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Strictly Come Dancing: week five - as it happened

Joe and Katya
Joe and Katya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

So that’s it for another Strictly! Thank you all for joining in – you are entirely marvellous and I love you all.

I’m having my annual Saturday off next week, but I’m leaving you in the very safe hands of the lovely Alex Needham for Saturday, then I’ll be back on Sunday as usual. Have a brilliant week! Hx

Brian and Amy dance their final turn to ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ by Crowded House. The Strictly house is getting less crowded now, which is good news for all of us.

Craig can’t decide which one made less mistakes in the dance-off, but goes with Simon. He so badly wants to kick both out.

Darcey also saves Simon, so BRIAN AND AMY are leaving this evening. They’ve had a good run, and it’s definitely time to say goodbye. Brian cracks a very funny joke and then it all gets a bit emotional. It’s a puppet, etc.

I’m keeping an eye out for Simon’s swivel, but there’s no sign. The timing is a bit better than yesterday, however.

So much yellow in this dance-off. My eyeballs are hurting.

Despite this being like choosing between diarrhoea or vomiting, I think I’d rather keep Simon, all things considered.

Dance-off time! Which one of these two awful dances will be least awful second time round, do we think? My money’s on Simon to stay (for one week only).

It’s the HALLOWEEN SPECIAL next week! I’m going to the studio to see if it’s any better if I watch it from a distance of 12 feet. You will be in very safe hands, I promise.

So who will join Simon and Karen in tonight’s dance-off? Gemma and Aljaz are safely through to Halloween, along with Jonnie and Oti, Alexandra and Gorka, Susan and Kevin (WOO) and Ruth and Anton!

Which means BRIAN AND AMY are in the dance off!

Just said to the daughter “I’m not sure which one will go”. Her reply: “As long as one of them does, I don’t care”.

Claudia is desperately trying to make Dance Debrief a thing. Let it go, Clauds. It died in Week 2.

This song is quite dull, but Aljaz and Oti are more than making up for it. More please.

Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Irish rockers The Script. If you’re looking at the lead singer and thinking “where do I know that man from?” he’s Danny O’ Donaghue, the judge from Series 1 and 2 of the Voice. I’m afraid I can’t help you with Jessie J’s whereabouts.

Despite my comments about lack of chemistry last night, rumour is that Mollie and AJ are doing it. I love a showmance rumour, but I’m not buying that one.

So which couple is first in this week’s dance-off, and who is safely through to next week? Joe and Katya are safe, along with Mollie and AJ, Davood and Nadiya, Debbie and Giovanni and Aston and Janette. No big surprises there.

First couple in the dance-off: SIMON AND KAREN! Only Brian can save you Simon, and even then it’s not a given.

Last night on Strictly: Undermarked, overmarked, rumba-ing free. Highlights: Craig being Bruno, more of this (and less actual Bruno) please. Joe and Katya’s Paso, and two Sambas that were both entirely amazing in very different ways – part of me really wants Ruth and Anton to be in the dance-off just so I can watch them do it again. Lowlights: One Jive and one Charleston that we shall never speak of again.

TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in a navy shroud, and Claudia back in black.

TOTAL SHOULDER COUNT: 2 spaghetti straps and a weird throttling effect on Tess that makes her look like a Cluedo piece.

And we’re off! Tonight’s opening pro dance has a 1960s heteronormative speed-dating theme, because literally every other sensible idea was taken. Mostly it’s an excuse for kinky plastic boots (gross) and very tight trousers (less so), but nice to see some actual Jive. Loving Pasha in a turtleneck.


This week’s Countryfile Casual Weatherperson is the lovely Susan Powell in a purple knit/brown pleather combo. Hard to know if it’s a skirt or chaps. Either way, it’s quite edgy for the weather.


Damn, I missed this week’s Countryfile Calendar Shameless Hard Sell. I was peeling spuds.


Evening all, and welcome back for tonight’s Strictly Results Show! I rather enjoyed last night’s Bruno-free dance extravaganza, albeit having only three judges played havoc with the scores (along with Shirley, who was properly on one).

