Week 3 means one thing; Movie Week! This year may have been one of the best movie weeks that I can remember. There was some real surprises and everybody really stepped up!

With Susannah being the first to leave the competition last weekend, it’s really on for the couples to keep improving and avoid that dreaded dance-off. The standard is really high this year so one off night could be the end for you. I must say, hats off to the costume, hair and make-up departments because every celeb and pro looked incredible!

 

The show opened with a fantastic Harry Potter-themed pro dance. I love how it touched on many different scenes: potions class, Quidditch and going on the Hogwarts Express! I wasn’t sure how it would work when I saw the previews but I really enjoyed it! The costumes were divine and I adored the mixture of dance styles! I do think AJ needs acting lessons though!
Onto last week’s dances and there were some absolute treats! Let’s find out how everyone got on:

Vick and Graziano (Dance: Salsa; Movie: Mamma Mia)

The opening of this Salsa was a great idea, using the chair and the scarf! There was some really tricky armography in this which I thought Vick handled well.

I personally thought that she was a little clumsy getting in and out of lifts which to me means that she doesn’t trust him 100% yet! It was a good opening number but it looked a little rushed. I enjoyed that it was a less sexy Salsa too!

My score: 7

Judges’ scores: 6, 7, 7, 7= 27
(L-R Craig Darcy, Shirley, Bruno)

Dr Ranj and Janette (Dance: Quickstep; Movie: Aladdin)

This was the perfect character for Dr Ranj to play and once again, I was transfixed by his eyebrows. For a Quickstep, I thought he was better than many have been on their first attempt.

He was light on his feet and lead Janette around the floor. I’d like for him to improve on his hold as well as his footwork (point your toes, Dr Ranj) but for what he sometimes lacks in technique, he owns the showmanship and energy!

My score: 6

Judges’ scores: 4, 5, 5, 6= 20

Lee and Nadiya (Dance: Cha Cha Cha; Movie: Back to the Future)

I really wish they would leave the cha cha cha until later on in the series; the technique is so precise with the straight legs, it must feel so foreign! Lee opened the dance on a hoverboard followed by an epic moonwalk which I loved!

I got a little annoyed by the amount of smoke because it meant you couldn’t see his footwork very clearly! Overall I thought it was an enjoyable performance with plenty of character, just needs to fine tune the technical aspects!

My score: 5

Judges’ scores: 3, 5, 5, 6=19

Kate and Alijaz (Dance: Foxtrot; Movie: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)

Wow, Kate is really surprising everyone so far this series! First of all, how stunning did she look as Jessica Rabbit?! She once again exuded confidence throughout, despite her little trip down the stairs at the beginning of the dance.

They covered the floor very well and it was a very smooth, flowy performance. She does need to watch for her shoulder raising when in hold though!

My score: 7

Judges’ scores: 6, 7, 8, 8= 29

Stacey and Kevin (Dance: Jive; Movie: Despicable Me 2)

Kevin really knows how to choreograph to his partner’s strengths. This performance was full of energy and confidence as well as plenty of good flicks and kicks.

I’d really love her to look up more as I think that will help her performance more. Also, she needs to put more effort into her arms when out of hold as they just sort of flop about at times. AND they shut Craig up= bonus!

My score: 8

Judges’ score: 8, 8, 8, 8= 32

Joe and Dianne (Dance: American Smooth; Movie: High School Musical)
They really are playing to Joe’s fans/target audience still. Joe is good but I want Dianne to push him. The lifts in this dance were very simple but inkeeping with the dance.

Joe needs to lower his shoulders in hold and act a little more as well as extend his free arm fully. A good performance but not a great one for me.

My score: 6

Judges’ scores: 6, 7, 6, 7= 26

Graeme and Oti (Dance: Charleston; Movie: Spiderman)

I know he was meant to be one of the joke acts but Graeme has been amazing so far! He had plenty of swivel, super strength for those impeccable lifts and excellent performance for a non-actor.

