TANGO

History

When the Argentine Tango was brought to the European ballroom in the early 20th century, it wasn't long before the English dancers started to introduce their own steps and style into the dance forming what became the Ballroom Tango. Elements of the Argentine style remain, with the flexed knees (from where the gauchos would have stiff legs from wearing their leather chaps) and the womans posture with the head held back away from the man (said to be because the gauchos would be smelly from working on the pampas all day).

The costumes are usually more casual for the men, with a short suit jacket instead of tails, and for the woman, the dress will still be a full length gown, but expect to see strong or passionate colours - dramatic black, fiery red, electric blue or purple.

The dance

The Tango is the sexy, passionate dance of the ballroom discipline. No rise and fall in this dance, it should be flat across the floor, with slow, stalking promenades alternating with sharp turns, swivels and head movements. The hold is different for the Tango, in that it is closer and more compact, with the woman dancing in the crook of the mans right arm.

'Staccato' is often used to describe the Tango, by which the judges mean the sharp, clipped movements, not just with the feet, but with head movements, lines and posture.

The best of Strictly

The benchmark for the Tango was set by Zoe & Ian in Series 3, with a spine-tingling routine, which scored two 10's from Arlene and Bruno, and a total of 38 points. Everything about the dance was right, from the costumes (Zoe in a stunning black beaded gown), to the music (traditional and passionate), to the choreography (intense and mesmerising story telling), making it an absolute joy to watch.

By far the best of the male celebrity Tango routine came from Austin & Erin in week 9 of the sixth series, with a passionate, sharp and dramatic routine danced to "Libertango" which prompted two 10s from the judges and another total of 38 points.

In the final of series 10, Kimberley & Pasha chose the tango as their favourite dance, and in an enormous improvement on their first time, danced an impeccable routine combining fantastic technique and a passionate performance, resulting in the judges awarding them the coveted perfoect score of four 10s.

The worst of Strictly

By week 3 of Series 2, we already knew Diarmuid Gavin wasn't going to be a great dancer, and as hard as Nicole tried, their performance still has the lowest score for the Tango in all of Strictly, with only 14 points. In the same week, Esther & Anton didn't fare much better with only 16 points.

Karen's dress was the start of the downfall of her Tango with Bill Turnbull, as the flamenco styling of the skirt was so long and flouncy, it hid not only her feet, but that of her partner - a cunning plan some thought - but the judges spotted it, and what with the tacky engagement ring prop at the end of the routine, it warranted a score of only 20 points.

Scores for all Tango performances:

Series 1
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Lesley & AntonSensationWeek 3787729
David & CamillaLa CumparsitaWeek 3465520
Claire & JohnRoxanneWeek 3899834
Natasha & BrendanLibre TangoWeek 6878831
Chris & HannaToxicWeek 7267621

 

Series 2
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Julian & ErinEl Tango de RoxanneWeek 3677727
Esther & AntonOne Way Or AnotherWeek 3245516
Diarmuid & NicolePor Una CabezaWeek 3235414
Sarah & BrendanHernando's HideawayWeek 3788831
Aled & LiliaCell Block Tango (He Had It Comin')Week 7677727
Jill & DarrenObjection TangoWeek 7787729
Denise & IanGoldfingerWeek 7899935

 

Series 3
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Bill & KarenPerhaps, Perhaps, PerhapsWeek 3456520
Patsy & AntonUna Música BrutalWeek 3889934
Colin & ErinRide ItWeek 3757726
James & CamillaMein HerrWeek 3678728
Darren & LiliaFrom Russia With LoveWeek 3898833
Will & HannaPretty WomanWeek 6669728
Zoe & IanArgentinoWeek 791091038
Zoe & IanArgentinoWeek 1091091038

 

Series 4
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Ray & CamillaMoney, Money, MoneyWeek 3768829
Matt & LiliaStand By MeWeek 3877830
Spoony & OlaTango D'AmourWeek 3677727
Mark & KarenEleanor RigbyWeek 3788932
Peter & ErinTango NotturnoWeek 3689831
Claire & BrendanOle GuapaWeek 7886729
Louisa & VincentSweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)Week 7899935
Emma & DarrenManeaterWeek 10989935
Mark & KarenEleanor RigbyWeek 12889934

