Strictly recap: Judge Rinder escapes as Strictly judges finally condemn Ed Balls

December 05, 2016 00:36

Talk about a way to send you reeling into the working week.

They may not have been the best celebrity dancers, but even so, seeing Judge Robert Rinder and Ed Balls plummet into the bottom two on Sunday evening was a sorry sight indeed. When it came to entertainment, they absolutely stole the show.

But then, the dance-off results were hardly surprising; one look at the leaderboard - where Ed and the Judge were placed last and second to last respectively on Saturday night - showed them to be in jeopardy.

At this stage of the competition, with only six people left and the quarter-finals looming, you have two choices: be the best or face the chop.

In the end, it was the former MP who was unanimously voted out by the judges, after delivering an incongruous, but hilarious, tango to the Rolling Stones’ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction in the guise of a male model strutting down the catwalk.

Ed gave it every sharp move he could muster - as he has done week after week - but, as the judges correctly commented, they had to vote for the more accomplished dancer.

And so, much to the delight of the community, we now a nice Jewish boy waltzing into the quarter-finals. Judge Rinder may be scathed by this week’s low scores, but I believe he will come back next week with fighting spirit.

After all, the rumba was never going to be his dance. The TV judge has previously proven he does both slapstick and ragtime swagger well, but he is, perhaps, too animated to pull off the soft seduction this dance requires.

Nevertheless, he and partner Oksana Platero gave it a good shot, pulling out the cucarachas and spot-turns to Bill Withers's Lean On Me. But Bruno commented he toed the line between a “dying swan” and a “funky chicken”, and Darcey felt he didn’t look comfortable.

For me, the best performance of the night was the cha cha challenge, when all six dancers took to the floor together. Dancing to music they had not heard before, the celebrities and their partners fought to catch the judges’ eyes with their expert hip twists and natural rhythm.

Former popstar Louise Redknapp was the eventual winner, followed closely behind by actor Danny Mac and sports presenter Ore Aduba - a likely trio for the final, I would bet.

In the end, it was inevitable, but disappointing, to see Ed Balls leave the competition. Before Strictly, the former Shadow Chancellor’s moves may have been divisive, but here has been a unifying source of delight and celebration.

But the time has come to say goodbye, and that is something we must just accept. After all, Edxit means Edxit.


December 05, 2016 00:36

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