G

Celebrity Fitness:

A few pre-Blackpool nerves set in, but we enjoyed several cracking routines and a deeply awkward breakout of foot-in-mouth disease. 

Here are all the major talking points and social media reaction from this year’s seventh live show…

“I feel like we’ve seen a new couple,” said Motsi after they opened the show with their cute Fifties jive. “We knew them but then somebody had an affair and now the light is back on.” Riiiight.

A shame too, since this cringe-making turn-of-phrase overshadowed a light, bright and sunny routine which saw the ever-improving Alex notch her fourth consecutive score in the 30s and lead almost as much as she followed. But what a way for poor Neil to return. 

Craig Revel Horwood point away from perfection. ” data-reactid=”63″ type=”text”>She topped the leaderboard for the second time in four weeks with her beautifully romantic waltz, which notched a score of 39 – equalling the highest total of the series so far and just one Craig Revel Horwood point away from perfection. 

It was nice to not see Saffron and AJ running and jumping around like crazy. This really worked for them. #Strictly#scd M

— Fezzy TV (@FezzyTV) November 9, 2019

It was nice to not see Saffron and AJ running and jumping around like crazy. This really worked for them. #Strictly#scd M

— Fezzy TV (@FezzyTV) November 9, 2019

Saffron can’t be this low in the voting order for them to pull out this many remembrance episode gimmicks #scd#strictly

— Ariadne Griffin �� (@Ariadne_Griffin) November 9, 2019

It’s currently a woman’s world out on that ballroom floor. Female celebrities have now topped the leaderboard for three of the past four weeks and they occupied the top two slots tonight.

It got a clean sweep of nines and meant Michelle has now scored in the 30s every week but one – and even in that week, she notched 29 points. She’s the most consistent performer in the contest and surely a finalist in waiting. 

Michelle

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT

Loved the routine from beginning to end…. nice feel from sassy to smooth. Nice story too

She still needs to work on her posture and get her head in a better position.

Score 9

— James Jordan (@The_JamesJordan) November 9, 2019

” data-reactid=”95″ type=”text”>blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”>

#Strictly” data-reactid=”96″ type=”text”>So…could Michelle win this whole thing? #Strictly

November 9, 2019” data-reactid=”97″ type=”text”>— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) November 9, 2019

Karim Zeroual seemed to wilt under the pressure. He’s been talking all week in training, perhaps too much, about desperately wanting to get pro partner Amy Dowden through to Blackpool and tonight the nerves got to him. ” data-reactid=”100″ type=”text”>He topped the scores last week but rather than gain confidence from this, Karim Zeroual seemed to wilt under the pressure. He’s been talking all week in training, perhaps too much, about desperately wanting to get pro partner Amy Dowden through to Blackpool and tonight the nerves got to him. 

His Viennese waltz had faltering footwork and a few fluffed moments – hardly helped by Karim becoming entangled in Amy’s floaty sleeves. He was tearful with frustration afterwards, which set Amy off too.

They were left third from bottom on the leaderboard. It would be a travesty if the couple were consigned to tomorrow’s dance-off but after this series of surprises, don’t rule it out.

If you can’t get to next week with the dance, get there with a good birthday/Blackpool/tears combo #strictly#scd

— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) November 9, 2019

Emma Barton and stalwart pro Anton Du Beke got a scare last week when their misfiring rumba left them bottom of the leaderboard. Luckily, viewer votes lifted them clear of the dreaded dance-off.” data-reactid=”108″ type=”text”>EastEnders actress Emma Barton and stalwart pro Anton Du Beke got a scare last week when their misfiring rumba left them bottom of the leaderboard. Luckily, viewer votes lifted them clear of the dreaded dance-off.

They needed to raise their game and had the right routine to do it, with Anton’s first ever Couple’s Choice. Cue a musical theatre jazzy number with matching monochrome outfits, sparkly millinery and chair-ography. It was Bob Fosse-inspired, subtle and stylised. 

It took Emma into the top half of the leaderboard for the first time in a month and should secure her seat on the sequin-spangled coach up to Blackpool. 

View photos

Given it was SO set up for her big redemptive dance…a bit flat? Not in sync enough, slightly dull paint-by-numbers routine #strictly#scd

— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) November 9, 2019

Blackpool. Next weekend sees Strictly’s annual trip north to the bouncy-floored splendour of the fabled Tower Ballroom and boy, didn’t we know it?” data-reactid=”135″ type=”text”>Nope, we don’t mean Brexit. We mean Blackpool. Next weekend sees Strictly’s annual trip north to the bouncy-floored splendour of the fabled Tower Ballroom and boy, didn’t we know it?

