Sports presenter Ore Oduba gets a near-perfect score – and it's only Week Four of Strictly Come Dancing 2016
Strictly Come Dancing saved the best for last in Week Four, with Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton storming to the top of the leaderboard with a score of 39/40 for their jive.
“It was show-stopping, jaw-dropping, eye-popping… Move over [2015 Strictly winner] Jay McGuiness, you’ve turned up,” head judge Len Goodman told Ore, who was the last of the 12 remaining contestants to dance.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a star is born,” agreed Bruno Tonioli.
“You are one athlete,” Darcey Bussell told Ore. “The energy, the attack. It was outstanding. You have set the standard so high with that jive.”
It was Craig Revel Horwood who prevented Ore getting a perfect score, awarding him 9/10. But Craig did love it.
“The game has finally changed,” he said. “You are the one to beat. I hope Danny Mac was watching that because he’s now got a big load of competition.”
Danny had scored well, too, getting 36 for his quickstep with Oti Mabuse.
“You are on fire, darling,” Craig told him.
“That was pure class,” Darcey added. “One of the best quicksteps I have seen.”
“Some lovely touches,” Len agreed.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” said Bruno.
But it didn’t score any 10s – and Ore scored three of them.
Week Four opened with Greg Rutherford doing another strong-man-with-the-lifts routine with Natalie Lowe, this time in a salsa that Len thought was “a bit sticky in the footwork”.
“But your bum was going to town!” he told Greg. “It wasn’t your best or your worst.”
“The lift at the end was brilliant,” added Craig.
This week they danced a quickstep that was, said Bruno, so fast “you would lose your licence if you went down the motorway at that speed”.
And they were treated to Len’s old chestnut: “If you’re in the bottom two this week I’m going to pickle my walnuts”.
They danced a rumba that, said Len, “had a lot of wiggles and I would have liked a tad more rumba content”.
“It needs to flow better,” added Bruno, “but it was tasteful.”
The judges didn’t like Claudia Fragapane’s foxtrot with AJ Pritchard’s enough to make them joint top of the leaderboard, as they were last week.
In fact, Craig didn’t like it all.
“There was a bit of gapping and it lacked grace and elegance. It wasn’t for me,” he told them.
“You’re young and modern and I’m old and traditional,” added Len. “That foxtrot had a bit of American Smooth flavour.”
But they liked Ed Balls paso doble with Katya Jones a whole lot less – especially Craig. Last week, he scored Ed four points…
“I don’t think this week’s score is going anywhere near a four,” Craig warned Ed. “You were mincing about like you were in an episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Dreadful. Riddled with mistake after mistake.”
And he scored it a two.
Craig wasn’t much happier with Naga Munchetty’s Charleston with Pasha Kovalev.
“The timing was off sadly,” he told her. “It was very messy.”
The other judges agreed on the timing issues but Len added to Naga “it was the first time I’ve seen you look confident”.
Louise Redknapp’s foxtrot with Kevin Clifton got a much better response from the judges, earning her her highest score so far.
“You have a fantastic sense of rhythm,” Craig told Louise.
“I think you’re a natural dancer,” added Darcey. “I think Kevin needs to push you. I want you to show off your ability.”
Daisy Lowe showed off her ability so well in her rumba with Aljaz Skorjanec that she got Bruno all hot and bothered.
“I’m panting to the point of turning!” he exclaimed. “I loved it.”
Craig didn’t agree, though.
“I think it lacked a little bit of chemistry,” he told Daisy.
Judge Robert Rinder had all the judges agreeing on one thing after his Viennese waltz with Oksana Platero: he can dance.
“That dance was unusually restrained,” said Bruno, “with lots of proper waltz content. You can actually dance when you want to.”
“There is a delicious dancer hidden under the goofiness,” Craig added “and I can’t wait to see it.”
Lesley Joseph came right out and showed them what she could do with the Charleston with Anton Du Beke.
“That was by far your best dance,” Len told Lesley. “It was your birthday this week [she turned 71] and what a marvellous present.”
“I don’t know how you do it,” added Craig. “That was shockingly good. Incredible.”
Will birthday girl Lesley have a happy return next week?
Find out in the Strictly Come Dancing results show on BBC1, Sunday, October 16, 7.15pm.