The fifth week of Strictly Come Dancing 2008 has seen the male and female contestants competing together for the first time this series.
First on to the floor was Rachel Stevens, performing a samba with her partner Vincent Simone – but unlike her previous weeks, the judges gave her a more muted response.
“This was tough for you, I thought you came out and did a fantastic job,” Len Goodman told her.
“I think technically you’re very good but I was underwhelmed by that performance – I would like to see you go a little bit more wild,” said Craig Revel Horwood.
Next it was the turn of Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole with an American Smooth – and the pair wowed the panel with their moves.
“What you’ve done is incredible – a complete transformation,” said Bruno Tonioli
“You have found your dance,” said Arlene Phillips, “that was earth-shattering.” And with a score of 35 points from the judges, Lisa achieved her highest total yet.
Next Heather Small – who is hoping to avoid the bottom two again this week – performed a samba with her partner Brian Fortuna.
However the judges were less than charitable once again. “The only good thing about that for me was the end,” Craig Revel Horwood complained.
“You looked the part but you took quite a bit of time to get into it.” said Bruno.
It was better news for Cherie Lunghi, who performed an American Smooth with her partner James Jordan.
“You deliver on every level,” Arlene told Cherie, “I love the way you dance.” Len, meanwhile, described the performance as “fantastic”.
Mark Foster – who is one of the favourites to get the boot this week – was next on to the dancefloor. However despite taking acting lessons from John Barrowman this week in order to inject some more character into his performance, the judges were still unimpressed.
“The timing was off, and the musicality was off,” Bruno said of his samba. “The performance was vital,” Arlene added, “but you forgot to dance at the same time.” Ultimately, the Olympic swimmer ended up with just 17 points from the judges.
Don Warrington also received a lukewarm reaction for his American Smooth, with Craig describing the performance as “adequate”, and Bruno saying that “the dance lacked character”, while Austin Healy didn’t wow the judges quite as much as in previous weeks with his samba.
“It was very locked in your upper body,” Len pointed out, although Craig was enthusiastic. “I loved it, I thought it was great,” he said.
And it was a disastrous week for Andrew Castle, who found himself tieing with Mark Foster near the bottom of the scoreboard with 17 points. Christine and Matthew, performing a samba, fared rather better with 30.
Model Jodie Kidd was also praised for her American Smooth, scoring some of her highest marks from the judges yet. “That was absolutely your best dance,” Len said.
But it was left to John Sergeant to prop up the scoreboard this week with just 16 points scored for his samba. “This is supposed to be a fun dance,” Arlene complained afterwards. “There’s more fun in a party conference. Craig, meanwhile, simply said it was “absolutely dreadful”.
Finally, it was the turn of Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup – and with 35 points, he found himself tied with Lisa at the top of the scoreboard.
“It was full of charm and confidence,” Craig said of his American Smooth, “I loved it.” Bruno, meanwhile, described the dance as “sleek, stylish and sophisticated.”
The results will be revealed on Sunday night’s show.