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Recap: Strictly Come Dancing 2012 week 1 (part 2)

The second half of the celebrity group dance. How did they get on?

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor

The first instalment of this year’s Strictly Come Dancinglive shows sure was a mixed bag of talent. From Victoria Pendleton’s shambolic performance through to Denise Van Outen’s graceful Waltz we can tell that pre-show expectations are going to be turned on their head.

In the weekend’s second instalment the remaining 8 couples took to the dance floor to see if they could fare better than the couples who danced the previous evening. At the opening of the show Denise Van Outen and her partner James Jordan were top of the leaderboard with 25 points meaning that the competition was wide open for another couple to beat them.

Opening the second show of the weekend was Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh with her partner Pasha Kovalev. Expectations were high with Kimberley due to her being part of an all-singing, all-dancing girl group. The training VT showed Kimberley getting frustrated with herself but band-mate Nicola Roberts popped by to spur her on. Dancing the Cha Cha Cha Kimberley and Pasha were out to prove they could top the leaderboard. The audience clapped away as they gave the couple a standing ovation. Good start don’t you think? Len named Kimberley ‘nimble Kimble’ telling her she was clean and precise making a ‘fantastic impression’. Bruno told Kimberley that she knows how to sell a performance and said he loved it. Craig said he was glad to finally see some dance talent and called the performance ‘incandescent’. Darcey said Kimberley gave the ‘wow’ factor for her first dance.

Second up to dance was former EastEnders actor Sid Owen who said during the launch show that he couldn’t dance. Paired with the feisty Ola Jordan, Sid’s first dance was the Waltz. From the look of their VT they’ve been having a lot of fun but could they impress the judges? Well for someone who reckons he can’t dance we think Sid did pretty well. Bruno said he couldn’t believe his eyes and praised Sid’s technique saying he was ‘very, very good’. Craig criticised Sid’s arms and hands but generally thought the movement and storytelling was good. Darcey said Sid presented himself well creating intensity with Ola. Len commented that Sid scrubs up well going on to compliment his footwork and technique.

Johnny Ball, Strictly’s oldest contestant ever, was next up and despite being paired with Aliona Vilani he is now dancing with Iveta Lukosiute following Aliona suffering an injury. With only a few days to rehearse can Johnny still give it a fighting chance? Dancing the Cha Cha Cha it wasn’t long until we found out. Well you have to admire his efforts but Johnny didn’t wow us. Impressive for his age but not a natural it seems. Craig wasn’t happy with Johnny’s miming during his routine and asked for more fluidity. Darcey admired Johnny’s energy and admitted she was surprised. Len called it ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’ but went on to praise Johnny’s efforts saying other people of his age would love to move as well as he can. Bruno said Johnny had ‘failed the MOT’ but managed to ‘complete the lap’.

Children’s TV actress Dani Harmer found the spotlight on her next as her time to strut her stuff for the first time came. In the intro VT Dani compared her pairing with Vincent to a ‘pair of Polly Pockets’ referring to their miniature stature. Their training video looked pretty good so could they become the best Waltz pairing so far? Darcey said she was impressed with Dani’s travelling and gave her advice on how to keep her neckline straight. Len said Dani’s performance was close to being great but there were tweaks needed to take her technique to the next level. Bruno told Dani to smile and enjoy herself rather than looking anxious. Craig said she had a beautiful back and offered some unusually constructive comments to help her improve next week.

Former Emmerdale star Lisa Riley was next on to the dance floor and determined to prove her critics wrong. During the launch show Craig said that Robin Windsor would need luck to do well with Lisa as a partner. In the VT Lisa enthused about her glam new look and the good looks of her partner Robin. Could Team RiRo prove their critics wrong with a Cha Cha Cha? Absolutely. Finishing to a standing ovation as Robin leaped into Lisa’s arms they definitely entertained us. Through a big smile Len called Lisa a ‘funky monkey’ likening her to a ‘fizzy bottle of cola’. Bruno said it had plenty of cheek and theatre declaring that he loved her. Craig simply said ‘you can dance’ whilst Darcey said she was going to be ‘a joy to watch’ during the show.

Could the show’s potential comedy performer be the next celebrity, Richard Arnold? The TV critic doesn’t seem like he’d be a good dancer but we’ve been proven wrong before. With his partner Erin Boag, Richard was to perform the Waltz as his first dance. Training seemed to be a mixed bag so would Richard be able to pull it out of the bag? Bruno said he was expecting a ‘camp fest’ and said the performance was a bit boring and nice. Craig disagreed with Bruno and said he liked Richard’s restrained approach. Darcey agreed with Bruno and said she missed Richard’s personality too. Len was quite stern getting annoyed that the other judges were expecting personality in a Waltz and said Richard’s footwork was the best he’s seen this year so far.

The penultimate couple to dance was Jerry Hall and her partner Anton Du Beke. Following Anton’s pairing with Nancy Dell’Olio last year he must find Jerry a breeze surely? In the intro VT Jerry said she felt like the penguin in Happy Feetand their training video showed the pair having lots of fun. Can Jerry go from catwalk to Cha Cha Cha? Erm it’s not looking very good is it. Craig said Jerry had taken minimal to a ‘whole new level’ with Darcey telling Jerry to dance more and work harder. Len said he thought it was pretty good but careful adding that he wants to be excited. Bruno said the little bit of Cha Cha Cha in the routine was good.

The final couple to take to the floor was Olympic athlete Louis Smith and his partner Flavia Cacace. Could he fare better than fellow Olympian Victoria Pendleton who made a right mess of her performance the previous evening? Tackling the Cha Cha Cha Louis seemed reserved about his chances in the intro VT. As he finished his debut performance the audience rose to their feet for a standing ovation. Darcey said she could tell Louis has good rhythm whilst Len said it was ‘a tad loose in places’. Bruno labelled Louis a ‘snake hipped wonder’ but told him to be careful with his flexibility as it affects his movements. Craig called it flat-footed and awkward.

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor – 30
Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev – 28
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace – 27
Sid Owen and Ola Jordan – 26
Richard Arnold and Erin Boag – 22
Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone – 21
Jerry Hall and Anton Du Beke – 18
Johnny Ball and Iveta Lukosiute – 17

All 14 couples have now performed for the first time and the early predictions seem to be a little off in terms of who may walk away with the glitterball. The full leaderboard for the two evenings is as follows:

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor – 30
Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev – 28
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace – 27
Sid Owen and Ola Jordan – 26
Denise Van Outen and James Jordan – 25
Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff – 23
Richard Arnold and Erin Boag – 22
Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone – 21
Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe – 20
Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev – 19
Jerry Hall and Anton Du Beke – 18
Johnny Ball and Iveta Lukosiute – 17
Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer – 17
Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole – 16

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.

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