Still, the show must go on as they say in showbiz circles. Gorka 'The Corker' Marquez (formerly Tameka's partner) stepped in to replace Brendan - from choreography to dance-time - and Laura Whitmore took a bye into next week on physio's orders. Let's hope she recovers for Halloween - it's a 'one bye' rule in Strictly and if she's not fit then another dancer bites the dust without being voted off.
So who wowed the crown and who shouldn't be allowed? Bring your Night Nurse and Vicks Vaporub for the Strictly Week 5 rundown.......
Judge Rinder opened the show with a somewhat slowed down jive to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Never one shy at blowing his own trumpet the Judge was dressed as a spangly GI. Kicking off with a one-handed cartwheel he gave it a good go, but this wasn't anything like Ore's spectacular from last week. He was a bit flat-footed with little retraction in the kicks and flicks but he had good energy, rhythm and timing. As always, he put his face through the paces in a dance with lots of tricky content that included lindy bop, swing moves and lovely step routines. The kicks were a bit wild but the dance was flamboyant and fun. Not much chance of him getting his marching orders this week - even if he did only score 29 out of 40.
Up next was limber Lesley Joseph dancing a torturous tango to Whatever Lola Wants. If Lola wanted a decent dance she didn't get what she was wishing for. With Anton in guy-liner looking like a Poundshop Johnny Depp and Lesley dressed like a Blackpool Pier palm-reader, this was a ploddy, shoddy showing. Lesley tried hard with character and attitude, but she was hanging on to Anton like grim death all through the routine and was dragged around like a shopping trolley with a wonky wheel. Her frame was weak and wobbly, she missed her footing several times and there were issues with timing. Stiff in the wrong way, she wasn't so much Mystic Meg as Mistake Peg and it all seemed to get away from her. The judges didn't need a crystal ball to see this wasn't her dance. Just 26 out of 40 scored.
Olympic star Greg Rutherford followed with a charmless cha-cha-cha to We Found Love. Love, maybe - rhythm, definitely not. Greg was more like me nanna than Rhianna this week. He was ploddy and stiff with no hip rotation at all. He was concentrating too hard and seemed to be counting the steps in his head. His legs weren't straightening out fully which meant he lost the classic double bounce required for the dance. Greg had no confidence as he went through the motions in a routine that exposed all his faults. It was an awkward, clumsy outing that definitely won't see him get a podium place. A disappointing 24 out of 40.
Anastacia and Brendan body-double Gorka came out with a quickstep / foxtrot to My Kind Of Town. Looking scarily like 60s/70s ventriloquist Shari Lewis (and Gorka not wholly dissimilar to puppet Lamb Chop), Anastacia was no dummy with a surprisingly smooth routine. She was light-footed and fleet with some spot-on timing in the pendulum sequences and coped well with the full-on content of the dance. It wasn't perfect - there was too much gapping and she was a little stuttery at times - but there was no doubting this was her best dance to date. Maybe Gorka suites her better as a partner? There are rumours of training room tiffs with Brendan after all. An admirable 30 out of 40.
Sharistacia & Gorkachop?
Fab footie femme Louise Redknapp followed with a (snore) rumba to Always On My Mind. KevinFromGrimsby had thrown in all the usual wiggle, walk, wave, pout bits and there was a hint of romance and chemistry between the two. The Parisian story was a bit cheesy - which went well with all the dips Kev kept chucking into the dance. Poor Louise was up and down like a guillotine blade and made a couple of Les Mis(takes) as she WAGgled about. The panel certainly got an Eiffel. It was a simple, safe routine but you'd have to be 'in-Seine' to think the couple would be in any trouble. The judges thought it was 'beret' good, though Bruno must have been on the rum(ba) to score it a 9. A total of 33 out of 40 for Louise.
Deadwood Ed Balls lolloped along with what I'm told was a quickstep to Amarillo. Amarillo? Poor Ed was more like a roadkill armadillo. Dressed as a hitch-hiker, Ed lost his way on more than one occasion during this sad, sorry routine. Yet again he was stomping and tromping his way round the dance-floor, waving his arms like he was trying to shoo a particularly troublesome fly. There was no timing, style or finesse and he spent more time walking around than dancing. The bit in hold was OK - it was the other 89 seconds that was the trouble. The lifts were appalling - Ed was hoisting Katya round like a roll of carpet and at one point he nearly dropped her altogether. Honestly, Ronnie Corbett did a better job in the Peter Kay video - and he fell off the treadmill! Ed couldn't even get the singer right in the post-dance interview - mixing up Tony Curtis with Tony Christie. A woeful 18 out of 40.
