Strictly Diary Part 5

Heather and Brian made it through to the next round! Bruce asked Len if he agreed with the other judges. “I went for Don; I thought it was a more polished performance. I thought that Heather did come out and perform much, much better, what we would expect from her, but it was a lot of foot faults for me in her dance. I thought the cleaner and better performance came from Don.”


Katherine Jenkins was on the It Takes Two sofa talking about her performance on the results show from Sunday. In her video footage she said “I’m really excited because Heather Small is one of my friends and I just want her to do really, really well, she’s looking amazing”. In the rehearsal footage from the previous Friday, Brian was shown wearing a t-shirt with “Is it a BIRD? Is it a PLANE? ........NO....... it’s HURRICANE HEATHER” written on it! There was also a montage of clips with the celebrities, including Heather, feeling dizzy during their training!

19th October 2008

Strictly Comes Dancing
Round 5 Results Show

BBC 1 20:10



20th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 21

BBC 2 18:30

Strictly Diary Part 4

Heather said “I thought I held my frame quite well on the night and there was some conflicting opinions on that. There was nothing I could do. They had their say and I knew I was going to dance again, so I had just put myself in that frame of mind that if I’m gonna go, I’ll go with a bang!”

After Bruno Tonioli’s comment on Saturday they showed a clip of what it would have been like if Russell Brand had been chasing Heather around the dance floor!

A photo of the couple was posted on the It Takes Two website for people to suggest captions (see second photo down on the right):
“Brian see I told you my arms were longer.”
“For this move I need you to demonstrate for me the size of Brendon’s ego.”
“You picked up the hairspray instead of the deodorant as well did you.”
Claudia mentioned that there was a lot of support for them on the forum.

Thinking about the samba Heather said she would carry on doing what she was doing and continue to have fun with Brian. She said “Being in the dance-off, in hindsight it’s done me a favour because I know what it’s like now!” Brian said “I think the samba is going to be Heather’s dance. We had a little bit of training today and within two hours she was dancing it magnificently already so I am really looking forward to this weekend.” Heather said that Brian was so sweet as he never has a bad word to say about her even behind her back! 


Craig Revel Horwood and Karen Hardy discussed Heather and Brian’s samba training in the mid-week review:

Craig – “Heather sadly is not getting for me the right bounce action. Her body needs to absorb it through the knees a little bit more. She’s a little bit too much for me upright and a little bit too much weight back on her heel. By that I mean you have to transfer your weight either forward or back and she just needs to transfer it a little bit more forward, like she did with her salsa. She was down and sort of dirty with that! She could almost apply that to this dance.”

Karen highlighted some footwork which Heather should try to improve on and gave the advice “Heather keep your legs together, keep your weight very forward. When your weight goes forward it allows your knees to bend and that’s what creates bounce in the dance.”

At the end of the show there was a montage of “boot camp” clips with scenes of Heather being told firmly what to do by Brian and her saluting at one point!


Samba training update (13.5 hours trained): At the start of the week Brian says “The samba is a fun, flirtatious dance from Brazil and I think it’s gonna be right up Heather’s alley.” Heather begins happy because “I’m back to a Latin dance and instinctively the rhythm suits me.” But the footage showed Heather losing her confidence resulting in Brian taking a firm approach. Brian talked about Heather almost feeling that she wanted to go home. Heather said that her confidence was low and at one point she left the room for a breather. After Brian became stricter with Heather they started to get somewhere! The footage ended with Heather saying “Saturday’s gonna come and I’ll have to dance. So am I going to lay down and play dead or am I going to dance? I’ve decided I’m going to dance!”


Anton Du Beke went on a secret mission and found the following facts out about Heather and Brian:
1)    2nd from last with only 13.5 hours training this week!
2)    1st place for training in the room with the most balls! – 11 in total.
3)    2nd place for training in a room with the second biggest fan.

Claudia caught up with Heather on the dance floor during the Friday rehearsals to ask about the ‘tough love’ she received from Brian in the week. Heather said “It’s not mean, I think it worked. I needed to be thrashed into shape and he was able to. I admire him for it. Some tough love! I like a man who can say it as it is! Yeah I respond to that very well!” Talking about the samba she said “I wouldn’t say I felt overly confident. It’s not a long time to learn a dance, the technique and then your routine but I’m gonna do the best that I can. What I’m really trying to do is bring back the enjoyment into it. I did have great fun when I was doing the quickstep until I got to the judge’s table and it all went horribly wrong!”

Before Heather and Brian took to the floor for their samba dance, Heather discussed her feelings about the previous week’s dance-off situation in their video footage. “Standing under the spot light your heart thuds, you hear all the names go by, I felt like I was going to be thrown to the lions! Being in the dance-off, the thing that saw me through it; I saw my son’s face and thought I better dance my socks off! Now that I’ve been there I know what it feels like and you know I don’t want to feel it too often.” Looking forward Brian talked about how good he thought Heather would be for the samba. Heather made connections between the dance and where she grew up in London near where they hold the carnival. “I hope to bring that party atmosphere to the dance floor on Saturday. Samba here I come!” 

The samba began with Heather and Brian at opposite ends of the stage shimmying towards each other. Heather really looked the part with an afro hairstyle! There were lots of shaking of the hips, stretching out of the arms, quick footwork and big smiles throughout the dance.

The judge’s comments:
Craig Revel Horwood – “All the l’s – lifeless, lackluster, labored, it really was. The only good thing about that for me was the end.” Heather agreeing with Bruce Forsyth said “Yes unkind, unkind”.

Arlene Phillips – “You looked like you were at different parties. You were letting him do all the work and then suddenly, right at the end, you suddenly got into it. You were wild and sassy and I was just wanting that from the start Heather. I think you can do it. Whatever is inside you, let it go, throw it away and just give it up to the dance.”

Len Goodman – “Well I know you can do it because the samba and the salsa have got a similar flavour to them. You were fantastic in that salsa the first time you danced, but this as they’ve said; I think you’re thinking about the steps instead of thinking about the performance. But there you are they can’t all suit you every dance.”

Bruno Tonioli – “Well you looked the part and you have plenty to wiggle and bounce, it’s a shame you took quite a little time to get into it. Once you got into it I thought it was actually good, but you have to be on it from the beginning. A performance starts when you enter the stage. You have to grab us by the throat straight away.” Heather replied “Straight away!” “Yeah, immediately” Bruno answered.

With Tess Heather said that she enjoyed herself and she thought that she did let herself go. Brian added “You were fabulous Heather!”

The Judges Scores:
Craig Revel Horwood - 4                                      Total: 23
Arlene Phillips - 6                             
Len Goodman - 6                                                9th on the Judge's scoreboard
Bruno Tonioli - 7


In the recap footage Heather mentioned that she was “More upset last week because it was my first experience of the judges in such harsh terms, but I think if I’m still here, I think I better get used to it!” Heather’s partner Dave was shown again asking for the public to support her. During a montage of clips where the celebrities talked about their feelings towards a dance-off, Heather said “I wouldn’t like to go through it again, but I think it’s worse for family and friends and I know that my son wasn’t happy, and I like to make my son happy.”
When the results were announced Heather and Brian were in the bottom two and had to compete in the dance-off with Don Warrington and Lilia Kopylova. Before they danced again Len Goodman gave them this advice “I would say to Heather for this samba do what you do best. You’re a performer; come out and perform.”

The judge’s decisions:
Craig Revel Horwood – “I have to say the improvement in both couples was spectacular, but the couple for me that had the edge was Heather and Brian.”

Arlene Phillips – “Len’s advice to each of these couples was about their performance and the performance that was the best to me was Heather and Brian.”

Bruno Tonioli – “I think you both came back and did a great job considering the circumstances and by a whisker, it’s a very close call for me, I go with Heather and Brian.”


14th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 17

BBC 2 18:30













15th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 18

BBC 2 18:30









16th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 19

BBC 2 18:30





17th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 20

BBC 2 18:30







18th October 2008

Strictly Comes Dancing
Round 5

BBC 1 18:45
























19th October 2008

Strictly Comes Dancing
Round 5 Results Show

BBC 1 20:10

Strictly Diary Part 3

They looked back at a clip where Brian had previously said “London better watch out because Hurricane Heather is coming through and she’s gonna rip the house down!” From this a humorous weather report about hurricane heather was shown! Heather responded “I thought that was hilarious but I didn’t like the storm in a teacup bit, no I am the eye of the hurricane!”

Claudia asked them about the quickstep. Heather mentioned that she had a breakthrough that day saying “I know where I am now with the steps. I enjoyed it a lot more today and that’s what I want to do on Saturday. All the hard work is done, there’s no more I can do except just express myself on Saturday and hope people like it.” Brian said that the Quickstep “Is a very difficult dance.  It’s full of a lot of intricate footwork and changes in timing but Heather’s done a really great job so far. I tried to find a nice balance between the basics and the open material and as long as Heather’s confidence is there, this weekend we’re gonna be great!”

Heather was asked a question which had been posted on the show’s forum. “Do you get the same kind of thrill from dancing as you do performing in front of an arena crowd?” Heather’s answer was “It was a complete buzz when I did the salsa because an audience is an audience and if they appreciate what you do, there’s always a high!” The interview ended with Brian’s mum joining them.

There was a montage of clips at the end of the show about “stepping on feet”. There was a clip of Heather falling over again!



Friday Panel: Judges Len Goodman and Arlene Phillips, along with fashion expert Nicky Hamilton-Jones reviewed Heather and Brian’s quickstep training. In the footage they were shown Heather said “At the beginning of the week the quickstep felt like Everest to me, it was so daunting, but now that we have practised a lot more and I understand the dance, I just wanna go out on Saturday and enjoy it.” While watching the training Arlene says that it didn’t look that bad at all but commented on her needing to keep her frame. Claudia mentioned that the couple were unlike others as they didn’t come into the studio and say that they were going to nail it on Saturday. Len thought that was a good attitude to have as you wouldn’t want to come across ‘cocky’ to the public. They showed a drawing of Heather’s quickstep silver dress with pink lining and played a sample of the song that they were going to dance too, which Len quite liked!