 

Series 5
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Gethin & CamillaGoldWeek 3678829
Kenny & OlaCall MeWeek 3667625
Kate & AntonTheyWeek 3455519
Letitia & DarrenMaterial GirlWeek 3677727
Willie & ErinOberturaWeek 3566623
Kelly & BrendanGimme, Gimme, GimmeWeek 3998935
John & NicoleDance With MeWeek 7678728
Matt & FlaviaWhat Are You Waiting ForWeek 9779932
Alesha & MatthewJealousyWeek 991091038

 

Series 6
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigArleneLenBruno Total
Mark & HayleyTangueraWeek 3557724
John & KristinaBoulevard of Broken DreamsWeek 3366722
Andrew & Ola20th Century BoyWeek 3467522
Don & LiliaWhatever Lola WantsWeek 3778830
Lisa & BrendanLa CumparsitaWeek 7899935
Heather & BrianRebel, RebelWeek 8677727
Austin & ErinLibertangoWeek 999101038
Tom & CamillaPlease Mr BrownWeek 10999936
Christine & MatthewAddicted To LoveWeek 11678728
Rachel & VincentHere Comes The Rain AgainWeek 12910101039

 

Series 7
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenAleshaBruno Total
Rav & AlionaBaby Did A Bad Bad ThingWeek 13-65519
Chris & OlaSharp Dressed ManWeek 16-77626
Lynda & DarrenUnder PressureWeek 13-67521
Joe & KristinaCite TangoWeek 12-55416
Natalie & VincentSpider Of The NightWeek 26-66624
Craig & FlaviaJai HoWeek 25-65622
Laila & AntonEl ChocioWeek 27-87830
Jo & BrendanLet's DanceWeek 23-55518
Phil & KatyaBack To BlackWeek 77-78830
Ricky & NatalieYou Really Got MeWeek 88-99935
Ricky & ErinU Got The LookWeek 105-66522
Ali & BrianBorn To Be WildWeek 128989842

 

Series 8
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigLenAleshaBruno Total
Scott & NataliePalladioWeek 4899935
Felicity & VincentGipsy TangoWeek 4777829
Gavin & KatyaToxicWeek 4566623
Pamela & JamesLove Is The DrugWeek 4889934
Michelle & IanKillerWeek 4677727
Ann & AntonLa CumparsitaWeek 4376521
Kara & ArtemEl Tango de RoxanneWeek 1099101038
Matt & AlionaHung UpWeek 1191010938
June & VincentNever Do A Tango With An EskimoChristmas678728

 

Series 9
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigJenniferLenAleshaBruno Total
Holly & ArtemCell Block Tango (He Had It Comin')Week 37-87830
Nancy & AntonBe ItalianWeek 34-55620
Robbie & OlaGimme, Gimme, GimmeWeek 37-78830
Jason & KristinaI Will SurviveWeek 39-99936
Russell & FlaviaSweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)Week 45-66724
Chelsee & PashaLove Potion Number 9Week 57-89832
Harry & AlionaPsycho KillerWeek 58-710934
Anita & RobinDevil WomanWeek 57-88831
Lulu & BrendanKissWeek 658-7727
Alex & JamesRelaxWeek 88-99935
Jason & KristinaI Will SurviveWeek 129-1010938

 

Series 10
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Sid & OlaHere I Go AgainWeek 3445417
Nicky & KarenWeird ScienceWeek 4667726
Victoria & BrendanWhite WeddingWeek 4788831
Louis & FlaviaDisturbiaWeek 4899935
Lisa & RobinLet's Stick TogetherWeek 5776727
Dani & VincentRumour Has ItWeek 6889934
Kimberley & PashaWhen Doves CryWeek 8898934
Denise & JamesRoxanneWeek 11910101039
Dani & VincentRumour Has ItWeek 12999936
Kimberley & PashaWhen Doves CryWeek 121010101040

 

