Kristina Rihanoff Kristina Rihanoff

I feel like we’re going to have a shock elimination – vote for your favourites!

So it was the quarter finals last week – what a wonderful week with a great selection of musicals! I always love this week and the celebrities and production team always do an incredible job with the costumes, different characters and music. It was a beautiful show!

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Gleb did an incredible job choreographing

Now every couple did amazingly, they pulled out all the stops and did everything they could to get the viewers’ votes and get the judges on their side. For me, I was really looking forward to watching Gleb and Anita because I saw them in rehearsals doing their Argentine Tango and it was absolutely stunning! Now they performed to Cell Block Tango and to be honest I have to critique the choice of music… There are dozens of musicals to choose from and I just didn’t think this song suited their dance. It’s such an iconic Chicago song and quite overpowering, and to me Argentine Tango is more about being sensual, intimate. It’s a social dance which should really just be focused on two people doing very intricate movements.

Gleb and Anita were obviously given the song so they had no choice. Gleb had a difficult job choreographing but I think Anita probably had a harder time trying to marry two worlds – performing to a big song and making the dance sensual. But hats off to Gleb for choreographing a wonderful dance and Anita for always working so hard. I know Gleb is tough on her because he wants the best but she never complains and does her absolute best! The judges were quite harsh on her too but like Gleb said, Anita is the only one left who hasn’t had any formal dance training before. The judges have to judge a person according to where they started – and Anita was a novice who’s made it to the semi-finals. So well done Anita!

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Now Anton and Katie – I’m a big fan of them. Katie is a beautiful and graceful dancer. She has beautiful poise and posture which always makes her look like she’s hailed from some royal family ha ha! Their foxtrot was really beautiful and Katie’s look was gorgeous. She seemed really confident and she deserved her good marks.

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I couldn’t believe Georgia was in the bottom two…

I was gobsmacked when Giovanni and Georgia ended up in the dance off! To me I saw Helen and Georgia in the final, alongside Jay, so I couldn’t understand how Georgia was in the bottom two. Maybe people thought she was safe? I thought her dance was gorgeous, she floated on that floor, she’s such a beautiful, natural dancer. I just didn’t see that coming and the same goes for Helen. Her pasodoble was quite strong and she’s such a sweet girl. I know the competition is very hard now but I just wasn’t expecting her to be in the dance off. She was one of my front runners!

Kellie is such a fighter

I’m always going to root for Kellie and Kevin. They’ve been in the dance off twice and I know how tough that is. Kellie is such a fighter, she loves dancing, is a brilliant actress and always brings such great characterisation to each dance. She actually said to me backstage, ‘Kristina there’s no pressure. I’ve been in the dance off and if I’m going out, I’m going out with a bang.’ And she did dance with a bang – she was absolutely fantastic and so joyful to watch! Her Viennese Waltz was so upbeat and unusual; it’s usually much more soft and relaxed so it was just incredible to watch. I think that’s what got people voting. I’m so happy they got through!

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Couple of the week

My couple of the week though has to be Jay and Aliona. The Rumba is notoriously difficult for both male and female dancers. I wasn’t surprised that Jay had a brilliant technique because he is a seasoned dancer, but what really touched me was that I felt he really performed it emotionally. We haven’t seen that side to him yet. I think Musical Week is great for contestants to really get into character and play a role – it makes dancing a bit easier!

My book signing

This week I had my book signing and it was so great to do it with Pasha. It was awesome for both of us to be there and meet our fans. We heard great comments and I felt so proud for us Russian dancers on the show. We had a long road to success and to be on Strictly and write autobiographies is really special. A lot of us grew up competing together in Soviet Russia, trying to be the best dancers we could be. In those days we didn’t have dancing shows on TV. We were just dancing because it was our passion, not for fame or money. Never in a million years did I think we would end up dancing on the biggest show in Britain, and arguably in the world! We met a few Russian fans who said they were so proud of us. They said they always watch us and support us and it feels like we’re one of them. It was a very special evening!

Next week is the semi-finals which is going to be very tough. One of the couples will go and it’ll be someone who is very strong. It’ll be very emotional and I have a feeling we’ll have a shock elimination… Let’s see what happens! All I can say to the people at home is don’t assume anyone is safe. If you like someone please vote for them!

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Questions of the week

Thank you again for your questions! Please keep them coming on Twitter using #HELLOKristina and I’ll try to answer them.

Who is your winner for 2015?
Do you know what, I have to remain impartial! All of the pro dancers are my friends and I want to support all of them. But one person who I really want to win is Anton! He has never made it to the finals and I really hope he does. He’s been on the show since the very first season and he really deserves it! Strictly is a dancing show but it’s also about the entertainment and Anton never fails to entertain us! I think if he wins it will be a very special year for his fans.

When you hear a song, do you find yourself thinking about how you’d choreograph a dance to it?
Definitely, 1000 per cent! To me when I listen to the music I think that would be a great cha cha cha or a great Viennese waltz. I don’t just think, ‘Yeah great tune,’ I think, ‘How can I dance to this?’ I guess it’s second nature to me because this is how my brain works ha ha!

Don’t forget to check out my beauty blog too!

Thanks for reading and enjoy Saturday’s show!

All my love,
Kristina x

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