Failure To Launch

Oct 11, 2019 by

Failure To Launch

It felt slightly out of place that Shirley and Bruno decided to give Kelvin the first 10s of the series for his Charleston last week. While it was good, it didn’t feel like a routine that merited 10s in only Week 3. But then again, after they pulled out 9s for Michelle’s QS, dancing first on the night, they had backed themselves into a corner.

We will learn more when Kelvin is tasked with his next ballroom number as his Week 2 waltz, which was only scored 28, remains his only blip so far.

If Kelvin was noticeably over-scored, then Karim was noticeable under-scored on the night for his samba. The outfits certainly did not help showcase his technique but it felt like the judges were harsher on him than he deserved. If he has another week like that further into the competition he might find himself in danger of the dance-off and a potential shock elimination.

Alex remains locked on a low grade improvement arc while some harsher critics might call it a holding pattern going nowhere

Michelle earning a standing ovation from 3 judges, and Shirley making a point of continuing to stand as Michelle reached her position ready to chat to Tess, also looked incongruous. But in a direct parallel, BBC iPlayer is making the most of trying to promote Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, as it headlines the site at the moment. How Michelle is critiqued and scored tomorrow night will be revealing as her salsa training hasn’t looked any great shakes this week.

Catherine produced her strongest routine and enjoyed her highest score of the series so far with her rumba. The concern with her remains, we still need to see her produce the goods in both ballroom and fast Latin, as rumba is a bit of a one-off, and much more about controlling a few sensual moves while selling the romance of the routine, and the choice of song really helped in this respect. Charleston for her this week, while always offering the chance to entertain, could well prove more of a challenge based on training footage.

Rumba did not suit Alex nearly as well and was hugely forgettable on the night from the 2 slot. In the circumstances, she did well to avoid the dance-off. She remains locked on a low grade improvement arc – 21, 22, 23 – while some harsher critics might call it a holding pattern going nowhere.

Part of the potential journey for her, if there is going to be one, is unlocking the performer in her. Tango this week might offer the window for a flicker of a performance and should see her scoring go up again, but it doesn’t look like being a stand out routine on the night. It should be remembered, however, there are still 10 live shows to go so there is more than enough time for journey contestants to emerge.

Emma B had a better than expected week with her salsa, aided by ‘teeth-gate’ and the sheer fun of her and Anton’s Austin Powers-inspired routine.

Tomorrow could be her first chance to fully shine dancing a VW set to the ideal track to potentially create a moment.

It was also a good week for Dev dancing his ’Street’ routine in the pimp slot. CCC this week for him looks like it will pose more of a challenge based on training footage.

Saffron gets to enjoy the Couple’s Choice tomorrow night, dancing a ‘Contemporary’ routine with AJ. Again, this hasn’t looked all that good in training. It’s interesting to note AJ chose ‘Contemporary’ last year with Lauren and that went down like a lead balloon, scoring 24 in week 5.

We have 2 jives tomorrow night – Emma W and Chris – and 2 quicksteps – David and Mike. They are of most interest in terms of their potential bearing on the bottom 2. David has clearly struggled on the pv up to this point and this looks set to continue unless the judges go out of their way to score him up and talk him up.

It’s interesting to note AJ chose ‘Contemporary’ last year with Lauren and that went down like a lead balloon, scoring 24 in week 5

You sense the show is invested in Mike for the long-term and the choice of music should help him and Katya sell their QS. Chris also has a song which should help him and Karen entertain with their jive though Chris’s technique will probably be lacking.

Emma W has the weaker jive track, should be on earlier in the running order compared to Chris if they are playing it fair, and if she is scored below mid-table tomorrow evening, she could easily be dragged down.

This also looks a testing week for Will. Foxtrot is the first time he is tasked with a sober ballroom which focuses heavily on technique, whereas in the previous 3 weeks he has been able to bluff his way through with speed and showmanship to sell fun, entertaining or dramatic routines. Looking at him in the training room this week, it is going to be a struggle due to his physical limitations.

Anneka landing in the dance-off last week came as a bit of a surprise. It’s another pat on the back for the Strictly Spoiler which has been doing well finding the bottom 2 each week. But it is highly doubtful Anneka polled 2nd worst on the night and there was probably only a point in it between her and a few other contestants after totting up leaderboard points and pv points.

Looking at Will in the training room this week, foxtrot is going to be a struggle due to his physical limitations

It is clearly going to be tough for David to survive tomorrow night as a third consecutive dance-off for him beckons and could spell curtains. The bookies think this is how it will play out, with David a best-priced 8-15 for the 3rd elimination.

His one glimmer of hope might be Will being scored less, and potentially last on the leaderboard, as it has so far proved tough for last placers to escape the dance-off.

If Will does manage to dodge a bullet it might well be the likes of Saffron and Emma W who find themselves in most jeopardy of landing in the bottom 2, IF their routines underwhelm and are averagely scored.

Week 4 song & dance choices:

Alex and Neil: Tango to Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Catherine and Johannes: Charleston to Single Ladies by Beyoncé
Emma and Anton: Viennese Waltz to Send in the Clowns by Barbra Streisand
Emma and Aljaž: Jive to Kids in America by Kim Wilde
Michelle and Giovanni: Salsa to Quimbara by Johnny Pacheco and Celia Cruz
Saffron and AJ: Couple’s Choice: Contemporary to Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion
Chris and Karen: Jive to Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) by Elton John
David and Nadiya: Quickstep to From Now On by Hugh Jackman
Dev and Dianne: Cha Cha Cha to Dancing With a Stranger by Sam Smith featuring Normani
Karim and Amy: Tango to Paradise by George Ezra
Kelvin and Oti: Rumba to Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers
Mike and Katya: Quickstep to Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners
Will and Janette: Foxtrot to Señorita By Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

Week 3 – Movie Week – Leaderboard:

Kelvin & Oti – Charleston – 9, 9, 10, 10 = 38
Dev & Dianne – Couple’s Choice (Street) – 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36
Michelle & Giovanni – QS – 8, 9, 9, 9 = 35
Catherine & Johannes – rumba – 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32
Emma W & Aljaz – foxtrot – 7, 7, 7, 7 = 28
Saffron & AJ – paso – 7, 7, 7, 7 = 28
Emma B & Anton – salsa – 6, 7, 7, 7 = 27
Karim & Amy – samba – 6, 7, 6, 7 = 26
Alex & Neil – rumba – 5, 6, 6, 6 = 23
Will & Janette – paso – 6, 6, 5, 6 = 23
Chris & Karen – AS – 4, 6, 6, 6 = 22
Mike & Katya – CCC – 3, 5, 5, 5 = 18
David & Nadiya – AS – 4, 4, 4, 4 = 16 – bottom 2
Anneka & Kevin – Charleston – 2, 3, 3, 3 = 11 – eliminated


  1. Stoney

    Tptb are creating a juggernaut that wont be stopped here!

  2. Stoney

    Not only can i thank Kelvin for putting me in a large cash out position I can also thank him for not having a large red on Alex.
    Bullet swerved. Looks likely to go tonight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *