Last week was 'Love Week' on Strictly, but Vanessa Feltz's heart was left in pieces as she was voted out against gloriously incompetent Julien, no less. Ouch.
This week, the 13 couples are fighting to stay in, and with the rubbish dancers steadily being weeded out, it's going to be even tougher to stay away from the career-shredding jaws of the bottom two.
Opening the evening was Sophie and Brendan, who blew the judges away last week with their sizzling Samba. This week she's doing the Foxtrot. It's a brilliant routine; her timing is impeccable and she adds a great dose of 1930's glamour to it. Sophie has proven to be just as good at the ballroom dances as she Latin ones. It's classier than last weeks Downton Abbey.
Bruno thinks she was a star from the golden era and Craig thought her movements were exquisite. Darcy thought it was a tough Foxtrot to pull off, and commends her for actually managing it. She gets an eight (from Craig, naturally) and three nines, equalling a show-stopping 35! What a way to start. Sophie's been very consistent so far and should be here for a long time if it continues.
Second on was Fiona and Anton, who hope to keep the ball rolling after their impressive 28 last week. Fiona is doing the Rumba which might prove challenging, seeing as she's better at the slower, more classic dances.
The first thing worth mentioning is that they're dancing to a Westlife song, which manages to make the whole thing cheesier than a block of Stilton melted on to some Wotsits. That said, Fiona pulls off some serious moves. She's got rhythm, her timing is excellent and even though it's not as good as last week, it's still a solid performance.
Len points out there were some balancing issues and it wasn't very fluid. The Rumba is about sustaining a continuous motion and this had more stops and starts than a teenager taking their first driving lesson.
Craig points out the poor hip action, which is quite funny when you consider Craig is having a hip operation soon. In fact, he goes on to criticise the contestants' hips about another 17 times during the show, but he's probably not bitter or anything, right?
Fiona gets a 22 from the judges including a pretty mean-spirited, possibly hip-influenced four from Craig. She looks gutted.
Next up is Mark, who has proven himself... not capable exactly, but certainly not un-capable when it comes to dancing. His comedy routines have demonstrated a surprising level of rhythm, but as the shows go on he's going to have to get serious if he wants to really impress the critics.
Instead, he performs MC Hammer's 'Can't Touch This', complete with harem pants, giant gold top and crotch-thrusting. On paper, that sounds like the most offensive OFCOM complaint-inducing move ever but it kind of works.
The routine is ridiculous and bonkers but Mark actually balances it out with some seriously good footwork, technical skills and a big heap of personality.
Craig calls it stompy, but Darcy, Len and Bruno love it. It's funny, but it's not like we're laughing at Mark. We're laughing with him, because he's a very good comic actor and he's managed to incorporate that without being the 'joke act' this year.
His marks include an eight from Darcy AND Len (okay it was good, but really?) and Mark ends up with a 26, proving that anything is possible tonight. Anything.
After that shock, Ashley and Ola are on, following last weeks feisty routine with a Viennese Waltz. The Viennese Waltz is faster than a traditional Waltz, with more turns, and Ashley does a fantastic job. He's weightless, graceful and their dance is way more romantic than anything he's done in Hollyoaks.
Generally, the judges sum up their feelings by making a lot of noises. Len wants to see "a little bit more gertcha" (er, what?) and Bruno wants some "WOOOMPH!" (no, I've got no idea either). Thankfully Craig offers something more constructive, with "Your arms seem unnatural." What? Oh, I give up.
Ashley gets a seven and three eights, equalling 31. Another great score I'm sure he's going to stick around for a long time (and maybe do something about his weird arms, if that's possible).
After going toe to toe with Vanessa Feltz last week and living to tell the tale, Julien's surely going to have a chip on his shoulder. I couldn't believe he stayed on, at the expense of the brilliantly loud Vanessa, no less, so I want to see a performance that's actually good this week. No clowning around. No being terrible. Got it Jules?
