Strictly Come Dancing returned to our screens tonight to properly kick off the action for the 2015 series.
The first of two live shows this week, tonight saw 6 of the 15 couples take to the ballroom for the first time and show off what they’ve learned over the past 3 weeks. Following the launch show earlier this month, the celebrities have been hard at work with their pro partners preparing for their ballroom debut.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman helmed the show tonight and Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell resumed their roles as judges casting an eye over the couples and offering up their usual mix of critiques.
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton
In her intro VT Eastenders actress Kellie Bright looked like she’s been getting on really well with her pro dance partner Kevin Clifton. She said her mum had Kevin as her first choice.
The dance: They performed the Tango for their first dance to ‘You Really Got Me’ by The Kinks. It was a great up tempo performance and a great start for the couple. They got a standing ovation from the audience for their performance.
The comments: ‘Just right, Kellie Bright’ said Len, ‘a bit loose but overall fantastic. Bruno asked if Kevin was trying to break Kellie by throwing her around at the end. Craig thought their performance was ‘absolutely marvellous’ with ‘superb timing’ and gave some minor pointers. Darcey almost didn’t get to comment but when she did she commented on ‘an amazing start’ and a ‘very daring Tango’.
The score: 27 out of 40
Anthony Ogogo & Oti Mabuse
Olympic boxer Anthony talked about recovering from a shoulder injury. Oti is definitely the boss in this partnership. The pair look like they have been having fun during training with a lot of laughs.
The dance: They performed the Jive for their first dance to ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ by Wham! It was a fun performance that gave Anthony plenty of steps to master. He put his all into it and even managed to split his trousers!
The comments: Bruno said ‘wonderfully enthusiastic and energetic’ with ‘a couple of timing incidents due to the speed’. Craig complained about ‘an awkward performance’. Darcey complimented their effort. Len said ‘well done’ and gave advice for next week for their Waltz.
The score: 21 out of 40
Helen George & Aljaž Skorjanec
Call the Midwife actress Helen George spoke of being ‘overwhelmed’ at the launch and ‘over the moon’ at getting Aljaz as her partner. She was really nervous to start training but happy at the Waltz for their first dance.
The dance: They performed the Waltz for their first dance to ‘With You I’m Born Again’ by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright. A nice change of pace for their dance with a slow Waltz. The pair looked like they really had connected and the crowd gave plenty of applause in appreciation.
The comments: Craig said they had buckets of ‘fluidity and romance’ with ‘tremendous potential’. Darcey said she had been ‘impressed’ with the ‘grace and romance’ and elements of ‘Ginger Rogers’. ‘Hold me upside down and smack my bottom’ from Len who was amazed at the standard for week one. Bruno said ‘Midwife to Highlife’ and ‘expects very high things’ from the couple.
The score: 29 out of 40
Carol Kirkwood & Pasha Kovalev
In her VT BBC weather reporter Carol Kirkwood was delighted to get reigning champion Pasha. He organised a giant weather map for them to dance on!
The dance: They performed the Cha Cha for their first dance to ‘Thunder in My Heart’ by Leo Sayer. They incorporated the weather into their routine with Carol starting with a weather broadcast and Pasha dropping into the arena on a cloud with lightning. They looked like they were having great fun during their routine. We thought Carol looked a little more nervous than some of the other contestants.
The comments: Darcey mentioned some mistakes but felt they had ‘a great connection’ and were ‘a lot of fun to watch’. Len said ‘Like a summer day with bright spells and a bit of cloud’ and ‘well done’. Bruno felt there were a lot of technical errors and Craig was particularly brutal.
The score: 16 out of 40
Daniel O’Donnell & Kristina Rihanoff
Singer Daniel O’Donnell said it was amazing to be involved in Strictly on his VT. Kristina said she was ‘excited and over the moon’ to dance with Daniel. During training Daniel spent a lot of his time singing their song for this week and even took Kristina off so he could ‘sing it properly’ to her.
The dance: They performed the Waltz for their first dance to ‘When Irish Eyes Are Smiling’ by Ruby Murray. The pair looked fairly confident during their performance.
The comments: Len said ‘it was the best footwork I’ve seen’. Bruno said it was ‘very pleasing’. Craig moaned it was ‘uneventful’ and pointed out an incorrect grip. Darcey said Daniel ‘Danced like the perfect gentleman’.
The score: 24 out of 40
Anita Rani & Gleb Savchenko
In her VT TV presenter Anita Rani said she had been paired with ‘the hottest boy in class’. In training Anita said she was embarrassed but gave it her all. For Gleb’s birthday she got him some wellies and took him on set to Countryfile.
The dance: They performed the Cha Cha for their first dance to ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit. It was a very energetic performance with plenty of moves including plenty of stairs at the start. They looked like they were having a fantastic time together and very confident for a first performance together.
The comments: Len, Bruno, Darcey, Craig. Bruno said Anita was ‘a born showgirl’ with ‘a couple of mistakes’. Craig was ‘shocked that it was so good’. Darcey said it was wonderful to see them having such a good time. Len said it was fantastic and that Anita ‘gave it plenty of welly’.
The score: 27 out of 40
The leaderboard for tonight was:
Helen George and Aljaž Skorjanec – 29
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko – 27
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton – 27
Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff – 24
Anthony Ogogo and Oti Mabuse – 21
Carol Kirkwood and Pasha Kovalev – 16
Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow night at 6:15pm on BBC One. Take a look at our gallery to see images of tonight’s couples in dress rehearsal earlier today:
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