There was a section of film that showed how the girls were feeling about Saturday. Heather said “When I think about having to go out there in front of an audience it does make me nervous and the nerves start to take over. To see somebody go you realise that it could be you and that’s a terrifying thought!”


At the start of the show Heather said “To tell you the truth I just don’t want to go!” Reflecting on the Salsa Heather mentioned “When Tess said I was the most nervous she was most probably right! But I just thought that I’ve got to grab this salsa by the scruff of the neck.” After Len’s comment she said “I am now having business cards made up as we speak – The Queen of Salsa!”

During the quickstep training Heather said “To be honest I am finding the quickstep challenging. It doesn’t come naturally to me. The thought of doing the dance on Saturday, it makes me quite nervous and when I start to get nervous I sort of shut down.” Brian commented on Heather being a perfectionist and reckons that she doesn’t know how good she is! Heather’s son and nephew came along to one day of training for support. Later in the footage Heather said “Being called Queen of the salsa is one thing, but my son has already told me that I better be Queen of the quickstep, so no pressure!”

Heather wore a silver dress with bright pink lining for the quickstep dance. Brian and her started the dance on opposite sides of the stage and danced a number of twirls and skips for the quickstep. The ending consisted of lots of swinging arms, a fall to the ground and a big finish pose! Heather’s son watched their performance in the audience.

The judge’s comments:
Bruno Tonioli – “Heather you were so tight you looked like Russell Brand was chasing you around the room. It was so tight it lacked ease of movement. The quickstep I know is very difficult, it is very, very hard to control but that difficulty has to be made look easy. You went wild at the end because you were relieved that the whole thing ended. It didn’t quite work for me Heather.”

Craig Revel Horwood – “Two minds about this. Timing at the top was not brilliant; you got out of time there. Technically I thought it wasn’t very good, head placement a bit iffy. But you know what I loved your energy and I absolutely loved watching you and your performance and that I have to say is half the battle. I think it was a great routine.”

Arlene Phillips – “Well this dance should bubble and sparkle and although you were smiling a lot it was heavy. It was like the champagne had gone flat. Your shoulders were up. When you were in hold you were clinging on.” Craig interrupted her by saying “I don’t think it was that bad actually. I think your exaggerating.”

Len Goodman – “Well she was exaggerating a little bit, but not much. The poor old Queen of the salsa has abdicated tonight because your footwork – you must go forward on the slows on your heel and you never did once unfortunately. I liked your upper body portions, your top and your arms which Bruno cheekily said “There’s plenty there to like!” Len continued to say “But your footwork I didn’t much like at all. So it was a bit of this and a bit of that”. Arlene and Len then had another little quarrel over Heather’s top line. 

Backstage Tess Daly told Heather that everyone disagreed with what the judges said and commented on how hard she had worked on the dance and the energy they had. Heather’s reaction to the judge’s comments was “I’ll take it on board but I enjoyed myself and I did the best I could do. I didn’t think I was clinging on as much as they were saying. I did work very hard on my frame.”

The Judges Scores:
Craig Revel Horwood - 6                                      Total: 23
Arlene Phillips - 5                             
Len Goodman - 6                                                5th on the Judge's scoreboard
Bruno Tonioli - 6


In the recap footage both Heather’s partner and son mentioned how harsh they thought the judge’s comments were. Heather said “I know I worked really hard on the dance and my family was in the audience, so whatever happened I knew if I slid all over the floor somebody’s gonna cheer for me!” Thinking ahead to when the boys and girls compete against each other Heather said her plan was to practise, practise and practise some more! She also said that she didn’t want to go until she has at least dance the Cha Cha Cha with Brian.

When the results were announced Heather and Brian were in the bottom two and had to compete in the dance-off with Jessie Wallace and Darren Bennett. Before they danced again Len Goodman gave them this advice “Try and focus on your dance and just try and lift your ribcage and show off a bit more of your beautiful posture.”

The judge’s decisions:
Craig Revel Horwood – “I think both couples definitely improved in the dance-off, but for me the best couple tonight in the dance-off was Heather and Brian.”

Arlene Phillips – “As Craig said this is really tough. They have both improved. The couple I’m going to save – the lady started off and she was really nervous, I thought she was gonna flunk the whole thing. Suddenly the showbiz instinct took off. Heather and Brian,”

Bruno Tonioli – “I think under the circumstances it is very hard because they both came back and they did their best. I know they really want to stay in the competition but I have to go with the couple that outshone the other for me this evening and the couple is Heather and Brian.”

