Bonfire Night’s Strictly Come Dancing saw some flames of passionate dancing from Louise Redknapp and surprising flickers of promise from Ed Balls
Week seven of Strictly Come Dancing was on Bonfire Night and we saw the competition heat up as Louise Redknapp burned through the first Argentine Tango of this series and it took her and partner Kevin Clifton to the top of the leaderboard with 39/40.
“It was so wonderful to see you dance with such feistiness,” Craig Revel Horwood told Louise. “It was passionate and I really and truly loved it.”
But he was the one judge who failed to score a 10 for the dance peformed to “Tanguero” by Sexteto Mayor.
“Smouldering, sultry, stunning… My God I loved it!” Bruno Tonioli exclaimed.
“One great performance,” added Darcey Bussell.
“There was nothing I didn’t like,” Len Goodman said.
Hot on Louise and Kevin’s heels were Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse, who scored 38 points for their jive to Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally”, also getting their first 10s, from Darcey and Bruno.
“That was sharp, stylish and the speed was amazing,” said Darcey.
“Oh, baby, that was good!” shouted Bruno.
“It wasn’t that good,” said Craig, “but your pirouettes were amazing.”
“Danny Mac, you’re back in the game!” Len told him.
Danny ended the night ahead of Ore Oduba, who has proved to be his strongest competition among the remaining male contestants.
Ore and his partner Joanne Clifton were joint third on leaderboard with Daisy Lowe and Aljaz Skorjanec, with both couples scoring 34.
Ore and Joanne danced a salsa to “Turn The Beat Around” by Vicki Sue Robinson that Len said had “fun, flair and flamboyance and great lifts”.
Daisy and Aljaz danced a Viennese waltz to Harry Dacre’s “Daisy Bell” and got their highest score so far.
“You were floating around like a weightless petal caught in a soft breeze,” said Bruno. “It had a playful, childlike quality and was beautifully danced.”
“You have a beautiful aura when you’re in hold,” Darcey told Daisy. “You’re such a pleasure to watch.”
Right behind them on 33 points was Judge Rinder and Oksana Platero, who danced a quickstep to the Chantz Powell version of “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”.
“Your mouth movements are a turn-off,” Craig told him. “It was a really good dance and you’re a joy to watch until the mouth starts moving.”
“The face is the mirror of the soul and your face shows the joy you get from dancing,” Len said.
“I do,” Judge Rinder told the judges. “Everybody needs to learn to dance. It’s joy!”
Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard also scored 33 points for their paso doble to Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up And Dance” that Bruno said was “like exploding fireworks”.
“I thought it was really powerful and loved what you did,” Craig told them.
“But I thought AJ overpowered it a little,” said Len.
Laura and Giovanni Pernice’s samba to “Bomboleo” by Gipsy Kings upset Len. “I would have liked more Laura and less Giovanni in places,” he said.
“Yes,” Craig agreed. “I was surprised you took the big solo moment Giovanni.”
Greg’s Viennese waltz with Natalie Lowe to “You Don’t Own Me” by Grace saw him bounce back from some low scores.
“It’s fireworks night and you’ve come back with a bang,” Len told Greg. “You’ve been in the wilderness for three weeks and you’re back.”
“The confidence!” Darcey exclaimed. “Big, gliding moves. You looked in control of the whole dance.”
Which all left Ed Balls at the bottom of the leaderboard, again, with 27 points after his quickstep with Katya Jones, danced to “Help” by The Beatles.
But it wasn’t all bad…
“I can’t believe I’m saying this but you are actually improving,” Craig told Ed.
“I was not expecting the lightness in your feet,” added Darcey.
“It was a recognizable quickstep,” said Bruno.
But was it enough to keep him in the contest?
The Strictly Come Dancing results show is on BBC1, Sunday, November 6, 7.15pm.