Sunday, 10 November 2013

Here's to you Mr Robinson

Top 10 (sort of): Saturday 9 November

Last week! All sorts of horrible things happened! Dave’s “jive”! Len’s rampant SPORTSMAN love reaching critical levels! Pasha leaving us so early! The band’s attempts at singing! Oh, and it was Hallowe’en week as well.

Tonight!  Bruce is away! And BLACKPOOL week is but a week away, so it’s time for an episode full of ‘I wanna go to BLACKPOOL’ stories, which are at least preferable to ‘I wanna go to WEMBLEY and dance in a huge arena that’s highly unsuited to this purpose and makes all the dances look a bit rubbish on the telly’ week.

Cue titles!

Claudia and Tess arrive and attempt an end pose whereby Claudia hangs off Tess’s arm and goes back, which is much better than the leg or bum bounce, and then Claudia stumbles. Daly dresswatch: Long, purple, with a belt that’s a little tight and unflattering round the waist and a neckline that’s a little too high to flatter the bust and a slash up the thigh. It probably wouldn’t be so bad other than the belt, but unfortunately that’s positioned in a very prominent place most of the time Tess is onscreen. Claudia is wearing a long black evening gown that looks lovely. Both have subtle poppies, unlike that field that Karen Hardy was wearing on It Takes Two this week. Tess says ‘we’ll be dancing next, me and you’.  Claudia says ‘we certainly will’. Can I just say at this point that I don’t understand why there needs to be all this speculation about who will take over from Bruce at hosting this show – I mean, I get that Graham Norton might be OK at it, but none of the other names excite me – and why does the show need a male anchor anyway? It’s not as if the ratings dwindle when Bruce is away; Tess is a very good lead anchor and Claudia a great sidekick, they have good chemistry together and they’ve been getting a lot of praise. If Ant and Dec don’t need a female co-presenter, I fail to see why this show needs a male one. [And let me just reiterate for good measure - even if it does need one, it doesn't need for that person to be Anton or BARROWMAN. - Steve] Anyway, rant over. Tess welcomes some people there for Remembrance week. She then says the ‘girls are running the show’ tonight and I think she’s being very meta and commenting on the female bias among the contestants before I realise she means herself and Claudia. [I thought maybe she was talking about her unfettered bosom. - Steve] There is a sound problem in the studio, and instead of shouting about how everyone is amateurs and can’t do their job à la Brucie, Tess simply points at the sky and does a ‘whoops’ face. Then they do a dance pose and Claudia snuggles into Tess’s chest. Well, it does look quite comfortable, so you can't blame her.

Our stars enter, minus Natalie and Artem. Patrick stumbles a bit on the steps but doesn’t do a full scale tumble, which is a bit of a shame. [You're so mean! - Steve] Tess tells us that Natalie and Artem wouldn’t be Natalie and Artem without some injury porn, and this week Natalie is sick and they won’t be performing. Given they were jiving to Tina Turner and it would probably have been amazing, I’m keeping my fingers crossed they do that next week. Claudia reminds us that BLACKPOOL is nearly upon us.

First up are ‘Big Ben’ and Kristina, to a ridiculous level of whooping from the audience. Tess reminds us that he was naked last week and this week is dressed as a sailor. She implores the audience, and Bruno, to stay calm, and fans herself a bit, for as we all know, Tess LUVZ GUNZ.

Ben’s VT reminds us of how he was apparently covered in spunk last week and Len’s SPORTSMAN lust led him to shout ‘It was an explosion’, and if my brain has to live with the level of mental scarring that just occurred from that imagery, so does yours. Unsurprisingly, Ben is struggling with the jive, so Kristina takes him to a rugby pitch to do some footwork and then she gets in Louis Smith to teach Ben to do a backflip. Ben is wearing odd-coloured trainers – one purple, one orange.

Their jive is to ‘Jump, Jive and Wail’ and Kristina is full on Aggy-does-Candyman, whilst Ben wears a sailor suit.  The back-flip happens on a trampette and onto a crash-mat. EDGY. Ben’s timing seems to have improved but his movements are very lumbering, as you might expect and it’s incredibly stompy although he is at least attempting the steps, even if there isn’t much finesse. Then there’s a bit where he just flicks Kristina’s skirt for a while. As jives go, it’s not up there but as Ben’s dances go, it’s one of the better ones. The audience, including Mark Foster, give a standing ovation because of course they do. Tess introduces our judges as ‘Judge Bruno, Judge Len, Judge Darcey and Judge Dredd’ although at least delivers it quickly rather than labouring it. I’m not sure Tess is a fan of whoever writes the Strictly jokes. 

