Strictly Come Dancing: it’s the semi-final

The five remaining celebrities in Strictly Come Dancing 2011 have made their last bid for a place in next weekend’s grand final at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

And it was an exciting night for both Chelsee Healey and Jason Donovan, who both scored 40 out of 40 for their second routines of the night – the first time anybody has been given full marks this series.

Chelsee landed her full house for her paso doble with partner Pasha Kovalev, while Jason’s Argentine Tango with Kristina Rihanoff, which rounded off the show, also earned itself a full house from the judges.

Craig Revel Horwood – who gave his first ten of the series to Chelsee – told her, “You are the most gobsmackingly brilliant dancer,” while Alesha Dixon added, “I don’t think you realise how brilliant you are.”

Meanwhile Alesha Dixon said of Jason’s Argentine Tango, “You acted that brilliantly…you owned that dance,” while Len Goodman was similarly enthusiastic. “If you’re going to do your best dance of the series, what better time than the semi-final?” he said.

Chelsee also won praise for her American Smooth with Craig describing her performance as “exquisite” while Len added, “Chelsee Healey? It’s more like Chelsea Flower Show.”

And Jason won favour earlier in the show for his samba. “You lost the timing,” Len complained, “but it was full of energy, well done.” Alesha told him, “You have nothing to worry about.”

Despite their full houses however it was Harry Judd who headed the judges’ scoreboard after the couples had all performed.

The McFly drummer dropped just two points on Saturday’s show, scoring 39 out of 40 for his opening Charleston and a further 39 out of 40 for his Viennese waltz with partner Aliona Vilani.

“Two things were revealed,” Len said after his Charleston, “Aliona’s midriff and your talent.”

Harry’s second routine did not disappoint either. Alesha called it “exquisite” while Len said the dance was “beautifully executed” and added, “I’m going to be like Henry VIII – take him to the Tower – Ballroom, Blackpool!”

Holly Valance, meanwhile, won rave reviews for her Argentine Tango with Artem Chigvintsev. Craig called the dance “controlled” and “seductive”, while Alesha told the actress, “Last week and tonight proved you’re still a real contender.”

However her Charleston in the second half of the show – which put a modern twist on the classic dance – was not quite so well received, with Craig saying it was “like vegemite – you either loved it or hated it.”

Bruno Tonioli, on the other hand, said, “I have to praise you for taking the risk. There were a few moments of hesitation here and there but it’s great to see people do new things.

And Alex Jones finished bottom of the heap after scoring 34 for her waltz in the first half of the show and 31 – the single lowest score of the night – for her salsa in the second half.

“Dancing like that is why you deserve to be in this competition,” Alesha said of her waltz while Bruno added, “You really are the belle of the ball!”

However they weren’t quite so sure about her salsa. “This routine was a big challenge and beyond your skillset,” Craig said, “but what I love about you is the way you throw yourself into it.” Len added, “Because you were attacking the dance so much it lost a bit of finesse, but it was full of personality.”

The results – and the couples who have made the final – will be revealed on Sunday night.