The remaining five contestants in Strictly Come Dancing have each performed two routines in an attempt to win a place in next week’s quarter-final.

And if the judges’ comments reflect the public votes then Lisa Snowdon – who is the bookies’ favourite to leave on Sunday – might have won herself a place in the final four.

“You have improved beyond recognition,” Bruno said of her American Smooth, while Craig Revel Horwood told her the dance was “amazing”.

And they were similarly impressed by her cha cha cha in the second half. “You are delivering probably the best cha cha we have seen in this series,” Arlene Phillips said, while Len Goodman praised her for a “really good” performance.

Ultimately Lisa scored 39 for her first performance, and 38 for her second – putting her at the top of the judges’ scoreboard.

There was also praise for Tom Chambers, who fought off flu to deliver a waltz described by Len Goodman as “fantastic”. Arlene was similarly enthusiastic. “It had charisma, it had control, I thought it was beautiful”.

In the second half, Bruno said his samba was “camper than a row of tents”, while Craig praised him for his “amazing energy”.

Austin Healy also had a good night, with the audience giving him a standing ovation for his dramatic paso doble with partner Erin Boag.

Only Len Goodman was unimpressed. “You were like a Spanish waiter giving out h’ors d’oeuvres,” he complained. But the other judges loved the dance. “I have never seen such a powerful delivery in my life,” raved Bruno.

Ultimately, Craig, Bruno and Arlene gave Healy full marks, with only Goodman’s score of eight preventing him from scoring 40 out of 40.

However Rachel Stevens – who scored the first full house of the series last week – fared less well this week. Arlene said her paso doble was “thrilling”, although Len wasn’t so sure. “It was like Cirque de Soleil,” he complained.

And Christine Bleakley found herself at the bottom of the scoreboard after receiving a mixed response for her performances. “You came out and attacked it, so well done,” Len said of her salsa, although Craig said it was “stompy”.

The results will be announced on Sunday evening’s show.