Strictly Come Dancing: Five become four

So we’ve said our tearful farewells to Lisa and now we have the right four left: Dani; Denise; Kimberley and Louis. I’ve put them in alphabetical order by first name in case anyone thinks I’m biased and trying to rig the outcome by putting someone first. Just to make sure I’ve covered all bases, if we go by surname it’s: Dani; Louis; Denise; Kimberley.

I was, in the end, sort of sorry to see Lisa go despite my rather acerbic comments about her ability. We had Tess standing there wearing a rather fetching dress—lampshade combo and she first announced Kimberley as safe. Huge relief for her as they so often make her wait. Then Lisa was announced as being in the dance off, an odd move as more suspense would have been created if they’d announced not-Lisa.  I may have been imagining it but I couldn’t help but think that Vincent then looked a tiny bit relieved. Dani still looked blinking terrified, or rather fixed-stare terrified but it seemed as if Vincent’s reaction was the rather natural ‘oh good, if we have to we can beat Lisa in a dance off’.

Louis was next announced safe, with Flavia and he looking very, very relieved. Denise, poor woman, looked rather resigned. Dani needed Vincent to hold her up, he looked as if he knew he couldn’t say ‘whatever happens we’ll be fine’ what with him having a live mike sewn onto his suit. Denise was announced in the dance off and Vincent gave up holding Dani up and sank to the floor regardless. I have a soft spot for Vincent and his claims that he is too little for this world.

Lisa was understandably teary but in fairness once on the dance floor she did go for it and enjoy herself. In the last few seconds Robin seemed to be thinking ‘oh balls to it, if you’re going home, go home in style.’ Denise, fair play to her, was glorious. Her timing really is wonderful but she knows for sure now that she is last in the public vote and has been for two weeks in a row. It cannot be easy to go into a final knowing that. If I were her I’d be making a Chris Evans Voodoo doll.

All four judges said that based on technique there were choosing Denise. Darcey claimed this was a tough decision which was either stupid of her, or a rather sweet way of boosting Lisa. And Lisa, in pieces, then gave a really lovely speech. And I realised what had gone wrong for her. She knew she was technically weaker but didn’t quite realise by how much. Boosted by the judges, she really thought her performance made up for her lack of technique. Watching her deflated, realising that the public no longer favoured her, was very uncomfortable.

Lisa felt she was doing this for the ordinary woman. Robin said that she had inspired people and proven that you don’t have to be a certain size to dance. Oddly, on some blogs, this has been translated as ‘you don’t have to be a stick insect to dance’. But that isn’t what Robin said and I can’t imagine him being so rude about someone’s body shape, be they fat or thin. So I feel sorry for Lisa. The judges, by raising her up, gave her too far to fall.

Having spent the series recording results, I decided to do some number crunching. If you hate geekiness, look away now. If you like numbers, here is a table I prepared earlier.

Dancer Lowest score Highest score Mean ave Top of leaderboard* Dance off
Dani 21 (wk 1) 38 (wks 10 +11)

32.25

0
Denise 25 (wk 1) 39 (wks 7 + 11)

34.00

6 2
Kimberley 26 (wk 2) 40 (wks 10 +11)

33.42

2 1
Louis 27 (wks 1 + 8) 38 (wk 11)

32.00

2
Lisa 25 (wk 2) 32 (wk 6, 7 + 11)

29.33

1 1

 
So you can see that they all had their lowest scores early on. Louis had another dip in week 8 when his Paso was heavily criticised for lacking in performance. In week 11 the four women all equalled their highest scores whereas Louis topped his previous highest score.

I put all their scores on a graph to compare their improvement but it wasn’t entirely clear. So I split their performance into thirds (first four dances, middle four, last four) and compared % improvements. I played around with the numbers a lot before eventually deciding to opt for something simple: the percentage improvement between their first and last dances. Then what you get is this:

Dani                       81%

Denise                  52%

Kimberley           42.9%

Louis                      40.7%

Lisa                         6.7%

If you go by that alone, Lisa had barely improved, Denise, Kimberley and Louis have all improved remarkably and Dani’s outstripped all of them.

So, here are my predictions for tonight. It’s based on audience vote alone so I think Denise will go out first. After that, it will probably be Dani. She’s undoubtedly popular but I’m not sure she’s quite as popular as Kimberley and Louis. I’m going to duck out now and say it’s too close to call between those two. Kimberley is the better all round performer but if Louis’s show dance is a show stopper, he might pip her to the post.

* I’ve counted weeks 1 and 2 separately and put both dances together for week 12.

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