This weekend sees the 2013 Strictly Come Dancing semi-final and we’re nearly at the end of the current series. There are five couples left in the competition and they are going to have to battle it out to ensure they clinch a spot in the final.
There’s everything to dance for and it’s going to be a tough but very close weekend we think. It’s definitely too close to call the competition at this point.
We caught up with Robin Windsor to talk about how the couples performed during the quarter finals, discuss the possibility of an all-female final and find out what he’s been doing whilst recovering from his back injury.
Ashley and Ola left the competition after being in the bottom two for the second week. Do you think the public made the right choice?
The standard of last week’s competition was so high it could have been anyone that went home. Unfortunately it fell to Ashley and Ola. I think everyone deserves to stay in the competition but unfortunately someone has to go and it was a shame to see them leave.
It was a shock to see Patrick and Anya in the bottom two as they topped the leaderboard last week. It really could be anyone in there this weekend couldn’t it?
Patrick did finish top of the leaderboard but it just goes to show that being top of the leaderboard isn’t going to save you. It’s all down to the public vote so you’ve got to be voting for your favourite. This weekend is the semi-final and it’s going to be an incredibly tough weekend. Anything goes!
We saw the return of the swing-a-thon last week. Just how gruelling is that for the couples?
Doing the swing-a-thon is a really, really tough ask as it’s a 3-minute number. If you’re the last couple standing like Artem and Natalie were, they’d had all 3 minutes of the routine plus their own couple routine to do. They worked extremely hard to make that happen and I was extremely proud of both of them.
Throughout the swing-a-thon they didn’t even look to be breaking a sweat. They just took it all in their stride…
I think they did fall in a heap at the end and I think they were like ‘oh my gosh, we’ve just got through it!’
The couples were incredibly emotional during the results show last week, especially Kevin and Susanna. Is that mostly due to the pressure they’re all under?
I think at this stage of the competition everyone is exhausted. When it comes to that results show you’ve given blood, sweat and tears all week and you’re so close to the end that you just want to keep going. I think the thought of going home at this stage is really tough for anybody. It’s all about keeping themselves positive and believing that they are going to get through to that amazing final that’s going to happen next week.
The competition is going to be tougher than ever this weekend with all of the couples doing two dances during the live show…
Last year in the competition I made it to the semi-final with Lisa Riley so I know exactly what it’s like to have to do two dances in one week; it’s painful and excruciating. Instead of having four days for one dance you’ve only got two days for each dance. It’s absolutely insane. The celebrities are going to be working round the clock to make this happen. It’s a tough ask but you know what it’s a competition and we’ll see who can keep their cool for the longest.
The two dances are going to be new dances for the couples too aren’t they? They are routines they haven’t yet performed on the series.
Yes! It’s two brand new dances that they haven’t performed yet this series. It’s a big ask! The five couples left in the competition are all capable of doing that and I think you’re in for a great show on Saturday night.
It really is going to be about doing the best possible dance and winning over the public isn’t it?
It’s down to the public. The judges will have their say but as you saw last week Patrick managed to end up in the bottom two despite being at the top. Everybody needs to be at the top of their game this week to pull it out of the bag.
There’s a strong possibility that it could be an all-female final this year…
Well there’s only one man – Patrick – left in the competition so if he left this week there could be an all-female final which we haven’t seen before. It would also mean our first female winner since Kara Tointon in 2010. I’ve said it on Twitter this week but one of the biggest things for me is Susanna Reid who has three children all at school, she’s working at BBC Breakfast, she’s getting these two dances sorted for this week and for someone who’s never danced really she’s doing extremely well. I take my hat off to her because I think she’s done absolutely fantastic.
Is there any sense of relief that the end is in sight for the celebrities?
I don’t think there’s a sense of relief for any of the celebrities that it’s coming to an end yet. They’ve still got the job in hand to do and they just have to keep pushing. The day after the final they’re just going to be able to sit at home and relax and not have to worry about dancing. They can just relax and enjoy Christmas. In the meantime they have to keep dancing!
Quite a few of the celebs still in the competition will be on the Strictly tour so they’re not going to get too much chance to relax are they?
When it comes to Christmas I hope they have a lovely relaxation period because a lot of them will be doing it all over again when it comes to the tour in January.
This week you attended the Millie Awards. Tell us what that’s all about.
Finally my back is on the mend. I’ve had some nasty injections into the discs in my back to help relieve the pain and help the muscles improve. They’re working a treat so far. I got to go out for the first time in a while with Kristina Rihanoff and Deborah Meaden to the Millie Awards. It was absolutely amazing. The courage and bravery of everybody that’s in the military is incredible and it’s a shame they could only select a few to be awarded. What surprised me the most was how humble they all were saying, ‘it’s just a job’ and ‘we’re just doing our job’. They didn’t seem to think they warranted the credit they got. To be there was absolutely incredible and there’ll be highlights on ITV on Monday at 9pm.
Have you finally started your Christmas shopping yet? It’s less than two weeks until the day now!
Still no Christmas shopping started yet. I’ve been a little bit busy! I’m going to the Nutcracker which will be my first time at the ballet so it’ll be really interesting. Then I’ll have to crack on and get some Christmas shopping done.
We’re getting the feeling that you’re quite the last minute shopper…
I am quite a last minute shopper! Every year it seems to be exactly the same story. However there’s still a couple of days to purchase my calendar which will make a good Christmas stocking filler (laughs).
Just don’t do what Karen Hauer did this week! She was tweeting that she’d gone Christmas shopping and ended up buying stuff for herself…
When I go Christmas shopping I have a job to do. I just have to get in there, get the stuff and get out. I’ll save the stuff for myself until the sales.
The Strictly Come Dancing semi-final takes place tomorrow night on BBC One and BBC One HD at 6.40pm. Watch the swing-a-thon from last week’s quarter final: