And so the semi was all that we could ask, excitement and good performances from all of them.
Darren and Lilia, Darren danced a lovely smooth and flowing waltz and he shaped Lilia very well. The samba was a bit of plod, slightly unsure in places but, this dance was never going to be easy for a big guy with limited time to work on it; he always gives it his all. They are easy finalists.
Zoe and Ian, again well choreographed by Ian, making a dance with limited variations look good. Zoe was a great foil, she kept her position pretty good throughout, only the occasional lift of the shoulders. Paso doble was more of a challenge for Zoe, spending more time out of hold; she was positive with her aggression which was good. A little hesitant in places, I think the nerves were taking over here. Again easy finalists.
Colin and Erin, Colin was determined to perform well no matter what, obviously his competitive experience in athletics is invaluable. The waltz was melodic and expressive showing a great topline; what a well matched physique this partnership has. The jive was pretty good to, he may have been a little wooden but if the other competitors had danced their jive this well, then they all would have been very happy indeed. Easy finalists.
James and Camilla, James's foxtrot was smooth, a real improvement, even his head stiffness had almost gone. A lot of hard work has gone in and he did justify the semi final place. The rumba was also danced well. James has come a long way in this competition and I feel the level of criticism from the judges was excessive. So they were not to make the final, this was the right decision. A lot work has gone in and many tears have been spent over the weeks, the emotion that we feel when we express ourselves through dance is unbelievable, no wonder there were tears as they left. Well done to them both, they were in the best semi "Strictly" has seen.
So who is going to win? Colin shows the most talent, overall he has given the most consistent performance across the range of dances. His experience in high level competition will be an advantage in the final, he will be able to push his performance to the maximum. Zoe looks so elegant in her ballroom and together with Ian they have a look that will be difficult to beat. Ian can make Zoe perform above what we might expect; my only concern is whether her nerves will get the better of her.
Darren dances with the masculine attitude I love to see, he dominates the partnership, even though his dance skills don't match Lilia's. He has a softness with controlled aggression, he carries his weight over his feet very well and dances from the heart, what more could you want from a champion. I would like to see Darren and Lilia win but, it is a very even competition now. They all have to perform at their very best to convince the public; for it is entirely on the phone vote on Saturday.