If it was mentioned once, it was mentioned several dozen times – from the pre-titles VT right through to the climactic train-based chaos on the balcony, in every interview and presenter link.

Amy flinging out the word “Blackpool” like someone shovelling 50ps into Street Fighter II down the arcades #scd

— Chris Rubery (@Chrisrubery) November 9, 2019

Mike Bushell and Chris Ramsey. They’re not only the two lowest overall scorers left in the contest but they were the bottom two tonight, cut four points adrift of the rest. ” data-reactid=”141″ type=”text”>If there’s any hoofing justice, Sunday night’s dance-off will be a battle between Mike Bushell and Chris Ramsey. They’re not only the two lowest overall scorers left in the contest but they were the bottom two tonight, cut four points adrift of the rest. 

Katya Jones‘ choreographic trickery could cover his deficiencies. ” data-reactid=”143″ type=”text”>Mike’s paso doble was even worse: flat-footed, lumpen and lacking in flow. He seemed to be striking poses rather than telling a fluid story and not even partner Katya Jones‘ choreographic trickery could cover his deficiencies. 

Please join us back on the liveblog then. In the meantime, if you would be so kind: keeeeeep dancing!

View photos

And yet he did indeed dance that intro without some rhythm, or indeed any rhythm.

— Steven Perkins (@stevenperkins) November 9, 2019

Was just about to say how good that Paso was and how Mike’s Paso posture was fab. But then Katya always has to put in a silly OTT trick that ruins it with that last inane Lift! #Strictly

— Huriye (@Huriye) November 9, 2019

Mike has been allowed to hide behind comedy dances for the entire series and should have been booted out way before now #Strictly

— Red Sky At Night (@redskyatnight) November 9, 2019

I know Chris is one of the weaker remaining dancers but I hope he outlasts at least Mike and Emma B because I really enjoy him and I’m loving Karen these days. #scd

— ��‍♀️FRANKENBANANAS�� (@fatherbananas) November 9, 2019

8:05PM” data-reactid=”171″ type=”text”> 8:05PM

Blackpool train-based chaos in the Clauditorium

The routines get rewound, the voting phonelines get plugged and the credits roll. That concludes tonight’s hot hoofing action.

But who’s at risk of the next elimination? Please stay with us for analysis and social media reaction…

8:00PM” data-reactid=”175″ type=”text”> 8:00PM

Kelvin and Oti’s salsa  

Calm yourselves, judges. Kelvin is back to Latin and unleashing those hips again to the 1984 hit from the film Footloose. A motor racing-themed routine as Kelvin plays a victorious driver celebrating a win with champagne and dancing. Podium-ography to open, a moonwalk, then into a spicy, saucy salsa with lots of hip wiggles and booty shakes. Spins, knee-slides and  tribal sections. A hen party of a salsa, perfectly synchronised, spinning lifts and strong finish. Phew. Not mad on the theme or naff costumes, though. 

Judges’ verdict: Motsi says “body movements, speed, rhythm, leading Oti, changes of pace, oh my God”. Shirley says “musical hips, almost perfect, a few timing issues but overall very enjoyable”. Bruno says “racy, a salsa in Top Gear with turbo-charged hips, confidently performed”. Craig concludes “I couldn’t enjoy because Motsi was screeching in my ear all the way through, hip-tastic darling”. ” data-reactid=”179″ type=”text”>Judges’ verdict: Motsi says “body movements, speed, rhythm, leading Oti, changes of pace, oh my God”. Shirley says “musical hips, almost perfect, a few timing issues but overall very enjoyable”. Bruno says “racy, a salsa in Top Gear with turbo-charged hips, confidently performed”. Craig concludes “I couldn’t enjoy because Motsi was screeching in my ear all the way through, hip-tastic darling”. 

No shade to Oti but when Kelvin dances you forget who the professional is #strictly

— christianburtonsavidge (@ohchrissavidge) November 9, 2019

I mean I can appreciate the bravado involved but those lifts were UGLY as hell, I’m sorry #scd

— Steven Perkins (@stevenperkins) November 9, 2019

7:50PM” data-reactid=”184″ type=”text”> 7:50PM

Saffron and AJ’s waltz  

Back to ballroom, where Saffron notched her highest score three weeks ago. It was pro partner AJ’s 25th birthday this week, so can they celebrate with another hit routine, set to an Elton John cover? Heel turns, pivots, soppy storytelling and some clever tricks before they begin to travel around. Her frame has really improved, lots of rise and fall. Lovely drag and one-legged spin. That was very sweet indeed. Beautifully choreographed, well executed and classily accomplished. 

Judges’ verdict: Craig says “AJ, who’s a clever cherub? Absolutely gaw-jus”. Motsi says “Best dance I’ve seen on my first season of Strictly”. Shirley says “superb footwork, sensitivity of touch, ticked all the boxes and made everything look easy on the eye”. Bruno concludes “I’m starry-eyed and swept away in a ballroom dream, a dance of the highest quality”. ” data-reactid=”188″ type=”text”>Judges’ verdict: Craig says “AJ, who’s a clever cherub? Absolutely gaw-jus”. Motsi says “Best dance I’ve seen on my first season of Strictly”. Shirley says “superb footwork, sensitivity of touch, ticked all the boxes and made everything look easy on the eye”. Bruno concludes “I’m starry-eyed and swept away in a ballroom dream, a dance of the highest quality”. 

7:42PM” data-reactid=”190″ type=”text”> 7:42PM

Emma and Anton’s Couple’s Choice  

Needing to bounce back after bottom-scoring last week, they’ve opted for the first theatre/jazz routine of the series, set to a cover of the 60s jazz song popularised by Mel Tormé. It’s Anton’s first ever Couple’s Choice, too. A Bob Fosse-style number with matching monochrome outfits,  bowler hats and chair-ography. Little stumbly mistake early on but razzle-dazzle, shoulder shrugs, head wiggles, jazzy styling and expressive faces. Nice tricks and staccato moments. 

Judges’ verdict: Bruno says “looked good, feels good, love the Fosse elements down to the hat trick, you were in your element, mirroring fell at times but fantastic job, welcome back”. Craig says ‘understated, stylised, your dance, my darling”. Motsi says “loved the timing, subtle movements, I love you”. Shirley concludes “nice peripheral vision to stay synchronised, small details which I appreciate, one of your better dances”. Eights, maybe a nine?” data-reactid=”194″ type=”text”>Judges’ verdict: Bruno says “looked good, feels good, love the Fosse elements down to the hat trick, you were in your element, mirroring fell at times but fantastic job, welcome back”. Craig says ‘understated, stylised, your dance, my darling”. Motsi says “loved the timing, subtle movements, I love you”. Shirley concludes “nice peripheral vision to stay synchronised, small details which I appreciate, one of your better dances”. Eights, maybe a nine?

View photos

7:36PM” data-reactid=”216″ type=”text”> 7:36PM

Michelle and Giovanni’s American smooth  

La Visage is American but is she smooth? Gorgeous song choice, made famous by the mid-90s “Diet Coke break” ad. Sofa-ography to start. She’s playing the housewife to Gio’s grumpy husband. Not loving Michelle’s hair or frumpy dress but once they’re into foxtrot steps and hold, things pick up considerably. Lovely details and styling. Loads of sassy attitude. She pushes him over to end. Attagirl. 

Judges’ verdict: Shirley says “you’re anything but a housewife, you’re definitely the boss, sophisticated with a little sass, naughty and nice like a cream cake”. Bruno says “clear presentation, flawless storytelling, on-point flourishes:”. Craig says “you are the mistress of detail, dah-ling, I loved it”. Motsi concludes “the technicalities were great but the dancing  was better”.” data-reactid=”220″ type=”text”>Judges’ verdict: Shirley says “you’re anything but a housewife, you’re definitely the boss, sophisticated with a little sass, naughty and nice like a cream cake”. Bruno says “clear presentation, flawless storytelling, on-point flourishes:”. Craig says “you are the mistress of detail, dah-ling, I loved it”. Motsi concludes “the technicalities were great but the dancing  was better”.

7:27PM” data-reactid=”222″ type=”text”> 7:27PM

Chris and Karen’s tango  

The Geordie joker is getting on his serious face for the first time to deliver a passionate tango to the German electronic duo’s cover of Destiny’s Child empowerment anthem. Sharp black outfits and flames on the dancefloor. Footwork falters and his frame is lacking but there’s content and attack at least.  Needs passion, lower earthier posture and more bite in the staccato. Walking around too much and seriously loses tango flavour at times. Not good. 

Judges’ verdict: Motsi says “I felt the intensity and I love the serious Chris, but footwork could have been cleaner”. Shirley says “admired the focus, footwork fairly decent, going in the right direction”. Bruno says “no gimmicks, masculine purpose, lots of content but you were walking it”. Craig concludes “up your game to go further, technically it was a complete