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Strictly Come Dancing: Eight things from week seven

PUBLISHED: 00:07 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:11 05 November 2018

Faye Tozer, Giovanni Pernice - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Faye Tozer, Giovanni Pernice - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

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In a dramatic twist for Strictly Come Dancing, Tess Daly made funnies, judges assessed dancing ability and Graeme Swann was dressed conventionally. And it was still entertaining!

The Strictly Come Dancing contestants and professional dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyThe Strictly Come Dancing contestants and professional dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

In a week where there was surprisingly few surprises, a lot happened: Ashley scored another 39, Shirley wore a knuckle-duster, Joe paid homage to Strictly Ballroom and Mollie King watched AJ with a new partner like a jealous ex at a wedding.

For a full Strictly wrap-up, read more below:

Turrah to Team RaRa

It was finally time to smile and wave goodbye to Dr Ranj and his 300-watt teeth, as he and Jeanette got knocked out in a tight dance-off to Charles and Karen.

Craig Revel Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyCraig Revel Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

A strong start to the show from Ranj, weeks of over-reliance on the doctor’s cheery charm finally waned. His only attempt at a different tone was in a well-recieved Paso Doble, so we may well have been robbed of a talented dancer before his time.

In a fireworks-themed Samba the pair failed to dazzle, but a resurgent effort for the results show left the judges with a tough decision.

With just one point between them on the leaderboard, the panel even split their votes, with Craig saving Ranj and the other three backing Charles. Squeaky bum time.

Charles Gonna Knock You Out

The bottom two couples Janette Manrara, Dr Ranj Singh, Karen Clifton, Charles Venn - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyThe bottom two couples Janette Manrara, Dr Ranj Singh, Karen Clifton, Charles Venn - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

He has now won three dance off’s and he is showing no sign of stopping, which is not good for Charles.

In the bottom two without being one of the lowest scoring couples for the first time, it seems he and Karen cannot find the public support you need to win in this game.

But if he keeps improving his dancing, it doesn’t matter who he faces in the dance off for the next few weeks, he’s going to take them down too.

I mean, it would take a really bad dance from a popular contestant to put him in real trouble...

Karen Clifton, Charles Venn - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyKaren Clifton, Charles Venn - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Danny Down, Not Out

With a score of 22, Danny John Jules became the first contestant to score the lowest weekly total and avoid the dance-off.

Looking genuinely shocked on the results show, Danny dodged the bullet after making an early mistep in his Quickstep and performing almost the entire routine out of time with partner Amy Dowden.

To an untrained observer (like myself) it was not noticeable on the first watch, but with the benefit of the judges comments and hindsight, it is clear that he is chasing Amy around the ballroom, trying to get back into the rhythm of things.

Danny John-Jules, Amy Dowden - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyDanny John-Jules, Amy Dowden - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

It looks like Danny was popular enough this week to survive the dance-off, but another performance like that and he may find himself in hotter water.

Strong Suits

After six weeks of dancing, the pros and choreographers have figured out how to play to some of the celebrities strengths. Those like Faye and Ashley don’t need the advantage, but for others it helps them prolong their time on the show.

Paratriathlete and fittest contestant on the show, Lauren Steadman finally got the chance to test her endurance with a manic Jive, and showed that even AJ with his baby face and infinite well of enthusiasm cannot keep up with her. 31 points - the plan worked perfectly.

Dianne Buswell, Joe Sugg - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyDianne Buswell, Joe Sugg - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Danny has had criticism for his ‘spiky’ and staccato movements more than once on the show, but got a 37 for his Jive and is clearly suited to faster dances. Losing the beat and blowing a golden opportunity with a fast-paced Quickstep will haunt him, as will a score of 22.

Ranj also used his greatest asset - a soul of pure sunshine - to bulldoze through a Samba, having lacked the precision and speed for Jive the week before.

Despite an adequate score, to the laymen and women at home it looked more like dad-dancing and backfired him out of the competition.

Same Injuries, Different Treatments

Stacey Dooley, Kevin Clifton - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyStacey Dooley, Kevin Clifton - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Stacey Dooley and Kate Silverton both picked up rib injuries in training this week, but some viewers felt that Kate was not treated fairly in her comments and judging as a result.

Kate has struggled for the past few weeks now but it does seem harsh that, having picked up an injury 24 hours before performing, she was given such a hard time by the judges.

Stacey might be making a case for a spot in the final already, but it also seemed that she was being fawned over after her Street Commercial dance for soldiering on, as well as her VT focusing much more on her injury that Kate’.

It might all prove to be sour grapes but it leaves a bad taste at this stage in the contest.

Aljaz Skorjanec, Kate Silverton - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyAljaz Skorjanec, Kate Silverton - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Craig the Cubist

Faye Tozer has delivered a Jazz performance and Tango in the last two weeks that have earned her 77 points of a potential 80. She’s had two nines from Craig for seemingly petty reasons.

Last week it was a fumble with some sunglasses, which he argued were integral to the genre, dahling.

This week, he told Faye and Giovanni that had their staging not involved an under-utilised giant cube frame, it would have been full marks.

Dianne Buswell, Joe Sugg - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyDianne Buswell, Joe Sugg - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Is this a pattern yet? I’ll believe it when Craig blames Tozer for something next week, like world hunger or his broadband speed.

Joe Hugg

Shirley has elected herself Joe’s overly-familiar aunt and now seems to need a hug each week. Lucky lad.

Notable By Their Absence

Danny John-Jules, Amy Dowden - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyDanny John-Jules, Amy Dowden - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Tess’ cringers were scant this week: She only fumbled one joke, successfully read another one from an autocue and managed to play her role in two skits with Claudia Winkleman. Daly also spooked Charles by pausing after a rhetorical question and leaving him flapping his gums like a fish out of water, which is not a recommended way to treat your contestants or your fish. Winkleman is showing stronger credentials to captain the ship every week.

Nine dances make it another week, and Blackpool is looming on the horizon. Will Charles survive another dance-off? Will Ashley slip from her top spot? Will someone glue Bruno’s chair to his rear? Find out more next week!

Continue the conversation @JJFoxford on Twitter. Strictly conversations optional, good times guaranteed, no deposit required.

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