Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Week 5 Liveblog!

by Gerard McGarry

Strictly Come Dancing logoIt’s time for Strictly Come Liveblogging as Unreality TV covers the fifth week of fancy footwork on Strictly Come Dancing! After Sid Owen got voted off (sorry Sid, deservingly) in the Halloween week for some frightful dancing, we wonder who’ll impress the judges this week and who’ll leave them lukewarm?

Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev: This week Kimberley and Pasha are dancing a salsa to Beyonce’s Naughty Girl. Temperatures were raised when Kimberley was lowered onto the stage in a silver ring wearing a red-hot dress. The salsa is a bit too slow for my liking, I wanted it to have a bit more flow, but Pasha and Kimberley always throw in some excellent moves, and they didn’t disappoint with an incredible lift right at the end. Len spotted a bit of a mistake, but generally loved the routine while Bruno salivated “Yes, tease me to death…” He loved her hip action. We weren’t complaining either. Craig didn’t hold back, calling it lacivious and a load of other l-words. Darcey Bussell praised the wrap lift at the end too. Scores: Craig: 8, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 9 Totals: 33

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor: After receiving some harsh criticism last week, Lisa and Robin are concentrating on keeping it serious for their tango this week. Haha! Lisa’s idea of being serious is locking a pout on to her face while dancing! Some dizzying camera angles in this routine, but honestly I’m not particularly impressed. It was hard to take seriously, and there was nothing particularly outstanding about the dancing. Bruno seemed to like it though, saying “nobody can ever fault you for delivering”, but says some parts could have been sharper. Craig begs to differ. Says she needs more assistance in her footwork and picks the performance apart. Darcey said she could see Lisa getting dizzy (it wasn’t just us then), and tells her she could’ve been sharper, and Len Goodman simply loves it. He commends the effort, but says it needed refinement. Scores: Craig: 7, Darcey: 7, Len: 6, Bruno: 7 Totals: 27

Richard Arnold and Erin Boag: It’s a foxtrot for Richard and Erin tonight. Ah, loving every minute of this performance, from the song selection to the costumes to the elegant routine. And Richard is looking bloody dapper in this routine. Very suave and sophisticated, none of the camp stuff. This is a great routine. Oh, until a bit of overbalancing ruins it. Disaster! Craig kicks things off, calling is “a complete dance disaster”. Darcey says the balance issues came from Richard not using his thighs. But she says it’s a shame he lost focus. Len dubs him The Plodfather. Bruno says he had a face like a frozen haddock. Oh dear. Scores: Craig: 3, Darcey: 5, Len: 5, Bruno: 4 Totals: 17

Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: I’m starting to look forward to Denise’s routines each week. They’re consistently great where dancers like Lisa Riley can be a bit hit and miss for my money. Denise and James’ viennese waltz is just beautiful. Romantic and graceful, this pair have a great chemistry on the floor and they just delivered it beautifully. Len Goodman raves “poise, posture, performance” and calls it absolutely spectacular. Bruno called it a “romantic dream” while Craig Revel Horwood says “ah-may-zing” and leaves it at that. Scores: Craig: 9, Darcey: 8, Len: 9, Bruno: 9 Totals: 35

Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole: It’s a samba for Victoria and Brendan, but Brendan is worried about learning the difficult timings. To be fair, Victoria kicks this routine off solo, dancing on the judges’ desk and looking not too shabby. I do wish she’d loosen up a little bit more though, because when they dance together, it feels like Brendan is mostly throwing her around. Len praises her for being so brave, but says she was unstable in places. Bruno agrees with me, saying the problems arose when she went to the dancefloor, and she needs to be better for this stage in the competition. That’s quite hard for Bruno. Craig also says it was awkward, but says Victoria coped quite well. Darcey again loved the beginning, but felt she lost her focus at the end. Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 6, Len: 6, Bruno: 5 Totals: 23

Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace: The eye candy couple. Something for all the audience to enjoy here. Louis is just fantastic as a dancer. He’s confident without being too cocky, but he’s got impressive moves and holds his own with Flavia, who’s a real firecracker of a dancer. This means that Louis and Flavia’s routines are technically leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. And tonight is no exception. Amazing. Bruno calls Louis “the king of hypnotic pelvic gyrations” and says the Latin dances suit him perfectly. Craig tells him that he made the samba look very masculine, but is very pleased. Darcey says she was disappointed and that the routine was too safe. Ouch. Len finishes up by saying Louis touched on all the recognisable samba steps and says well done. Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 7, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 Totals: 29

Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff: Colin and Kristina are dancing a foxtrot tonight. That’s a subtle dress you’re wearing, Kristina. Not. Colin dances like a hatstand for the first part of the routine, but it really comes alive when he and Kristina start doing those high kicks. It seems to kick him into high gear and there’s more flair and fun in the last few seconds. Darcey likens the kicks to John Cleese’s Ministry Of Funny Walks though, and Len says there wasn’t enough glide to it, though he coped well. Bruno says he was “smart, elegant, with an air of sophistication” but says he needed more movement. Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 Totals: 27

Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: It’s a rhumba for Nicky and Karen tonight. It was fun watching Karen giving Nicky a hard time in rehearsals, wasn’t it?  On the floor, they’re smouldering together, definitely appreciating the heat between these two. And Karen’s dress, if I’m honest. The bit where Nicky dragged her backward looked a bit laboured though, but damn this was a sultry routine. Very much enjoyed. Darcey praises Nicky’s hard work but doesn’t feel like he seduced his partner. Lukewarm. Bruno enjoyed the intensity and purpose, but wanted more propulsion in the hip action. Craig says it felt like “a series of presentations”. The old complaint about more dance content. Scores: Craig: 4, Darcey: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 Totals: 25

Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev: Fern and Artem are dancing a pasa doble tonight. Artem is rocking the matador look, as Fern, possibly symbolising the female audience, fans herself. No menopause jokes here, folks! I’m just not sure what to make of this routine – it’s so over the top and dramatic, like a Mexican soap opera. The spin at the end was fantastic! Len starts off by saying the routine “fizzed but never exploded”, while Bruno said Fern was dusting and polishing the floor. He’s disappointed that she didn’t deliver enough. Craig admits he was slightly distracted by Artem – starting off some theatre where Artem goes to cover up and the audience boos! Darcey, however, was convinced by the fire between the two tonight. Were you? Scores: Craig: 6, Darcey: 6, Len: 6, Bruno: 6 Totals: 24

Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe: Michael and Natalie are dancing a foxtrot this week after a spectacular comeback last week. This foxtrot feels like a reprise of last week’s performance, except it’s not quite as fast. Still, Michael is a fantastic partner in this routine, providing the right support for Natalie, although it feels like she’s doing all the dance work. Bruno says he’s “still in the zone”, and Craig says he needs to add “style, swing and sway”. Darcey says Michael shines at ballroom dancing, but says he’s sometimes a little stiff. Len says it was the best foxtrot of the night. Scores: Craig: 7, Darcey: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 Totals: 31

Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone: Closing the show tonight is Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone and a jive. And Olly Murs. This is almost instantly one of the most entertaining routines of the night – lively and engaging and full of brilliantly funny acting. Dani may not have been as refined as the judges would expect, but it’s still a fun routine. Loved it. Craig has a few criticisms of Dani, saying he “copped a massive eyeful” during the routine. Darcey says she loved the jive and that Dani got the style perfectly. Len raved about it, but is “crisp as a Pringle” advertising on the BBC? Tomorrow’s headlines will tell for sure. Scores: Craig: 8, Darcey: 8, Len: 9, Bruno: 8 Totals: 33


  1. Denise Van Outen and James Jordan: 35
  2. Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev: 33
  3. Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone: 33
  4. Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe: 31
  5. Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace: 29
  6. Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor: 27
  7. Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff: 27
  8. Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer: 25
  9. Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev: 24
  10. Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole: 23
  11. Richard Arnold and Erin Boag: 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