What a weekend… what a journey! Well, I feel like I’ve just disembarked from an eight week First Class ride, having travelled further than in many a Strictly year of late! How marvellous to have departed the competition in Blackpool of all places – the spiritual home of Ballroom – and with a particularly fitting routine to send us on our way.
Here’s what happened…
We took to the floor – the Tower’s rather wonderful sprung floor, no less), with a perfectly themed and styled routine to Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me”. I stepped out in full Captain’s uniform accompanied by my Air ‘Hostesses-with-the-mostess’… before spying First Class Fiona requiring my attentions before our flight.
Our lovely American Smooth took us on a grand tour to all four corners of the dance floor, and I though Fiona danced like she was floating on air. I couldn’t be more proud. Granted, there was a little turbulence in the take-off to our finalé lift… Fiona did indeed get airborne… but we were to come down with a bump.
The judges’ comments rightly praised Fiona’s First Class attitude, though Len said the movement was more business class, and the lifts: economy. Darcey loved the style and detailing, and Fiona’s middle-section solo went down a treat with both her and Craig. Not half bad, we thought, and we received a total score of 29 – our second highest score this series. Hurrah!
Only it wasn’t quite enough. The standard is already so very high this year, that we were placed joint bottom on the leaderboard. …And on Sunday evening we danced head to head with Mark & Iveta in the dreaded Dance-Off. Tense moments followed as one-by-one we heard the judge’s final verdicts. Craig wanted to save us, but Darcey, Len and Bruno chose our competitors, but said it was very, very close.
Sad to be leaving the competition, but thrilled for Mark & Iveta who once again delivered a thoroughly entertaining performance, Fiona couldn’t have expressed it better: “It’s like being a guest at the best party in the world”. I couldn’t agree more! (Noting for the record, that much hard work, long hours, and cups of tea were involved too!)
And so, our arrival at the Tower Ballroom saw us heading for the Strictly Departure Lounge. What a wonderful, wonderful journey it’s been this year – the atmosphere, the music, the singers, the production, the celebrities, fellow professionals and of course Sir Bruce, Tess and Claudia… everything has been electrifying, inspirational and thoroughly top class.
Thank you to all of you who’ve been voting for Fiona and I this series, and thank you Fiona for being such a fab-u-lous partner – you’ve been a joy and delight to dance with, and I’ve simply had the most marvellous time, and I hope you have too. To reach Week 8 with you – I’m on cloud 9. You are a star!
With much love,