Strictly Review: Graeme Swann & Oti Mabuse

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by this weeks Charleston on Strictly Come Dancing especially as the last two had been lacking in content from week 2 in the show. This week’s Charleston performance was Graeme Swan with his professional partner Oti Mabuse. Admittedly, I was worried this might be a bit cringy especially due to the song choice (Spiderman theme tune) and Graeme’s performance last week was a bit of a shocker. However, it was a complete contrast from that and had some really lovely sections. 

Let’s start with Oti’s solo at the start whilst they detached Graeme from the wires. She starts with some perfect flapper walks into a high kick Charleston variation into some Charlie Chaplin legs followed by a sort of Shorty George step and then greets Graeme with a basic Charleston, followed by a turning trucking step -  within in first 40 seconds every move has been a classic Charleston step which is refreshing to see.

From there, Oti jumps head first at Graeme and comes straight into a partner Charleston, followed by bunny hops. It’s so nice to see them in hold as last week both couples nearly danced the whole thing as a duet rather than a partner dance.

After a bit of silly faces (which we always like to see) there are some Charleston variations with kicks followed by two huge lifts that Oti lands perfectly. Again, straight after the lifts they go into another nice section in hold and come out of it with a Sailor Step (not sure if Graeme was supposed to let go of her hand here) into Squat Charlestons, Flapper Walks and a Fall Off The Log. If I am being picky this should have more bend in the legs but overall it was packed full of great steps and ended with a another great lift which they hold right to the end. 

After doing some digging online I discovered that this weeks routine was choreographed by the main Charleston choreographer Jenny Thomas as compared to last week and you can really tell as they content is much more rich and dynamic.

As always there could be a bit more swivel but overall I think Graeme and Oti did a great job especially as he a ‘non-dancer’ compared to say Ashely or Faye plus it was very entertaining.

Only thing that doesn’t add up if the holding image for the YouTube video shows Oti with a spider’s web around her. Maybe that prop got cut from the routine?

Craig: "Welcome back to the competition." (7)

Darcey: "That was a super comeback. To hold on to the character and to produce all that style, and you didn't get tired in any of those lifts – that was impressive!" (8)

Shirley: "You've come back fighting. I just loved it – everything about it. Fantastic." (8)

Bruno: "From zero to superhero! Keep it up for the sequel next week because now we're used to your magic." (8)

Our Score:

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