Ab Fab

Oct 6, 2023 by

Ab Fab

Nigel endured Shirley’s wrath on Saturday night, as she tried her best to burst the balloon after his romantic VW with Katya. This all looked pre-planned – Nigel dancing from the 5 slot so Shirley had first dibs on dragging him down after what was a beautifully performed routine, with great story-telling.

Will this be a recurring theme across the series, or was this just a week 2 deramp after Nigel’s headline paso in week 1, intended to keep everyone on their toes? It’s interesting to look back on Kelvin Fletcher’s treatment in series 17, as it is uncannily similar – a stand out week 1 samba that scored 32, followed by a 28 for his week 2 waltz.

A positive for Nigel is how well he took the criticism. Shirley seemed unduly harsh yet he exhibited total humility, willing to take her comments on board and accept he needs to brush up on the technical elements in future. It’s a winning quality, reinforced by his appearance on ITT this week.

If excessive, unwarranted nit-picking continues across the series, it will probably start to rankle Katya much more. Nigel polled well on Saturday night suggesting the voting audience weren’t duped despite Shirley’s chastisement. The anticipated flip flop at the top of the market has happened and Nigel is now favourite to win at around 3.

Shirley seemed unduly harsh on Nigel yet he exhibited total humility, willing to take her comments on board and accept he needs to brush up on the technical elements in future

The big question that remains with Nigel is, how he copes with fast Latin routines, and we will get to see him tackle the jive tomorrow night. The Batman theme from the original 60s tv show looks an odd choice, with Nigel and Katya outfitted as the Dynamic Duo. Katya described it as ‘bonkers’ this week. Disappearing down the rabbit hole, and on the back of Shirley’s treatment last Saturday, you might consider whether it is part two of what could turn out to be a series-long stitch up of Nigel. Only time will tell.

A talking point post-Saturday night was Bobby not polling as well as expected despite a decent Charleston. He did open the show, so his routine may have ended up a little forgotten on the night, but it was still a surprisingly muted response. Partly as a result of that he has drifted quite dramatically from 3.4 to 5.5 and now has something to prove. He looks like he has the fluidity of hip movement for a good samba and has the ideal sort of party track to sell the routine tomorrow night.

One of the biggest highlights of Saturday night was Amanda’s salsa. At the age of 49, to be willing to be thrown around like that, popping a rib in the process, is highly commendable.

Among the entire field she is the one who has proved herself the strongest all-rounder at this point, in mastering both ballroom and fast Latin to such a high degree. There is a strong argument she deserves to be a shorter price than both Angela Scanlon and Ellie Leach. A rumba represents a total change in pace but should be something Amanda is able to master, with Giovanni always capable of delivering the exact right choreo to make the most of the song.

Ellie appears to have been shown producer favour at this early stage of the series, scored only one point below Amanda across the first two weeks, and earning the judging panel’s plaudits again on Saturday. A VW for her tomorrow looks one of the more low key routines on the night.

Angela Scanlon is likely to excel in any genre requiring fast, sharp, nimble footwork, and timing, so Charleston should be right up her street and could be a potential stand out on the night

Angela Rippon has also been treated generously so far, though a degree of score inflation is justified granted her age. Similar to Ellie, it was a well-executed, storytelling foxtrot performed by Angela last Saturday, and a QS to ‘Do-Re-Mi’ looks like more of the same, ballroom-wise.

Layton enjoyed the pimp slot and we saw a stellar quickstep routine that looked like two pros dancing. The market reacted with Layton dropping around ten points in price but his potential public vote shortfall remains the same. It’s simply a question of whether the show will keep saving him in dance-offs down the line, and enable him to go to the final. A VW for him tomorrow won’t be as much of a stand out.

Angela Scanlon’s jive technique was outstanding, just a shame they chose those outfits for the routine’s styling. She is likely to excel in any genre requiring fast, sharp, nimble footwork, and timing, so Charleston should be right up her street and could be a potential highlight on the night. Shirley also pointed out her rumba potential.

Angela S earned great comments but not such a great score (29). It’s interesting they placed her mid-table and appeared to score her jive down. Her backers can be encouraged by this because it is a proven path to victory followed by Stacey Dooley and Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Week 1+2 judges’ leaderboard:

Layton and Nikita – Samba – (6) – 7, 8, 7, 7 = 29 – QS – (15) – 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36 = 65
Amanda & Giovanni – Viennese Waltz – (13) – 7, 7, 8, 7 = 29 – Salsa – (9) – 8. 8, 8, 8 = 32 = 61
Ellie and Vito – Jive – (9) – 7, 8, 7, 7 = 29 – Foxtrot – (4) – 8, 8, 7, 8 = 31 = 60
Nigel and Katya – Paso Doble – (15) – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32 – VW – (5) – 7, 7, 6, 7 = 27 = 59
Angela and Kai – CCC – (4) – 7, 7, 7, 7 = 28 – Foxtrot – (14) – 8, 8, 7, 8 = 31 = 59
Bobby and Dianne – Foxtrot – (11) – 6, 7, 8, 8 = 29 – Charleston – (1) – 7, 7, 7, 8 = 29 = 58
Angela and Carlos – Tango – (2) – 6, 6, 5, 6 = 23 – Jive – (13) – 7, 7, 7, 8 = 29 = 52
Annabel and Johannes – CCC – (12) – 7, 7, 7, 7 = 28 – QS – (2) – 4, 6, 6, 6 = 22 = 50
Eddie and Karen – Quickstep – (3) – 4, 6, 6, 6 = 22 – CCC – (11) – 3, 6, 5, 7 = 21 = 43
Krishnan and Lauren – CCC – (14) – 5, 6, 6, 5 = 22 – Foxtrot – (10) – 4, 5, 5, 6 = 20 = 42
Adam and Luba – CCC – (1) – 4, 5, 5, 5 = 19 – Tango – 8, 8, (8) – 5, 6, 5, 7 = 23 = 42
Zara and Graziano – CCC – (7) – 3, 6, 5, 5 = 19 – QS – (12) – 6, 6, 5, 6 = 23 = 42
Jody and Jowita – Quickstep – (10) – 5, 5, 6, 5 = 21 – Paso – (3) – 3, 4, 4, 5 = 16 = 37
Nikita and Gorka – Waltz – (5) – 3, 5, 5, 5 = 18 – Charleston – (6) – 3, 5, 5, 5 = 18 = 36 – bottom 2
Les and Nancy – Tango – (8) – 2, 4, 5, 5 = 16 – Samba – (7) – 2, 4, 4, 5 = 15 = 31 – eliminated

Saturday night felt like a setback to Annabel’s winning chance, her quickstep enduring tough appraisals and scoring, with ballroom expected to be her stronger suit. There is scope for improvement and a waltz to ‘Moon River’ looks teed up to be a dreamy delight.

Eddie’s CCC demonstrated his fast Latin prowess but the main focus was on Karen’s choreo again, with her given a slap on the wrist for not abiding by the dance genre. At least the judges won’t be able to do that tomorrow with a ‘Men In Black’ routine as a Couple’s Choice looking the stuff of a potential pimp slot and Eddie high point.

Krishnan’s foxtrot represented a fall from grace for him after his fun, week 1 CCC. He really needs Lauren to pull out the stops and deliver an Ed Balls moment for him to capture the public’s imagination. At least he has the platform as the show’s comedy duffer all to himself after Les’s exit. His Charleston should be entertaining.

After escaping the bottom two Jody has now been given the chance to shine with an AS which should be perfect material for Jowita to choreo something charming

Shirley endorsed Les with a 10 for entertainment, and yet it looks like he failed to poll higher than all of Nikita, Jody, Zara and Eddie which is surprising, as woeful as his samba was. Jody’s paso was poor and he looked in the crosshairs, on early in 3 and not offered any vote motivation.

After escaping the bottom two he has now been given the chance to shine with an AS which should be perfect material for Jowita to choreo something charming, potentially earning Jody his highest score of the series so far. There is a slight participation doubt over Jody who is on antibiotics for a leg injury which has meant less training hours for him this week.

Nikita’s Charleston exposed her basic inability. Now she’s been given jive which couldn’t be any tougher, or exposing. The show’s intentions look clear and any potential bottom two bounce looks dubious.

Zara’s quickstep offered encouragement, certainly in terms of future ballroom routines, though the panel was concise to the point of being dismissive of her. The read on that here is, the show was running over and Zara found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. She has the right track to deliver a powerful, dramatic paso but could easily find herself in danger of a dance-off appearance.

Adam was predicted here to play the reality tv game cunningly and in only week 2 there he was trying to squeeze out a few tears saying he felt he let Luba down after their tango. Adam also has jive and while his training time has also been compromised this week you would still back him to outscore Nikita.

Unless there is a concerted effort from the judges to encourage support for Nikita she looks a worthy short-priced favourite to be the second elimination.

We appear to have a clear top 8 and bottom 6 at this time, placing a line between Annabel on 50 and Eddie on 43 on the week 1/2 combined leaderboard. It’s rarely that straight forward and there is still room for surprises, and some significant market fluctuations ahead.

Please do drop by and cast your vote(s) in our week 3 exit poll. Here is the link that will open during tomorrow night’s show:

Strictly 2023 Exit Poll – Week 3

Week 3 (Movie Week) dances and songs:

Adam and Luba: Jive to Take On Me from The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Amanda and Giovanni: Rumba to Out of Reach from Bridget Jones
Annabel and Johannes: Waltz to Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Angela R and Kai: Quickstep to Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music
Angela S and Carlos: Charleston to Who’s Got The Pain? From Damn Yankees
Bobby and Dianne: Samba to Young Hearts Run Free from Romeo and Juliet
Eddie and Karen: Couple’s Choice to Men in Black from Men in Black
Ellie and Vito: Viennese Waltz to Waiting On A Miracle from Encanto
Jody and Jowita: American Smooth to Married Life from Up
Krishnan and Lauren: Charleston to Money Money from Cabaret
Layton and Nikita: Viennese Waltz to There Are Worse Things I Could Do from Grease
Nigel and Katya: Jive to Batman Theme from Batman
Nikita and Gorka: Jive to Kids in America from Clueless
Zara and Graziano: Paso Doble to The Puss Suite from Puss in Boots

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