Strictly Come Dancing: favourites disappoint as competition hots up

It was a difficult Strictly Come Dancing’s remaining celebrities as the show returned to Elstree after its Blackpool stint

While Blackpool had been a triumphant night for the likes of Susanna Reid, Natalie Gumede and Abbey Clancy, who raked in the tens, this week saw the judges rather more underwhelmed.
Of the trio, only Natalie managed to score a solitary ten for her tango with partner Artem Chigvintsev – and even her performance divided the judges on Saturday night.

While Craig Revel Horwood complained that the routine ‘lacked a bit of drama’, Len Goodman gave the actress his seal of approval.
“You look like my favourite Quality Street,” he said in reference to her purple dress, “and that was a truly quality performance.”
Meanwhile Susanna Reid also failed to reach the heights of the previous week’s paso doble, scoring 31 for her cha cha cha with partner Kevin Clifton
“The dance wasn’t yours tonight. It’s a shame the glamour of Blackpool is over and we have to get picky,” Darcey Bussell told her.
Bruno Tonioli added:  “There’s a distinctive hip action in the Cha Cha and it wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been.”
And while Abbey Clancy won praise for her paso doble, she didn’t fare quite as well as she did with her quickstep – with Bruno calling the routine ‘beautiful but Len complaining it could have been ‘cleaner’.
Elsewhere in the show there was bad news for Ben Cohen, who found himself finishing bottom of the heap behind Mark Benton – who is this week’s favourite to leave the competition.
The rugby ace scored just 27 points for his Charleston with partner Kristina Rihanoff, with Craig saying: “It wasn’t the most electrifying Charleston I’ve ever seen. There was no cross what so ever and you lacked any freedom of movement.”
Bruno was a tad kinder, telling him: “Your timing was good but your feet could have been sharper. For a guy of your size, it was wonderful.”

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