I’m still that common sense has prevailed and Brian and Simon will be in tonight’s bottom two, although I’m not overly keen to relive either of their dances. Equally wouldn’t surprise me if Davood was in the dance-off again – going first last night won’t have done him any favours. We’ll find out soon enough – kick-off is at 7.15pm as usual, so don’t go anywhere.

So that’s it for tonight’s dancing! Halloween DRINK!

Thank you all for joining in, I’ll be back tomorrow night from 7.15pm for the Results Show, so will see you then. Come and say hi on Twitter @heidistephens if you’re passing in the meantime, I definitely don’t bite. See you tomorrow, and enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Leaderboard time! Debbie and Giovanni are at the top, and Brian, Simon, Ruth and Susan are all at the bottom. SURELY it’s a dance off between Simon and Brian tomorrow, much as I’d rather eat socks than watch either of those two dances again?

My votes are going to Joe and Katya, Ruth and Anton and Susan and Kevin. Judge away, I care not.


Scores: 7,8,9 - a total of 24 for Jonnie and Oti. It’s like Donny is actually in the building.

Darcey thought it was speedy and light, and she loved the cheeky character. Shirley loved how light and bright it was, Jonnie was outstanding. Craig thought the elements of dancing are coming together, even though Jonnie lost timing at one point.

Darcey has started saying “yes?” at the end of each sentence, which I thought we’d killed off several years ago. Grr.

What is it with service providers in tonight’s Strictly? We’ve had a coffee shop guy, cabin crew, and now Jonnie as a supermarket checkout guy. They are dancing in the aisles in a way that I’m not sure would be considered appropriate in my local Morrisons.

A few wobbly sections and Jonnie isn’t entirely in control, but great fun and Jonnie appears to be having the time of his life. What’s not to love?

Jonnie and Oti
Jonnie and Oti Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


And FINALLY it’s time Jonnie and Oti! This week they’re dancing the Quickstep to ‘Part-Time Lover’ by Stevie Wonder. I always assume that dances like this are going to be super-challenging for Jonnie, but actually he seems to pull it off every week, it’s incredible. Also this song is an absolute banger, can’t wait to see what Jonnie and Oti have got for the finale of tonight’s show.

Scores: 7,8,8 - a total of 23 for Alexandra and Gorka. Bit harsh, no?

Craig has an issue with Alexandra’s pigeon toes (DOUBLE DRINK), but he loved the routine. Darcey loved the fluidity, but she needs to tidy up the transitions. Shirley loved the power and energy and Alexandra’s upper half is exquisite, but the bottom half needs refining.

Alexandra is dressed as a Brazilian flag that’s been through a shredder, and I would totally wear that. It’s Samba filth from start to finish, with fabulous basic Samba from Alexandra and bucketfuls of Latin attitude. She’s a fabulous dancer, absolute quality from start to finish.

Alexandra and Gorka
Alexandra and Gorka Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


It’s time for Alexandra and Gorka! This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Shape Of You’ by Ed Sheeran.

This is the second Ed Sheeran song on this year’s Strictly, and this one is also featured on a TV ad for M&S Food. Occasionally I like to imagine Ed reclining on a bedspread of crisp banknotes, eating Percy Pigs off a gold tray.

I am NOT judging Alexandra for not having a single book in her house. Definitely not*

*totally am.


Scores: 7,9,10 - a total of 26 for Joe and Katya. Bruno is gone but not forgotten.

Katya makes a noise like a mouse being repeatedly bashed with a hammer.

Shirley loved Joe’s arms and shaping – the best male Paso we’ve seen on Strictly so far. Craig thought it had some stilted and wooden moments, but Joe did really well. Darcey loved the traditional Spanish style, and she loved Katya’s choreography.

Forget last week’s shambolic Jive, this is the Joe we love. A bit hunchy in places, but plenty of attack and some nice shaping from Joe. Incidentally, Katya is FIERCE. Really enjoyed that, love a good Paso.