Series 11
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Mark & IvetaHernando's HideawayWeek 1567624
Fiona & AntonA View To A KillWeek 1567624
Deborah & RobinMoney, Money, MoneyWeek 1666624
Susanna & KevinLocked Out Of HeavenWeek 2788831
Patrick & AnyaBeat ItWeek 2677727
Julien & JanetteApplauseWeek 2355518
Vanessa & JamesLay All Your Love On MeWeek 3356620
Abbey & AljažSpectrumWeek 4989935
Ashley & OlaBeautiful MonsterWeek 6899933
Dave & KarenI'm Gonna BeWeek 7466420
Natalie & Artem Where Have You Been Week 9 9 9 9 10 37
Sophie & Brendan Material Girl Week 11 9 8 8 9 34
Rufus & Flavia Never Do A Tango With An Eskimo Christmas 9 10 9 10 38

 

Series 12
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Jake & JanetteToxicWeek 1777728
Steve & OlaBorn To Be WildWeek 1667726
Sunetra & BrendanBad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)Week 1566724
Simon & Kristina Sing Week 2 5 7 7 7 26
Caroline & Pasha Blame Week 2 7 7 7 8 29
Scott & Joanne Stop Week 2 4 5 6 5 20
Judy & AntonJealousyWeek 4466622
Alison & AljažAddicted To YouWeek 5566623
Pixie & TrentDanger! High VoltageWeek 6888933
Frankie & KevinDefying GravityWeek 69991037
Mark & Karen Love Runs Out Week 9 8 8 8 8 32

 

Series 13
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Kellie & Kevin You Really Got Me Week 1 6 7 7 7 27
Ainsley & Natalie Voulez Vous Week 1 4 5 6 5 20
Iwan & Ola Keep On Running Week 1 3 5 5 4 17
Katie & Anton Telephone Week 2 7 7 7 7 28
Peter & JanetteBlue MondayWeek 4888832
Anita & GlebSweet DispositionWeek 5888832
Georgia & GiovanniGhostbustersWeek 6899935
Jeremy & KarenGo WestWeek 7466521
Helen & AljažHold Back The RiverWeek 8898934
Jay & AlionaWhen Doves CryWeek 1091091038
Kellie & KevinYou Really Got MeWeek 131010101040

 

Series 14
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyLenBruno Total
Ore & JoanneGeronimoWeek 1776727
Will & KarenLet’s DanceWeek 1887730
Greg & NatalieJumpWeek 2676726
Melvin & JanetteMoving On UpWeek 2566623
Naga & PashaTheme from Mission ImpossibleWeek 3567725
Tameka & GorkaThe Heat Is OnWeek 3677828
Lesley & AntonWhatever Lola WantsWeek 5567624
Laura & GiovanniPaint It BlackWeek 6999936
Ed & Katya(I Can't Get No) SatisfactionWeek 10467623
Danny & OtiOne Night OnlyWeek 1191091038
Louise & KevinGlad All OverWeek 129991037

 

Series 15
      Judges scores  
Couple Song Date CraigDarceyShirleyBruno Total
Brian & AmyTemptationWeek 1

All dances from highest scoring to lowest scoring

Couple Song DateScore*
Kimberley & PashaWhen Doves CrySeries 10, Week 1240
Kellie & KevinYou Really Got MeSeries 13, Week 1340
Rachel & VincentHere Comes The Rain AgainSeries 6, Week 1239
Denise & JamesRoxanneSeries 10, Week 1139
Zoe & IanArgentinoSeries 3, Week 738
Zoe & IanArgentinoSeries 3, Week 1038
Alesha & MatthewJealousySeries 5, Week 938
Austin & ErinLibertangoSeries 6, Week 938
Kara & ArtemEl Tango de RoxanneSeries 8, Week 1038
Matt & AlionaHung UpSeries 8, Week 1138
Jason & KristinaI Will SurviveSeries 9, Week 1238
Rufus & FlaviaNever Do A Tango With An EskimoSeries 11, Christmas38
Jay & AlionaWhen Doves CrySeries 13, Week 1038
Danny & OtiOne Night OnlySeries 14, Week 1138
Natalie & ArtemWhere Have You BeenSeries 11, Week 1937
Frankie & KevinDefying GravitySeries 12, Week 637
Louise & KevinGlad All OverSeries 14, Week 1237
Tom & CamillaPlease Mr BrownSeries 6, Week 1036
Jason & KristinaI Will SurviveSeries 9, Week 336
Dani & VincentRumour Has ItSeries 10, Week 1236
Laura & GiovanniPaint It BlackSeries 14, Week 636
Denise & IanGoldfingerSeries 2, Week 735
Louisa & VincentSweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)Series 4, Week 735
Emma & DarrenManeaterSeries 4, Week 1035
Kelly & BrendanGimme, Gimme, GimmeSeries 5, Week 335
Lisa & BrendanLa CumparsitaSeries 6, Week 735
Ricky & NatalieYou Really Got MeSeries 7, Week 835
Scott & NataliePalladioSeries 8, Week 435
Alex & JamesRelaxSeries 9, Week 835
Louis & FlaviaDisturbiaSeries 10, Week 435
Abbey & AljažSpectrumSeries 11, Week 435
Georgia & GiovanniGhostbustersSeries 13, Week 635
Claire & JohnRoxanneSeries 1, Week 334
Patsy & AntonUna Música BrutalSeries 3, Week 334
Mark & KarenEleanor RigbySeries 4, Week 1234
Pamela & JamesLove Is The DrugSeries 8, Week 434
Harry & AlionaPsycho KillerSeries 9, Week 534
Dani & VincentRumour Has ItSeries 10, Week 634
Kimberley & PashaWhen Doves CrySeries 10, Week 834
Sophie & BrendanMaterial GirlSeries 11, Week 1134
Helen & AljažHold Back The RiverSeries 13, Week 834
Ali & BrianBorn To Be WildSeries 7, Week 1233.6 (42)
Darren & LiliaFrom Russia With LoveSeries 3, Week 333
Ashley & OlaBeautiful MonsterSeries 11, Week 633
Pixie & TrentDanger! High VoltageSeries 12, Week 633
Mark & KarenEleanor RigbySeries 4, Week 332
Matt & FlaviaWhat Are You Waiting ForSeries 5, Week 932
Chelsee & PashaLove Potion Number 9Series 9, Week 532
Mark & KarenLove Runs OutSeries 12, Week 932
Peter & JanetteBlue MondaySeries 13, Week 432
Anita & GlebSweet DispositionSeries 13, Week 532
Natasha & BrendanLibre TangoSeries 1, Week 631
Sarah & BrendanHernando's HideawaySeries 2, Week 331
Peter & ErinTango NotturnoSeries 4, Week 331
Anita & RobinDevil WomanSeries 9, Week 531
Victoria & BrendanWhite WeddingSeries 10, Week 431
Susanna & KevinLocked Out Of HeavenSeries 11, Week 231
Matt & LiliaStand By MeSeries 4, Week 330
Don & LiliaWhatever Lola WantsSeries 6, Week 330
Laila & AntonEl ChocioSeries 7, Week 230
Phil & KatyaBack To BlackSeries 7, Week 730
Holly & ArtemCell Block Tango (He Had It Comin')Series 9, Week 330
Robbie & OlaGimme, Gimme, GimmeSeries 9, Week 330
Will & KarenLet’s DanceSeries 14, Week 130
Lesley & AntonSensationSeries 1, Week 329
Jill & DarrenObjection TangoSeries 2, Week 729
Ray & CamillaMoney, Money, MoneySeries 4, Week 329
Claire & BrendanOle GuapaSeries 4, Week 729
Gethin & CamillaGoldSeries 5, Week 329
Felicity & VincentGipsy TangoSeries 8, Week 429