Heather and Brian made it through to the next round! Bruce asked Len if he agreed with the other judges. “No I totally disagreed, I thought Jessie and Darren. Both couples improved but I thought Jessie and Darren improved that little bit more.”


On Tuesdays the saved couple from the dance-off are interviewed on It Takes Two. On the show Heather talked about her feelings about the judge’s comments saying that they were quite harsh and conflicting. Brian said that he agreed with some of the comments, particularly about the footwork, but he said that he was very proud of how Heather performed and her energetic smile throughout. Heather talked about how hard she had worked on her frame for the dance.

9th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 14

BBC 2 18:30













10th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 15

BBC 2 18:30










11th October 2008

Strictly Come Dancing
Round 4

BBC 1 17:50































12th October 2008

Strictly Come Dancing
Round 4 Results Show

BBC 1 20:15
















14th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 17

BBC 2 18:30

Strictly Diary Part 2

Heather mentioned that she fell over a few times when rehearsing the neck drop.

Arlene Phillips – “Well in the words of your song: ‘Moving On Up’. You had that hip action but the attitude you were in and out of it, there were moments when I loved you and moments when I’m going come on, come on, stop being boring, don’t loose it. I want you to go out there and sizzle because you can!”

Len Goodman – “Heather, Heather, Queen of the Salsa! I loved it. I thought it was fantastic. They’re right, the feet a little bit, the arms sometimes but the rhythm you produced I thought you did a great job. Well done!”

Backstage With Tess Daly:
Tess Daly – “Well done angel! Well done Brian the king of the salsa and you have a new queen! You are probably the most nervous celebrity we have ever had on Strictly Come Dancing Heather. You pulled it off!”

Heather Small – “Yeah me and Jodie I would say.”

Tess Daly – “How do you feel now you’ve done it?”

Heather Small – “Exhilarated, yeah it was really enjoyable. I tried to hold on to the fact that I’m really enjoying myself and not let the nerves get the better of me.”

Tess Daly – “Good girl! Well I thought it was a phenomenal first effort, well done to both of you. The scores are in!”

The Judges Scores:
Craig Revel Horwood - 5                                      Total: 26
Arlene Phillips - 6                             
Len Goodman - 8                                                4th on the Judge's scoreboard
Bruno Tonioli - 7

Heather was pleased with Len’s 8 and said “That was good, I shall take that away with me!”


Recap Footage:
Heather Small – “Len calling me the queen of the salsa was quite good because I have to say I worked on all that hip action and I might not have got all the footing right, but you know I’ll take queen of the salsa, I‘ll take it!”

Heather’s partner Dave – “Her dance routine was a very highly technical routine and that risky move when she was almost thrown down to the floor, the neck move, that was just totally awesome!”

Bruce Forsyth – “Len you called Heather the queen of the salsa, what made her stand out?”

Len Goodman – “She had tremendous energy when she came out on the floor. I thought her partner Brian did a great job. He used a lot of the basic steps. The more choreography you do, the further you get away from the roots of the dance and I thought he got the mix just right. I thought it was a great, great performance.

The Results:
Heather and Brian made it through to the next round! Jodie Kidd and Gillian Taylforth faced the dance off, resulting in Gillian leaving the competition.


Heather Small and the remaining girls were in full ‘swing’ training for their group dance. There was also a montage of clips about laughing which started with Heather saying she needs to “Not smile, not giggle and not laugh!”



It was the boy’s night in Round 3 again so the girls performed a group Swing dance. In the rehearsal footage Heather said “The first group dance was atrocious!” She also said “When you get it right you do feel a sense of illation, but I haven’t had that sense of illation yet, cos I so haven’t got it right!” During the rehearsal footage Heather shouts “That’s hard. It’s too hard!” Her final comment was “If we get it right and it works, it’s gonna look spectacular."

After the dance, head judge Len Goodman said it was the “Best group dance I have seen on any of the Strictlys.”


In the results show footage of the girl’s training was shown with Heather saying “It is quite frenetic the quick step, it’s a fair old gallop. I haven’t quite mastered that yet!” This statement was backed up with clips of Heather and Brian stepping on each other, bumping into things and also with Heather falling over!

The girls danced their group Swing dance again.


Craig Revel Horwood & Anton Du Beke reviewed Heather and Brian’s rehearsals for their quickstep:

Craig: “It’s looking good. Heather has got a great top line going on there and she’s using her head very well and arms very well at this point. Her footwork, however, for me is just a little bit untidy in places. She’s very light-footed though and that’s what’s very difficult to achieve.”

Claudia: “It doesn’t look very quick. Can I just throw that in?”

Craig: “Yes not at this point but later on it gets a little faster and then the footwork gets faster. But she’s just losing a lot of her top line there I think because she’s concentrating on the footwork.”

