Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Halloween week liveblog

by Gerard McGarry

Strictly Come Dancing logoGood evening! And welcome to our liveblog of this Halloween-themed Strictly Come Dancing. And what could be more terrifying than having to put up with the obligatory Brucie Halloween jokes or Tess Daly’s horrifying fake smiles? Or the inevitable, cheesy digs at Craig Revel Horwood. But they made the wicked witch gag about him last year, so which grotesque beast will they compare him to this Halloween? Let’s find out…

Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone: Haha! Dressed as Shaggy and Velma from Scooby Doo, Dani and Vincent are doing a cha cha cha to that show’s theme tune. I don’t know if it’s because she’s dressed as Velma, but Dani doesn’t look quite as slick this week. There’s a neat little cameo from Anton Du Beke, back from the dead after being voted off last week. But Len Goodman likened the routine to a sausage sandwich. Something about setting you up for the day ahead. Bruno also is pleased with their routine, but says it needs to be “expanded a bit more”. Craig also cautions Dani to extend more through her lines and criticises her posture at the beginning. Darcey Bussell is also a big fan tonight. Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 6, Len: 8, Bruno: 7 Totals: 27

Richard Arnold and Erin Boag: Richard and Erin are dancing the pasa doble to O Fortune! Wow – Richard may hate the track, but when it comes to dramatic, terrifying soundtracks, this one can’t be beaten. And there’s not a trace of the trademark Arnold Campness this week as he throws his cape around like a seasoned matador and throws Erin around the floor a bit too! Very dramatic, passionate routine. Bruno told Richard he was “like Gary Newman in a bad temper”, but says the execution wasn’t as refined as it could have been. Craig appreciated the cape work, but told Richard it needed to be more “earthed”. Darcey advises Richard to tense his butt muscles, which raises a smirk, while Len calls him “a great big butch bullfighter”. Scores: Craig: 5, Darcey: 5, Len: 7, Bruno: 5 Totals: 22

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor: Dancing their routine tonight to Witch Doctor, Lisa and Robin have gone for a fun routine rather than something that might require to much drama. Fun works for Lisa, and this energetic dance reminds me of her performance a couple of weeks ago. However, Craig says it was “acted well, but danced poorly”. He’s not convinced. Darcey says it was the fastest Charleston, while Len thought it was “fun, and speedy”. Bruno knocks his own horror props off with his enthusiasm. Could’ve been technically better, but the judges seem to enjoy the fun factor too. Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 6, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 Totals: 26

Sid Owen and Ola Jordan: Ola’s back in time for tonight’s cha cha cha with Sid. But oh dear, it looks like Sid’s awkward and stiff tonight. He might end up cowering in his Blair Witch tent after Revel Horwood takes a pop at him. This just doesn’t have the flair or excitement I was hoping for. Darcey says she can see the concentration on Sid’s face, wants him to come back with more attitude. Len thinks Sid’s playing it too safe, and Bruno says it looks like Sid’s smothered in ectoplasm. He says “come back and do it right”. Craig is less kind, calling it a Halloween Nightmare. Scores: Craig: 2, Darcey: 5, Len: 5, Bruno: 5 Totals: 17

Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: Ok, I totally fancy Karen Hauer at this point. And that sexy red dress in the Weird Science routine has my attention. It’s actually an effort to focus on Nicky (ladies, you may disagree), but he seems to be doing really well in this routine. Sharp footwork, a great chemistry (no pun intended) and a fun routine. Len says “there was far more good than bad” in the routine, while Bruno says he’s “found his secret formula”. Craig tells Nicky to sort his posture out, but says he liked the routine. Darcey praised the acting and Nicky keeping in character. Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 6, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 Totals: 26

Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev: Fern and Artem are dancing an American Smooth to Killer Queen, which prompts yet another terrible VT sequence. The costumes are fabulous in this routine, although Artem’s barely counts as clothing. Not that you’re complaining, right? I actually really like how Fern and Artem interact on the floor. Good routine, well done. Bruno moans that the routine was “too beige”, and Darcey liked Fern’s evil queen role, encourages her to take more risks. Len backs this up, telling Artem to push Fern more. Scores: Craig: 4, Darcey: 5, Len: 6, Bruno: 6 Totals: 21

Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: Things started badly for Denise when she tripped coming out of her cage. But we’ll forgive her because of the sexy grinding moves that began the routine. This is dirty dancing at its best. It’s not a perfect routine though – there are a couple of moments where Denise looks uncomfortable and awkward. Craig criticises the leg and hip action but otherwise loves it. Len Goodman also complains about the leg action, while Bruno appreciates the “kinky and slinky” dance. Not their best comments tonight. Scores: Craig: 7, Darcey: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 Totals: 28

Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe: Can this beleaguered couple pull out of their series-long slump? Well, the ‘Black Magic’ routine they’re dancing to tonight features some lively, sharp footwork. A much better routine this week, and Michael looks pretty dapper in his tails. I can’t imagine the judges hating this. Darcey says “ballroom is your thing, Michael”, and praises the quickstep. Len says he’s glad Michael stayed in the competition, and Bruno says it was a miracle. Craig merely claps his hands. Scores: Craig: 8, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 7 Totals: 31

Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole: Brilliant track! White Wedding, and Victoria’s dressed as a corpse bride! And looking pretty cute, too. Much better movement from her this week. I’ve felt that to date, she hasn’t lived up to my expectations, but tonight is much faster and better. Len called it a ‘proper tango’ and overlooks one little wobble. Bruno said it was ‘haunting beauty with a hint of madness’, while Craig nitpicks but largely loved the routine. Darcey praises the musicality. A big comeback for Pendleton tonight. Impressive. Scores: Craig: 7, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 Totals: 31

Colin Salmon and Kristina Rhianoff: Sometimes it feels like the ginormously tall Colin is letting Kristina do all the hard work. Though tonight, he seems to be putting a little more effort into the routine, there are times when it looks like he’s just something for his partner to dance around. Craig tells him to concentrate more on his footwork, but praises Colin’s ‘disco groove’. Darcey liked the arms and hand movements, and Len is complimentary but says there was a major incident that he can’t overlook. Scores: Craig: 5Darcey: 7Len: 6Bruno: 6 Totals: 24

Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace: Dressed in full zombie regalia and dancing to Rihanna’s Disturbia, Louis and Flavia pretty much own this routine already. They make it look effortless. And Louis saves the best to last – an almost-backflip where he flips back into a standing position. Craig was pleased, but niggled about Louis’ thumb on Flavia’s back. Darcey loved it too, but cautions him to watch it in the kicks. Len wanted to see the routine all over again, and Bruno called it ‘a tango with a bite’. Says it was ‘the first killer tango of the season’. Scores: Craig: 8, Darcey: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9 Totals: 35

Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev: Kimberley looks like she’s come dressed as Lisa Scott Lee for a Ghosts Of Popstars Past theme. Tonight, she and Pasha are dancing a pasa doble to Hungry Like The Wolf. Loving Pasha’s werewolf makeup, and Kimberley looks stunning in that dress. She also looks like she means business! These two are throwing themselves into their performance tonight. Darcey is full of praise for the routine. Len calls it a very competent performance, but wanted more aggression. Bruno raved about it, focusing on Kimberley’s lines (but not in the same way I was, admittedly). Even Craig Revel Horwood is full of praise for the routine tonight. Scores: Craig: 8, Darcey: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 8 Totals: 31

Who was your favourite performance tonight, and who do you think will be in the bottom two? Leave us a comment below!


  1. Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace: 35
  2. Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe: 31
  3. Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole: 31
  4. Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev: 31
  5. Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: 28
  6. Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone: 27
  7. Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor: 26
  8. Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: 26
  9. Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff: 24
  10. Richard Arnold and Erin Boag: 22
  11. Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev: 21
  12. Sid Owen and Ola Jordan: 17

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