was so very pleased of East. “That samba deserves completely almost everything.” Ballas praised her for using constructive criticism: this was powerful dancing with wonderful manage. A single of the very best sambas she’s noticed. Du Beke reported it was completely excellent. 3 10s for a fab-u-lous 39.

Hamza Yassin returns to his roots

Yassin – for sure the breakout star of this series – shared his tale: coming from Sudan, where by he found his enjoy of the pure world, and turning that into a occupation, supported by his family members. (Bonus points for his dad’s geeky do-it-yourself Strictly T-shirt.) Yassin’s Couple’s Preference regimen released a new dance model to the demonstrate, Afrobeat, and it certainly played to his strengths: a superb rhythmic groove, inviting and joyful effectiveness, and much more crazy lifts with partner Jowita Przystal. It practically justified the in any other case annoying inclusion of the nebulous couple’s Selection category.

Ballas named him unbelievable. Du Beke: “You are sunshine.” He wishes Yassin to instruct him how to do lifts. Revel Horwood noted they acquired out of time at the end, but dancing is his language – “it’s in your soul.” Mabuse, in tears all over again, explained it was hard to converse about. “I never ever in my everyday living considered I would see this on Strictly Arrive Dancing,” she exclaimed, relating it to her very own South African heritage. “It’s a particular, distinctive, special feeling.” A suggest 8 from Revel Horwood, 10s or else for 38.

Kym and Will get own

Marsh began her teaching footage by speaking about her late son Archie, who was stillborn 13 yrs back this week. While I surely sympathize with her decline, and the need to open up a dialogue about that particular grief, I felt a bit uncomfortable about its use in a actuality level of competition. It intended her downbeat American clean to Chasing Cars, which experienced wonderful moments but errors as well, became a lot more about the personal tale than the dancing.

Revel Horwood loved the heel change and storytelling, but noted a oversight getting into the elevate. Mabuse felt the vulnerability, but the next fifty percent of the dance wasn’t as sturdy. Ballas imagined she recovered from the blunder with the elevate. Du Beke praised her topline although going backwards – now it desires to be enhanced while heading forwards. 7 from Mabuse, 8s otherwise, for 31.

Will Mellor also went the emotional/vote-harnessing route with his waltz to Three Times A Woman, dedicated to his mum – and was in tears by the end. That aside, this was a wonderful classic selection, with a tail accommodate-clad Mellor producing some fantastic partnering with Nancy Xu and displaying massively improved strategy: strong footwork, with heel potential customers driving the dance, managed rise and tumble, and sensitive musicality.

Mabuse proclaimed it attractive. Ballas reported it designed her miss out on her own son (entertaining truth: he is a pro on the American model of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars). Additionally the footwork was great. Du Beke reported it was the epitome of two bodies going as one particular in harmony with the audio. Revel Horwood desired a lot more swing and sway, but he did his family happy. 10s from Mabuse and Ballas, for 38.

Will Tony Adams be kicked out?

I don’t know about Land of 1000 Dances, but Tony Adams absolutely place about 1000 kicks into this jive. Sadly, they had been far more kicks aimed at a soccer – or it’s possible an opponent – ​​rather than correct jive motion, and companion Katya Jones experienced to guide him spherical the flooring even though furiously mouthing the counts. Adams also chucked in some vigorous air guitar action and a roly-poly sequence with Jones that would get him details in a main faculty gymnastics level of competition, if nothing else. But will it be enough?

Ballas explained he gave it his all, and as for the roly-poly: “I am misplaced for words and phrases.” Du Beke claimed the kicks lacked retraction, but he gave it a good exertion. “I did not intellect it.” Revel Horwood: “A complex disahhhster.” Mabuse reported he is looking sharp. From 4 (Revel Horwood) to 7s for a generous 24.

Molly Rainford will get sultry

Billowing drapes, fog, Whitney Houston, and companion Carlos Gu conveniently forgetting his shirt buttons: Molly Rainford’s rumba was a significantly cry from her dreadful Grange Hill schoolgirl number. I a lot favor this extra refined version of her, and this was a strong, fluid, stripped-back and deeply felt rumba with lovely system – even if it did look like the include of a Mills & Boon novel.

Du Beke, like me, relished the mature effectiveness and Rainford’s connection with Gu. Her spins could enhance, in any other case huge. Revel Horwood identified as it “quality”. Mabuse liked the rumba walks and passionate times. Ballas praised Gu’s innovative choreography and the “age-proper feeling”. A 10 from Ballas, furthermore 9s, for 37.

Ellie and Tyler struggle back

Properly which is more like it. Following a dismal dip past week with the rumba, Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe ended up back again on sort with a goofy, giddy, cute flapper Charleston, set to Friendship from musical Anything at all Goes. A few also a lot of slack-jacked comedy faces for my taste, and could have been a lot more specific in her placement, but it was a sweet, properly-executed opener – and a good celebration of the pair’s legitimate bond.

Shirley Ballas praised the synchronization and link concerning them. Anton Du Beke predicted Taylor could be a musical theater star. Craig Revel Horwood thought it could have been sharper and additional excessive, but praised the complicated rhythm designs. Motsi Mabuse felt Taylor owned it. A few 8s for a first rate 31.

Commonly on Strictly, the celebrity’s degree of fret is mirrored by the volume of flesh on display. So, a topless Tyler West – who also had a bad dance previous week – was using no possibilities with his paso doble. Add in studio pyrotechnics and remarkable songs (Unstoppable by ES Posthumus), and West had a good deal of assist here. The actual dance, even though, was less convincing: robust but much too plodding and posed, much more like a body weight lifter than a matador.

Du Beke was wowed by the ability and timing. Revel Horwood disagreed: it lacked any Spanish line, and it was way too boxy and put. Mabuse appreciated the environment, but likewise preferred a lot more extensions. Ballas thought he was commanding, and managed to get his pro partner Dianne (not Diana) Buswell’s identify appropriate, for the 1st time in this series. 6 from Revel Horwood up to 9 from Du Beke, for a puzzled 31.

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