Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Van Outen shines again on Strictly

Denise Van Outen and James Jordan scored 37 for their American Smooth

Denise Van Outen has topped the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard again, scoring only two points fewer than last week's highest-of-the-series 39 out of 40.

This time the stage and TV star with partner James Jordan had to settle for 37 after dancing an American Smooth routine to John Lennon's Imagine.

Judge Bruno Tonioli gave them 10 out of 10 but his colleagues Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Len Goodman settled for nine.

Two couples scored 36 points: children's TV star Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone, who performed a samba, and former Westlife star Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer, who danced a Charleston.

Next were Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev, who performed a tango to Prince's When Doves Cry, and received a score of 34.

Lowest score of the night went to Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who is paired with Brendan Cole. They received only 21 points for a salsa to Robbie Williams' Candy.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and his partner Natalie Lowe sparked a dispute on the panel as their Argentine tango collected 26 votes.

Revel Horwood said: "It's the man's job to lead the dance. It was a good effort but it didn't look like an Argentine tango." But Goodman said: "Maybe the performance was lacking a little bit, but it was a full routine. Virtually none of the men lead any of the pro girls, because they don't know how to do it."

Host Sir Bruce Forsyth quipped: "I think, the car park afterwards." And Vaughan said: "I can't believe we created an argument between Len and Craig, that's an achievement in itself."

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Wanderlust may be too powerful to resist. Planning a long holiday will be a pleasant diversion from work. You don't have to have fancy accommodation. You're willing to rough it for an adventure, but you do want to get good value for your money. Doing some research into the best places to stay and eat will pay off handsomely. Take along a friend who is free spirited and eager to explore unfamiliar vistas. The two of you will make great travelling companions.More