Anton: “It’s not too bad. Talking about footwork she does a couple of things where she goes forward on her toe really when she should be going on the heel. She does that quite a lot through the routine; I know it’s early in the week. She’s got a bit of gapping but I don’t mind this early in the week, when you’re learning the routine it’s good to give your partner some space to do the steps in really. If you get to close, you can put them off a little bit. But what is really good is that she’s doing a back-lock. She does a couple but they’re skipping locks. She comes off the floor beautifully, nice and high and she will cover the floor really well. That’s really good because that will make it bright, it will make it light and she will have a lovely quickstep. It’s gonna cover the ground well because it’s gonna have that light sort of energy which is really important.”

At the end of the episode there was a “sorry” montage which included Heather saying “I’m so sorry!” and giving Brian a huge hug!


Heather and Brian shared their views about the training for the quickstep (10.5 hours trained): 

Brian: “Heather was dubbed the Queen of the salsa and I’m really hoping this week she can be the empress of the quickstep!” He also said “It frustrates me to a certain sense when she’s not completely confident with what she’s doing because when she is, she looks great.”

Heather: “It’s such a graceful, elegant dance I really do want to get it right. My challenge is to keep my heels on the floor when they should be on the floor!” Later she went on to say “My head is at a certain angle and tilted. I’m finding it challenging because it’s not the kind of position I hold on a daily basis!” Her final comment was “By Saturday night I want to go out there and really show how graceful and elegant a dance it is. It’s throwing down the gauntlet and I’m going to pick it up!”

During training footage Brian tells Heather that she needs to fix her heel leads – “Real quickly!” He also reminds her to keep her head back and to relax as they are not in a race! Heather’s reaction was to say “Saturday!” numerous times.

Heather and Brian joined Claudia on the It Takes Two sofa. After looking back at their story so far Claudia commented on Heather’s giggling when watching the footage to which Heather replied “It’s hard to watch yourself!” Heather talked about her nerves saying “I’m a few notches down from being terrified now, just nervous but I have to say I have enjoyed it immensely. It’s been such fun, the dancing every day, the dresses, the make-up, the hair what’s not to like girl!” Claudia asked Heather how she felt after the success of the Salsa. Heather said “I just thought that’s one down how many more have I got to go? Yeah I was happy with how it went, really happy and I didn’t want to let Brian down. We put a lot of work into it and I just wanted to go out there and enjoy it.”

27th September 2008

Strictly Come Dancing Round 2

BBC 1 18:45



















28th September 2008

Strictly Come Dancing Round 2 Results Show

BBC 1 20:00









30th September 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 7

BBC 2 18:30


4th October 2008

Strictly Come Dancing
Round 3

BBC 1 18:45



5th October 2008

Strictly Come Dancing
Round 3 Results Show

BBC 1 20:10


8th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 13

BBC 2 18:30















9th October 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 14

BBC 2 18:30

Strictly Diary Part 1

28th August 2008

Official Press Launch

Cafe De Paris, London


13th September 2008

Strictly Come Dancing Official Launch Show

BBC 1 18:30


20th September 2008

Strictly Come Dancing Round 1

BBC 1 18:10


21st September 2008

Strictly Come Dancing
Round 1 Results Show

BBC 1 20:00


22nd September 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 1

BBC 2 18:30


23rd September 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 2

BBC 2 18:30


24th September 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 3

BBC 2 18:30


25th September 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 4

BBC 2 18:30


26th September 2008

It Takes Two
Episode 5

BBC 2 18:30


27th September 2008

Strictly Come Dancing Round 2

BBC 1 18:45

Heather Small attended the launch party for the sixth series of 'Strictly Come Dancing', confirming that the rumours were true about her taking part as a contestant in the show. Brian Fortuna was revealed as her dance partner.


The launch show introduced all the dancers and celebrities. The celebrities shared their experiences, backgrounds and feelings towards the competition. Heather Small talked about her reggae and calypso roots which she hopes will help her to get the hip movements especially for the salsa! In the show we saw the moment when Heather met her dance partner Brian Fortuna. She asked him what she would need to "bring to the table" and he responded with "Your bringing a lot to the table already, you are a very attractive woman!" Heather replied "Oh he's good!" Heather went on to discuss the custom of the male leading the dance which she laughed about due to her natural instinct to be the leader, such as being the lead in M People. During rehearsals Brian said "You actually physically over power me!" which she responds with "Don't sound so surprised!" Heather continues to state that "There is sometimes definitely a diva, but all in a good way."


It was boys week in the first episode of the show. Therefore Heather Small took part in the girl's group cha cha cha dance.


All 16 couples took to the dance floor for a group dance.


During the behind the scenes footage we saw Heather Small meeting last year's winner Alesha Dixon. When shaking Alesha's hand Heather asked if she was shaking the hand of the next winner! After laughing Alesha commented on both of their "dirty laughs"!


In this episode they looked back at the original press launch where Brian Fortuna said that "Heather's making me nervous because of how hot she's looking!" Heather replied with "He's good! I'm just nervous." There was a collection of footage related to the 'behind'. Brian chanted "Put your butt out!" to Heather who replied with "That's as far as it's gonna go!".


Craig Revel Horwood's Mid-Week Report:
While viewing footage of Heather Small and Brian Fortuna rehearsing their salsa dance, Craig and Claudia discussed their progress so far. Claudia stated that "They looked quite brilliant on Saturday night, they had an electricity about them." Craig replied by saying "I have to agree. She's mastering the rhythm really well, has great spins and her foot work is nice and quick. It looks like a nice party to be at." He then mentions how she could improve her performance by saying "Small problem, when doing her turns she ends up putting her weight too far back on the heel, she needs to have a little more weight pushed onto the ball of her foot, that will make all of those transitions a little more smoother."


Training Update Heather & Brian’s Salsa: They have trained for 71.5 hours so far! Heather’s thoughts: “I would say that the training is going well. My first solo dance - salsa, I am happy with. It’s quite fast, it’s quite pacey and it’s quite exhilarating. I definitely don’t want the nerves to get the better of me. I want to go out there on Saturday and have fun. Bring it on!” Brian’s thoughts: “Heather’s fantastic with the dance. Her timing is exceptional, she uses her arms well, she uses her hips well, she’s rhythmical, she’s in great shape, she’s expressive and she really is a great dancer. But when you get out there on the dance floor and the crowd is going and there’s cameras and you know you’re on live TV, you tend to get a little bit nervous and Heather gets extremely nervous. I am really hoping that this Saturday she’s able to overcome that fear and really show everybody what she’s really made of.”

Behind The Scenes For The Promo Video: Looking back at the filming of the disco ball flying over London promo video for the show we saw Heather bouncing on a trampoline to create the image of her floating. “Oooh that’s high!” she states! Heather’s view of that day: “It’s really enjoyable putting on the dresses and jumping around and having fun.”

Brian Fortuna: Brian was in the studio today and told Claudia that “Heather and I have a genuinely really great time together. I speak to her like just like I would any of my friends. I think she might be my favourite student I have ever worked with to be truthful.”


Friday Panel:
Judges Len Goodman and Arlene Phillips, along with singer Jason Donavon, reviewed Heather Small and Brian Fortuna’s salsa rehearsals. In the video footage Heather said “I think I’ll be a little nervous, but hopefully not too nervous that it debilitates me. Nervous enough to get that real energy because it’s salsa and I wanna be able to, you know, use it to move!” Len had positive comments for Heather including how well she was performing “Very intricate clever underarm turns, she’s got her hips working, it’s like the bionic bum flying everywhere!” The panel were really happy with her progress. The panel also saw a drawing of the dress Heather was going to wear and Arlene said “Oh she’s gonna wow us!”.

Hurricane Heather!
Claudia visited the dance floor to see how the ladies were getting on. She talked to Heather and Brian about their feelings for the live Saturday show. After Claudia saying “Don’t you giggle Small!” Heather commented that she felt like she was back at school! Claudia said "I’m quite scary aren’t I!” Heather replied cheekily “Not really!” Heather talked about her nerves “I don’t wanna be as nervous as I usually am, otherwise I won’t dance very well and I owe it to Brian to do my best, I’m gonna enjoy myself. It’s been fun so far and I just wanna translate that on the dance floor that we’ve had fun.” Brian boldly stated “London better watch out because Hurricane Heather is coming through and she’s gonna rip the house down!” Heather replied “You talk me up Brian! No pressure! Absolutely no pressure! Hurricane Heather, I like it!” Claudia asked Heather how she was feeling about the judges and how good she was with taking criticism. She replied “I’m not the best with criticism I have to say. I think I’m going to take it as panto and then hire the hit man in the morning!”


Ladies Night! Round 2 saw the first dances for the female celebrities. Heather Small and Brian Fortuna performed a salsa.

Heather and Brian's rehearsal footage:
“I’m Heather Small and people best know me for singing. I had a 10 year career with the band M People. We won a Brit. One of the reasons that I am doing the show is because my family are huge fans and they said they wouldn’t speak to me if I didn’t participate. My son said to me that, Mummy you know you love to dance, just go out there and do your best!" During the rehearsals Heather says “I do love it. I enjoy it so much. It’s like I’m a child!” Brian says “Heather’s fantastic with the dance, the problem is Heather gets extremely nervous, so I am really hoping that this Saturday she’s able to overcome that fear.” Heather continues to say “I’m always nervous when I sing, so going out and doing something that you don’t naturally do, I’ll be absolutely terrified. But you know there’s nothing like having a few people cheer at you to spur you on. That’s what I’m hoping for cheering and not tomatoes!”

The Salsa! Heather started the dance by the judge’s desk with a feisty attitude! She performed a mini solo dance before reaching her partner Brian. Together they danced lots of twirls and Heather kept shaking her hips! Towards the end of their dance they incorporated a neck drop which was amazing!

