Ellie Simmonds impresses the judges with her custom waltz

There’s a lot going on in Rainford and Carlos Gu’s routine: Beyoncé, umbrellaography, Charleston, matching suits, a couch, and an incongruous bike. I would have liked more focus on the quickstep, which was stunning – executed so light, crisp and airy – but still a winner. Mabuse called it smooth and rhythmic; Ballas said it was shot from the cannon. Two nines for a score of 34. Rainford is definitely the one to beat now.

But don’t calculate Richie Anderson. Last week he had fun with his cha cha cha; this week he delivered a seriously good quickstep. The styling was fantastic – white tie, glittering tail suits and canes – and Giovanni Pernice’s routine, set to Dancin’ Fool, was a teasing riff on classic ballroom: the Single Ladies dance even made its appearance. Flat-footed in places, especially in the hold, but irresistibly fun. Revel Horwood rightly noted that the cartwheel wheel was terrible; the rest was fantastic. Ballas praised the synchronization and Du Beke said he is a showman. A big jump to 32.

Tyler West also stole the hearts of the judges with his super cool bank robbers in Hit the Road Jack. Although I never quite figured out why partner Dianne Buswell wore a beret. Anyway. “You’re the real deal,” Ballas exclaimed. She loved the attitude and the soul. Du Beke thought West was in charge of the routine. Revel Horwood said it was packed with stories. Mabuse stated that he had improved the most this week. A strong 31.

Meanwhile, last week Hamza Yassin surprised everyone (including me) with his fabulous foxtrot. Could he also wow with his jive? Not quite, but a very good attempt. He mostly stayed on time and he gets along so well with Jowita Przystal; they are a joy to watch together. Revel Horwood felt it was too heavy and had no pullback, although the kickball substitution section was strong. Mabuse saw him counting all the time, and he needs to turn on his center. Ballas agreed it was too heavy and lingered a bit as he did the tricks. Some score disagreement, from Revel Horwood’s 4 to 7, for a total of 24.

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