February 3, 2023

Strictly come dance The pairing of Will Mellor and Nancy Xu delivered one of the highlights of the semifinals as they performed a dazzling Manchester-inspired routine that served as a comeback story of sorts for Will.

Each of the five semifinalists performed two dances on this week’s show, which was moved to Sunday. Will and Nancy’s first performance did not go down well with the judges – their Paso Doble only scored 32, with two scores out of seven.

The second dance, however, was the couple’s choice – and Will opted for a Manchester-inspired routine that combined his love of his hometown with his passion for ’90s music, complete with a medley of Stone Roses and Happy Mondays songs and a bucket hat for Will.

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Guy LevyBBC

Related: Strictly come dance pro Nancy Xu needed a push from the show’s choreographer last week

The dance was a hit this time. Anton Du Beke stated that Will “wrecked things up”, while Shirley Ballas called it a “daddy cool” dance.

Craig Revel Horwood said he was initially nervous that the performance would look like “daddy dancing” and that it might not go so well. However, he said the dance went “really well” in the end.

Motsi Mabuse emphasized what a great recovery performance this was after his previous dance failed to impress. She praised him for coming out again, not getting caught up in the negativity of his first routine, and doing a great dance. Will and Nancy got a score of 38.

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Related: Strictly Come Dancing’s Will Mellor explains why he would “never” do another reality show

The dance also elicited strong reactions from viewers, with some loving the “Madchester” vibes and others calling it “dad dancing after all”.

One fan wrote, “Will Mellor do a Madchester routine for Bez is the Strict content I never knew I wanted.”

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Another fan loved the glimpse of Bez, who was part of the Happy Mondays, in the audience, writing, “Love having Bez there, too, with his maracas! Brilliant dance from Will.”

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Meanwhile, another fan said the dance was the moment they’ve been waiting for.

“I give Will and Nancy a 10! THAT WAS INCREDIBLE!! Honestly, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for you. The first time your dance was absolute perfection for me. Please wait!! Congratulations!”

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Some, however, were less impressed.

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Either way, Will and Nany’s routine was a colorful highlight of the semifinal and one of the show’s most personal dances, as it highlighted Will’s passion for his home. It remains to be seen if that will be enough to push him through to next week’s final.

Just for one week, Strictly come dance airs on Sunday (11 December) at 7.15pm on BBC One, with a results show on Monday (12 December). Spin off show Strictly speaking, it takes two broadcast on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are also streamed on BBC iPlayer.

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