After an inspiring Skype with the original Scary Spice, Mel B, Julien's excited to be doing a Salsa to 'Spice Up Your Life', and while his routine is about as spicy as a bowl of cold custard, I have to admit (against every moral fibre in my body) that it's actually not bad. Julien is, surprisingly, improving.
Naturally, it's not perfect Len thinks he needs to have more control, he's too wild and wacky. It might be easier for him to focus on his dancing if he stopped playing songs that he loves singing to in the bathroom mirror. He's enjoying them way too much.
Craig makes another jibe about a contestants hips, which is just brilliant, and Bruno tells Julien he can't force himself on a dance like that. But they agree it was his best dance yet. He ends up with a 23, leapfrogging over poor Fiona, who is now at the bottom.
Rachel follows shortly after, whose routine involves robbing a bank wearing a beret and a leopard print top two of the most visually incriminating items of clothing known to man. Oh Rachel, if you're going to rob a bank, do your research. Nothing less than a stripey top and a bag with 'Swag' pencilled on will do. This is basic stuff.
Anyway, their Quickstep is good, with lots of short, flighty moves and they move across the floor really well. About halfway in they start to fall apart a little with a routine this frantic, it doesn't take much for there to be a knock-on effect. In fact it's a bit like when you're watching Countdown and you think you're on track to spell a great word, only for the letters to involve two Q's and no U's. Tough.
The judges lament the lack of control. Craig thinks she lost her balance and then Bruno manages to fall off his chair completely. The whole panel crack up and Brucie struggles to understand the joke. Bruno claws his way back onto the panel but nearly slips again. Have the judges been on the wine tonight?
Rachel gets a 26 it's not a bad score by any means, but she isn't really showing much improvement at this stage, while so many other contestants are. I don't think we've seen the best of her yet, but she hasn't got long to prove herself.
Up next is Ben, who the show continually refer to as "Rugby Hero, Ben Cohen" like that's his job title. Ben is working on his hips this week (which will surely please creaky-jointed Revel-Horwood), as he's gearing up to do a Salsa.
He takes to the stage and it's ridiculous how good Ben has become. He's been great so far in the competition, but often a little rigid and clumsy in places. Tonight, though, his Salsa is brilliant. There are slick technical moves, partner Kristina gets flung around Ben's waist and over his shoulder with style and grace, and he's so confident he's like a new man. He's enjoying himself and it's infectious.
The judges completely lose themselves; Craig likens him to a dirty, oiled mechanic, Darcy loves that he's come out of his shell (and gets a big wet kiss from Ben, causing her to giggle like a schoolgirl) and Bruno says, without a hint of how creepy it sounds, "I want to see more of you."
Craig, Darcy and Len give him an eight, while Bruno awards him with a seven (playing hard to get are we, Bruno? Don't think I can't see what you're doing) and Ben gets a 31 his highest score yet. Fantastic work. It's so rewarding to see someone go from being in the middle of the pack to turning into a serious contender. And Ben has managed to set a standard that the other contestants are going to have to match.
Up next performing the Jive is Deborah and Robin. I'm a big fan of these two, because Deborah tries really hard, is constantly learning and looks like she's really enjoying herself. So, how will she fare dancing to Bucks Fizz and their infamous trouser-ripping performance?
The whole thing is overwhelmingly camp but loads of fun. The dance is hyperactive, very frantic and full of energy, but the judges aren't that enthused about it. Darcy says it needs sharper kicks and the whole thing was a little soft. Len thinks there's more technique required and Craig thinks it's all very lame, making for a very harsh set of remarks.
Deborah's enjoying herself and has rhythm, but while other contestants get praised for simply trying, she gets a raw deal. Her scores equal 23 and she could be in trouble if she doesn't get phone votes this weekend.
Up next is Natalie, one of the most consistent performers in the series. She's doing the Quickstep, but this week has missed two days of rehearsals because of a nasty back injury. Even if she's injured, I'm still backing her (sorry) to get a phenomenal score.
