Strictly week 9 speaking factors – from Layton’s pole dance to Ellie’s Charleston

It’s the spotlight of each season of Strictly Come Dancing, and this yr’s Blackpool extravaganza was no exception.

Saturday evening (18 November)’s present noticed the remaining Strictly {couples} take to the well-known sprung ground of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom to carry out their most elaborate routines but.

Once once more, there have been excessive scores for Ellie Leach and her accomplice Vito Coppola (whose affectionate behaviour solely fanned the flames of romance rumours) and Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin – however Craig Revel Horwood nonetheless refused to achieve for that all-important 10 paddle.

Here are all of the speaking factors from Strictly Come Dancing week 9…

A high-energy opener (and a show-stopping jumpsuit)

Johannes Radebe stole the present in his jumpsuit

Blackpool week kicked off in characteristically dazzling model with an enormous opening quantity, which began out as a paired routine between Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk, who had been then joined by their fellow professionals, all seven remaining contestants and even judges Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood. And because the routine constructed to its crescendo, there was time for a beautiful outfit change from Radebe, who returned to the ground sporting a glowing fringe jumpsuit in emerald inexperienced. Christmas celebration model inspiration anybody?

Angela Rippon goes down reminiscence lane

It was a full circle second for Angela Rippon

The final time Angela Rippon was within the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, she was the presenter of Strictly precursor Come Dancing. Now, in an actual full circle second, she’s the one doing the dancing. Her American Smooth routine to “Two for Tea” was heavy on nostalgia and old-fashioned glamour, and Anton du Beke was so taken by the environment created by Rippon and her accomplice Kai Widdrington that he “almost didn’t care how it went”, method sensible. A barely backhanded praise, certainly, however a praise all the identical. Rippon, after all, has been within the dance-off for the previous two consecutive weeks: will her efficiency be sufficient to keep away from an identical destiny this time round?

Layton Williams is in pole place

Layton Williams debuted a bleach blonde look

I’ll be trustworthy: I wasn’t precisely anticipating to see pole dancing on Strictly. But that’s precisely what we acquired from Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin’s commercial-inspired Couple’s Choice routine to Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man”. It kicked off with gasp-inducing vertical splits from Williams, balanced precariously on his dance accomplice, and it solely acquired extra dramatic from there. Extra factors for the emo eyeliner. Revel Horwood wasn’t satisfied that the couple had been completely in sync (and was virtually drowned out by boos when he voiced that opinion), however he nonetheless hailed Williams as “one of the most incredible dancers I’ve seen on the show” so far. According to Ballas, it was “creative genius”, and I’m inclined to agree.

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola depart Anton du Beke speechless

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola danced to “Love Machine”

First of all, let’s give a shout out to the Strictly backing singers who had the not insignificant job of memorising and delivering the lyrics to Girls Aloud’s “Love Machine” at pace (more durable than it appears to be like, as anybody who’s ever tried to do karaoke to the observe can certainly attest). And as for Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola’s Charleston? It was filled with power and unattainable to observe with out cracking a smile, plus the pair weren’t remotely overshadowed by the eye grabbing stage set (together with a large silver hammer) and backing dancers. Revel Horwood hailed it as “one of the hardest Charlestons I’ve ever seen” whereas du Beke quickly misplaced the flexibility to talk, churning out random phrases like “swivel!” and “details!” (though he did chide Coppola for failing to level his toes appropriately throughout his cartwheel). Oh, and the pair definitely did nothing to dampen the romance rumours which were following them for the previous few weeks, with Coppola consistently bestowing kisses on his accomplice because the judges delivered their verdicts.

Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu go “Back to Black”

Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu introduced the drama

The Argentine tango is all about excessive drama, and Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu definitely delivered on that entrance. The pair danced to a moody, slowed-down cowl of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” and it proved an ideal backdrop for his or her routine (“Kinda dark, kinda James Bond,” as Motsi Mabuse put it). Du Beke hailed it as his favorite efficiency of the evening, and Ballas was briefly misplaced for phrases, however – you guessed it – Revel Horwood thought that the legwork was somewhat stiff. Still, Gu was thrilled with the feedback, tearing up whereas chatting to Claudia Winkleman afterwards.

That excellent 40 rating stays simply out of attain

Maybe it’s one thing about that recent seaside air, however when Strictly decamps to Blackpool, it’s commonplace to see at the very least one couple earn an ideal 40 rating: certainly, final yr Coppola and his accomplice Fleur East managed to tug it off with a Couple’s Choice routine to a Destiny’s Child megamix. And but this yr, regardless of a clutch of significantly breath-taking performances, nobody fairly made it. Williams and Leach had been in touching distance, each incomes 39 factors and receiving 10s from all of the judges bar Revel Horwood. The panel’s longest-standing member was on notably crucial type tonight (though in equity, he at all times balanced his critiques with some fairly un-Craig compliments). “Maybe he’s lost the [10] paddle,” Winkleman quipped in the direction of the tip of the present. Will he discover it in time for subsequent week?

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Sunday 19 November on BBC One at 7.20pm.