Strictly Review: Faye and Giovanni

Faye and her partner Giovanni Pernice scored their first perfect 40 last weekend for their quirky Charleston set to ’Lonely Goatherd’ from the ‘Sound Of Music’, which saw them transformed into a pair of puppets. The judges gave them top marks and Darcey said it was ‘Stunning to perfection’. So let’s take a closer peak at the choreography and if it deserved top marks.

We first see the pair after the curtains open on the puppet stage and they perform a sequence of isolated steps which included the puppets coming to life. There was a mini Tick-Tock on the spot and some flicks which were on the off-beat (which is Charleston perfection and quite rare to see on the show).

At 34 seconds, they break into basic Charleston, and flicks on both the right and left leg whist they untangle themselves from the puppet strings then flapper walks into the centre.

After covering the floor with some skipping (not sure why that move was picked, presume they felt it was in keeping of the theme) they come into a loose hold at 58 secs for a quick series of kicks, turns and lifts.

1:12 mins they come into two Scissor Kicks, a Birdy Flap (made iconic by Charleston Queen Jospehine Baker) followed by basic Charleston and Helicopter. I think Faye is the first celeb this series to do the helicopter correctly with her knees together. They quickly move into Charlie Chaplin legs and Trench Walks followed by another series of lifts.

At 1.30 they break into a nice turning sequence with the other extra dancers on stage followed by two high kicks from Faye and a series of Wings (which you would usually see in Tap).

The routine ends with another skipping and lift sequence which brings the pair back into the centre of the stage to finish with one more Charleston and a scarecrow pose.

The routine is very intricate and capture lots of Charleston characteristics including flexed feet and flat hands. They are also the only pair this season to clearly dance the off-beat and syncopation which is a key element of this genre. Although they were quite upright, which is a little strange for a Charleston, they were meant to be puppets and they kept in character throughout. It might have been nice to have seen some basic Charleston in hold but as a duet it was perfect.

The music worked really well too (although it was quite annoying and it’s amazing they managed to listen to that for a week!) Also well done to the singer who pulled that one out the bag.

The routine was choreographed by Jenny Thomas who did a fantastic job!

Judges Scores: 

Bruno: "Everybody was on their feet! That was the ultimate crowd-pleasing, show-stopping delight. Take it to Broadway, it will run forever! A theatrical masterpiece!" (Score: 10)

Craig: "I thought the goats were good darling, you weren't bad either. Well done." (Score: 10)

Darcey: "I thought it was extraordinary. There was a move to every beat of the music. Every moment you reflected the characters of the puppets. Stunning to perfection." (Score: 10)

Shirley: "You are a pure diamond. There wasn't a flaw in anything you did there." (Score: 10)

Our Score: 10 (and 10/10 for Giovanni’s outfit)