Strictly Come Dancing: week eight – as it happened

Strictly Come Dancing: week eight – as it happened

Is everyone still playing the drinking game? They know what we’re up to, hopefully everyone is still conscious. BLACKPOOL BLACKPOOL BLACKPOOL.

So that’s it for another week – thank you all for joining in, I’ll be back tomorrow at 7.50pm for the results, when someone will be hoofed off the bus from Elstree to Blackpool before it’s even made it to South Mimms Services. See you then!

I think we may well see Danny and Oti in the dance-off tomorrow, maybe with Graeme and Oti – not bad performances by any stretch, but overshadowed by some really good ones tonight.

So how does the leaderboard look? Pashley at the top at usual, and Danny and Amy at the bottom, which is more of a surprise. Lines are open!

Time for a recap – some great dancing this week, enjoyed that very much. Faves this week were Lauren and AJ and Stacey and Kevin, but plenty of great dances to choose from.

Scores: 8,9, 9,9 – a total of 35 for Charles and Karen.

Shirley agrees – a superb ending to a superb show. Bruno thought it was sparkling and squeaky clean, without a smudge – their best dance yet. Craig thought it was too controlled and lacked eccentricity, but Darcey thought it was strong and in sync, and she loved Charles’ crazy fun side.


Charle and Karen are cleaning windows, and for some reason Karen has borrowed the Flavia wig. Great footwork from Charles and some strong lifts and tricks – he keeps the energy right to the end and I love the elements of slapstick silliness. Good work, a great finish to a really good show. Also, Charles’ arms. HELLO.

Charles and Karen

Charles and Karen Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


And FINALLY, it’s CHARLES AND KAREN! This week they’re dancing the Charleston to ‘No Diggity’ by Minimatic. This is a swing version of the Blackstreet classic, which should absolutely not be allowed.

Charles was in the bottom two for the third time last week, which he really didn’t deserve. He could probably do with a week off, so a decent Charleston and some high marks from the judges would be ideal at this point.

Scores: 8,8,9,9 – a total of 34 for Lauren and AJ. After those comments, I expected higher.

Darcey loved the flow and seamless transitions, although she’d have loved more exaggeration in the top line. Shirley thought it was hugely inspiring and it had the best pivot she’d ever seen. Bruno could hug then both (he does), Lauren gets lovelier and better ever week. Craig felt Lauren was dancing for the first time, absolutely brilliant.

Lauren’s dress is entirely dreamy, and I’m already smiling madly. Lauren has improved massively in this competition, and this is a much more confident performance from her – lovely top line and super footwork. Just gorgeous, really loved that – my favourite dance of the night so far.

Lauren and AJ.

Lauren and AJ. Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


Next up it’s LAUREN AND AJ! This week they’re dancing the Viennese Waltz to ‘You Are The Reason’ by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis. I had no idea these two had collaborated, so I went and had a listen earlier – turns out it’s a rather sweet duet that will one day make a lovely John Lewis Christmas ad, but in the meantime will do for a romantic Waltz.

I can’t keep up with all the Blackpool mentions, so just keep drinking.

Scores: 7,8,8,9 – a total of 32 for Joe and Dianne.

Joe has never been to Blackpool and really wants to go to Blackpool. DRINK.

“I love your little face”, says Tess to the 27-year-old man. CAN WE NOT.

Craig thought it was a bit exaggerated in places, but he did enjoy it. Darcey was distracted by Joe’s mouth, but he was definitely selling it. Shirley thought Joe gave it 100%, and Bruno thought it was another hit.


Well this is quite the rainbow party, and you can’t fault Joe for throwing himself into it. Despite having a frame that resembles a handful of toothpicks, he still manages to deliver some kind of hip action and rotation, and a very decent amount of rhythm. He’s got great timing too, and this is identifiably a Samba, albeit a slightly spiky one. I actually really enjoyed that.

Joe and Dianne

Joe and Dianne Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA


It’s time for JOE AND DIANNE! This week they’re dancing the Samba to ‘MMMBop’ by Hanson. Ooh a second Samba in one week. Strictly, how you spoil us. I’m already worrying about the Dave Arch Singer who is going to have to deliver this falsetto, it may require some kind of surgical clamp.

So the big question is, can Joe find his Samba hips and Latin party spirit? If he’s got any sense, he’ll have had a few ciders beforehand. I’d be a litre of Thatchers down by now.

Scores: 8,8,8,8 – a total of 32 for Stacey and Kevin.

Bruno thought Stacey was genuine and natural, and the footwork was great, but Stacey needs to keep the flow through her arms. Craig agrees – Stacey’s upper body needs more expression but a well-studied performance. Darcey loved the routine and Stacey has a natural quality, but every line needs to be finished and she wants to see her in Blackpool (DRINK). Shirley loved the flow at the beginning – Stacey blows her mind every time.


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