AMERICAN SMOOTH

The Dance

The American Smooth is traditional ballroom with a huge dollop of Hollywood glamour on top! Introduced into Strictly in series three, it incorporates steps from all five ballroom disciplines - the Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Quickstep and Foxtrot - but only 40% of the dance needs to be in the ballroom hold, while 60% can be danced apart and unlike traditional ballroom, three lifts are allowed in the routine (the rules have changed over the series, and three lifts are now allowed).

For the ladies, American Smooth dresses will be similar to their ballroom gowns, but because the couple separate during the dance, the front of the dress is as important as the back. For the extra glamour required, dresses are more likely to show more flesh and be lower cut, perhaps with the addition of floats to emphasise the glamour of the dance. The gentlemen will always wear a suit, not necessarily with tails, but always looking suave and sophisticated.

The judges will be looking for the usual hold, posture and clean footwork for the sections in hold, with beautiful musicality when dancing apart. For the lifts, they will want to see smooth transitions at the start and end of the lift, and overall they will be hoping to see that illusive wow factor.

Strictly statistics

As at the end of Series 12, Week 9 excluding Christmas Specials.

  Overall Female   Couple Male   Couple
Number of dances 83 46     37    
Average score 31.5 32.4     30.4    
Highest score 50 50
40
  Ali & Brian (Series 7)
Natalie & Artem (Series 11)
39   Harry & Aliona (Series 9)
Lowest score 14 14   Ann & Anton (Series 8) 15   Scott & Joanne (Series 12)
Number of 10s 37 28     9    

The best of Strictly

Ali & Brian in series seven received their first 10 of the competition for their sixth week routine which they danced to 'A Foggy Day In London Town', but it was in the semi-final, when they danced the American Smooth again, this time a routine performed to 'Come Dance With Me', that they scored the only perfect score so far in the history of the main competition and were awarded with five 10s from the judges (Darcey Bussell was the fifth judge for the final three programmes of series seven).

In the series five Christmas special, Darren & Lilia scored a perfect score with their routine danced to 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. Also in series 5, there was some controversy when judge Bruno awarded Kelly & Brendan a 10 for their American Smooth, when the routine included three lifts even though the rules say only two are allowed. The other judges all docked the couple points for the illegal lift, but apart from that, the routine was stunning.

The worst of Strictly

Without doubt the worst we've seen on Strictly so far, has to have come from Ann & Anton in series 8. Anton did his best with the choreography and even manage to include some lifts, but for the majority of the dance, Ann was either standing still or walking, or when actually attempting to dance, was out of time and had poor hold and posture. Difficult to find anything good to say about the routine at all, and the judges marked them just 14 points.

Scores for all American Smooth performances:

Series 3
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Colin & ErinMe And My ShadowWeek 89109937
James & CamillaCall Me IrresponsibleWeek 8777728
Patsy & AntonIt Had To Be YouWeek 8788831
Darren & Lilia(I Get The) Sweetest FeelingWeek 8888832
Zoe & IanPassing StrangersWeek 8999936

 

Series 4
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Claire & BrendanBlue MoonWeek 6879832
Mark & KarenOrange Coloured SkyWeek 6897933
Matt & LiliaYou Make Me Feel So YoungWeek 6889934
Carol & MatthewIt's Oh So QuietWeek 6677727
Emma & DarrenAnything GoesWeek 8889934
Louisa & VincentDo Nothing Till You Hear From MeWeek 10788831

 

Series 5
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Alesha & MatthewTop Hat, White Tie and TailsWeek 4888933
Dominic & LiliaStraighten Up and FlyWeek 4667726
John & NicoleStay With MeWeek 4457622
Kelly & Brendan(Love Is) The Tender TrapWeek 48881034
Letitia & DarrenMakin' WhoopeeWeek 4788831
Matt & FlaviaFor Once In My LifeWeek 4999936
Kenny & OlaHow Sweet It IsWeek 8688830
Gethin & CamillaGreen, Green Grass Of HomeWeek 1099101038
Matt & FlaviaFor Once In My LifeWeek 12999936
Darren & LiliaSanta Claus Is Coming To TownChristmas1010101040

