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Strictly Come Dancing: The seven things you need to know about Halloween Week

PUBLISHED: 18:51 29 October 2018

Janette Manrara, Dr Ranj Singh - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Janette Manrara, Dr Ranj Singh - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

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We have survived Halloween Week on Strictly Come Dancing, and Seann Walsh has enjoyed his last television appearance for the next few years.

It was a packed Halloween show, but we have picked out every ghastly tidbit for you to pour over. Just what did you miss on strictly this week?

That Was Halloween, Everybody Made A Scene

The first and most important note for this week goes to set design, costume, hair, make-up and the band for the incredible job they did making me want to claw my own eyes out. Dance and technical skill were abandoned in favour of fur, themes floating tombstones.

In all my years watching this was the first time I heard Dave Arch’s orchestra tested to breaking point. Graeme and Oti’s dance to Mchael Jackson’s Thriller was a step too far for the lead singer as they cracked trying to hit the high notes in the chorus.

They are still learning a dozen new songs every week though, if you have not stopped and appreciated the work of the band yet do so now.

The detail on the costumes like Kate Silverton’s bedazzled face as an ice queen, or the hours of make up that Kevin Clifton (a cyberman) or Dr Ranj (A blue monster) would have gone through are impressive, and the talent of that team should not be ignored.

They are making sweat-resistant make-up and practical costumes with 10 million people scrutinising their work every week and it must be one of the most demanding jobs on the Strictly set.

Still, Graeme Swann’s make-up did result in some collar-wringing: Was it entirely necessary for his skin to be so dark as a zombie? It made for uncomfortable viewing and as it went unaddressed for the whole live show I can only hope it looked better in the studio.

Seann Better Days

And so ends the tale of Seann Walsh: A roguish comedian who had left the public eye launching a comeback, only to bulldoze any future light entertainment work with an ugly adulterous street-corner snog like a teenager in heat.

Accused of gaslighting by his former partner, he demonstrated a model insincere apology on national television and gave offices across the country fertile tea-break gossip in a car crash attempt at reinvention that was only going one way after getting papped locking lips with his dance partner Katya Jones.

Carried by Jones’ choreography and successfully completing two dances, he butchered the rest and has been booted off.

Even his concession speech was awkward; telling the audience that this has been the best experience of your life, minus the last few weeks, was not endearing.

Laters.

Armchair Judges

This reviewer (and his company on the sofa) had some differing opinions to the judges this week - I thought Charles Venn’s Jive was stronger than 25, Lauren Steadman’s Paso Doble not worth 29 - and at week six of the competition, this is a good thing.

I’m easily entertained by quick dances and horn sections in the songs, I should not be able to accurately judge all these different genres of dance.

Darcey Bussel has an actual damehood for her contributions to dance, as we get past the halfway point of the competition I trust her to separate the cucarachas from the... other dance moves.

You will not believe the HOT GOSSIP on STRICTLY this week that made Twitter EXPLODE PROBABLY

A bullet-point list of incidents that were spotted by at least three people on the internet:

• Dr Ranj and Jeanette greeted deaf viewers with the British Sign Language motions for Happy Halloween when they entered the Saturday night show. Top egg

• Nicole Shirtswinger of Pussycat Doll fame was caught whispering before she spoke to TessBot 3000 - pearly theories suggested she was telling Daly to back off, but it has been revealed she told the presenter thier red and green dresses “looked like Christmas”. So festive

• Vlogger Joe Sugg and pro Diane Busswell may be getting romantical after she split from her boyfriend and the pair were pictured SMILING NEAR EACH OTHER

• Rita Ora performed with her own dancers for the results show on Sunday night, apparently moving slowly in a tuxedo was beyond the professional Strictly dancers

• Darcey Bussel said ‘Pacific’ when she meant ‘specific’. Thank heavens I wore my lucky corset for I fear my sides would have split

• Bruno Tonioli called Craig Revel-Horwood an ‘evil queen’ in a spat that has riled pots and kettles everywhere

• Moira Stewart has not aged since 1989. I’ll have what she’s having

39-39

Cementing their status as ringers in the competition, Steps’ Faye Tozer and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts both scored 39 points on Saturday night.

While it is a shame to see two of the celebrities break away from the pack so early, seeing them do distinctly different numbers (a peppy, colourful charleston verses a sultry smooth contemporary jazz number)

Craig was needled on the reasons that he did not give Faye a maximum score, and was only able to cite that in jazz routines all the prop work has to be perfect - and Faye fumbled with some sunglasses.

It is good to see that at least one judge is not voting with their heart. There’s another seven week to go yet, and high scores like this so early on can make a mockery of a nation’s favourite celebrity dance competition. The shame of it.

The Parent Trap

Awkward judge situation of the week: Shirley and Bruno demanded a hug from Joe. So impressed they were with his progress that they decided to make the whole room uncomfortable while they embraced over a desk, telling Joe that his grandmother would be able to see him dance in Blackpool if he kept up the hard work.

Shirley Ballas will steal your son, pass it on.

#DALYOUT

And finally, a footnote on everyone’s favourite android, Tess Daly.

It was one recycled joke too far (she and Claudia have made two jokes at Craig’s expense from the safety of a balcony already this series) on Saturday.

I cannot tell if Halloween made her less comfortable as a host or if the scripts she is being given are getting progressively worse, but her gangly bumbling is so hard to watch that it is distracting from the actual show.

This reviewer says send her back to the clammy embrace of Vernon Kay and let Claudia Winkleman steer the ship, or catch Dermot O’Leary in a big net and bring him over to the BBC permanently.

We are now down to ten celeberities, which means even more time to pour over their every step, tweet and It Takes Two moment. Wonderful stuff.

Carry the conversation on at @JJFoxford on Twitter - all fan theories and spurious rumours welcome.

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When you watch a comedian like Ross Noble, you’ve got to expect the unexpected.

Acting legend Sir Ian McKellen is touring the region next celebrating his 80th birthday and raising money for regional theatre. Arts editor Andrew Clarke finds out more about this ‘must-see’ event

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Within minutes of this witty and revealing play starting, you can see what attracted Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, to write this extraordinary piece of professional biography.

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