Karen Hardy gives us her weekly round up of all the action in Strictly Come Dancing as the celebrities tackled a salsa or a foxtrot…

Do you think Lynda and Craig deserved to be in the dance off?

“I wouldn’t have put Lynda down there on a technical point of view because technically she was quite strong and there were a few over the weekend that weren’t ,but had a stronger personality maybe or a bigger fan base. But Craig, yes, I just find that he doesn’t tend to have that magic when he’s on the dance floor, he doesn’t tend to shine or perform. Craig down there definitely, I’m not surprised that Lynda was down there, but it could have been a few others. “

So do you think Craig or Lynda should have gone after the dance off?
“On the dance off it could have gone either way – it was a draw anyway. From a technical element Lynda would have been the stronger one out there – she delivered what she had to do and she had a little bit of sparkle with it. Craig on the other hand didn’t have the magic for me – it is meant to be entertainment as well. I might have fallen towards Lynda.”

It’s been in the press that Lynda was quite pleased that she went out this weekend because the competition is so stressful – how does stress affect the dancers?
“All you see at home is the finished product, you see the beautiful music, the beautiful dresses, the beautiful choreography, the great smiles – but you only see about 30 seconds of what it takes to get all that! It is a lot of hard work and it is definitely survival of the fittest on this show.”

Jo Wood and Joe Calzaghe were at the bottom of the scoreboard, but neither of them were in dance off. How well do you think they did this weekend?
“They’re not the greatest dancers but that’s what I love about the public. They would have saved them saying ‘I love their energy, they’re trying to really do well’ – they can feel for them. It’s all these sorts of things, it’s what comes through the camera to the people at home. So I think from a dance point of view it could have been quite a different dance off, but from the public’s point of view they got saved and that’s what the show is all about – the public got their say.

Zoe Lucker and James’ foxtrot was a hit with the judges. What did you think of it?
“It was beautiful, it was absolutely beautiful. If you have a look at a foxtrot it’s just lots of straight lines, to make lots of straight lines look appealing to the audience is very hard. With the quickstep – which is the hardest for the celebrities to get right – you can do lots of jumps and kicks in it. But with the foxtrot you’ve got to have a certain aura about you, you have to shine. You’ve got to at least grasp the concept of the dance and Zoe definitely did that.”

When Laila and Anton danced, Alesha called it the ‘best foxtrot of the night so far’ – what did you think of their dance?
“I thought it was incredible. With Anton being able to deliver such a beautiful foxtrot and it being one of his strengths and with Laila proving to be a really good dancer. But he’s using up a lot of his ballroom dances – I think he’s used up three of his ballroom dances which means he’s going to have to do a lot more Latin now.”

There’s obviously been a lot of press about them both. How do you think they’re performing on stage with all the negative background press?
“I think this show is hard with the press from day one no matter what story it is. As long as they keep their focus on doing well – I think they’re going to be lovely.”

Alesha called Ricky Whittle’s salsa ‘slightly under rehearsed’ – what did you think about his dancing this weekend?
“It was still brilliant. The thing is this guy will keep coming out and he can deliver the goods. Even if he has a bad night he’s still good if you take a look at what he’s done. You can’t knock this guy down – he is brilliant, he’s absolutely brilliant. As we’ve seen before, the public will only support the favourite for so long – so he’s got to be more than brilliant if he’s able to do that.”

Bruno said Chris Hollins looked like Bob the Builder when dancing – do you think that’s a fair comment?
“I think he came out in the early days shocked at what he could deliver and now he’s put himself under considerable pressure. I don’t think he did a bad job – it was an average performance for me. At least he danced better than he did last week. Was it like Bob the Builer? He’s got great muscle control – he’s very athletic. It was wrong to call him Bob the Builder because he doesn’t plod, he actually does use his muscles when he’s dancing, he’s very active in what he’s doing.”

How do you think Phil Tufnell did after having surgery on his knee during the week?
“I think he’s done well. I would have liked a little bit more excited choreography for him, but it might have been that it had to be that way because of his knee. He’s someone who can actually do quite a lot and as the competition goes on it would be nice to see him challenged.”

Next week the celebrities try out a Vienesse waltz or a jive. How do you think they’ll cope with them?
“Two really difficult dances and I think we will definitely see who the boys are and who the men are now. Vienesse Waltz is very difficult to master and if you get it wrong it’s very noticeable because you’re very limited in how you can produce this dance. Jive is very much like a quickstep where if you get out of step with your partner it could be car crash TV. But we’ve got some really strong contestants left in – Laila, Zoe, Ricky, Jade. I think it could be another great week with the celebrities getting stronger and stronger.”

Karen has just launched a state-of-the-art dance studio in the heart of Chelsea. To find out more about expert tuition for all levels, visit Karen’s website

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