 

Series 6
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Lisa & BrendanIt Happened In MontereyWeek 5899935
Cherie & JamesLaylaWeek 5799934
Don & LiliaCan't Smile Without YouWeek 5667625
Andrew & OlaYou Know I'm No GoodWeek 5345517
Jodie & IanWitchcraftWeek 5778830
Tom & CamillaChicagoWeek 5899935
Christine & MatthewSingin' In The RainWeek 7778729
Rachel & VincentI've Got A WomanWeek 8899935
John & KristinaTrue Love WaysWeek 9567725
Austin & ErinThe Best Is Yet To ComeWeek 12889934
Rachel & VincentMandyWeek 139981036
Jill & DarrenFavourite ThingsChristmas910101039

 

Series 7
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenAleshaBruno Total
Chris & OlaJimmy MackWeek 67-77728
Zoe & JamesMy GirlWeek 68-89833
Ricky & ErinChim-Chim-ChereeWeek 67-87729
Natalie & VincentPlease Don't Talk About Me When I'm GoneWeek 67-87729
Ali & BrianA Foggy Day In London TownWeek 69-991037
Phil & KatyaCome Fly With MeWeek 97-88831
Ricky & NatalieOver The RainbowWeek 109-810936
Laila & AntonMy Kind Of GirlWeek 126677733
Ali & BrianCome Dance With MeWeek 13101010101050
Gethin & FlaviaBaby It's Cold OutsideChristmas9-1091038

 

Series 8
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigLenAleshaBruno Total
Kara & ArtemCry Me A RiverWeek 896101035
Felicity & VincentMe and My ShadowWeek 8778830
Gavin & KatyaShe's A LadyWeek 8478827
Pamela & JamesPerhaps, Perhaps, PerhapsWeek 889101037
Scott & NatalieFly Me To The MoonWeek 9679931
Matt & AlionaEmpire State of MindWeek 9888933
Ann & AntonHello DollyWeek 10254314
Kara & ArtemCry Me A RiverWeek 12107101037

 

Series 9
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigJenniferLenAleshaBruno Total
Anita & RobinI've Got You Under My SkinWeek 48-88832
Holly & ArtemSwan LakeWeek 58-99935
Robbie & OlaSwayWeek 77-88831
Russell & FlaviaI Am What I AmWeek 75-77726
Alex & JamesPretty WomanWeek 108-89934
Jason & KristinaSingin' In The RainWeek 109-991037
Chelsee & PashaTime After TimeWeek 118-910936
Harry & AlionaCan't Help Falling In LoveWeek 129-10101039
Debra & IanBaby, It's Cold OutsideChristmas8-9101037

 

Series 10
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Fern & ArtemKiller QueenWeek 4456621
Louis & FlaviaI Got A WomanWeek 7788730
Michael & NatalieNew York, New YorkWeek 7999835
Denise & JamesImagineWeek 89991037
Dani & VincentHaven't Met You YetWeek 11889934
Kimberley & PashaFeverWeek 1191091038
Lisa & RobinAll That JazzWeek 11888832
Bobby & KatyaWhite ChristmasChristmas678829

 

Series 11
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Dave & KarenHow Do You Like Yor Eggs in the Morning?Week 2355417
Ashley & OlaBeyond The SeaWeek 2798832
Mark & IvetaIt Must Be LoveWeek 3667726
Susanna & KevinSunny Side of the StreetWeek 5888832
Rachel & PashaI Put A Spell On YouWeek 6778830
Patrick & AnyaAmerican SmoothWeek 79109937
Ben & KristinaFallin'Week 8888832
Fiona & AntonCome Fly With MeWeek 8678829
Natalie & Artem And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going Week 10 9 9 8 10 36
Sophie & Brendan They Can't Take That Away From Me Week 12 8 9 9 10 36
Abbey & Aljaž Sweet Caroline Week 12 9 10 10 10 39
Natalie & Artem And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going Week 13 10 10 10 10 40
Matt & Aliona Winter Wonderalnd Christmas 8 9 9 9 35

