Strictly Come Dancing 2015: Georgia May Foote triumphed and 10 other things we learned
Corrie actress could be the favourite to win while Peter Andre failed to please in week 9 of the competition
10 things we learned
1. Georgia the new favourite?
The pocket rocket from Corrie's cobbles confirmed her status as the contest's in-form dancer, finishing top of the leaderboard for the third time in four weeks. How long before she overtakes bookies' favourite Jay McGuinness in the betting? The only reservation would be that Georgia could be peaking too soon.
2. Giant-killing on the cards
Barring Kellie Bright's shock appearance in the dance-off a few weeks ago, we're yet to have a real jaw-dropper so far this series. However, Peter Andre's fall from grace - he's been in the top two for the past fortnight but plummeted right to the bottom tonight - might just change all that. With his cloying sincerity and yawnsome "I love my kids" schtick, he's been annoying viewers and could be doomed for the dance-off against Jamelia.
3. Seaside over-scoring
There was a definite sense that some couples were generously scored tonight. The judges know that Blackpool is a special show, so love to brandish those 9 and 10 paddles. There was just four points to separate the top six tonight. Georgia and Anita deserved their high marks. However, I'm not sure that Helen or Kellie did. It was also like the panel felt sorry for dance-off regular Jamelia.
4. Anton ends his Blackpool curse
He might be Strictly's "Mr Ballroom" but Anton Du Beke hasn't had the best of times beneath those iconic Blackpool chandeliers. He holds the unenviable record of lowest ever score in the Tower Ballroom - a shaming 13 points with Ann Widdecombe five years ago, including a one from Craig - and was also knocked out there last year with Judy Murray. Tony Beak might just have changed his luck tonight, finishing fifth with Katie Derham. Anton couldn't believe his luck and up on the "Clauditorium", cried: "Nines? That six is upside down!"
5. Distracting backing dancers
To handle that vast 120ft x 120ft Tower Ballroom floor, couples up the ante and rope in extra pro dancers to help fill the space. However, these can be distracting and during several routines tonight, you had to do a double-take to check who was who. I would have liked to see at least one couple brave enough to eschew the extras altogether.
6. Blackpool factor has its benefits
The backing dancers might have divided opinion but there's no doubt the sumptuous, history-steeped setting of the Tower Ballroom adds a certain something. Everybody seemed in a good mood, the bigger crowd provided an electric atmosphere and there was less "messin' abaht" than usual. Routines got going quicker, music choices were far more traditional and this felt like a proper ballroom and Latin show, rather than the gimmick bonanza we get in the theme weeks.
7. Might Jay be the last man standing?
With Peter Andre propping up the scoreboard tonight, there's a very real chance that the Aussie pop-turned-reality star could be sent packing tomorrow.That would leave Jay McGuinness as the last man standing in the final seven - an unprecendented Strictly gender divide. Could this be a factor in the judges' minds should they decide to save Peter?
8. Anita gets her just desserts
Anita Rani has been consistently undermarked this series. With no dance or performance background at all (unlike pace-setters Helen, Peter, Jay, Georgia and Kellie), the Countryfile presenter had been impressively committed and consistently excellent but always overlooked by the judges when it came to nines and tens. Tonight's passionate, intense and coolly choreographed paso doble finally changed all that, taking her to joint second on the scoreboard. Anita might just be this year's Caroline Flack - a dark horse who makes a late run for the final, perhaps even the glitterball trophy.
9. Awkward VTs were back
Oh, how we long for old-fashioned training videos rather than try-hard mini-sketches that precede each couple's routine. They're invariably squirm-inducing to watch and approximately half as funny as they think they are. Peter Andre's fancy-dressed 60s flashback and the multiple Helen Georges were particularly painful.
10. But so was the excellent Erin
Strictly's long-serving female pros have been stealing headlines for the wrong reasons this week, with Ola Jordan going out in bitchy style and a blaze of negative tabloid coverage. So it was particularly lovely to see old favourite Erin Boag popping up in Anton and Katie's training video. The much-loved Boagywoman is missed and we wish her well.