The Judge's Comments:
Bruno Tonioli - “Oooh sassy mama you know how to shake that tush! Heather that’s the sprit, that’s what salsa is all about. You missed a few accents, it surprises me because as a musician you should know where to hit it and where to hold it back.” Heather replied “I know when to hit it when I’m singing; you see it’s the dancing.” Bruno continued “It’s the same thing you have to translate it. It’s a different part of the brain, but it is the same thing. Apart from that - good.”

Craig Revel Horwood - “Right energy and right attitude and I thought from the beginning and the outset we were in for something really, really exciting. It’s let me down a little bit. Your feet were about a foot apart through the whole thing. You need to learn to bring those feet together at some stage. A bit rag dollish at the end. However on a good note, very trustworthy of you to go into that neck drop. I thought that was brilliant actually.”

Annual Book Signing

Mark Foster, Heather Small and Lisa Snowdon signed copies of the new “Strictly Come Dancing 2009 Annual” at Waterstones in Oxford Street, London yesterday. Lisa was looking radiant as ever in a cute outfit and patent black Mary-Jane style heels and diva Heather Small looked sophisticated in her trusty LBD and satin platforms.

Tess Daly's Blog About Heather & Brian

From Tess Daly's Bog on the official BBC Strictly site:

Alright, it's show 8 and despite receiving their highest score of the series so far, after four dance offs, Heather and Brian were finally defeated. But at least they went out on a high, the Tango definitely being Heather's strongest dance and her favourite of the whole competition.

During rehearsals Heather had said to me with real conviction, I do not want to be in that dance off again, and you could feel her determination. A big turnaround for our most nervous ever, strictly celeb. But ever the lady she bowed out with dignity. And our American boy Brian, declared that he loved living here in the UK.

He's had a wonderful time on his debut series. A welcome new addition to the show, Brian has been very warmly received by the strictly audience, and ever gallant, he put up with my mum and her extremely enthusiastic mates mobbing him for photos and a few more kisses than were strictly necessary, in the bar after the show.

Heather & Brian Finish 9th Place

From the BBC Strictly site:

It's week eight and the remaining nine couples gave it their all in an effort to impress the judges and secure their place in the competition for another week, but who hadn't done enough to win the votes of the public?

Before we found out, top ranking Latin-American couple Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis took to the dancefloor to perform a Cha Cha to 'Smooth' by Santana. The professional dancers then performed a very special Remembrance Day Foxtrot and Quickstep to 'A Nightingale Sang' & 'Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree', which was followed by global superstar Beyonce performing her new single 'If I Were a Boy', to which Brian and Kristina danced a rumba.

It was then time to find out which two couples would be dancing again and which would be heading home. It was revealed that Heather and Brian and Rachel and Vincent had the least amount of public votes, and after they had both reprised their dances, the judges took the decision to save Rachel and Vincent.

So Heather and Brian bowed out of the competition and danced their final dance to 'Don't Dream It's Over'.

Thank you for all your support for Heather and Brian. They will be on It Takes Two tomorrow at 18:30 BBC 2.

Round 8 - What The Judges Said

From the BBC Strictly site:

It's week eight, and the tension has been building for all our couples, as this year's Strictly Come Dancing is now past the halfway point in the series. The stakes are higher than ever. So which couple will be saying farewell to the dancefloor this weekend? 

Tom and Camilla were the first to dance, performing an exciting Quickstep to A Town Called Malice by The Jam. Tom was originally looking forward to this dance most, but rehearsals proved challenging, thanks to the infamous 'wall incident'. Len thought this "was right in character, light, fluffy. You did a great job." Bruno said "it was like watching jumping jack flash. So on the timing - unbelievable." Craig thought "Camilla did extremely well showcasing Tom's strengths, but I have three issues, you (Tom) should be further up on the toes, a stumble from Camilla and your hands." And finally Arlene thought "you were jumping over giant stones, all the way to the final!" 
Score: Craig 9, Arlene 9, Len 9, Bruno 9. Total 36. 

Up next were Jodie and Ian, Samba-ing their way across the floor to Help Yourself by Tom Jones. Jodie was inspired by the positive comments last week, but how did she fair this week? Bruno thought "Jodie you're like the stock markets, up and down, but here we crash again... you were never quite on it. You really have to focus on those latins.. get into the rhythm." Craig said "you crucified that Samba, no real bounce action... limp.. very sticky rolls." Arlene thought "it wasn't good, but it wasn't that bad. You have an easy bounce, you just lost it, it wasn't a carnival in Rio, it was more like a birthday party in Bournemouth." And finally Len thought "it had a fun element, you moved nicely, but it doesn't suit you, its a small person's dance...but that doesn't mean your not a good dancer... it doesn't matter."
Score: Craig 3, Arlene 6, Len 7, Bruno 7. Total 23. 