 

Series 12
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarcyDonnyLenBruno Total
Mark & Karen I'm Yours Week 2 6 7 - 7 7 27
Sunetra & BrendanThe Way You Look TonightWeek 37889840
Scott & JoanneTotal Eclipse of the HeartWeek 425-4415
Alison & AljažWuthering HeightsWeek 657-7726
Judy & AntonCruella De VilWeek 636-6520
Jake & Janette Feeling Good Week 8 9 9 - 9 9 36
Steve & Ola Rolling In The Deep Week 8 7 8 - 8 8 31
Caroline & Pasha Mack The Knife Week 9 7 8 - 9 9 33

 

All dances from highest scoring to lowest scoring

Couple Song DateScore*
Darren & LiliaSanta Claus Is Coming To TownSeries 5, Christmas40
Ali & BrianCome Dance With MeSeries 7, Week 1340 (50)
Natalie & ArtemAnd I Am Telling You I'm Not GoingSeries 11, Week 1340
Jill & DarrenFavourite ThingsSeries 6, Christmas39
Harry & AlionaCan't Help Falling In LoveSeries 9, Week 1239
Abbey & AljažSweet CarolineSeries 11, Week 1239
Gethin & CamillaGreen, Green Grass Of HomeSeries 5, Week 1038
Gethin & FlaviaBaby It's Cold OutsideSeries 7, Christmas38
Kimberley & PashaFeverSeries 10, Week 1138
Colin & ErinMe And My ShadowSeries 3, Week 837
Ali & BrianA Foggy Day In London TownSeries 7, Week 637
Kara & ArtemCry Me A RiverSeries 8, Week 1237
Pamela & JamesPerhaps, Perhaps, PerhapsSeries 8, Week 837
Jason & KristinaSingin' In The RainSeries 9, Week 1037
Debra & IanBaby, It's Cold OutsideSeries 9, Christmas37
Denise & JamesImagineSeries 10, Week 837
Patrick & AnyaIt Had To Be YouSeries 11, Week 737
Zoe & IanPassing StrangersSeries 3, Week 836
Matt & FlaviaFor Once In My LifeSeries 5, Week 436
Matt & FlaviaFor Once In My LifeSeries 5, Week 1236
Rachel & VincentMandySeries 6, Week 1336
Ricky & NatalieOver The RainbowSeries 7, Week 1036
Chelsee & PashaTime After TimeSeries 9, Week 1136
Natalie & ArtemAnd I Am Telling You I'm Not GoingSeries 11, Week 1036
Sophie & BrendanThey Can’t Take That Away From MeSeries 11, Week 1236
Jake & JanetteFeeling GoodSeries 12, Week 836
Lisa & BrendanIt Happened In MontereySeries 6, Week 535
Tom & CamillaChicagoSeries 6, Week 535
Rachel & VincentI've Got A WomanSeries 6, Week 835
Kara & ArtemCry Me A RiverSeries 8, Week 835
Michael & NatalieNew York, New YorkSeries 10, Week 735
Holly & ArtemSwan LakeSeries 9, Week 535
Matt & AlionaWinter WonderalndSeries 11, Christmas35
Matt & LiliaYou Make Me Feel So YoungSeries 4, Week 634
Emma & DarrenAnything GoesSeries 4, Week 834
Kelly & Brendan(Love Is) The Tender TrapSeries 5, Week 434
Cherie & JamesLaylaSeries 6, Week 534
Austin & ErinThe Best Is Yet To ComeSeries 6, Week 1234
Alex & JamesPretty WomanSeries 9, Week 1034
Dani & VincentHaven't Met You YetSeries 10, Week 1134
Mark & KarenOrange Coloured SkySeries 4, Week 633
Alesha & MatthewTop Hat, White Tie and TailsSeries 5, Week 433
Zoe & JamesMy GirlSeries 7, Week 633
