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Strictly Come Dancing: The six things you might have missed

PUBLISHED: 09:01 22 October 2018

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

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

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Strictly Come Dancing took over Saturday night TV with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s Alfonso Ribeiro this week, and the furore around Seann Walsh and Katya Jones has finally died down - or has it?

Vick Hope, Graziano Di Prima - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyVick Hope, Graziano Di Prima - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Even with the gossip columns bulging with rumours, there is no shortage of drama on the live show.

You can hear the TV chatter by the kettle in the office kitchen, so read our run-down and use these insightful insights as your own:

Hope-less

The fourth celebrity kicked off was tenuous public presence Vick Hope, who I’m told hosts the Capital FM morning radio show.

AJ Pritchard, Lauren Steadman - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyAJ Pritchard, Lauren Steadman - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

An athletic, younger contestant (eagle-eared viewers would have spotted she was described as beautiful by every judge and presenter too), it is a surprise to see her leave so early, but there are a few mitigating factors.

Her partner, new boy Graziano Di Prima, has already come under fire for failing to choreograph enough content into their routines.

She was also one of the least-known contestants going in, with potentially smaller celebrities having now established themselves as serious contenders or darlings of the nation.

Losing to tabloid enemies #1 and #2 in Seann Walsh and Katya Jones was a surprise though, and only three of the judges voted her out after the dance-off, with Craig sticking by the radio host. We love Craig.

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

Almost Seenn off

A quick jaunt to dictionary corner: Schadenfreude is a German word meaning ‘to enjoy the suffering of another person’. It sounds menacing, but the delicious anguish of Seann Walsh and Katya Jones now in this competition with no public support is almost too much for this reviewer to enjoy. Almost.

It is likely that the couple will remain in the bottom two each week unless Seann becomes a consistently better dancer. The scant backing from viewers will leave them in peril every time they finish in the bottom half of the table on Saturday night, and a second-from-bottom performance is asking for trouble.

A more remorseful apology or a greater public acknowledgement and I might be less keen to watch these two tabloid targets fight for their spot on the show, but if the backstage Strictly sources are to be believed, Walsh is shrugging off the whole affair.

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

Another slice of Schadenfreude, please.

BruNO, AlfonSO MUCH BETTER

Better known for the Fresh Prince ‘Carlton’ dance moves in the UK, US actor Alfonso Ribeiro filled the judge’s seat of Bruno Tonioli this week.

Previously the winner of Dancing With The Stars in 2014, he has the moves to back up is appointment, but anyone other than Bruno would be an improvement.

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

He was upbeat, had some great advice for some of the dancers, and stayed firmly in the ‘light relief’ role that the leathery-faced Italian inhabits on the panel.

He also shot some hypnotic sexy-eyes at Claudia Winkleman while he was being introduced, the lucky gal.

But how was he let out of the studio before performing his iconic 90s dance? The biggest disappointment of the weekend for me, just after Seann making it to Halloween.

Tell Shirley you felt it

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

Another week, another funny turn from Shirley Ballas, a woman that increasingly needs to be seen to be believed.

There was the swooning at Alfonso’s every movement, fawning over Joe Sugg’s heels, some wild hip gesticulation at Stacey Dooley, and one point where she asked Dame Darcey Bussell to “assume their famous position.”

The pick of the surreal bunch was, while looking Seann Walsh dead in the eye and pointing out a step he missed in his routine, she said: “I know you felt it Seann, tell Shirley you felt it.”

Even the plank of mahogany that is Tess Daly heard how strange a demand it was as she tried to pull the show back on track.

Strictly Celebrities and Pro Dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy LevyStrictly Celebrities and Pro Dancers - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

New moves, different fortunes

Paralympian Lauren Steadman performed the first-ever Couples Choice dance - picking a contemporary routine that showed off the story of Lauren’s career as a para-triathlete.

It was stilted and abstract and looked a lot like a Year 9 dance showcase, but also had the dramatic lighting and core strength of a professional dance showcase, so it was a mixed bag. It scored a 24, which was enough to carry her over the line this week.

Then came the tasty slice that is Charles Venn performing a streetdance routine, with he and partner Karen Clifton in surprising and lurid 30s zoot suits.

The dancing was absolutely spot-on however, with great synchronised sections, loads of quick steps and a funky James Brown backing track to give them a deserved 36 points form the judges. With four weeks of 25 points behind them, one more successful week could cement them as threats.

Plane sailing for Danny

Break out the novelty cake and bubbly - we’ve had the first 10 of the series! Danny John Jules ripped the floor up with a aviator-themed jive routine to ‘Flip, Flop, Fly’, which put every man younger than his 58 years to shame.

It got two standing ovations from Darcey and a total score of 37, topping the leaderboard. There has been high scores for the Jive in the last few years, with Ore Oduba, Jay McGuinness and Joe McFadden taking massive scores for their routines. Smells to this reviewer like Danny is in this for the long haul (flight, hahahaha).

Everyone brace yourselves for Halloween then - the nights are closing in, the costumes and cheesy hits are looming over the hill and the actual dancing will be taking a mighty back seat to garish staging and special effects.

Only ll couples left now!

Please drop me a tweet at @JJFoxford to keep the conversation going, there’s never enough Strictly chatter on the internet!

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