Len says Ben is turning out to be a good dancer (not so much) and but is a bit like a trifle: ‘fruity up top’ and spongey underneath. Now a trifle tends to be fruity in the middle – which might make more sense given his TITZ’N’GUNZ, but up top it tends to be creamy and… oh no, there goes my brain to the bad place again. [Nurse! The screens! - Steve] Ben’s footwork isn’t really there, anyway, and I hope you have a drink to hand, because JIVE IS A HARD DANCE FOR TALL MEN. Thanks, Autopilot Len. Bruno says he has an irresistible urge to join the navy, and quite a few girls have joined up already, but he hasn’t got the kicks and flicks right and he needs to be on his toes ‘if you do another jive’ which is not a thing that is ever going to happen. Craig says it was leaden and laboured – which he expected - and the best thing was the backflip. Len goes into full CRAIG HATES SPORTSMAN rage and says if that’s what Craig expected, then that’s what he saw. If this is how Len sees things, that goes some way to explaining Ben’s score last week at any rate. Craig says that ‘despite your best seaman (/semen) efforts’, which gets the audience going like the FILTH MONGERS they are, it was a failure. Darcey disagrees (which gets a whoop and leads Ben to hug… Bruno?) because he kept it contained with great energy and attack.

Up in Claudia’s Counselling Centre, Kristina says she’s proud of Ben, Ben says his calves are killing him and Claudia says ‘I don’t want to rain on your parade, but when you started, you really couldn’t move and now you can’. I love how Claudia can basically repeat a contestant’s scripted JOURNEY whilst wrapping it up in a cloak of SHADE and still managing to touch up Ben’s arms. She says she didn’t mean it to sound like that and Kristina is phenomenal. EVEN MORE SHADE. Those are some skills, right there. Scores: 4, 7, 8, 7 for a total of 26. I don’t think Len is ever going below 8 for Ben again.

Next up are Fiona and Anton who are doing a ‘rock and roll paso doble’ whatever that is. Please don’t tell me Fusion week is back – and if it is, Rock and Roll is not a genre anyone wants to see happen in it. Fiona wants to go to Blackpool. Anton decides to do a comedy VT to teach her about the character of the dance. Oh please Anton, if it’s not Nancy in a field of bulls saying 'this is no Madrid', then I don’t care. (I can't believe that clip isn't on the internet anywhere.  What kind of world do we live in?) Before we live through their paso to ‘Song 2’ (sung horribly), let us take a moment to relive this: Nancy was the cape! Anyway, they’re in sparkly black and blue, which clashes rather badly with the red and yellow firey backdrop. Anton starts by doing an awful knee slide and taking ages to get up. He grimaces throughout. Fiona is a bit stompy although her hips are OK and she has a good go at working the cape. It does all feel a bit like your strait-laced mum having a glass of champers at a wedding do, deciding she is a bit squiffy and trying to let loose on the dance floor whilst… not really managing it. Fiona is quite a special breed really – utterly batshit yet incredibly polite, and the latter tends to come out more in her dancing. It seems to go wrong at the end when she is flung to the floor and the band sing ‘Well I lie and I’m easy, oh yeah’ and I can’t work out if they skipped to the end because the dance went wrong or if their truncating of it was slightly weird and they missed out the last few lines rather than finding a more sensible bit to edit. Tess declares it one of the best songs ever. I am sort of mildly surprised at this, although there’s no reason why I should be, given Tess’s age and that she’s married to Vernon Kay whom I totally would see as being into Blur. I guess she's just so 'Saturday night BBC One entertainment that is not The Voice' that I would assume she was into Mickey Bubbles or someone. (Claudia is totally a 'The Cure mixed with a bit of Paloma Faith' girl in my head, since you ask)