Matt & AlionaEmpire State of MindSeries 8, Week 933
Caroline & PashaMack The KnifeSeries 12, Week 933
Darren & Lilia(I Get The) Sweetest FeelingSeries 3, Week 832
Claire & BrendanBlue MoonSeries 4, Week 632
Anita & RobinI've Got You Under My SkinSeries 9, Week 432
Lisa & RobinAll That JazzSeries 10, Week 1132
Ashley & OlaBeyond The SeaSeries 11, Week 232
Susanna & KevinSunny Side Of The StreetSeries 11, Week 532
Ben & KristinaFallin'Series 11, Week 832
Sunetra & BrendanThe Way You Look TonightSeries 12, Week 332 (40)
Patsy & AntonIt Had To Be YouSeries 3, Week 831
Louisa & VincentDo Nothing Till You Hear From MeSeries 4, Week 1031
Letitia & DarrenMakin' WhoopeeSeries 5, Week 431
Phil & KatyaCome Fly With MeSeries 7, Week 931
Scott & NatalieFly Me To The MoonSeries 8, Week 931
Robbie & OlaSwaySeries 9, Week 731
Steve & OlaRolling In The DeepSeries 12, Week 831
Kenny & OlaHow Sweet It IsSeries 5, Week 830
Jodie & IanWitchcraftSeries 6, Week 530
Felicity & VincentMe and My ShadowSeries 8, Week 830
Louis & FlaviaI Got A WomanSeries 10, Week 730
Rachel & PashaI Put A Spell On YouSeries 11, Week 630
Christine & MatthewSingin' In The RainSeries 6, Week 729
Ricky & ErinChim-Chim-ChereeSeries 7, Week 629
Natalie & VincentPlease Don't Talk About Me When I'm GoneSeries 7, Week 629
Bobby & KatyaWhite ChristmasSeries 10, Christmas29
Fiona & AntonCome Fly With MeSeries 11, Week 829
James & CamillaCall Me IrresponsibleSeries 3, Week 828
Chris & OlaJimmy MackSeries 7, Week 628
Carol & MatthewIt's Oh So QuietSeries 4, Week 627
Gavin & KatyaShe's A LadySeries 8, Week 827
Mark & KarenI'm YoursSeries 12, Week 227
Laila & AntonMy Kind Of GirlSeries 7, Week 1226.4 (33)
Dominic & LiliaStraighten Up and FlySeries 5, Week 426
Russell & FlaviaI Am What I AmSeries 9, Week 726
Mark & IvetaIt Must Be LoveSeries 11, Week 326
Alison & AljažWuthering HeightsSeries 12, Week 626
Don & LiliaCan't Smile Without YouSeries 6, Week 525
John & KristinaTrue Love WaysSeries 6, Week 925
John & NicoleStay With MeSeries 5, Week 422
Fern & ArtemKiller QueenSeries 10, Week 421
Judy & AntonCruella De VilSeries 12, Week 620
Andrew & OlaYou Know I'm No GoodSeries 6, Week 517
Dave & KarenHow Do You Like Yor Eggs in the Morning?Series 11, Week 217
Scott & JoanneTotal Eclipse of the HeartSeries 12, Week 415
Ann & AntonHello DollySeries 8, Week 1014

*The score for any dances marked by five judges have been adjusted down to allow for fair comparison, so the score in this column is the adjusted score followed by the actual score in brackets.

The perfect scoring dance from Ali & Brian in series 7:

Controversial, but Ultimate Strictly's favourite ever American Smooth from Kelly & Brendan:

And a couple of Christmas Crackers from series 3 champions Darren & Lilia and series 4 champions Jill & Darren: