Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Big Ben is back in the game! His “simple” American Smooth wins Craig over

by Nick Barnes

strictly come dancing 2013 ben cohen jive

Rugby ace Ben Cohen and his professional partner Kristina Rihanoff took to the dance floor once again this weekend dancing the American Smooth to the beautiful Fallin’ by Alicia Keys.

“The Jive is a fast moving dance and I did find it incredibly hard. To go out there and have fun with it was the most important thing,” Ben said in his VT. He added that to get through to Blackpool this week was brilliant. This week, it’s the American Smooth but he has lost his competitive edge since retiring from rugby and to help to bring that back was a game of Twister.

Ben and Kristina score just 26 points on last week’s show with an abysmal 4 from grumpy Craig Revel Horwood. Craig told him that the best part of the routine was the backflip and that’s about it. Bruno disagreed saying that he suddenly had an urge to join the navy.

Ben once again had his shirt on this week, which I guess is the first thing to note. I’m sure a lot of people will be shaking their fists at those bloody Ofcom complainers. With the help of a few extra dancers in the piece this week, Ben managed to incorporate a massive left in which Kristina was thrown (well, not quite) towards him. Although, I must say, it was a very smooth, cohesive dance with some brilliant lifts from Ben. He seems to improve as the weeks go by.

ben cohen

Judges Comments

  • Craig Revel Horwood: “Big Ben is back darling! Thankfully… very quick Viennese that was, you were motoring around that floor. I’d like to see more style out of hold but a vast improvement”.
  • Darcey Bussell: “Ben, you really carried that off with ease. Especially with what a tentative partner you are in those lifts, so beautiful and so controlled. When you come out of hold, just choreograph those moves”.
  • Len Goodman: “Well, for me Ben, you never went away. I thought last week the Jive was fabulous and you’ve come out again and fully committed yourself”.
  • Bruno Tonioli: “That was a performance of such warmth, care and involvement, the way you look after your partner. The most difficult part of it was the Viennese Waltz. You did really, really well”.


Ben & Kristina received a combined score of 32 with an 8 from Craig, an 8 from Darcey, an 8 from Len and an 8 from Bruno.

Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow evening at 7:15pm with the all important results on BBC One.

Nick Barnes

Nick is the Assistant Editor at Unreality TV, along with being a full-time Beyoncé obsessor! Email him at or catch him on Twitter @ImNickBarnes