Caroline & PashaBlameSeries 12, Week 229
James & CamillaMein HerrSeries 3, Week 328
Will & HannaPretty WomanSeries 3, Week 628
John & NicoleDance With MeSeries 5, Week 728
Christine & MatthewAddicted To LoveSeries 6, Week 1128
June & VincentNever Do A Tango With An EskimoSeries 8, Christmas28
Jake & JanetteToxicSeries 12, Week 128
Katie & AntonToxicSeries 13, Week 228
Tameka & GorkaThe Heat Is OnSeries 14, Week 328
Julian & ErinEl Tango de RoxanneSeries 2, Week 327
Aled & LiliaCell Block Tango (He Had It Comin')Series 2, Week 727
Spoony & OlaTango D'AmourSeries 4, Week 327
Letitia & DarrenMaterial GirlSeries 5, Week 327
Heather & BrianRebel, RebelSeries 6, Week 827
Michelle & IanKillerSeries 8, Week 427
Lulu & BrendanKissSeries 9, Week 627
Lisa & RobinLet's Stick TogetherSeries 10, Week 527
Patrick & AnyaBeat ItSeries 11, Week 227
Kellie & KevinYou Really Got MeSeries 12, Week 127
Ore & JoanneGeronimoSeries 14, Week 127
Colin & ErinRide ItSeries 3, Week 326
Chris & OlaSharp Dressed ManSeries 7, Week 126
Nicky & KarenWeird ScienceSeries 10, Week 426
Steve & OlaBorn To Be WildSeries 12, Week 126
Simon & KristinaSingSeries 12, Week 226
Greg & NatalieJumpSeries 14, Week 226
Kenny & OlaCall MeSeries 5, Week 325
Naga & PashaTheme from Mission ImpossibleSeries 14, Week 325
Mark & HayleyTangueraSeries 6, Week 324
Natalie & VincentSpider Of The NightSeries 7, Week 224
Russell & FlaviaSweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)Series 9, Week 424
Mark & IvetaHernando's HideawaySeries 11, Week 124
Fiona & AntonA View To A KillSeries 11, Week 124
Deborah & RobinMoney, Money, MoneySeries 11, Week 124
Sunetra & BrendanBad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)Series 12, Week 124
Lesley & AntonWhatever Lola WantsSeries 14, Week 524
Willie & ErinOberturaSeries 5, Week 323
Gavin & KatyaToxicSeries 8, Week 423
Alison & AljažAddicted To YouSeries 12, Week 523
Melvin & JanetteMoving On UpSeries 14, Week 223
Ed & Katya(I Can't Get No) SatisfactionSeries 14, Week 1023
John & KristinaBoulevard of Broken DreamsSeries 6, Week 322
Andrew & Ola20th Century BoySeries 6, Week 322
Craig & FlaviaJai HoSeries 7, Week 222
Ricky & ErinU Got The LookSeries 7, Week 1022
Judy & AntonJealousySeries 12, Week 422
Chris & HannaToxicSeries 1, Week 721
Lynda & DarrenUnder PressureSeries 7, Week 121
Ann & AntonLa CumparsitaSeries 8, Week 421
Jeremy & KarenGo WestSeries 13, Week 721
David & CamillaLa CumparsitaSeries 1, Week 320
Bill & KarenPerhaps, Perhaps, PerhapsSeries 3, Week 320
Nancy & AntonBe ItalianSeries 9, Week 320
Vanessa & JamesLay All Your Love On MeSeries 11, Week 320
Dave & KarenI'm Gonna BeSeries 11, Week 720
Scott & JoanneStopSeries 12, Week 220
Ainsley & NatalieVoulez-VousSeries 13, Week 120
Kate & AntonTheySeries 5, Week 319
Rav & AlionaBaby Did A Bad Bad ThingSeries 7, Week 119
Jo & BrendanLet's DanceSeries 7, Week 218
Julien & JanetteApplauseSeries 11, Week 218
Sid & OlaHere I Go AgainSeries 10, Week 317
Iwan & OlaKeep On RunningSeries 13, Week 117
Esther & AntonOne Way Or AnotherSeries 2, Week 316
Joe & KristinaCite TangoSeries 7, Week 116
Diarmuid & NicolePor Una CabezaSeries 2, Week 314

*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.

Kimberley & Pasha's perfect scoring tango in series 10:

 

Rachel & Vincent's tango in series 6:

 

Austin & Erin's Libertango:

 

Alesha & Matthew dance to Jealousy in series 5:

 

Not the highest score, but one of Ultimate Strictly's favourite tango routines from Kelly & Brendan: