The Halloween special of Strictly Come Dancing has just concluded. “The Halloween episode of Strictly Come Dancing has just finished.”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy was not much improved.
The top pick in music: Black Swan was intense, Murder On The Dancefloor was energetic, but Kiss From A Rose stands out. Tommy Blaize’s vocals deserve praise.
The music selection that received the most criticism: During a week where many complained about the lack of “appropriate” Halloween songs, Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire was especially subpar.
The most impressive attire was Motsi’s spider dress, despite the web sagging during the performance, or Craig’s portrayal of Severus Snape. “Oh, Potter. A magical disaster, my dear.”
The most unflattering attire: Zara and Graziano’s skeleton costume. They may withdraw, appearing only bones and teeth.
The most favorable remark from the judges was Anton’s reaction to Layton’s standing backflip while wearing high heels: “I was so impressed that I did a backflip in my seat. Too bad the camera wasn’t focused on me.”
Worst VT: Despite the theme overload, they were surprisingly bearable, even actually amusing at times. Booby prize goes generally to the overload of creaky CGI and “augmented reality”. Whatever that actually means.
Best Claudia quip: Her ongoing obsession with the excellent Jay Guru-Murthy. Everyone in the Clauditorium wore Jay masks. He got his own back with a “Hello Claudia” T-shirt. Score draw.
“Cheerful Halloween and continue to dance,” exclaimed Tess and Claud, concluding a creepy, quirky, and quite eerie performance. Please stick around for our assessment, response, and summary of your feedback.
Once again, Zara appears to be in a difficult situation. Who will potentially join her in the bottom two? I am concerned that it may be one of our preferred individuals.
There is a concealed and veiled betrayer standing on the balcony. Craig is hidden under a sheet. Is it really Craig? Vito causes Claudia to laugh and she responds with gratitude, calling him a “puppy.”
Feedback from the judges on Ellie and Vito’s performance: Anton praises with “amazing, energetic, you were a force to be reckoned with, great job”. Craig compliments on the mix of dance styles, breaking it up with disco salsa, and calls it incredible. Motsi declares it the dance of the night, with no room for fooling around. Shirley concludes with “what a way to end, a killer on the dancefloor, full of groove and joy”. Will they receive nines and tens to finish on a high note?
The judges gave scores of 9, 10, 10, and 9, totaling to 38 points. This puts them at the top of the scoreboard, and it’s their best score yet. It’s the second highest score of the season. Vito is incredibly funny and their team is adorable. I’m starting to root for them to win. Am I mistaken?
The final dance is here. Their previous paso doble was full of energy and the actress from Coronation Street is showing her impressive skills. Now, she’s moving from the passionate paso doble to a fun party dance. The performance was good, but unfortunately, there were some mistakes. It was fast-paced and included complicated arm movements and lots of hip action. Vito has added some challenging steps and Ellie is executing them flawlessly. There were some moments where the dance lacked fluidity, but the impressive tricks, lifts, and powerful ending made up for it. Impressive!
Song: Murder On The Dancefloor by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Herself a Strictly finalist in a decade ago, the kitchen disco diva sent them a good luck message this week. This 2001 banger was co-written by Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals and its video centres around a dance contest where Ellis-Bextor sabotages, injures and poisons her rivals, then seduces the head judge. Don’t go getting any ideas, Ellie.
The judges had mixed comments for Nigel and Katya. Shirley pointed out that there were too many mistakes and advised them to stay focused as Nigel is the leading man in this competition. Anton also acknowledged the good performance but mentioned that there were some small errors, although their hip action was brilliant. Craig noted that their timing was off twice but praised their overall performance. Motsi concluded by saying that when they perform it correctly, it is amazing to watch and they capture the musicality and character well, but the mistakes were like teasing the audience. Can they score eights?
The judges gave scores of 8, 7, 7, and 8, resulting in a total of 30 points. This puts the contestant in the middle of the rankings.
The second-to-last dance is happening now. Unfortunately, a small error caused him to lose his place during the foxtrot last week, taking away from an otherwise impressive routine. Will actor Nigel Harman be able to focus and avoid making mistakes? They are portraying a corpse bride and groom who come back to life on their wedding anniversary. The connection between them is strong and the storytelling is excellent. The leg and hip movements are quick and the way he moves her around is reminiscent of John Sergeant. There is a risky lift where he drops her, but overall he is a good dancer. It was a great performance, but there were a few small mistakes.
The song “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” was written by KISS in 1979. The band, known for their metal music and trademark masks, made a bet that they could write a disco hit in just one hour.
The judges had some feedback for Annabel and Jojo. Motsi noticed a change in character and saw some devilish expressions, but felt the performance started strong but weakened. Shirley commented on the flatness and good frame at the beginning, but noticed hiccups and hesitations later on. Anton praised the classic Strictly feel and believed Len would have loved it. Craig noted that there was maintained body contact, but the shoulders came up, overall showing improvement from last week. Could they be getting sevens this time?
The judges gave scores of 7, 7, 7, and 8, totaling 29 points. This puts us in third place from the bottom and in danger of being in the dance-off.
Annabel’s previous dances have been stylish and graceful, but lacking a certain edge. While she has received consistently high scores of seven, she may need to tap into her more daring side to elevate her performances to eights and nines. The tango is the dance she has been most eager to master, and for this performance, she is dressed as a demon in all-red attire. The dance involves a close embrace and intense theatrics, but Annabel struggles with maintaining sharpness and rhythm. Despite some shaky moments and timing issues, she executes impressive dips towards the end of the routine.
Song: Need You Tonight by INXS. The Australian funk-rock band’s signature 1987 hit was later covered by Kylie Minogue in tribute to her ex, late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. Its guitar riff was sampled on Dua Lipa’s Break My Heart. Slide over here and make me sweat.