Strictly Come Dancing 2012: The Top 7 Perform – Liveblog!

by Gerard McGarry

Welcome, readers, to another live Strictly Come Dancing blog post! Yes, it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve done this, mostly because it an exhausting process, and *sob* you never leave me any comments! So tonight, I’m gonna type my feelings about the show directly in here, and hopefully you lot will banter and chat with me in the comments. Let’s start by leaving your scores for each performance and we’ll see how it matches up with what the judges say!

First up, and starting the show with some much needed sexiness, is Kimberley Walsh. Lively start, and Kimberley looking hot in a crop top and hotpants. I approve. It’s a fast-paced jive, and Kimberley manages to keep up with quick footwork and a pro-showbiz smile on her face throughout. It’s not without its clumsy parts though – there was a moment where Pasha almost seemed to nearly kick Kim in the head.

Len notes those dodgy moments as well, but says otherwise Kimberley’s execution was good and she gave a sense of fun. Bruno Tonioli agreed, saying it was almost perfect apart from those few rough bits. Craig praised her “fast, efficient footwork” and summed up by saying it was a cracking job. Darcey manages to work in her favourite theme of the series, highlighting Kim’s strong core, which we had been watching with our tongues hanging out.

Following up this, Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone have a Vienese Waltz to do, featuring a gondola on the stage. They’re taking this literally. Oh no, that would be a Venetian Waltz. Forget I said anything. Full marks to the costume department, both dancers look excellent tonight. It’s elegant and everything you might expect, but a tiny bit slow and…my attention is drifting if I’m honest. I definitely prefer the more lively routines.

Bruno raves in Italian. He’s gone native. I could make out the words “absolutely enchanting” at the end. Craig called it pretty, but had some criticism for some of the finer elements. He says he wasn’t “blown away”. Darcey said Dani’s lower half was clean, and generally praised the routine. Len Goodman appreciated the nuances in the routine and said “the whole thing had a bit of charm”.

Wearing the loudest shirt in the competition tonight, it’s serial bottom-two placeholder Michael Vaughan. Natalie Lowe is wearing a dress that’s half sequins/half tassles, like Two-Face from Batman’s ideal girlfriend. The pair of them give a good effort, though I can never quite get past the costumes.

Craig Revel Horwood grumbles that the routine looked incredible awkward. He’s still picking on Michael’s free arm placement. Clearly not a fan. Darcey, however, praises his improvement. Though she says it’s sad that his hips are never going to look natural. Len says he needs loosening up, but like Darcey, he praises the content. Bruno loved that Michael had let himself go, but tells him – naughtily – that he has to “swing both ways”. Oo-er!

Westlifer Nicky Byrne is playing Bond this week, dancing to the theme from Skyfall. It’s an Argentine Tango for Nicky and Karen this week. Will he be able to bring the drama to this routine? Erm…yes. It’s dark, it’s moody, it’s passionate, and the chemistry between Nicky and Karen was palpable. Let’s just say I was convinced, but then I’m a big fan of Miss Hauer. Wow.

Darcey starts off the commentary by praising the intensity, but she says Nicky could have been more lustful. She makes the mistake of wishing he was “more hard”. Dirty Darcey. Just stop talking. Someone get that woman a cold shower. Len singled out the lifts for praise, but said overall it was too ballroom. Bruno Tonioli was impressed, and said that Nicky put a lot of power into his performance. Craig congratulated the pair on their storytelling, but said the routine was ‘too aggressive and stompy”.

Next up is Lisa Riley dancing a quickstep with Robin to Bring Me Sunshine. Somehow, Robin Windsor is totally, culturally unaware of who Morcambe and Wise are. Weird. But this is Lisa Riley going back to what she does best – bubbly, fun routines. And to ram that point home, she’s wearing a blindingly yellow dress. It’s lively and all the other adjectives that you can find in an online thesaurus. A fun, feel-good routine. Will the judges approve?

Len Goodman starts off with his usual high praise for Lisa. A good comeback this week. Bruno says he needs sunshades, so bright is Lisa’s love of life. He even falls off his chair he’s waving his arms about so much! Craig has constructive criticism for Lisa, but praises the incredible energy. Darcey also points out Lisa’s top-line problems, but like the others is generally positive.

Shimmy Jimmy Jordan is being mocked by Denise Van Outen, but he points out a serious message: the salsa has been the dance of death for the last three weeks on Strictly. But if anybody can make this work, it’s Denise and James. Their salsa is packed with content, and Denise is doing plenty of solo work, which the judges always look for. It’s lively,  and fun, although I’m sure that upside-down lift was not meant to look like that. A fumble?

Bruno gets his chance to call them hot and spicy, but said there were “a couple of near misses”. James takes responsibility for that. He says he got nervous and went blank. Craig loves this! However, he’s got massive praise for Denise’s spins. Darcey loved the underarm turns, but says sometimes they looked clumsy. She offers shimmying advice. This is priceless stuff, dance fans! Len says the pair recovered really well and says that Denise covered well. They still walk away with a 32, which is quite respectable.

Closing the show is a comedy routine from Louis Smith and fan favourite Flavia Cacace! They’re dancing to a Charlseton in a hospital setting, so there’s tons of sexy doctor/patient interplay. I couldn’t have written a better Strictly fetish scene myself. Flavia is a goddess, and that routine was incredible. Louis was hilarious as a fumbling doctor. Great comic performance. I was surprised.

Darcey said she loved Louis’ performance and said his tricks has the wow factor. Len raved about Louis’ personality, and Bruno’s volume went through the roof, which is a sign he’s excited. He called tonight’s routine “the making of a true contender”. I’m predicting big marks for Louis tonight. And they’ll be well deserved.


  1. Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace: Craig: 8, Darcey: 10, Len: 9, Bruno: 10: Total score: 37
  2. Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev: Craig: 9, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 9: Total score: 34
  3. Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone: Craig: 8, Darcey: 8, Len: 9, Bruno: 9: Total score: 34
  4. Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: Craig: 8, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8: Total score: 32
  5. Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor: Craig: 7, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8: Total score: 31
  6. Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: Craig: 7, Darcey: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 8: Total score: 30
  7. Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe: Craig: 5, Darcey: 7, Len: 6, Bruno: 6: Total score: 24

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