It's absolutely fantastic Natalie is fluid, striking and even though some of her movements are a bit more restrained, she's electrifying. That said, Len points out that it took a long time for the dance to get going. Darcy thinks the style is perfect and Craig enjoyed the fusion of Quickstep and dance.
Natalie gets three nines and an eight, equalling 35. Imagine how much better that could have been if she hadn't been injured. Phenomenal work and here's to Natalie getting better for next week's performance.
After that is Patrick and Anya, who have earned favourable scores from the judges for their classy routines and exceptional rhythm. Their Cha Cha starts out a little sterile, but once they get going it turns out to be another classy, spectacular show.
Patrick has an incredibly relaxed nature that's impossible to be taught. He has rhythm, he's dynamic and his twirls and manoeuvres with partner Anya are spectacular.
The judges heap the praise on him Patrick is so charismatic and he has proven to be able to pull off a number of different routines. He gets a total of 33 a brilliant score, and like Ben, Patrick has broken out of the pack and marked himself as a serious contender for the Strictly crown.
But first he has the girls to contend with Abbey, Sophie and Natalie have been early favourites from the first show. Speaking of which, Abbey is up next, performing a sizzling Tango dressed a bit like a lamp shade. Seriously, it's a weird looking, long, red outfit.
Their routine is to Florence & The Machine's 'Say My Name' it's full of passion and features plenty of perfect, tight turns. Abbey is commanding on the dance floor; this Tango is powerful and intense.
It goes down a treat with the judges, who admire all the passion and drama. Abbey is able to play characters and emotions really well and has a lot of charisma. She gets a 35 from the judges, with Darcy the only judge not giving her a nine.
The second to last dance of the evening was Hairy Biker Dave, whose VT involves him going to a pampering parlour and having his hair washed. "Oooh, I feel like a labrador" Dave croons, which will probably bring down the spa's score on TripAdvisor. After his toenails get clipped - which makes for grim viewing when you're eating peanuts, let me tell you Dave is ready to take to the stage.
Last night's Waltz, unlike his other dances, is incredibly hard to inject, stuff or pepper with Dave's awkward kind of charm. There's no humour and he looks like he's concentrating incredibly hard, making it all feel quite forced and rigid.
"What I love about you is you try your hardest," Len says, which seems like very unnecessary praise. Deborah was trying her hardest, Len, but you tore her to pieces. Bruno loves that Dave scrubs up well again, not being funny but a bottle of shampoo costs nothing. They're very kind on Dave, who gets a 23.
Finally, we have Susanna Reid and 'Kevin From Grimsby', who were fantastic last week. They're getting better and better and I really hope she makes it to the end of the competition.
Tonight they're doing a jungle-themed Samba. It's really fun and totally different to other dances tonight - Susanna does a brilliant job. She's got impeccable rhythm and has loads of character in her performances without compromising technical ability.
The judges aren't too enthused about it Craig calls it muddy and mentions hips again, as if he's got some kind of mobility-related mortality on his mind but Bruno says if you've got it, flaunt it. Overall, Susanna gets 29, with a poor six from Craig. Susanna has done better and she knows she can score higher. Maybe the routine was too high-concept. The jungle theme did run away with itself at times.
With all thirteen couples having taken to the floor, the leaderboard is up and Sophie, Natalie and Abbey are joint top (no surprises there). That said, I'm most impressed with Ben and Patrick, who, if they carry on this well, will give the girls a run for their money.
Someone's got to go tonight though, and the rookies are thinning out fast. Who do you want to see get the boot? I think Deborah, Rachel and Julien are in trouble. Let me know in the comments below.
Highlights of the week
Len Goodman's Remark Of The Week: "You were steaming, I was beaming" - to Patrick.
Underdog Of The Week: Mark, for his surprising grasp of MC Hammer.
Least Cohesive Costume: Rachel, for her leopard print bank robber outfit.
Best Wig: Robin, for his Noel Edmonds inspired wig during Deborah's Bucks Fizz routine.