Strictly Talking: Week 12 – Dancing Occasions

Posted on December 13, 2021

23875148 low res strictly come dancing 2021

Properly, what a semi-final! Normally doubling the dances means halving the usual, not less than, 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 may 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 battle for his or her place within the ultimate. Rhys rose to the (admittedly unkind) problem of the samba, John bared his soul in his Couple’s Selection, 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 fitting three for the ultimate – when did that final occur? Ooh it’s going to be an absolute pleasure, seeing the most effective trio duke it out: the three finest dancers, the three finest partnerships, and three genuinely beautiful individuals who between them symbolize 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, specifically, has meant to individuals. HIT
  • Oh god, Anton’s bought a brand new gimmick: whipping off his glasses like a defence lawyer in a nasty courtroom drama. Please, BBC, make my Christmas and ditch him. MISS
  • Disco Motsi! Topping off a really spectacular sequence of appears to be like. HIT
  • Ts and Cs rando: Romesh plugging The Weakest Hyperlink. MISS
  • Extra cringe hip-hop from our ballroom execs. 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 Selection lifts Technically spectacular and deeply transferring.
  • Greatest line: Craig snarking “I’ve liked being in your present, darling” The proper riposte to a different prolonged Anton speech


Tess’s gown: impressed or depressed?

23875190 low res strictly come dancing 2021 23875203 low res strictly come dancing 2021

One in all her ketchup outfits fought again with a garrotting scarf. Claud: sparkly black swimsuit. 

Rhys and Nancy – Tunnel imaginative and prescient

23874198 low res strictly come dancing 2021

Rhys had apparently fought to bop to this Queen music and… properly. 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 approach and lack of management. He went forward of the music (as at all times) 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 ideal ultimate effort.

Tune: “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

23875281 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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

Tune: “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 tough dance. Shirley mentioned it was pure Strictly magic.

Judges’ scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40

John and Johannes – It will get higher

23874211 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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 pleased with what they’ve given the nation with their braveness, their sensible dancing and their vulnerability, significantly the LGBTQ+ group. Illustration issues; visibility issues. That emotional outpouring continued of their up to date Couple’s Selection. Technically, John may 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 staff effort, it was so thrilling to see John take cost of it. Bravo.

Tune: “Hometown Glory”, Adele

Judges’ feedback: Craig wished extra stream, 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

23875519 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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 appears like all’s properly 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 monitor to pressure it into the fitting time signature Guys, we’re not in need of songs in 3/4. In any other case this was simply elegant: 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.

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

Judges’ feedback: Motsi praised the attractive 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

23875744 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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 can be a superb dance for Rhys, and he was principally proved proper. It wasn’t a technically nice efficiency: wild footwork and leg motion, the same old dashing and he wanted to work into the ground extra, however I liked 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 properly off Nancy. That’s an enormous change from Rhys the soloist. Sidenote: one other woeful music alternative. SIGH!

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

Judges’ feedback: Shirley liked 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

23874627 low res strictly come dancing 2021

Two necessary 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 approach, she was a shimmering goddess with beautiful, languid traces, expressive again bends and (quelle shock) smoking-hot chemistry with Kai. By no means thoughts the smoke monster; they’ll generate sufficient warmth between them to resolve the vitality disaster. A couple of tiny points, like her free arm generally getting caught or a leg missing extension, however actually magnificent.

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

Judges’ feedback: Anton likes rumba all subtle and stylish. Pretty traces. “I fairly liked it.” Craig praised the great turnout and straight legs, and identified how tough 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

23875965 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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

Tune: “Larger Energy”, Coldplay

Judges’ feedback: Craig wished extra retraction, however “A-maze-ing.” Motsi mentioned she knew John had it in him. Shirley liked 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 most effective

23875952 low res strictly come dancing 2021

I actually shouldn’t be shocked by Rose any longer, and but I simply didn’t assume she may pull off an attractive Argentine tango with Gio. Properly, extra idiot me! Not solely did their excellent lead/comply with dynamic imply that they really responded to one another all through, however Rose made all the things look supremely easy. She floated into the lifts, her impeccably launched legs whirled via 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.

Tune: “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 liked the serenity. Craig mentioned it belonged within the ultimate.

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 gown: impressed or depressed?

23876247 low res strictly come dancing 2021 23876260 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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


23876234 low res strictly come dancing 2021

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 model, whereas Rhys actually danced for his life in that samba. Nonetheless, the judges all saved John.

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

Hurrah, although – now we have an A-MAZE-ING ultimate three! I’m so excited for subsequent week. It actually appears like anybody may win it, particularly in the event that they nail their showdance. Rose is definitely 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 ultimate. Within the meantime… hold dancing!

Images: Man Levy courtesy of the BBC.