Joe and Katya
Joe and Katya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Only three left - next up it’s Joe and Katya! Tonight they’re dancing a Paso Doble to ‘Diablo Rojo’ by Rodrigo y Gabriela. Ooh, proper Paso music, I am excited. Also Joe doing a thrusty Paso is not a wholly unappealing prospect, not going to lie.

According to Joe on Twitter, he shaved his chest for tonight’s routine, just like the matadors of yore.

Scores: 8,8,8 - a total of 24 for Gemma and Aljaz.

Darcey loves how versatile Gemma is becoming – it had mood, quality and grace, but she loses focus in hold. Shirley though it was romantic, classic and elegant, but her footwork stuttered a little in places. “The frontrunners in this competition need to start looking behind them”, says Craig.

Ooh, Aljaz looks dreamy, shame Gemma’s dress is the colour of sludge. Lots of mood and emotion in this Foxtrot, and some lovely footwork the from Gemma. Gemma looks a bit catatonic, but delightful.

Gemma and Aljaz
Gemma and Aljaz Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Goodness me, I need a drink.

Who’s next? It’s Gemma and Aljaz! This week they’re dancing the Foxtrot to ‘Believe’ by Madilyn Bailey. Gemma’s Paso last week was one of the show’s highlights, and I feel like Aljaz is starting to bring out the best in her (or possibly Gorka – the mind boggles at the prospect of manhandling both of them ON THE SAME DAY).

Scores: 5,5,6 - a total of 16 for Ruth and Anton. I’d have given that ALL the points.

Craig doesn’t know how to judge that, because it was a send-up of a Samba. EAMONN HOLMES DRINK. Darcey thought it was slightly over the top, but she loved Ruth’s energy and fun. Shirley thought the concept was brilliant, and it had lots of content – a very good job.

In this week’s instalment of Ruth does 80s movie hair, it’s Melanie Griffith in Working Girl. They’re on a aeroplane, apropos of nothing, until they ditch the uniforms to reveal ANTON’S PINK FLAMENCO SLEEVES!!!! They are INCREDIBLE. It’s actually a very decent Samba from Ruth, but everything about it is pink and sparkly and entirely joyous and I bloody love it. MORE MORE MORE.

Ruth and Anton
Ruth and Anton Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


It’s time for Ruth and Anton! Tonight they’re dancing the Samba to ‘Love Is In The Air’ by John Paul Young. I’m very much hoping this is going to be a full-on Strictly Ballroom campfest – anything less would be a travesty. Ruth is growing on me - she’s one of this year’s improvers, and gradually the memory of their Week 3 Rumba is fading.

Scores: 8,8,8 - a total of 24 for Aston and Janette.

Shirley could feel the emotion, and she loved the contemporary feel to their Waltz – pretty impressive. Craig thought it was a bit too sharp, and Aston’s hands were a bit flat, but could watch Aston and all night. Darcey loved the modern twist, but it was a bit too fussy and over-detailed.

Aston looks like Mr Darcey, which is absolutely fine by me. This is all rather dramatic and intense, some lovely control from Aston, and gorgeous changes of pace. LOVED that.

Aston and Janette
Aston and Janette Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Unborn baby counts as a bonus relative, so double DRINK.


Next up it’s Aston and Janette! This week they’re dancing the Waltz to ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by Elvis Presley.

I feel like Aston has to up his game over the next few weeks if he’s going to guarantee his place in the final, so hopefully this is going to be GAWJUS.

Oh god, still six left. Don’t leave me.

Scores: 4,5,7 - a total of 16 for Susan and Kevin. LOL at Shirley, the spirit of Bruno lives on.


Darcey thought there were moments were Susan’s technique suffered, but she still sold it. Shirley thought it was a cheeky Cha Cha Cha, but she needs to work on her arms. Craig loved Susan’s energy and performance but it was a bit turned in and there was no hip action.

Oh god, another door. Susan is weeping in a blanket, and several years later ditches it for a Cha Cha. It’s a valiant effort at a bit of shimmy and some splits, but a bit stompy and lacking the flow of last week’s Quickstep. Not Susan’s finest hour, but I still love her.

