Belfast Telegraph

Strictly Come Dancing leaders stun judges with ‘Broadway’ standard

Lavish praise was poured on the pair.

Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher (Guy Levy/BBC)
Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher (Guy Levy/BBC)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse are beginning to dominate Strictly Come Dancing after a huge score.

Despite having less time to train after replacing Jamie Laing, the Emmerdale star has wowed judges on the BBC show.

He and Mabuse had the crowd on their feet following their performance of the Charleston, which secured them a leading score of 38, and an early 10 from Shirley Ballas.

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Kevin Clifton and Anneka Rice (Guy Levy/BBC)

They earned a “fabulous” from Craig Revel Horwood, but Bruno Tonioli had the highest praise for the pair.

He said: “That was as good as anything I have seen on the West End stage or Broadway.”

The dance puts them at the top of the leaderboard ahead of the Sunday night show, far above the languishing partnership of Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton.

They danced a disastrous Charleston to the theme of Kill Bill, which only earned the pair a score of 11 from judges left crying with laughter.

Tonioli said: “It was supposed to be Kill Bill. And you did Slaughter The Charleston.”

The performance made them the new favourites with bookies to exit the show, after former unfancied dancer David James offered an improved dance.

He and Nadiya Bychkova danced a much-improved number, performing the Viennese Waltz.

The pair scored 16, better than their previous performance.

Motsi Mabuse said: “He came back fighting. I do see an improvement. Everything you are doing is getting better and better and better.”

Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice scored 35 with the opening dance of the night, securing the first nines of the competition.

Alex Scott and Neil Jones were given 23 for their rumba, and Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer managed a score of 22 for their American smooth.

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden danced the samba and earned a standing ovation, as well as a score of 26.

Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe danced the rumba, which had Ballas almost in tears.

She said: “I’m actually a little but overwhelmed That was absolute beautiful, in every sense of the word.”

Revel Horwood called it “stunning”, and the pair earned a score of 32.

Will Bayley and Janette Manrara danced the paso doble, earning 23 from the judges.

Viscountess Emma Weymouth and Aljaz Skorjanec were awarded a score of 28 for their foxtrot.

Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard performed the paso doble, worth 28 in the eyes of the judges.

Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke managed a score of 27 for their salsa, and the pair caused the judges to collapse into laughter after a costumed Du Beke was asked if his teeth were real or fake.

Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell danced last on the night and triumphed with a score of 36 from the impressed judges.

PA

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