Anton says he forgot a bit at the end and Fiona dragged him round. Fiona says she wondered what he was doing. Tess introduces the singers, Dave Arch and the band. Somewhere at home, Bruce is shouting at the TV because she didn’t mangle her grammar. Bruno says he’s glad he’s marking Fiona and not Anton. He says he likes her dark side when she goes spanky and aggressive. Bruno the equal opps lush - <3. She says her timing was better than Anton’s and she kept it going when things went wrong but her Spanish movements with the arms weren’t good and if she does it again (predicting bottom two, are we, Bruno?) he wants more flamenco in her arm movements. Craig says she used the skirt well and had precise timing though she lost the neck, but it was a bit indifferent, average and vanilla – adequate, but forgettable. Anton says he thought it was outstanding. Like Anton is fit to be any sort of judge on anything. Darcey says she created nice shapes with the arms but she would have liked it to come from her back and generally she loved the energy and attack. Len says there was a lot of wafting, which he enjoyed and he saw some flamenco but he’s out of step with his colleagues, because she could have given it more fire and more wow, which… is what Craig basically said.

They sidle up to Claudia’s Counselling Circle and Claudia wants to know what life is like at chez Du Beke, wondering if he sits in his dressing gown toasting crumpets whilst listening to Blur. Fiona says she especially liked the bit in the dance where Anton went wrong. That was a real gritted teeth moment, there. Guessing ‘my lovely Anton’ is no longer the story we are running with. [I feel like Fiona is gradually losing it, and may be going full Jan Ravens in the very near future. - Steve] Scores: 5, 7, 7, 7 for a total of 26.  Fiona keeps refusing to look at Anton as Claudia reads out the voting numbers.

Third on are Abbey and Aljaž and we’re reminded that Abbey was in the SHOCK!  BOTTOM!  TWO! Last week. Vote for Abbey! (I actually did this week – first time I’ve managed to vote all series.  Mind you, she only got one of my five). Their VT as about Abbey needing to smile for their Charleston and Aljaž taping her mouth up then painting on a joker smile. I’m beginning to think Aljaž finds pleasure in some rather sadistic ways. They then keep BABY WARZ going by reminding us Abbey has a cute kid and a Peter Crouch and also: I CAN HAZ BLACKPOOL PLZ.

They’re both in pink and black for their Charleston, with Abbey in a black wig for their ‘Cabaret’ themed dance which makes her look weirdly like Katie Price. They both use bowler hats as props. It starts OK, not as sharp as it could be, but with decent energy and a moderate level of gurn. There are some timing issues and Abbey looks at Aljaž a couple of times to check what he’s doing. Then her bowler hat falls over her eyes so she can’t see, and he lifts her up and the hat goes skidding off. Not, perhaps, the best choice of propography (yes it’s a term.  Or it should be). She isn’t too floored by this, and Aljaž eventually loses his. It’s still a bit stuttery in places although some parts are good. It’s not the best Charleston this series (both Sophie and Susanna were much better) but it’s not the worst. I liked it more on first watch because it was so fast you missed some of the problems, but on second watch, it falls apart a bit more. And I adored their rumba so I’m essentially giving them a vote for that more than this. [Also, Aljaž's arse looked the best it's looked in weeks. - Steve]

Tess says her four year old calls them ‘Abbyaž’. Yes, Tess, your four year old. Not your Digital Spy alias. I’m on to you Daly. [This explains SO MUCH. - Steve] Craig loved the Fosse-esque choreography and attention to detail, saying they did not Charleston quietly, it was loud and proud.  Darcey loves the gorgeously mad side of her and how well she dealt with the prop – she could do ‘all those things’ with it – except have it fit properly, anyway. Len says ‘it was a Charleston, it was going back to the 20s, Downton Abbey’. He’s been waiting all series for that, although isn’t Downton set in the 30s these days? (I don’t know, I don’t watch it.  It did look as though they were about to replicate that Poliakoff drama about jazz the other week). [I don't think anyone even knows at this point, but last time I checked it was somewhere in the mid-1920s. - Steve] Bruno wants her to go to BLACKPOOL. Up in Claudia’s Counselling Centre, Claud grabs Abbey’s bicep because she is an equal opps groper. They cut to the judges early and Darcey appears to be saying something to one of the crew. Scores: 9, 9, 9, 9 for a total of 36 and an ‘even if the public don’t vote, we hope we’ve done enough to keep you in regardless’.

Claudia leads into the next bit with ‘life isn’t a cabaret, I’m being quite serious’ and I really thought we were going into a Children in Need/Remembrance Sunday earnest moment, but no, that’s how Claudia does a joke, people. Such a cheeky faker. The punchline: ‘unless you’re on this show, in which case it comes pretty close’.

Tess introduces Mark and Iveta saying they’re playing Bond villains for their rumba. Yet no-one takes the obvious opportunity to turn this into BOND WARZ with Fiona. If Colin Salmon was here, he would totally be into having BOND WARZ. Their VT reminds us that they have fun together and Iveta says that Mark is her family, which is quite sweet but also a bit sad.  Mark would like to go to BLACKPOOL please.

They’re dressed as Blofeld/Dr Evil and a gold lame catsuited superminx for their rumba to ‘Goldfinger’, which opens with Mark in a chair.  For too long.  As much as I think Mark’s dancing is a pretty good effort much of the time, this isn’t really the kind of dance that suits either his physique or personality and Iveta doesn’t seem to have given him much to do, and so he mostly walks around and then she falls on him at the end.  I mean, I love Iveta, and I love their partnership, but this wasn’t a highlight of theirs for me.

Tess says she loves their costumes and wants to borrow them: the catsuit, not the bald cap. Keep your bedroom antics off the telly, Daly.  Darcey says they created some nice lines but it was a bit too bitty for her, although they always create an interesting story.  Len says he had gold in his fingers but lead in his bum, but, altogether now: THE RUMBA IS A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT DANCE FOR MEN.  Have we reached full house on Len bingo tonight yet?  He says he loves that Mark always plays the part in his dances. Bruno says they tried Goldfinger and ended up a fishfinger. SUCH SMUT. There was a lot of posturing, but the movement didn’t really flow. Tess says Mark wants to spend his birthday in Blackpool. Craig says he hopes he does but his hands need shaping and even though he has beautiful arm movements, his hands are just like wet spatulas and the transitions do need to be smoother – the concept saved the dance. Tess talks about their entertainment value and sends them up.

Claudia welcomes them to her Counselling Circle by wearing a bald cap and looking like a Conehead.  Mark thanks the make-up woman. Claudia asks Iveta if she wears the catsuit to the supermarket, which she does. Good to know. Scores: 5, 6, 7, 5 for a total of 23. Claudia reads some terrible BOND puns from the autocue with her toungue very visually in cheek, pointing out, ‘oh yes, I’m reading from the autocue’. We then cut to Tess swirling round in a chair with the cat like a Bond villain. Can you imagine Bruce doing that? And if he did, he’d shout about what he was doing and reminding you it was all about him. Tess and Claudia for me have just the right level of knowingness about the broad-strokes humour this show uses for it to remain affectionately sarcastic rather than nasty, and they seem to keep things moving quite quickly. Tess strokes her pussy whilst talking about a former Strictly champion who is helping the next couple. Who could it be? Lovely Harry McFlea? Sexy Kara? No, because next up are Kevin and Susanna and they can’t get romantic with one another, so who else to help them, but unsexy Hobbit gurner Chris Hollins?! Susanna says Chris is a mate so it was nice to have a cup of tea with him. Chris’s advice is ‘I couldn’t be sexy at all, so at least you’re better than me’. Confidence restored! Hooray for ‘at least you’re not that bad’ as a morale-boosting technique!

It feels weird to see a waltz at this stage of the proceedings, especially as we have an Argentine Tango later in the show. I don’t really mind the mixing up of genres, but it does seem strange after all those years of very clearly prescribed orders of difficulty. They’re dancing to ‘You Light up My Life’ and there’s a nice bit of literal storytelling going on – Susanna is dancing alone in the dark and then Kevin comes to dance with her and the lights come on. The lighting is actually very pretty, and Susanna’s skirt very swishy and there are some dazzling spins. It’s lovely although… it’s a waltz, and I did keep thinking that it’s only a waltz and waltzes are easy, lovely as it was and as easy as it probably wasn’t.

Tess says it was a traditional waltz, which must have pleased Len. Len said it did and he uses this opportunity to have a go at Jeremy Paxman for moaning about newsreaders coming on the show, calling him ‘Pacco’. Bruno says it had heavenly spins, Craig says she brought the frock to life, there was a full circle of pivots and it was gorgeous. Darcey says the precision was great, especially how she held her frame in so many turns, but she would love her to stretch even further.

Up in Claudia’s Counselling Circle, Susanna’s earnestly mad gushing continues as she fawns over Kevin. Claudia declares Kevin dance royalty and asks if he can get them whatever they want when they go to BLACKPOOL. Steady on love, it’s not Cleethorpes. Scores: 9, 9, 9, 9 for a total of 36 and another tie towards the top of the leaderboard. [This definitely deserved to be higher than Abbey, though I think it was more that she was overmarked than this was undermarked. - Steve] Claudia implores us to vote for the adorable humans and Susanna says ‘I can’t really work out what’s going on’. Claudia holds her hand and says ‘it’s an elaborate home video’. Heh.

Komedy Karen and Komedy Dave are next. Their tango will be to (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles and this is an excuse to milk the SCOTTISH VOTE. Can you imagine being the SCOTTISH VOTE right now and having Komedy Dave and Wee Nic on the X Factor as your default representatives, and wondering what on earth that says about your nation? I’m even more intrigued as to what would happen if Scotland does go rogue in the referendum. The reason for this is that Dave lived in Scotland for 15 years which makes him Scottish. That is Neighbours-level tenuous logic there. Anyway, cue a VT of SCOTTISHNESS featuring kilts and bagpipes and haggis and Braveheart and the Krankies and the MacDougall brothers from the X Factor and Supergran and Alex Salmond and so on. The song might be an odd tango choice because it has none of the passion, but at least the tempo is suitable. Karen has a long tartan skirt on and Dave a kilt. He does make some attempts at stomping and head turns but he mostly walks around and he also inserts a lot of comedy ‘vote for me’ grins. Because Karen’s obviously been watching Ben and Kristina, there’s a bit where he stands still and she dances around him – GIVE THIS A 9, LEN, DARE YOU. Then he drags her around on his back for a bit because she’s tired herself out.

Tess declares it “special”. Bruno says there was too much haggis and not enough Argentina. Dave: ‘it wasn’t an Argentinian Tango’. Bruno: ‘It wasn’t any sort of tango at all’. We then have the name of John Sargeant invoked, officially reminding us we are in the middle of his memorial panic. Bruno says he was dragging Karen around and that wasn’t passionate. Dave says it was in his head. I feel we should all take a moment’s silence to consider the fortunes of poor Mrs Dave. Bruno says he walked it rather than dancing it and it wasn’t even funny. Craig says Karen could write a book on how to survive a grizzly bear attack and it was very stompy, but there were some tango steps in there. Darcey says it had more dance content than in his other dances and it one of his better dances. Tess says this is positive. I’d say positive was… relevant. Len says normally a flash of knicker turns him on but not so much with Dave. ENOUGH WITH MAKING ME THINK ABOUT LEN’S SEXY TIMES, SHOW.

Claudia reminds Dave that the audience love him. Scores: 4, 6, 6, 4 for a total of 20 and you can vote to take Dave to BLACKPOOL.

Tess, obviously having received the memo about her belt, covers her waist with her hand as she tells us that Natalie and Artem have yet more injury stories for us. Cue conspiracy threads about how Natalie is faking sickness because she can’t cope with the dance in certain sections of the internet. Anyway, their jive looks like it would have been good, but Natalie fainted in the dress rehearsals and has been taken to hospital so they can’t perform it.  Anton pulls his bestest woobie face to wish her well. We snarked at John BARROWMAN saying she’d be out in the next couple of weeks, but I guess if she isn’t well enough next week, that will be true. [Have we checked BARROWMAN's house for a voodoo doll? I'm just saying. - Steve]

Ashley and Ola are next and we’re reminded that Ashley needs better posture. Their VT sees Ola going to the set of Hollyoaks to flirt with Dodger and for all the cast mates, including his dad Jack Osbourne, telling him to get his posture right. There’s a vague SPOILER ALERT as it looks like the whole Sienna thing is finally reaching a climax going on the scene we see being filmed. Ashley is from the North West so he wants to go to BLACKPOOL, presumably because it’s a bit closer to his bed.

Their quickstep is to ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’, which I’m sure the singers were really chuffed to have to perform yet again, as were my ears. It’s very fast and there is some nice leg work although it looks at places like Ashley is thinking too hard about his posture that he isn’t relaxed enough. It has a stutter bit towards the end and then they pass out on the judges’ table to a standing ovation.

Darcey says it was amazing and says the quickstep needs light, trotting footwork and she congratulates him for not dying, which, as we all know, is the major concern for Ashley this series. Len says he kept the energy up and this dance is really difficult. Bruno says there was a real difference in his control and his frame and footwork were better. Craig says there were some sharp opening moves and his frame and posture are now fixed but he has to watch the gapping – it had fantastic energy although in places the footwork energy was taken in to the upper body. 

