This weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing saw the remaining 11 couples take to the floor for a series of Halloween-themed routines.
And Saturday night’s show saw Jason Donovan once again regain his place at the top of the judges’ scoreboard – landing his first 10 of the series in the process.
The former Neighbours star received the perfect score from Alesha Dixon following his quickstep with partner Kristina Rihanoff.
“That was a brilliant routine,” Alesha said, “well done”.
And Craig Revel Horwood was in agreement. “Stone the crows,” he told Jason, “I thought that was absolutely fabulous.”
Fellow Aussie Holly Valance also fared well tonight, performing an American Smooth with partner Artem Chigvintsev which was inspired by Swan Lake.
“You were magnificent,” Alesha told her, “this was the dance of the show.” And Craig also praised the couple, saying, “It was a very high risk concept, but you made it work.”
It was also another good night for Harry Judd and Chelsee Healey, both of whom performed tango routines with their partners.
Harry once again landed a 10 from Alesha for his routine with Aliona Vilani, although Len criticised the couple for the content of the routine. “I’m from the world of ballroom dancing,” he said, “and I want to see more than eight bars in the tango hold. When you are in the hold it’s fantastic.”
Chelsee, meanwhile, was reduced to tears after struggling to stay in her dress during her routine – and convincing herself that at one point she had shown more than she bargained for.
However the judges were quick to allay her fears. “You have nothing to cry about,” Alesha said, “it did not distract from the dance,” while host Tess Daly added, “Can I just reassure you, we saw absolutely nothing.”
Meanwhile Alex Jones was among those who upped their game this week, scoring an impressive 31 out of 40 for a paso doble with partner James Jordan in which he dressed as a vampire and she donned a long white bridal-style gown.
“I was expecting a Hammer house of horrors,” Len said, “but I was wrong.” Alesha also approved, telling the One Show presenter she was “way back on form”.
And Anita Dobson also kept up the good work, tying with Alex on the scoreboard for her devilish tango with partner Robin Windsor.
Len Goodman praised the pair, saying there was “a lot of tango content” in the dance while Alesha was similarly enthusiastic. “You need to spend a bit of time perfecting your hold,” she said. “Apart from that it was brilliant.”
Lulu, meanwhile, was another performer who opted for a paso doble, and her dramatic routine with Brendan Cole won her 29 points – her best score yet. However there was a mixed response for Robbie Savage’s paso doble, which ended with the footballer leaping on to the judges’ table and standing virtually on top of Craig.
“It was a little bit erratic at times but you had real intent throughout,” Alesha said although Len was more blunt. “It was a little bit disconcerting when you kept thrusting your wobbly bits at everyone,” he said, “but you didn’t give it as much as everybody was expecting.”
Audley Harrison and Russell Grant found themselves near the bottom of the scoreboard however, with Audley’s Little Shop Of Horrors-inspired jive with Natalie Lowe failing to win much love from the panel. “Big smile, big personality – terrible footwork,” Bruno said, while Craig added, “You are completely and utterly physically unsuited for this dance.”
Russell, meanwhile, scored a disappointing 22 out of 40 – his lowest score yet – as he battled a knee injury to perform a samba with Flavia Cacace to Kylie’s Better The Devil You Know.
“You’re one wig away from being Mystic Meg,” Craig said of his appearance, but complained that “the dancing let you down,” but despite his low score Bruno had some praise for the astrologer. “You’ve turned hell into a camp heaven,” he said of the routine.
And once again Italian siren Nancy dell’Olio found herself adrift at the bottom of the scoreboard – this time by an even bigger margin than ever as she picked up just 14 points for a rumba with Anton du Beke which began with her emerging from a glittery coffin.
“You’re a sexy woman but you’re a walking disaster,” Alesha said, while Len quipped, “There were moments of Mills and Boon and moments of meals on wheels.”
One more act will leave the competition for good when the results are revealed on Sunday evening’s show.