Strictly Come Dancing 2012: The Final 6 Perform (Liveblog)

by Gerard McGarry

Well, the end is in sight for this series of Strictly Come Dancing. But unlike The X Factor, they won’t be snuffing the stage lights out this weekend. The final 6 contestants have yet to perform and we’re due to lose another couple tomorrow night.

But who will leave? Well, upfront I’m going to predict that it could be between Dani Harmer or Denise Van Outen. That’s based on the fact that Dani’s dancing isn’t perhaps as tight as some of the other contestants, and Denise was a little bit stiff last week too. Coupled with the fact that public support doesn’t seem to be quite as strong for Denise, these two could be in trouble, regardless of how well they dance tonight. And if everything else is fair, fan favourite Lisa Riley should be down there somewhere too.

Let’s get started. And right off the mark, it’s going to be one of those nights. The sequins, shocking pinks and shimmering costumes are out in force. I can feel the retina damage already…

Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: After last week’s incredible screw-up and gallant confession from James, this pair need to impress with a flawless routine. The pair are fusing a quickstep and a jive, but I always get the two mixed up anyway, so I doubt I’ll notice the difference… And wow! This is impressive on every level. The moves are tight and precise, but the pair go beyond expectations with some crazy lifts and James even leapfrogs over Denise at one point. Amazing!

Lan Goodman  complemented the couple on their dance, but pointed out a minor wardrobe malfunction where Denise had stepped on her dress. Bruno Tonioli was effusive in his praise, especially for the precision and accuracy in the jive. Craig liked the jive, but wished the quickstep was smoother. Darcey also heaps praise on the jive. Scores: Craig: 8, Darcey: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9. Totals: 35

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor: For their fusion routine, Lisa and Robin are dancing the tango and cha cha. To an ABBA song. Sound the pessimism klaxon. The first half of the routine is a bit of a turn off – Lisa’s face is a picture of concentration. Things improve when Robin rips her skirt off and then it becomes the kind of comedy routine this couple are renowned for. There’s a bit of a slip up, but they recover pretty well, ending with a play on the theme of Lisa always doing the lifts.

Bruno loved it. He says the cha cha suits her to a tee, but he’s less impressed with the tango elements. Craig Revel Horwood complains about Lisa’s top line in the tango, and says that she’s a little ahead in the footwork. Darcey Bussell seems to prefer the tango, saying that Lisa’s cha cha wasn’t as tight. Len praises her enthusiasm, saying it was fun, but says it was a touch too predictable. Which it was, a little bit. Scores: Craig: 7, Darcey: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 8. Totals: 30

Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: Nicky had a bad week last week, getting tough criticism from the judges and coming second last on the leaderboard. This week, they’re dancing a samba and American smooth fusion. Can they claw back the favour of the judges? Nicky’s definitely the weaker element here, in the way that a weaker male dancer can end up playing second fiddle to a sassy female partner. Karen’s definitely the focal point here – all legs and skirts. Love the choreography on this routine.

Craig complains about the posture for Nicky, and Darcey agrees with some criticism for the couple. Len Goodman says this particular fusion was a challenge anyway. However, he approves of the routine and has praise for Nicky. Bruno calls it a “heroic effort”, saying the two types of dance are as different as night and day. Scores: Craig: 5, Darcey: 7, Len: 8, Bruno: 7. Totals: 27

Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone: Even if they aren’t frontrunners, I just love the chemistry between Vincent and Dani. She carries the routine off with a lot of fun and flair, and she’s constantly grinning, but not in Lisa Riley’s Carry On movie style. A fun, frustratingly short routine. I’d have loved to see more! They get a rapturous standing ovation from the audience.

Darcey kicks off the comments by saying it was extraordinary. She waffles on quite a bit and it’s clear she’s a huge fan of this. Len Goodman says “yum yum pig’s bum”, which we take to mean that he liked it. Bruno called it a flapper’s delight and “stylistic perfection”. Craig says the choreography was absolutely brilliant. Scores: Craig: 9, Darcey: 10, Len: 9, Bruno: 10. Totals: 38

Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace: Tonight, this couple are fusing a tango and a rhumba. Boring song choice in With Or Without You. I’ve liked Louis since week one, but this comes off as a bit wooden and robotic. Not as passionate and fiery as I was expecting it to be. #Underwhelmed

Len Goodman again says the dances were a mismatch, but that Louis pulled it off. Bruno is on fire with his comments. Calls Louis masterfull. Craig said he danced “with effortless dexterity” and Darcey is also full of praise, calling it one of Louis’s best. Scores: Craig: 9, Darcey: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 10. Totals: 37

Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev: It’s a cha cha tango fusion to It’s Raining Men. What could possibly go wrong? It must be noted that Kimberley’s looking sexy tonight. As usual.This just puts Lisa and Robin’s routine into perspective. Kimberley’s just having a complete ball out there, the couple just exuding confidence and fun. Just wonderful to watch!

Bruno calls her a “tango sexy kitten” and raves that this is the dance of the season so far. High praise. Craig echoes the sentiment in his usual deadpan way. Darcey says she loved it. Twice. Len Goodman stands up and applauds the couple. Few words, but the sentiment couldn’t be clearer – the judges loved it. Expect a row of tens? Scores: Craig: 10, Darcey: 10, Len: 10, Bruno: 10. Totals: 40

Gerard McGarry is a jet-setting, world-renowned Reality TV critic. In real life, Gerard works with web and social media strategy. His personal blog is at or follow him on Twitter @gerrybot