Claudia says it was a game-changer because it’s at this point in the narrative that we must establish a sense of several front-runners. Scores: 8, 9, 9, 9 for a total of 35 and their highest score to date.

Sophie and Brendan are coming up now – last week their jive wasn’t exactly great so they really need a comeback story about now. Brendan says audiences love the Argentine Tango and their VT sees a lot of chairs being thrown to the floor. My Twitter erupted in a flurry of ‘won’t somebody think of the purity of dahnce competitions’ tweets about it coming so early in the series. (Even though it happened in week three last series with BOND and Kristina doing the BOND)

It’s to an instrumental version of ‘Sweet Dreams’ because you can’t take Brendan too far away from the 80s at any one point. The opening is lovely with nice chair movements and spotlights. Other than that, it’s somewhat patchy. There are some lovely spins and poses but some bits are a little awkward and Sophie’s face looks more scared than sultry. There’s a nice end pose though and overall it was decent, if not exceptional. Tess says they were back on form and the audience are duly on their feet for the redemption arc.

Len liked the steps but would have liked more passion instead of Sophie’s awkwardness about sexy romantic times. Bruno says the choreography and shaping were wonderful but it didn’t have the gutsiness from inside – a bit of dirt is good. I can’t imagine lovely posh Sophie having any truck with dirt. I bet she Dettols every surface the moment anything at all has touched it. Craig says she lost balance a bit early on but it had lots of lovely bits, especially when getting up from lifts. He thought she was too solid in her stop moments but he loved the routine. Darcey says Sophie had magic positions in the lifts and Brendan chose some lovely lifts and she liked some of the still stiffness but she needed more character in her face.

Claudia says up in the counselling circle, people were confused by the critiques and Sophie says so was she as she thought she did well. Scores: 8, 8, 8, 8 for a total of 32. Brendan says Sophie is amazing and the dance felt phenomenal and Claudia gets in a ‘sweet dreams are made of vote’ pun to a roar from the counselling circle.

Our final couple are Patrick and Anya. This week Patrick turned FIFTY – the show has made a bit of a thing of this, but it isn’t really on the scale of Letitia Dean turns FORTY. Last week they got great scores and feedback. This week, Patrick would like to go to BLACKPOOL and he’s able to put some lifts back into the dance. He has a party on the set of Casualty and then Anya throws him the world’s loneliest party in training with a cake, a couple of plates of crisps and balloons. That’s a lot of cake and crisps for two people, Anya.

Their American Smooth is to ‘It Had to Be You’ and starts with a frenetic jazzy break and some fast spinning lifts, which is one of the best starts to an American Smooth I’ve seen in a while.  They’re both looking good – Anya in gold and Patrick in tails with a gold tie and hanky.  The routine is all pizzazz, grins, spins and lifts.  A couple of the spins are muffed, mainly, it seems, to Anya’s dress flying everywhere and getting in the way, but it’s an entertaining and energetic romp nonetheless.

Bruno calls it pure Hollywood, elegant and stylish with a mistake at the end. Tess says it was a wardrobe malfunction and not Patrick’s fault. Craig says he managed to overcome the mistake professionally and he’s the best male celebrity in the competition (which is slightly damning with faint praise, but still). Darcey says he’s a star and the mistake didn’t matter to her at all.  Len says ‘as Henry VIII would say, take him to the tower – that’s the Tower Ballroom in BLACKPOOL’. [And here I was assuming Len would be more a fan of Henry VII. - Steve] Anya races up to the Counselling Circle screaming. They don’t get an interview because the show must be overrunning.  Scores: 9, 10, 9, 9 for a total of 37. I wasn’t expecting Patrick to get the second ten of the series, but I guess they have to do everything they can to keep him out of the dance-off.

Patrick and Anya 37
Abbey and Aljaž 36
Susanna and Kevin 36
Ashley and Ola 35
Sophie and Brendan 32
Ben and Kristina 26
Fiona and Anton 26
Mark and Iveta 23
Dave and Karen 20

So we’re still seeing a lot of ties and it remains to be seen whether Natalie and Artem’s absence helps or hinders those in the top half of the leaderboard, though I would assume it’s more helpful than not.  Join me tomorrow to find out!

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