Strictly Talking: Week 12 – Dancing Instances

Posted on December 13, 2021

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Properly, what a semi-final! Often doubling the dances means halving the usual, at the least, however everybody delivered right here – even when the judges did get overexcited with the 10s. It’s not that many have been undeserved, greater than the utmost rating has change into so fully devalued at this level. Even Motsi realised it, wishing her 10 for Rose might have a crown added to distinguish it. Professional tip: use the decrease paddles extra and the ten will certainly really feel totally earned.

Anyhow, nice to see everybody actually struggle for his or her place within the last. Rhys rose to the (admittedly unkind) problem of the samba, John bared his soul in his Couple’s Alternative, Rose grew to become an unlikely Argentine tango siren, and AJ lastly nabbed her 40 for a fab-u-lous Fred and Ginger quickstep.

Plus, we bought the proper three for the ultimate – when did that final occur? Ooh it’s going to be an absolute pleasure, seeing the perfect trio duke it out: the three finest dancers, the three finest partnerships, and three genuinely beautiful individuals who between them signify a various combine and have impressed a nation. Convey it on!

Different hits and misses:

  • I usually hate the “regular individuals” messages for the celebs, however it was genuinely candy seeing how a lot John and Rose’s illustration, particularly, has meant to individuals. HIT
  • Oh god, Anton’s bought a brand new gimmick: whipping off his glasses like a defence lawyer in a foul courtroom drama. Please, BBC, make my Christmas and ditch him. MISS
  • Disco Motsi! Topping off a really spectacular sequence of appears. HIT
  • Ts and Cs rando: Romesh plugging The Weakest Hyperlink. MISS
  • Extra cringe hip-hop from our ballroom professionals. At this level they’re simply trolling me. MISS

Greatest in Present

  • Greatest efficiency: Rose’s Argentine tango I really GASPED.
  • Greatest costume: AJ’s feathered frock Runner-up: punk ballerina Nancy.
  • Greatest transfer: John’s Couple’s Alternative lifts Technically spectacular and deeply transferring.
  • Greatest line: Craig snarking “I’ve beloved being in your present, darling” The proper riposte to a different prolonged Anton speech


Tess’s costume: impressed or depressed?

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Certainly one of her ketchup outfits fought again with a garrotting scarf. Claud: sparkly black swimsuit. 

Rhys and Nancy – Tunnel imaginative and prescient

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Rhys had apparently fought to bounce to this Queen tune and… nicely. Watch out what you want for. Sure, it gave his tango a rock ’n’ roll vitality and loads of assault, however then vitality and assault have by no means been missing in Rhys’s performances. His opening solo principally encapsulated his J phrase: it was courageous and demonstrated his potential, however was let down by dodgy ballroom method and lack of management. He went forward of the music (as all the time) and his footwork was fudged. Barely higher in maintain – good tender knees, a lot improved partnering and body, though his shoulders bought twisted on the turns. Rhys by no means fairly bought there in ballroom, however this was an excellent last effort.

Music: “One Imaginative and prescient”, Queen (COPYCAT KLAXON: Ricky Groves and Erin)

Judges’ feedback: Shirley was impressed with the solo. Anton didn’t just like the out of maintain sections however immaculate body. Craig loved the facility and drama. Motsi famous he coated the ground.

Judges’ scores: 9, 9, 9, 9 – 36 

AJ and Kai – Birds of a feather

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Properly right here’s the argument for utilizing correct traditional music and easily letting the dance do the speaking. Kai in a tux, AJ carrying the limp our bodies of 300 swans, together with a number of as pom-pom equipment, precisely as nature supposed. Add in Benny Goodman, a superb routine, finely honed method, and also you get pure ballroom bliss. AJ managed that topline so completely, but additionally launched it sufficient to get swing and sway, and beautiful musical expression, and so they travelled superbly across the ground with none seen effort, plus some tough jazz accents and modifications of tempo that flowed simply. A teeny little bit of gapping, however in any other case GAW-JUS.

Music: “Sing, Sing, Sing”, Benny Goodman (COPYCAT KLAXON: Denise Lewis and Ian, Chelsee Healey and Pasha, Graeme Swann and Oti)

Judges’ feedback: Anton mentioned it was worthy of Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom. Craig gave it an “O-M-G, darling”. Motsi praised her conquering a extremely troublesome dance. Shirley mentioned it was pure Strictly magic.

Judges’ scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40

John and Johannes – It will get higher

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So, I used to be already welling up watching John’s candid VT, which included the revelation {that a} instructor outed him to his household (!), and studying that he was apprehensive about dancing with one other man on Strictly. I hope he and Johannes are actually happy with what they’ve given the nation with their braveness, their good dancing and their vulnerability, notably the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Illustration issues; visibility issues. That emotional outpouring continued of their up to date Couple’s Alternative. Technically, John might have continued his traces extra and had extra resistance, however this was a extremely difficult piece delivered with such dedication and coronary heart – and whereas it was a particular workforce effort, it was so thrilling to see John take cost of it. Bravo.

Music: “Hometown Glory”, Adele

Judges’ feedback: Craig wished extra move, however mentioned that John was the star. Motsi felt he let go, and that we actually noticed them. Shirley mentioned he helped so many others by sharing his soul. Anton known as it highly effective and emotional.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

Rose and Giovanni – The best love

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I can’t imagine this sequence will quickly be over and we gained’t get to see any extra ballroom from these two. It truly is the best pleasure: it seems like all’s nicely with the world so long as they’re dancing collectively. Only one niggle right here: the bizarre Dolly Parton-esque cowl of the Ellie Goulding observe to drive it into the proper time signature Guys, we’re not wanting songs in 3/4. In any other case this was simply chic: a mild whisper of a routine that made us all lean in, simply as Rose is so delicate to Gio’s lead and the musicality of his physique. The encapsulation of partnership.

Music: “How Lengthy Will I Love You”, Ellie Goulding

Judges’ feedback: Motsi praised the gorgeous connection. Shirley mentioned Rose has introduced us a lot pleasure. Anton… cried. Craig famous one tiny foot fault, in any other case superb.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39

Rhys and Nancy – Jungle fever

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It’s the return of Awkward Gogglebox: our {couples} watching the judges critique them. Not many revelations right here, principally simply Rhys = vitality, for higher or for worse. Craig caught his neck out and mentioned samba could be a very good dance for Rhys, and he was principally proved proper. It wasn’t a technically nice efficiency: wild footwork and leg motion, the standard speeding and he wanted to work into the ground extra, however I beloved how he threw himself into it, leopard-print shirt and all. Some nice bounce and hip motion, “Assist I’m being electrocuted” shimmies, and he labored nicely off Nancy. That’s an enormous change from Rhys the soloist. Sidenote: one other woeful music selection. SIGH!

Music: “It Had Higher Be Tonight”, Michael Bublé (COPYCAT KLAXON: Katie Derham and Anton)

Judges’ feedback: Shirley beloved his rhythmic hips. Anton famous one clunky part, however marvellous effort. Craig wished a smoother bounce. Motsi mentioned he actually led and fought for it.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 9 – 38 

AJ and Kai – A match made in heaven

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Two essential takeaways right here: Craig ought to have given AJ’s Charleston a ten, and Shirley is a shipper. Oh additionally AJ isn’t as sturdy in Latin – can her rumba change all of that? Ooh sure. I really assume her problem is extra with quick Latin, however given the time right here to excellent her method, she was a shimmering goddess with attractive, languid traces, expressive again bends and (quelle shock) smoking-hot chemistry with Kai. By no means thoughts the smoke monster; they will generate sufficient warmth between them to unravel the vitality disaster. A couple of tiny points, like her free arm typically getting caught or a leg missing extension, however actually magnificent.

