Girls Aloud sparkle on 'Strictly' as Richard Arnold hangs up his dancing shoes
19 NOVEMBER 2012Reunited band Girls Aloud looked like they had taken inspiration from Strictly Come Dancing's glitterball as they performed on the dance show on Sunday night. The ladies sparkled – literally – in mirrored mini dresses as they performed their new single Something New.
The show of girl power came as Richard Arnold became the latest contestant to leave on the week the show swapped the Strictly ballroom for Wembley Arena. The 42-year-old TV presenter, Daybreak's showbusiness expert, said the amazing thing about the show is that the "party is happening in millions of homes around the country".
After the judges' scores were combined with viewer votes, Richard and his partner Erin Boag faced former Westlife star Nicky Byrne and his partner Karen Hauer for a place in next week's show. Three of the four judges chose to save Nicky which meant Richard had performed his final dance on the BBC One show.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood said: "Just for sheer exuberance and energy, I am going to save Nicky and Karen." Judge Bruno Tonioli said that while both couples were "highly entertaining", he had to go with the "power and content" delivered by Nicky and Karen.
Speaking after his fate was sealed, Richard said: "I've loved it. Do you know what is amazing about this experience is that this party is happening in millions of homes around the country. The one thing I'll take from it is that now when I walk down the street people no longer cross the road to avoid me! Now they smile, they want to chat. It's been amazing. You guys here have been amazing."
The presenter said he will be celebrating his birthday next weekend, but will have to accept he will not be ringing in another year by performing to millions on TV.
"I know where I'll be next week - it's my birthday, it's a Saturday, I'll be with my godchildren, with my family and friends who have been going through the whole thing, and I'll be popping a cork and seeing who is here next week. It's extraordinary, this show just gets better and better," he said.
On Saturday night "jewel of the Nile" Denise Van Outen lit up Wembley Arena, achieving the highest score of the series. Along with her partner James Jordan, the 38-year-old stage and TV star danced a Charleston to the Bangles song Walk Like An Egyptian, scoring 39 out of 40.
With her musical star husband Lee Mead looking on, Denise gave it her all and judge Len described the routine as "the dance of the series so far", while Bruno called Denise the "jewel of the Nile". The bubbly blonde looked elated when she scored three tens and described it as "the best feeling in the world".
Girls Aloud star Kimberley, who found herself in the dance-off last Sunday night, wore a dress with a 30-metre train and received a score of 32 for her samba with partner Pasha Kovalev. Len said after her performance: "If you're in the dance-off tomorrow night I'll pickle my walnuts."
Dressed in red, white and blue, Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton descended from the ceiling on a bicycle and danced to Queen's Bicycle Race with her partner Brendan Cole.
Despite the extravagant entrance, their Paso Doble failed to impress all the judges, with Darcey Bussell suggesting Victoria may have been "overwhelmed" by the size of Wembley, and the pair scored 24 - sharing bottom place with presenter Richard Arnold and Erin Boag.
Meanwhile, Lisa Riley drew gasps from the crowd as she finished her samba routine by doing the splits, and she and partner Robin Windsor were awarded 32 points by the judges.
Gymnast Louis Smith's American Smooth with partner Flavia Cacace left Goodman "underwhelmed" and the pair scored 30 - but bookmaker William Hill has reported its biggest ever flutter on the dance contest as one punter put a £10,000 stake on him, at a price of 10/11.