Susan and Kevin
Susan and Kevin Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Hooray, it’s time for Susan and Kevin! Tonight they’re dancing the Cha Cha to ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ by Little Mix. On paper, everything about this is already awesome.

Their Quickstep last week was magnificent, and for me Susan encapsulates everything I love about Strictly – so please let this be amazing. It’s the least you can do after Brian and Amy.

Scores: 4,6,6 - a total of 16 for Brian and Amy.

Craig thought it was flat-footed and had no retraction, but Brian’s energy and facial expressions were to die for. Darcey loved it, but it would be nice if Brian’s facial energy could carry through to his body. Shirley went back in time, much like we’re going to tomorrow night.

This is horrible, like a Jive performed by two drunk Ikea employees on a stag night in Bridgend. Everything about it is terrible, please make it stop.

Brian and Amy
Brian and Amy Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Next up it’s Brian and Amy! Tonight they’re dancing the Jive to ‘It’s Not Unusual’ by Tom Jones. I suspect that, as Jives go, this might be somewhat unusual, and not necessarily in a good way.


Scores: 9,9,9 - a total of 27 for Debbie and Giovanni, putting her back on top. Go Debbie.

Shirley loved all the basic Rumba, and she has never seen a leg as straight as Debbie’s on all her years on these shows. Craig channels Bruno (I am SO here for this), and loved it. Darcey loved how Debbie caressed the floor – Debbie’s best dance.

Debbie is dressed as a sparkly penguin, and this Rumba makes the most of her ballet training. A few balance issues and a too much vogueing for my liking, but entirely charming and Giovanni does a lovely job of letting Debbie take centre stage. Nice.

Debbie and Giovanni
Debbie and Giovanni Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Who’s next? It’s Debbie and Giovanni! Tonight they’re dancing the Rumba to ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ by Tracy Chapman. We’re all waiting with baited breath to find out if this is going to be a caring, romantic Rumba, or the ‘goodness it’s awfully hot in here, I might remove some clothing’ kind. I’m hoping for the latter, because the former is invariably a bit dull.

I didn’t include deceased husbands in the Bingo, but please feel free to drink. Bit dusty in here.

Scores: 5,5,6 - a total of 16 for Simon and Karen. I fear we may have to watch that again tomorrow.

Darcey was excited about Simon’s fiddle (no), but the recipe was missing some ingredients. Simon can’t swivel, apparently, due to an Achilles injury. “What about the other leg?” asks Darcey, on behalf of all of us. Shirley thought it was massively entertaining, and she loved the slapstick and Simon’s peripheral vision - no mention of his footwork or timing. Craig bemoans the lack of swivel, but he did like the train step and the slapstick end.

This is a Charleston as performed by someone with a hip injury and no sense of rhythm or timing. No.

Simon and Karen
Simon and Karen Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


It’s time for Simon and Karen! This week they’re dancing a Charleston to ‘Fit As A Fiddle (And Ready For Love)’ by Gene Kelly. This is the only Charleston this week, so hopefully they’ll bring a suitcase full of slapstick joy and plenty of swivel. Am I asking too much?

Scores: 8,8,8 - a total of 24 for Liesl and Rolfe.


Craig loved the armography and it had great swing and sway – packed with wonderful Viennese. Darcey thought it was very impressive, and Shirley loved the romance – she was transported to a different place (hopefully somewhere with lipstick).

I can’t look at AJ without thinking of Rolfe the nazi youth from The Sound Of Music. Do those trousers NEED to be that tight?


Mollie looks gorgeous on a fairy-lit bridge, and this is all rather wonderful. Lovely frame and footwork from Mollie, although I’m pretty sure that standing spin went a bit wonky. Lovely floor spin at the end however, really enjoyed that.

Mollie and AJ
Mollie and AJ Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Next up it’s Mollie and AJ! This week they’re dancing a Viennese Waltz to ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ by Cilla Black.

