Setting the dance floor on fire! Denise Van Outen bags four 9s and the highest score of the series with her red hot Spanish style routine on Strictly Come Dancing
23:40 GMT, 10 November 2012
They might be at the halfway point but as the competition gets tougher, the Strictly Come Dancing contestants have certainly been stepping up their game.
Denise Van Outen managed to set the dancefloor on fire with her fiery paso doble, bagging four 9s from the judges and the highest score of the series.
Managing to do one better than last week, the former Big Breakfast star wowed with her red hot Spanish themed dance with partner James Jordan.
Red alert: Denise Van Outen sets the studio on fire as she gets the highest score of the series
After getting three nines last week, the pressure was on, especially as James suffered an injury at the beginning of the week.
But the blonde presenter pulled it off, getting a standing ovation from the crowd.
'I though it was fantastic, there was flare in the movement and care with the technique,' said an impressed Len Goodman.
While Craig Revel Horwood had one criticism, he also admitted that the routine was full of 'drama.'
The couple seemed over the moon to have got the highest score of the series so far.
On fire: Denise turns up the heat and gets a standing ovation from the audience
Top score: Denise celebrates after getting the top score from the judges
With Bruce Forsyth off this week, Claudia Winkleman stepped into his rather hefty shoes and presented alongside the statuesque Tess Daly who wowed in a skin-tight black dress complete with white cuffs and collar.
Richard Arnold was in the dance-off for a second time last week so he knew that he had to step up his game this week.
Dressed as a hairdresser he danced the Charleston in true comedic style with partner Erin Boa.
Craig shocked the showbiz reporter by saying: 'It was your best dance tonight.'
While Darcey Bussell had a couple of constructive comments, she agreed that it was a triumph, making Richard the true comeback kid.
The couple were given a 29 from the judges, their highest score of the series, making Richard one to watch.
Having a laugh: Richard Arnold impresses the judges with his comedic routine as a hairdresser
Comeback kid: Richard gets great reviews from the judges as he's dubbed the 'comeback kid.'
Louis Smith didn't get a great score last week and seemed determined to step up his game for his performance this week.
Taking to the floor with Flavia Cacace, the Olympian danced the Waltz to Moonriver and got a standing ovation from the audience but divided the judges and failed to impress Craig.
'I thought it was a bit pedestrian. Also you were getting a little out of time in the middle,' he said.
Len disagreed saying: 'What a load of bolognese. Craig just says things for effect sometimes.'
Darcey and Bruno Tonioli also loved the dance and he came out with high score of 33, getting a six from Craig and three nines from the others.
'You waltzed into the heart of the nation.' said Bruno.
What a waltz: Louis Smith gets mixed reviews from the judges with a lot of criticism from Craig
Causing arguments: The routine caused a bust up between the judges
Bust-up: The judges argue over Louis's performance which split their opinions
Fern Britton might have been distracted by a shirtless Artem Chigvintsev last week but she was more than focused for her salsa this week.
The former This Morning presenter whipped off a shirt to reveal a tiny pink dress as she shimmied in front of the judges.
'You came out and you partied,' said Len. 'This was your best dance so far.'
Flashing the flesh: Fern Britton wears a tiny pink mini-dress for her routine
Getting sexy: Fern removes her shirt to reveal her figure to the judges
Exhausted: Fern looked physically drained after her dance but is happy with her positive comments
Victoria Pendelton and Brendon Cole danced the quickstep.
'I think that coming from a sports background is a hindrance. I'm well aware that I'm not the strongest dancer,' Victoria admitted.
The Olympian invoked an old school Hollywood actress with her amazing dress and retro hairstyle.
The judges were impressed with Victoria's footwork and enjoyed the routine, although they weren't overly enthusiastic, giving her a score of 30.
Old school glamour: Victoria Pendleton got a good review from the judges, earning her a score of 30
High drama: Victoria and Brendan ramped up the drama for their routine
Feeling good: Victoria and Brendan seem pleased with their performance
Dani Harmer showed off her stomach in a high-waisted skirt and crop top for her tango with Vincent Simone, which earned her a standing ovation.
'It was clean, it was precise but it's a shame it finished before the end of the music. But you're a fantastic dancer,' said Craig.
'I didn't like the beginning, you can come across as a moody teenager rather than a feisty woman,' said Darcy.
The judges seemed to like the performance as the child star was awarded a score of 34, their highest score of the series.
Showing off her figure: Dani Harmer wore a high-waisted skirt and a cropped top for her performance
Good comments: The actress got some great comments but Darcey had a few criticisms
Rave reviews: Dani gets great comments despite being likened to a 'moody teenager by Darcey
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Best score: Nicky bags his best score of the series so far for his foxtrot
Kimberley Walsh, who has been busying recording her fist solo album, also had a bandmate in the audience to impress.
Cheryl Cole wore a sophisticated shift dress as she sat in the audience and gave her friend a standing ovation.
'Such an emotive performance. You really moved me. A wonderful performance, well done.' said Darcey of her Viennese waltz.
'More spins than Alistair Campbell,' joked Len. 'I really, really enjoyed it.'
'It was near perfection apart from a tiny wobble,' added Bruno.
The popstar also bagged her highest score of the series with a 34.
What a score: Kimberley Walsh gives an 'emotive' performance with her Viennese waltz
Best friends: Bandmate Cheryl Cole looks on as her friend gets great comments
Michael Vaughn got great comments from the judges last week and this week he danced the salsa with Natalie Lowe.
He hasn't got great comments in the past for his Latin dances but he did much better this week, although he ended up being bottom of the leader board.
'I think we can now say that you bat for the Latin team as well as the Ballroom team,' said Bruno.
'It went horribly wrong in the centre of it. You didn't recover from that. But I love the lifts, I love the energy and I love the commitment,' said Craig.
Bottom of the board: Michael Vaughan gives Latin a go but comes out bottom
Made mistakes: The couple made a few errors but seemed happy with their overall performance
Lisa Riley was on top comic form for her foxtrot with Robin Windsor, sporting a top hat and cane.
'As always impeccable timing and ferocious footwork, darling,' said Craig.
The much-loved actress had a great time and earned their highest scores yet.
Top comedic form: Lisa Riley proved that she's still got it with a top hat and cane
Over the moon: The actress looks happy to have received another round of great comments
Pucker up: Lisa plants a smacker on partner Robin Windsor as the scores come in