Week Five of Strictly Come Dancing saw Ed Balls nearly drop his dance partner and Ore Oduba make it to the top of the leaderboard for two weeks in a row
There was near-disaster from Ed Balls, disappointment for Lesley Joseph, annoyance for Greg Rutherford, a new dance partner for Anastacia and a no-show from injured Laura Whitmore in Week Five of Strictly Come Dancing.
But it was pure joy for Ore Oduba, who was top of the leaderboard for the second week running, with 36/40 points, after his waltz with Joanne Clifton to “I Will Always Love You” that was, said head judge Len Goodman, “quiet, calm and sophisticated”.
“Beautiful!” added Craig Revel Horwood. “Delicious rise and fall.”
“You two look so good together,” Bruno Tonioli told Ore and Joanne. “And every week you surprise me.”
The show got off to a, er, bouncy start with Judge Robert Rinder’s jive with Oksana Platero to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.
“You were bouncing around like Jiminy Cricket,” Bruno said.
“Yes, your kicks were a bit wild and high,” added Darcey Bussell.
But Craig surprised the Judge by saying, “I do like the fact that you dance with tempestuous abandon”.
Craig still only scored him a 6, though… “But I’m sure he meant to give us a 7 and just couldn’t find it, poor darling,” the Judge said.
There was disappointment all over Lesley’s face after she made mistakes in her tango with Anton Du Beke, danced to “Whatever Lola Wants”.
“I don’t think this is the dance for you,” Craig told Lesley.
“Unfortunately, you messed up a lot of the steps,” Bruno told her “and it became skippy instead of gliding like a tango should.”
Greg was annoyed with his effort with his cha cha with Natalie Lowe and apologised to her afterwards.
“This dance really did expose all the stuff you can’t do,” Craig told Greg.
“You didn’t look comfortable and confident,” added Len.
“There will always be one dance that isn’t yours and this dance is it,” Darcey said.
Anastacia’s quickstep to “My Kind of Town” was very much her dance…
She performed with replacement partner Gorka Marquez, who quick-stepped into Brendan Cole’s place while he recovers from the lung infection that has persisted since last week.
“You looked right in your comfort zone,” Len told Anastacia. “I don’t want to upset Brendan but this was absolutely your best dance.”
Not all of the judges were full of praise for Louise Redknapp.
She danced a rumba with Kevin Clifton to “Always On My Mind” that Len thought was good, but he said: “You’re on a plateau. Something’s got to happen to give you an extra boost. You’ve got to dance now with a little bit more wow.”
Craig agreed. “It lacked excitement,” he said. “It was a safe performance.”
But Bruno “loved it” and Darcey told Louise, “You have all the ability to be at the top of the leaderboard and you’re going in the right direction”.
Ed Balls definitely isn’t going anywhere near it. He was bottom again this week after dancing a very rough American Smooth to “(Is This The Way To) Amarillo” – and almost ending it in disaster when he lifted partner Katya Jones and then nearly dropped her off his shoulder.
He actually managed three lifts without any problems (or much style)
“That fourth lift was one too many and horrific,” Craig told Ed.
“There were some lovely steps,” Len said, “it was just a shame your big, spectacular moment went a bit pear-shaped.”
Still, Ed was determined to prove he could do the lift and hoisted Katya up on to his shoulder in front of the judges.
Bruno was not impressed.
“You’re never going to join The Royal Ballet,” he told Ed.
Daisy Lowe’s Charleston with Aljaz Skorjanec was a lot more fun to watch.
It featured a first for Strictly: a routine that started in the dark. Was that a cunning ploy to prevent the judges from spotting any mistakes? Actually, they thought it was very brave as the white hands and feet accentuated their moves.
“And I loved it,” said Craig. “I thought it was brilliant.”
“But you get tired and the crispness goes at the end,” added Darcey.
Danny Mac was the first male celebrity to tackle the rumba this series – and Len and Craig felt he tackled it too hard.
“There was too much attack for me,” Craig told Danny.
Not for Bruno, though. “I could watch it again,” he said.
And Darcey enjoyed it, too. “You’re not shy and that’s perfect for a rumba,” she smiled at Danny. “It’s paid off big time.”
All the judges were in agreement about the last performance of the show, Claudia Fragapane’s samba with AJ Pritchard, danced to “Young Hearts Run Free”.
“You sacrificed technique for speed,” Len told her.
“You were like a tornado!” Craig said. “And your bounce action suffered because of the speed.”
“As you got faster you lost the finesse of the steps,” Darcey explained.
“Just don’t rush the music,” Bruno told Claudia.
Still, her score was one point higher than last week.
Will it be enough to keep Claudia out of the dance-off?
Find out in the Strictly Come Dancing results show on BBC1, Sunday, October 23, 7.15pm.