I can’t quite make my mind up about these two – Mollie is lovely, but there seems to be very little chemistry in this pairing. But if there was, it might feel a bit Flowers In The Attic, so probably for the best. Let’s move on.

Scores: 6,8,8, - a total of 22 for Davood and Nadiya. Anyone missing Bruno? Nope, me neither.

Shirley thought Davood set the tone for the evening, and he had great posture. Craig thought there was too much upper body movement and his free arm was misplaced, and it was a bit heavy footed. Bright and lively, however, and Davood sold it well. Darcey thought it was carefree, light and energised, but she agrees with Craig on the free arm.

Nadiya has all the rainbow fringe going on, and Davood does a serviceable cartwheel. His Jive is a bit clunky however – not enough precision and his arms are flailing (along with his lower jaw). All good fun, but not really my cup of coffee.

Davood and Nadiya
Davood and Nadiya Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Right, let’s get on with the dancing bit, I’ve got a fish pie waiting to go into the oven for later.

First up tonight it’s Davood and Nadiya! This week they’re dancing the Jive to ‘Tell Her About It’ by Billy Joel. Poor Davood ended up in the bottom two last week, so hopefully he’s going to come back fighting this evening. I reckon he has the making of a good Jive in him, so fingers crossed.

“I’m a bit of a method actor”, says Davood. You’re on ‘Enders, mate, you’re hardly Daniel Day-Lewis.


Brian has gone full Hi-De-Hi Yellowcoat this evening, and Simon looks like Rupert the Bear - MY EYES.

The judges all look rather fabulous this evening, loving Darcey’s dress. Bruno is missing, but nobody really minds.

TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess is sporting a rather classy red number, but Claudia has forgotten to do up the braces on her lederhosen.


Last week on Strictly – some brilliant dancing, a few wobbly turns, and Charlotte was finally released after being held hostage by Strictly for the past six weeks. It was a relief for everyone, to be honest.

All the remaining couples are having a lovely time, but they all want to make it to Halloween (DRINK).

Right, enough of this nonsense. Let’s Strictly the night away.

YAAAAS, lickspittle was a pointless answer. Hooray.

No lickspittle? #pointless

Ooh, just noticed the daughter has joined the Glitterati down below. Be nice, she may struggle to communicate without emojis and gifs.

“I’m going to go for someone who I think will be less well known” says man on Pointless, finally getting the point of this quiz.

This week’s Strictly Come Rollover Bingo – a slug of your favourite tipple for any occurrence of the following:

  • VTs featuring children/grandparents/non-celebrity relatives
  • Animal references from the judges (double swig for pigeon toes)
  • Shirley attempting to coin a catchphrase
  • Mentions of Halloween
  • Feathers

Tonight’s ‘celebrity’ pointless is people who do voiceovers. No, really. I once did the voiceover for the promotional video for a retirement home, do I qualify?

Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Strictly Come Dancing liveblog! We’re down to the LAST 12 COUPLES, which is of course almost all the couples we started with, despite it feeling like we’ve been watching this series since dinosaurs rumba-ed the earth.

The priority for our dancing duos this week is reaching the next big Strictly milestone – next week’s Halloween Spooktacular. So expect many mentions of the ‘H’ word - I’ll be putting it in the bingo, obviously.

There’s no Bruno this week (he’s has a Dancing With The Stars commitment in the US), but apparently they’ve opted to leave his chair empty rather than replace him with half a dozen over-sugared toddlers on a bouncy castle, or (thank the glitter gods) Donny Osmond.

As usual I’ll be up here keeping my beady eye on every spicy Salsa and rigid Rumba; you would be doing me an enormous favour if you could add a dusting of wit and wisdom in the comment box below. My daughter is home from Uni this weekend, so I’ve got my trusty sidekick back - kick off is at 6.35pm, so bring booze, snacks and your dancing feet. See you then!


This article titled "Strictly Come Dancing: week five - as it happened" was written by Heidi Stephens, for on Sunday 22 October 2017 06.59pm

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