Strictly Review: Charles and Karen

It has been yet another rollercoaster of drama this week on Strictly Come dancing as Danny John-Jules was voted off. This has caused a lot of speculation on social media to whether the voting was fixed and I couldn’t help feel that Charles and Karen had somehow got swept up in this as the judges scored them highly for their Charleston. Were they trying to save them from the dance-off? Did it really deserve a 9 from 3 judges?

Firstly, let’s discuss the music. This week’s choice was 'No Diggity' remixedby Minimatic. For once I did like the music, as this a great tune for an Electro Swing Charleston and I was happy to see Charles reunited with his hanky, so a promising sign that things were going to go well!

The theme however was a bit weird,  two cheeky windows cleaners without much purpose. It wasn’t really clear why they picked that for their theme. 

After a bit of cleaning and getting in to character thy broke into a basic Charleston at 26 seconds followed by some flapper walks and a lock turn. After throwing the hankies away we see a Tick Tock which leads to Charleston side to side in hold, a classic Lindy Hop move. This step had a nice variation with a turn which broke into a Truckin’ step at 45 seconds.

This was proceeded with a series of ‘wow’ moves. A one handed cartwheel and some complicated lifts which then went back into hold, followed by a Fall on the Log variation.

What I do like about Charles is that he brings a bit of a hip hop style to his Charleston and has a lot of control which worked well with the song. However, he did look quite nervous during this performance which is a shame as he is a great dancer and has been underrated in the show.

The next most dynamic part is at 1:25 mins with the scarecrow sequence, followed by Knocky Knee variations and a series of lifts to finish.

For the most part I did enjoy this routine, however I would have liked more steps in hold. It felt a bit more like a duet rather than 1920s partner dance. On the other hand, I really liked the song choice, I like the hip hop/Charleston fusion that Charles brought to the dance and as a pair I think they have great charisma on stage. If he were dance it again, I would like him to loose some of the tension in the upper body as it was quite stiff.

Judges Scores:

Shirley: "What an absolutely superb show, a superb ending to a superb night. You are phenomenal." (Score: 9)

Bruno: "Sparkling, squeaky clean. I like that you managed to introduce some hip-hop elements. Your best dance yet." (Score: 9)

Craig: "It was a bit too controlled and lacked eccentricity. [To boos] It's only my opinion." (Score: 8)

Darcey: "Strong characterisation between you two. Keep pushing that crazy fun side of the Charles I love." (Score: 9)

Our Score: 8