Heather and Brian were next, performing a Tango to Rebel Rebel by David Bowie. Heather was visited by her mother during rehearsals and tonight she said she would be dancing for her mum, who said "Work it girl!" Craig said "it was a marked improvement on last week - thats all the good. Your release was limp... you're just a little bit ahead on step." Arlene said "look, you do get stronger week by week, but it still didn't have that sharp drama and drive it needs." Len thought "its a actors dance, I though you did do that, but I'd like you to tuck your hips under, keep body contact, but a good job." Finally Bruno said "great improvement, but you forced it...sometimes your shoulders go up... you stop performing... combining will get higher scores." 
Score: Craig 6, Arlene 7, Len 7, Bruno 7. Total 27. 

Next up were Austin and Erin with a Rumba to the Diana Ross song When You Tell Me That You Love Me. After last week's feedback and a 10, Austin was very happy, so what were the views this week? Arlene felt that "this was brave... your feet caressed the floor, but all these muscles are stopping you using your upper body and flowing through." Len said "I thought we were in for something good, but my feeling is you weren't comfortable doing this dance, and it was uncomfortable to watch. The elements you mastered, but it lacked warmth." Bruno voiced his view that "you should have gone for throbbing... if you don't go for her you have to entice her." And that "it was well done, but lacked that special spark." Craig said "it wasn't for me, clever choreography from Erin, hiding his (Austin's) limitations." 
Score: Craig 5, Arlene 8, Len 8, Bruno 8. Total 29. 

Cherie and James performed a Waltz to I Wonder Why by Curtis Stigers. Cherie felt in rehearsals she was back in her comfort zone doing a Waltz and wanted to prove she is a proper contender. Len thought "every element was fantastic, except your footwork, you kept going forward on your toe. If you hadn't done, heaven knows where you'd be (score and dance wise)." "For me the English rose is back in full bloom, your grace and elegance, but get that confidence in the latin dances" praised Bruno. "Clean, confident and hugely enchanting - I loved it!" said Craig. Arlene said "the charisma and chemistry is back, but we are in week eight and I never want to hear 'this dance suits you and this one doesn't' again." 
Score: Craig 9, Arlene 9, Len 9, Bruno 9. Total 36. 

Christine and Matthew rocked the floor with a Jive to Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock. The audience clapped along in time, but did the judges join them? Bruno felt "your back! all tightened up... you've got the lights going tonight!" Craig thought "you did a very good job, but your arms released and were aimlessly moving." Arlene said "I'm thrilled you went to a ballet class this week, and it made a difference. A phenomenal improvement!" "A really bright lovely jive, so good, very nice" "said Len. 
Score: Craig 7, Arlene 8, Len 8, Bruno 8. Total 31. 

Rachel and Vincent took to the floor with an American Smooth with I Got A Woman by Ray Charles. Rachel was fired up to just come out and 'Go for it!' Craig felt "normally we see this as a foxtrot based dance - so I loved the fact you used this... so we got to see Rachel animated and you went up into a lovely lift." Arelene said "it was bright, lively, tricky footwork, so why wasn't it perfect for me? You don't use your eyes... you look gorgeous, but you need to find a story through your eyes." Len added "diamonds come in small packages and that was a gem of a performance." And Bruno said "it was Fred and Ginger for me tonight, so elaborate and demanding... you did that effortlessly." 
Score: Craig 8, Arlene 9, Len 9, Bruno 9. Total 35. 

Eighth up tonight were John and Kristina, doing the Cha Cha to a lively version of Twist and Shout. John jokingly said during rehearsals he was no good at dancing, except on Saturday nights, but then added he was prepared to do anything to get the marks up. Arlene said "you were outstanding at dancing really badly... that dance had nothing to say and neither do I." Len thought "he was phoning his mates up (in the dance) to vote for him... it was terrible." Bruno said "your charming personality is undeniable, but even you must admit your dancing stinks!" Craig just said it was a "disaster." 
Score: Craig 1, Arlene 3, Len 4, Bruno 4. Total 12. 

Finally, Lisa and Brendan performed a Viennese Waltz to Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi. Lisa wants to stay in the show to the end and fight for the final - so did she do enough to win the judge's votes? Bruno said "you've taken the simplicity of the waltz into ballroom magic." Craig said "Brendan I could kiss you, you've done a fantastic job with this woman (Lisa), wonderful" Arlene said "it flew by, those endless rotations flew by." Len felt "from week one you (Lisa) are the most improved dancer of this series." 
Score Craig 9, Arlene 9, Len 9, Bruno 9. Total 36. 

So John and Kristina, Heather and Brian, and Jodie and Ian are the three lowest-rated celebrities tonight. Tune in at 8.15pm on Sunday 9th November to find out which couple will be leaving the show.

Heather Gets Her Top 27 Marks Again

Heather and Brian received their top score of 27 again tonight for the Tango that they danced. Now we are in round 8 of the competiton all the dancers are raising their game. With 27 points Heather still is only in 7th place - third from the bottom. Her fourth dance-off could happen again this week being in this unsafe position on the judge's leader board. To help keep the couple in the competition vote for them by phoning:

09015 22 23 13

Lines close at 21:00 tonight.