Our resident glitterball gossip Vincent Simone shares his thoughts on Strictly Come Dancing after the latest round of the much-loved television programme waves goodbye to Angela Scanlon and gears up for the quarter-finals.
Do you think the judges made the right decision to send Angela Scanlon home on Sunday night?
It was one of those weeks where it was difficult to send someone home. I think it was a shame because I don’t think Angela’s Cha Cha Cha was the best performances that we’ve seen her deliver on the dancefloor – her Tango last week was magnificent.
When Angela performed her dance, I had to rewind the show because I wasn’t sure I was watching a Cha, Cha Cha. It looked more like a Salsa; there wasn’t that many Cha, Cha steps, so that would be my main opinion on her routine.
Then you have Layton and Nikita competing with her in the dance off. Again, you’re judging Angela against a professional dancer, so the odds were stacked against her to make it through. Layton is the only dancer that I don’t watch to judge him, I’m always waiting for him to impress me. I wouldn’t dare judge him because he is so good.
In Strictly, you get people that show signs of improvement every week, but with someone like Layton, there isn’t really that much more to improve because he is a professional dancer. It was a delicate and difficult decision for the judges to make, but I think they made the right one by keeping Layton and sending Angela home.
That being said, I don’t think that any of the couples really impressed me this week. There weren’t any stand-out moments or anything that really blew my mind, it was just alright.
How would you assess Angela’s performances on the show?
For any of the celebrities, to get to week ten is an amazing achievement. I think Angela had a great competition and she did amazingly well. When I looked at her dance on Saturday, I didn’t think it was much of a Cha, Cha, Cha which is a shame because it could have been much better. The choreography and the musicality of the routine could have been improved. You can tell that Angela worked really hard and she improved throughout the competition.
Fans on social media are very upset with the judges, they think that Nigel is constantly being undermarked. Do they have a point or do you think they need to calm down?
I am sorry Strictly fans, but I have to disagree with you. I think Nigel has been marked fairly throughout the competition. The Rumba is a really hard dance – I know the judges have said that a million times – for a male celebrity. The fact that he went out there and tried…I really, really enjoyed his dance.
I think that Bobby had the best performance of the night followed by Nigel. I really enjoyed Nigel’s Rumba; he really tried. Like Craig said, Nigel has beautiful arms. What did he score 33? I thought that was the right score. The dance wasn’t worthy of a ten, he could have maybe got a couple more points, but I think it was a pretty fair score. I didn’t think it was too high or too low – that is the score I would have given Nigel.
As we approach the quarter-finals, only seven points separate first place from last, do you think this has been the most competitive series of Strictly that we’ve ever seen?
Every year, people always say that the standard of dancing on the show improves. This is the only week in the show where I haven’t been too impressed with the performances. I was a bit disappointed being honest – I was expecting a bit more.
Every year there are always top dancers on the show. Everyone will always say that this year is the best, but is it really? I’m not so sure. The one thing that I can say is that the show as a spectacle improves every single year. The production, sets, costumes and choreography. That is the one thing that has improved a lot since I was on the show. When I was on Strictly, the production was simpler. It was just me and my dance partner, but now the couples have a lot more help and the production value has increased. That makes the overall show better, but has the quality of the dancing? I’m not too sure.
Layton and Nikita scored their lowest score of the competition so far. Do you expect them to bounce back with Musical Week given Layton’s background?
Musical Week is the perfect theme for Layton to come back and show the judges just how good he is. I’m convinced that he will come back and do what he does best; he will be at the top of the leader board next week that is for sure.
I’ve worked with a lot of people from the West End and musical theatre and Layton’s performance on Saturday shows you that when you have to perform a ballroom dance like a Waltz or a Foxtrot or a Quick Step, dancers with a musical background can really, really struggle. People need to remember that, yes, he is an amazing dancer who makes money from dancing, but it’s not always easy. His dance on Saturday – The American Smooth – that performance would have taught him a few things about his own technique and he will be working really, really hard to make sure that when he dances another ballroom style, he will be better.
I thought his dance lacked a lot of technique and finesse. Like Shirley said, it wasn’t smooth enough; it was a bit rough and ready. It comes so easy to Layton to move from a-to-b across the dancefloor, he just needs to work on his technique because that is what gives you the extra points from the judges. There wasn’t much technique and his posture was wrong; it looked to me that Layton didn’t work hard enough on this dance.
Would you advice to Layton and Nikita be to work a bit harder going into the quarter-finals?
They are a brilliant couple that have performed well in the competition so far. We’ve seen them do Latin American, Show and Musical numbers that have been absolutely amazing, but, when it comes to the Ballroom, they need to get their heads down and start working harder on the technique. The feet in Ballroom dancing is the most important thing. If you have ugly feet or your feet are not mobbing in the correct way, then the rest of the dance will never look as good.
Vincent will be reacting to remaining rounds of Strictly each Monday on the ICE36 blog.