Music: “Present Me Heaven”, Maria McKee (COPYCAT KLAXON: Claire King and Brendan)

Judges’ feedback: Anton likes rumba all subtle and stylish. Beautiful traces. “I slightly beloved it.” Craig praised the great turnout and straight legs, and identified how troublesome the rumba is. Motsi was actually impressed on the work AJ put in and mentioned it got here collectively completely. Shirley stood and bowed down, praising the sensuality and tracked ft. 

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

John and Johannes – The next gear

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A John criticism right here already answered by his Couple’s Alternative: that he’s reliably good however should not play it secure. Nonetheless, I felt like we would have liked one other emotional VT for the sheer trauma of watching our boys dance a jive to this horrendously soporific Coldplay observe – the place’s the help group for that? It did sap their efficiency barely, and but once more plenty of side-by-side work which made John look a tad subdued in distinction with the unbelievable Johannes, particularly within the kicks. Nevertheless, I do assume John has silenced that essential voice telling him to not be flamboyant, so this was a crisp, playful jive with sturdy method, spot-on timing and a great deal of character. 

Music: “Increased Energy”, Coldplay

Judges’ feedback: Craig wished extra retraction, however “A-maze-ing.” Motsi mentioned she knew John had it in him. Shirley beloved the basics and risk-taking. Anton praised the side-by-side work and physique motion.

Judges’ scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 

Rose and Giovanni – Merely the perfect

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I actually shouldn’t be shocked by Rose any longer, and but I simply didn’t assume she might pull off an attractive Argentine tango with Gio. Properly, extra idiot me! Not solely did their excellent lead/observe dynamic imply that they honestly responded to one another all through, however Rose made every thing look supremely easy. She floated into the lifts, her impeccably launched legs whirled by the ganchos, and IT WAS SO HOT. Her pulling Gio’s face to hers, the gasp as he rolled her up from the again bend, the attention contact, the intimate little exchanges… It actually felt like we have been spying on lovers who had a decade of complicated feelings swirling between them. Goosebumps.

Music: “A Evaristo Carriego”, Eduardo Rovira

Judges’ feedback: Motsi known as it the dance of the sequence. Shirley mentioned it had star high quality, and congratulated Gio for the entire sequence of working with Rose. Anton beloved the serenity. Craig mentioned it belonged within the last.

Judges’ scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40 


AJ and Kai – 40 + 39 = 79

Rose and Giovanni – 39 + 40 = 79

John and Johannes – 39 + 39 = 78

Rhys and Nancy – 36 + 38 = 74

AJ is up, Rhys is down, however it’s a detailed one… 


Tess’s costume: impressed or depressed?

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Highlighter pink with a slit. Claud joined Group Leopard Print.


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As anticipated, it was the boys hitting the dance-off: first time for John… not the primary time for Rhys. With jive (39) versus samba (38) it was a close-run factor. Although John is technically superior this wasn’t his finest fashion, whereas Rhys actually danced for his life in that samba. Nevertheless, the judges all saved John.

Rhys positively grew on me, even when he by no means actually blossomed right into a ballroom boy. I’m wondering if he might need fared higher with a extra skilled professional? Nancy was an enthralling addition however most likely didn’t assist by giving him so many frantic routines. Nonetheless, they helped make this a extremely thrilling semi-final and introduced quite a lot of enjoyable to the sequence.

Hurrah, although – now we have an A-MAZE-ING last three! I’m so excited for subsequent week. It actually seems like anybody might win it, particularly in the event that they nail their showdance. Rose is unquestionably the favorite, as the one one by no means to hit the dance-off and essentially the most extraordinary story, however I count on the opposite two to push her all the way in which.

What did you make of the semi-final? Do you assume the judges overmarked? Who do you assume will win? Get in contact on Twitter to share your ideas: @mkmswain

See you once more quickly for the grand last. Within the meantime… preserve dancing!

Pictures: Man Levy courtesy of the BBC.