It's one of the much-anticipated themes on Strictly Come Dancing every year but it appears the Halloween special may not have hit all the right notes this year. Week six of the BBC One dance contest saw the remaining 11 couples attempt to put their spookiest foot forward and impress the judges with their performances.
And it was comedian Ellie Taylor who impressed the most with her Hocus Pocus-inspired routine. The Ted Lasso actress, 38, and her professional partner Johannes Radebe closed Halloween week on the hit show scoring 35 for their couple’s choice dance to I Put A Spell On You by Bette Midler.
The routine, which involved a smoking cauldron, received a standing ovation and rapturous applause from the audience – and put them top of the leaderboard alongside Kiss FM DJ Tyler West and partner Dianne Buswell for their Beetlejuice-inspired cha cha cha.
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Judges Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke all agreed it was Ellie's best dance of the series to date. Meanwhile, Tyler, who danced to Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) by Klaus Hallen Tanz Orchester, received the only 10 of the show from Anton, who was dubbed 'Phathon' Du Beke in reference to his Halloween costume.
The episode also saw plenty of themed costumes, including from TV and radio presenter Helen Skelton who was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and her partner Gorka Marquez as The Wolf while Paralympian Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin dressed as Velma Dinkley and Shaggy Rogers from the American TV series Scooby Doo.
The show also saw the cast and audience sing Happy Birthday to singer Fleur East after she performed a salsa to Beyonce’s Break My Soul with professional partner Vito Coppola. Meanwhile, former England footballer Tony Adams received his highest score of 31 for his quickstep to The Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band.
But just minutes into the show, Strictly fans shared a complaint in relation to the theme and the song choices. @suzicarrigan tweeted: "If you’re gonna do a theme, at least have songs relating to the theme! #Strictly." @andyh2o posted: "I think #Strictly ought to have a 'Do the right dance to the right music wearing appropriate dance attire' theme week. #SCD."
@MatthewRimmer said: "#Strictly - Will could be in trouble this week. And they're scraping the barrel for Hallowe'en-related songs." @Jacquel68540972 shared: "#Strictly the song choices tonight are ridiculous what has Beyonce got to with Halloween." @kelpor complained: "What on earth are these song choices and costumes today? It’s Halloween - doesn’t feel like it #StrictlyComeDancing #Strictly." @TheTennisTalker added: "Not many Halloween songs again for Halloween Special...... Costumes are not enough #strictly."
Others, however, were happy with the theme. @ryan_da_lion said: "The show is so much better tonight. The theme this week is loads better (unless you’re James) #strictly." @clarewo86 commented: "This weeks theme is definitely working. The songs and routines are very good. #Strictly." @NorthernMonkee_ added: "Well we are one song in and #Strictly is already sounding 100 times better than last weeks Theme-Tune s**t. #Strictly."
Meanwhile, Strictly viewers were also calling for a 'ban' as viewers watching at home were quick to call out the audience's clapping, which they complained was out of time to the music. @weeklywhinge said: "Ffs can @bbcstrictly please stop the sodding audience from clapping (ostensibly) on the beat, it utterly ruined Hamsa's tango for me. #Strictly."
@fairydustsky tweeted: "Turn the audience down, the clapping during routines is distracting and spoiling the music! #Strictly." @BlondeHistorian asked: "Can we ban the audience from clapping along on #Strictly?! They’re so often off beat, it’s distracting & drowns the singers." @MichelleHayTrng added: "#Strictly was so much better without the audience clapping. It's so annoying and distracting."
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