Ore Oduba had a lot to live up to after last week's phenomenal jive. This week he was dancing a waltz to I Will Always Love You. It seems like Ore has the full package (so to speak). This was a wonderful routine, full of light and shade, rise and fall. He coped really well with the choreography which seemed to suit his style to a tee. There were a few tiny mistakes, but this was a difficult dance with sections out of hold, pauses and sweeps that would be challenging for many dancers, never mind a celeb. Ore was in control throughout and had a beautiful connection with his partner. I don't think he and Joanne will 'Parton' week five. Houston - we have NO problem. Another table-topping score of 36 out of 40 for Ore.
It was dancing in the dark for the first third of Daisy Lowe and Aljaz's Charleston routine to Happy Feet this week. Starting off with the house lights down and the spotlight on dazzling white gloves and shoes there was nowhere to hide for the pair. It was a kooky start, that's for sure - Daisy could have had a pro stunt double for all we know! When it got going it was good enough. There was some swivel and cross, all of the usual (if not unique) Charleston content but it was nothing spectacular, really. Daisy lost some timing and togetherness and she was seriously flagging by the end. This fun, silly routine still earned her 32 out of 40 from the panel.
Dapper Danny Mac was the penultimate dancer, providing the second rumba of the night to the second Whitney Houston song - although this time it was Sam Smith's slow version of How Will I Know. The rumba is a difficult dance for male celebrities as it is and Oti had pulled no punches in a routine that was full of tricky technical content. Danny coped admirably with fluid, sweeping arms, assured poise and great hips. He led and show-cased Oti really well - which is where there was some trouble. This was, at times, more of a 'jazz' show-dance than a proper rumba (which is probably why I didn't mind it so much). Some of the finishes were over-emphasised and there was a little too much stretch and reach. Cor, I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about don't I? The judges said he was a little jerky - but they didn't beef about it too much. A very decent 35 out of 40 for Danny.
Claudia Fragapane closed the show with a stuttery salsa to Young Hearts (Run Free). Yes. The ole 'we are the youngest couple' schtick. They were even dancing around a giant glitter-ball that made them look like a pair of ballroom Borrowers. What did I say last week?! This was a very fast dance - maybe too fast. Run Free? Claudia seemed to be running to catch up with the beat. There were times when she got so ahead of the steps that the classic salsa shapes suffered. She lost timing more than once and, while she had good hip movement, the frenetic bouncing made her look like Skippy on a trampoline. Partner AJ had chucked in some steps he knew would please Len, but he needs to choreograph to Claudia's strengths instead of showing off his own skills. Still, another mad Bruno score contributed to a decent 32 out of 40.
And so the night ended as it did last week. Ore out in front with 36, Ed lagging at the bottom with just half of that. But everything, as we know, rests with the viewer vote
We may have been Dancing On A Saturday Night but the results show is on a Sunday Afternoon (well, evening - but there aren't any songs called 'Sunday Evening Just After Countryfile'. Maybe the Kaiser Chiefs should corner that market?).
Anyhoo - the format was the same as it is every week. There was the usual pro-dance opener to warm up the audience - and give Claudia Winkleman & Tess Daly time to change their frocks - which is usually the best part of the show. Music was provided Leanne Rhimes (no, it doesn't) singing How To Kiss A Boy. Like we need telling, eh? All very nice, if you like that sort of thing.
Len and his Lens looked at the dances again under the microscope - and he regaled us with memories of snapping a ball off in his youth. From the dance-hall banister, you understand. He walks like he does because of his pickled walnuts. Apparently.
The celebrities stood sweating, shaking and shivering as Tess went through the viewer votes - in no particular order, as she keeps reminding us - as to who was safe and whose Strictly career was in peril. The results were in. The dance-off danger duo were......
Lesley and Daisy. Yet again, a bit of a surprise - even the judges were baffled. Maybe the viewers want to see Ed make another monster mistake in next week's Halloween special. Perhaps they just like putting him through the tortures of training? Or maybe he's rigged the phonelines so that anyone ordering through Just Eat at the weekend diverts the call to his vote line (other takeaway ordering services are available, so I'm told). There aren't many more explanations as to why he's still there, are there?
The ladies took to the floor one more time. Both routines were a bit better, but unfortunately it was pretty clear who would be heading home. One couple just couldn't raise their game enough to win the judges over. The verdict was unanimous.....
Gypsy-themed Lesley Joseph was given her (Tarot) cards and told tea leave the show.
Lesley didn't linger but Strictly's a Feather in her cap
Next week is the much loved and anticipated Halloween Special. There will be horror galore, gruesome gore, terror and frights and sleepless nights. But enough about Ed Balls........until next week - KEEP DANCING!!!
This blog drives me batty..............