Strictly Come Dancing: Blackpool special – live | Strictly Come Dancing
Jojo re-emerges in the same sparkly green disco jumpsuit as Luba. Fab-ew-lous!
Hang on, it’s a disco medley. Everybody’s in monochrome outfits with added sparkle and it all looks very red carpet.
Uniquely for Strictly Saturday, we open with a jazzy, Charleston-style group dance. It’s set in a speakeasy, soundtracked by Somebody Else’s Guy by Jocelyn Brown, and led by Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk.
She plays his best friend, helping him come out of his shell by inviting him backstage. The club promptly comes alive and Johannes embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
It’s choreographed chaos with nearly 40 people on that expansive Tower Ballroom floor – the pro troupe joined by the celebrities, backing dancers and the judges.
As we enter the final month of the contest, over half these couples have now departed. Krishnan and Lauren were the latest. Sob. Miss you, Jay.
Cue Blackpool-themed montage as the townsfolk explain the importance of dancing to the resort – and celebrities tell us how much it means to make it here.
Charge glasses and don kiss-me-quick hats, we’re about to go over live to Elstree Studios…
A quirk of the stats: Strictly history tells us that whoever tops the scoring in Blackpool rarely goes on to lift the glitterball trophy.
Kelvin Fletcher was joint top in the Tower Ballroom four years ago and went on to win but surprisingly, he’s the only one in the last decade. Just five minutes until sequin o’clock…
No sign of Alan Carr’s Numberwang this week. Instead we warm up with an EastEnders edition of The Weakest Link.
A pair of Strictly alumni were among the quizzers in Kellie “Linda” Bright and Brian “Rocky” Conley, although both have already been voted off.
Still doesn’t feel right with Romesh Ranganathan hosting instead of the winking queen of mean, Anne Robinson. Bank! Goodbye. Mere minutes to wait now…
Layton Williams closed last week’s live show and topped the standings with his breathtaking Argentine tango – the fourth time he’s topped the leaderboard and second time he’d scored 39 points.
Angela Scanlon and Nigel Harman also recaptured their form and climbed into the top half. Down the bottom, Krishnan Guru-Murthy was cut adrift after his samba flopped and sent home after losing the dance-off to Angela Rippon.
Now we’ve refreshed our memories, it’s just 10 minutes until choreographic kick-off….
Strictly professional Amy Dowden shared the “devastating” news this week that she’d fractured her foot in training. Now she’s completed her cancer treatment, the fan favourite had planned to return for this weekend’s group numbers but now can’t make her comeback after all.
Shame. Get well soon, Amy. We’re sure you’ll sparkle again soon. It’s just 15 minutes until sequin-spangled curtain comes up….
Tick them off when you spot them on-screen! Take a drink for each! Seriously consider ordering an Uber to Blackpool to gatecrash the post-show festivities! Here’s your 10-point spotter’s guide:
Judges take part in curtain-raising group dance, including a run of spins from Twirly Shirley
Visual gag involving a plastic donkey or rubber seagull
Anton makes misty-eyed reference to his Blackpool samba with Ann Widdecombe
VT includes a screaming couple on the Big One rollercoaster
VTs includes a couple playing a dancing game in the seafront amusement arcades
VT includes a couple scoffing fish and chips on the seafront, which the camera crew blatantly finished for them
Tess and Claudia hint at the cast and crew hitting the town after the show
Retro clip of young Angela Rippon hosting Come Dancing in the 80s
Adorable/slightly sinister snap of a pro dancing at Blackpool in their younger days
After a dramatic pause, Craig awards a 10 and the studio audience go bananas
Taking advantage of that famous sprung floor, tonight’s routines include a bouncy jive, quickstep and Charleston.
We’ll also see two American smooths , an Argentine tango and a Couple’s Choice. Twenty minutes until that ba-ba-da theme tune…
The mecca of ballroom dancing dates back to 1894. It’s a building steeped in history and Victorian splendour. It’s baroque in style with a high painted ceiling, dripping with crystal chandeliers. There are tiered balconies and intricately carved panelling from floor to ceiling.
The famous sprung dancefloor is 120ft x 102ft (37m x 31m), around nine times bigger than the Elstree Studios one – hence the backing dancers and extra production flourishes to fill the space. It’s 25 minutes until we get to see it…
After two consecutive weeks in the dance-off, Angela Rippon is odds-on favourite to leave this weekend – with Annabel Croft as the bookies’ tip to join her in the dance-off.
The pressure could also be on Angela Scanlon and Bobby Brazier to deliver tonight. Half an hour until the Tower Ballroom’s doors are flung open…
Who will illuminate the Blackpool dancefloor? Good evening and welcome to week nine of Strictly Come Dancing 2023. I’m Michael, your Pleasure Beach buddy for tonight’s live show from the Tower Ballroom. I’d love you to watch along with me as our magnificent seven surviving couples take to the fabled venue’s sprung dancefloor for routines with extra razzle-dazzle.
It’s showtime at 6.40pm on BBC One. I’ll be liveblogging from 6.10pm, providing build-up, rolling coverage, analysis, reaction and salty, vinegary asides. So grab yourself a chippy tea (it’s only right on Blackpool weekend) and I’ll see you on the sofa.
As ever, I’d love to hear from you too. You can tweet me @michaelhogan, email me firstname.lastname@example.org and the comments section below is yours to enjoy. I’ll stroll down to the end of the pier whenever I can to see what you’re all saying.
How will former Come Dancing presenter Angela Rippon fare on her much-hyped return to Blackpool? Will Craig Revel Horwood dust off his 10 paddle for the first time this year? How incessantly will the B-word be mentioned? It’s nearly time to staaaaaart seaside dancing!