In the Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals, the five remaining couples had to dance two routines without putting a foot wrong. But not all of them managed it – including one of the pro dancers, according to Len Goodman…
In the first dances, both TV presenter Caroline Flack and Blue singer Simon Webbe had stumbles, but Caroline was still ended the night top of the leaderboard, with 75/80, getting four 10s for her second dance, a salsa.
“You are a special jewel,” Bruno Tonioli told Caroline, after her first performance of a foxtrot with Pasha Kovalev. “I’ve never seen anyone give so much intensity to a foxtrot. There were a couple of shaky moments because you were going with your heart.”
“It had plenty of sparkle but was not quite flawless,” said Len.
“You crashed legs,” is how Craig Revel Horwood saw it.
But then came Caroline’s salsa, the first dance of this series to get a perfect score.
“She’s running like a super-charged engine fuelled by sex appeal!” shouted Bruno.
“Wow! That was one hot salsa,” added Darcey Bussell.
“If you don’t get to the final then the world’s gone mad,” said Len, who some thought was mad to send Pixie Lott out of the contest last week.
Second on the leaderboard was Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, scoring 72/80 for her rumba and Argentine tango.
“Dance is a marriage between music and movement and this was a match made in heaven,” said Len after Frankie’s rumba with Kevin Clifton.
“Absolutely incredible,” said Craig, after her Argentine tango.
Third place in the semis went to Simon, who scored 68/80 for his samba and foxtrot.
It was Simon’s samba with Kristina Rihanoff that let Simon down…
“You had a good groove going and then it all went horribly wrong,” Craig told Simon.
“What happened is you let the animal out of the cage and then you lost control! I’m afraid there was a major cock-up,” Bruno said. “But I’m sure you’ll nail the second dance.”
And Simon did nail his foxtrot.
“You’re back!” Craig declared, after his performance.
Fourth on the leaderboard was reality TV star Mark Wright, who danced a Viennese waltz and a rumba with Karen Hauer.
And it was Karen who ended up in tears after the rumba, after Len criticised her choreography.
“It needed more recognisable rumba in there,” Len said.
“You broke tradition and upset Len. But I loved it,” Craig said.
Which means EastEnders star Jake Wood was running in last place in the semi-finals, scoring 61/80 for his cha cha and Viennese waltz with Janette Manrara.
“Your hips were working hard but not always in the right places,” Darcey told Jake after his cha cha.
And Bruno thought Jake’s Viennese waltz was “a bit stiff”.
Will Jake be in the dance-off?
Click here for our semi-finals photo special.
Strictly Come Dancing results show, BBC1, Sunday, December 14, 7.20pm.