Strictly Come Dancing: Tameka goes after shock dance off pairing


Consider my walnuts well and truly pickled - didn’t see this result coming.

I say that, my first instinct on looking at the leaderboard - just 12 points covering all 14 couples, 3 ties and a highest third week bottom score I can remember - was, we’ll have a shock bottom 2.

But then I thought, actually, it’s not such a shock. They’re all so close, it really could be anyone, as there are no bad dancers and the public vote will be spread across the board.

That doesn’t stop me being gutted for Tameka, since she was one of my favourites and I really thought her performances and infectious personality would have brought a flock of fans to her cause, plus Gorka is already being widely adored. This week’s tango was full of intent and musicality which I thought brilliant. I feel like I put the mockers on them last week. Sorry, Tamorka.


I’ve seen some suggestion that the comic tears and wailing with Ore and Joanne may have annoyed the viewers though, so what can you do? Be quiet and shy and you’re accused of being boring; be loud and brash, and you’re trying to hog the spotlight.

Or maybe, too many people thought she’d be safe. That’s my bet, and I expect there will be plenty of people lamenting throwing a vote the way of someone else, believing that’d be the case. That the bottom five leapfrogged the two couples above them will make everyone even more nervous for next week.

I can’t recall a Movie Week where I’ve found something to cheer in every performance but it happened this weekend.

From the delightful quickstep of Daisy and Aljaz to the joyous performance of Louise in her Cha Cha with Kevin, it was easy to be swept up in the glitz even more than usual.

Anastacia firmly parked last week’s issues with a lovely VW, if a little uncertain in places, while Danny and Oti’s Paso Doble was easily the most accomplished we’ve ever seen. Artistic and lyrical, it still had attack and his shaping was phenomenal. My only criticism was for his slightly messy cape work at the beginning.


The music, costumes and makeup served to encourage all the contestants to let go, and Lesley produced her best dance so far, her quickstep featherlike and full of character. Will was also inspired, and although a Bollywood Salsa isn’t to my taste, he performed it very well, with great timing and style.

Naga and Pasha had one of the best tunes of the night (in a night of great tunes) with a Mission Impossible themed tango. Sadly, the faffing about with the wire at the start put them off a bit and for me, she never really recovered fully, which showed in her lack of core strength. But she kept up the character and the overall effect was good.


Had the Judge not made a few mistakes, this Charleston would have had them competing at the top end of the board. Musical and fun, there was even decent swivel action to be seen. Ore and Jo produced a classy Gene Kelly channelled American Smooth which ticked every box, with Ore becoming quite overcome by the end, such is the effect music and dance can have.

Laura and Giovanni gave the salsa everything, although a little sticky in places: her top half was much better than her bottom half, where she needed to loosen up a bit.

Greg and Natalie were the best surprise of the night for me. Their American Smooth to Everything I Do was full of emotion, amazing, effortless lifts and sweeping romance. This is a gorgeous pairing.


A barnstorming Charleston by Claudia and AJ saw them claim joint top spot. Technically so proficient and a chance to show off her athleticism in a routine that calls for it. I’m very impressed with AJ, he may be young but his choreography and attitude are as mature - possibly more so - than other professionals we’ve seen on the show.

And then came Ed. What a transformation, for which partner Katya should take a lot of credit. His confidence is sky high and he’s totally embracing the whole experience. Katya is refusing to turn him into the comedy contestant, quite rightly, and his samba was exuberant in the right way with lots of good content. A job well done.


It’s possibly the highest standard of dances in one show I think I’ve ever seen on Strictly. Long may it continue.

Other things we learned in the results show:

  • Craig easily passed Claudia’s facial expression test

  • Lesley & Anton do a fantastic statue impression

  • You can get goosebumps just at the mere mention of Michael Ball and Alfie Boe singing ‘Somewhere’

  • Claudia had grabbed her Halloween results dress by mistake

  • The judges freestyle their entrance every week

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