Sometimes he gets a little carried away with the performance side that he messes up the footwork but if he can tidy up his technique, he could go a long way!

My score: 8

Judges’ scores: 7, 8, 8, 8= 31

Ashley and Pasha (Dance: Salsa; Movie: Dirty Dancing)

I want to put this out there first: I hate this movie. Sorry, I know I’m one of the very few. This, for me, was her weakest dance yet. The armography at the start was phenomenal and incredibly intricate but then it sort of dipped.

The lifts were not perfect (she was wobbling a lot and not controlling from her core) and she needs to relax her fingers when out of hold. It was more of a showdance than a Salsa to me but once again, her technique was sold. I do want that dress though.

My score: 7

Judges’ scores: 8, 9, 9, 9= 35

Katie and Gorka (Dance: Foxtrot; Movie: La La Land)

What a beautiful opening; this was the perfect movie for Katie’s personality. Great nod to the film with the matching shoes also! You can tell she is more comfortable in ballroom and that her confidence is improving. That’s definitely a step in the right direction!

My score: 6

Judges’ scores: 5, 5, 6, 6= 22

Seann and Katya (Dance: Paso Doble; Movie: The Matrix)

I couldn’t quite believe how incredible this dance was and amazing choreography from Katya again.

Unfortunately, it has been overshadowed by the headlines since the performance but the dance itself was powerful and intense. I loved the slow mo sections which were tailored towards the film.

My socre: 8

Judges’ scores: 7, 7, 8, 8= 30

Lauren and AJ (Dance: Cha Cha Cha; Movie: Fame)

I’m not sure how much Lauren is improving but she did not look very comfortable in this dance. She needed a lot more of everything: hips, attack, confidence. She seems a lot better in the ballroom and in AJ’s hold.

My score: 5

Judges’ scores: 4, 5, 5, 6=20

Charles and Karen (Dance: American Smooth; Movie: An Officer and a Gentleman)

I really enjoy watching Charles as a dancer: he places everything, he has flowing arms when needed and his presence is solid. The lifts were beautifully balletic and graceful and he really acted this piece.

I did agree with the judges about their chemistry. I think it could be because they’re both strong personalities who like to be in charge but at the end of the day on Strictly, Karen is the pro so she is the boss!

My score: 8

Judges’ scores: 6, 6, 6, 7= 25

Faye and Giovanni (Dance: Quickstep; Movie: Grease)

Performance of the night by far! I really wasn’t sure how a Quickstep would work to a song from Grease but it really did!

My god, was it fast though? I know it’s meant to be quick but that was at lightning speed! It was full of technique, characterisation and personality. Bravo Faye and Gio!

My score: 9

Judges’ scores: 9, 9, 9, 9= 36

Danny and Amy (Dance: Paso Doble; Movie: The Greatest Showman)

Taking on the biggest musical of recent years is a huge challenge and it takes guts to take on a Hugh Jackman role. The opening was superbly-timed with just Danny alone and he made some incredible shapes for a man his age!

I did think he was a little nervous throughout and he needs to get used to being in hold with Amy. He’s so used to being a soloist as a dancer/choreographer but now it’s about a partnership. Good effort but not his best.

My score: 7

Judges’ scores: 6, 7, 7, 8= 28

And then we get to the dreaded dance-off. For me, I don’t think either Lee or Charles should have been in the bottom two. It just goes to show that it is a personality contest, especially in the first few weeks when you weed out the ones who won’t make the final.

Both couples improved on their original dance and Lee was sent home three votes to one. Shirley said she would’ve voted to save Lee and Nadiya so there is reason to believe that she really doesn’t seem to like Karen!

Week 4 is on the horizon and there are so many couples who have a shot this year! Have some peaked too early or are some more of a slow burner? Tune in on Saturday to find out!

Strictly is on BBC One on Saturday and Sunday. Check listing for times.

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