Last night's (27 November 2008) penultimate episode of Strictly Come Dancing 5 brought theatrics, gymnastics and plenty of raw emotion to the dance floor – the ingredients that have made this show the world’s most widely watched television format.
For the first time, three couples competed in the dance off - and two of them finally got the chop: Anele Mdoda and partner Brandon Eilers Le Riche, and Garth Collins and Hayley Bennett.
It was a definite goodbye to Garth and Hayley after last week’s dramatic turn of events that saw the ousted couple recalled to the competition after a computer calculation error wrongfully forced them into the dance-off and consequently out of the challenge.
It was evident from the start that the judges were intent on driving home the fact that Garth did not belong in the final, and that they were disappointed by the public's lack of support for Tessa van Duuren and Grant Esterhuizen.
Couples performed two dances – one during the Ballroom round (a Foxtrot or a Tango) and the second during the Latin round (a Paso Doble or a Jive).
When the judges’ scores and viewer votes were tallied, the three couples that received the lowest judges’ scores seemed to have made a similar impression on the viewing public.
These were the two mentioned above, as well as Cindy Nell and partner Jonathan Broadway.
After the dance-off, the judges chose to keep the following celebrity in the competition:
Tyrone Watkins: Cindy Nell (“When the chips were down, she went home and worked”)
Salome Sechele: Cindy Nell (for her clean, clear and complete dancing)
Dave Campbell: Cindy Nell (for still not showing their full potential)
Head judge Lillian Phororo did not have to exercise her deciding vote.
All 10 celebrity couples will return to the Carlton Ballroom for next week’s season finale. The Top 3 couples competing for the title of King & Queen of Strictly Come Dancing are:
Rob van Vuuren and Mary Martin
Tessa van Duuren and Grant Esterhuizen
Cindy Nell and Jonathan Broadway
The judges’ scores (before viewer votes were added) were as follows:
Rob and Mary
First Dance: 40, Second Dance: 39 (Total: 79)
Tessa and Grant
First Dance: 36, Second Dance: 35 (Total: 71)
Cindy and Jonathan
First Dance: 30, Second Dance: 28 (Total: 58)
Anele and Brandon
First Dance: 27, Second Dance: 34 (Total: 51)
Garth and Hayley
First Dance: 23, Second Dance: 22 (Total: 45)
Cindy confessed in her video diary that she was still confused about the judges’ fluctuating scores as the weeks went by and yet again she got a mixed response.
The couple started their Foxtrot out of sync, yet Lillian found it elegant and satisfying and Tyrone was glad that the couple did “pull the rabbit out of the hat”, as he had requested.
The couple’s exhausting Jive was sensual, but lacked spark. Tyrone, clearly a Cindy fan in the making, said “if only I could get my hands on you, you’d be the best dancer in the country.”
Tessa echoed the judges’ sentiment and expressed disappointment at the lack of not only public, but also media support. But last night everyone was behind her in full force.
Her technically correct tango contained all the required drama and Dave commended the fact that she was obviously driven to be in the final. Tyrone went as far as calling it “ballroom in its purest form”.
Her sexy red getup for the second dance, the Paso Doble, also wowed the panel, but Salome did find it “spot on, but a bit wild”.
After Tyrone told Rob last week that his dreams of dancing in the final was slipping away, the comic last night milked two standing ovations from the studio audience.
For the fist time in the season - and only the second time in SCD history - a couple received a perfect score, 40 out of a possible 40.
His Tango with Mary Martin was “unbelievable” (Dave) and Lilian called it a champion’s performance.
They went on to score a near-perfect 39 for their over-the-top, Dracula-inspired Paso Doble. It was ruined somewhat by Salome's daft decision to give the couple a 9 instead of a 10, which would have made it a double set of perfect 10s. Even if she thought it wasn't perfect, she could have at least added to the drama of the show and given journalists a fresh angle to work with.
Anele had a lot to prove after last week’s damning fall, and she delivered everything expected of her. The judges liked the couple’s Tango, but it was their Paso that brought the house down.
Dave recognised “the Anele from the early episodes”, although Tyrone feared that this last ditch effort might be be “too little too late”.
Garth, given the week’s dramatic events, was the night’s most anticipated performer. He disappointed with a Tango full of errors, despite the theatrical Rocky-inspired theme that fell flat on its face.
The judges actually went as far as calling Hayley “the only star in the couple”.
To the tune of “I can't get no satisfaction” the couple also attempted a Paso Doble. The title says it all; reiterated by Lilian’s comment to Garth: “Darling, let’s face it, you are simply not a dancer.”
Which is a trifle odd. We don't remember her telling Riaan Venter that, back in the day.
There was a guest performance by Durban-born Brian Watson, nine time Latin American World Champion, and his partner Carmen, performing for the first time in SA to “Meadowlands”.
Local “Proudly SA” group, Gang of Instrumentals, also performed their hit “Woza December”.
Check out what the celebs have to say each week in their TVSA blogs (or use the banner at the top of the page to access all the celeb blogs at once):AdilAneleCindyGarthGuguHlubiJudithShugasmakxRobTessaOther SCD 5 links:Strictly Come Dancing 5 Mini-SiteOfficial Site
|STRICTLY COME DANCING 5: EPISODE 9
Anele Mdoda and Brandon Eilers Le Riche
Garth Collins and Hayley Bennett