Last night there was a collective sigh of relief as hugely popular BBC entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing returned to our screens.
Whilst we didn’t get to see much of the celebrities dancing last night, that didn’t stop me making my quick judgements for the prospects of this year crop of stars. Take a look at my predictions for this year’s series, then sound off in the comments!
Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
My pick for the earliest exit this year, Daniel O’Donnell might have an army of fans but I don’t know if that’ll be enough to keep this crooner in the competition for very long.
Carol Kirkwood and Pasha Kovalev
A sneaky peek at her moves during the busy dance number suggested last year’s winner, Pasha Kovalev, might have drawn the short straw for this year’s competition. Whilst a bubbly personality might get a through a few weeks I don’t see these two going too far.
Jeremy Vine and Karen Clifton
Vine is my mum’s favourite in this years competition and I have hopes that there is some rhythm and soul ready to burst out with some sparkle and sequins in this radio presenter. He and Karen will make an exciting pairing but don’t expect to see Vine to venture too deep into the competition.
Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe
TV chef, Harriott is certainly going to bring a ‘pinch’ of personality to the show this year. His big personality is certain to make him popular with audiences and I have a sneaking suspicion he’s going to have some great rhythm. Unfortunately this pair may be more focussed on having fun than getting the precision that will satisfy the hard-to-please Craig Revel Horwood so I don’t expect they’ll last much past the first 3 weeks – but they’ll be great fun whilst they’re there!
Katie Derham and Anton du Beke
One of the last pairings to be revealed, the question was whether Anton du Beke would once again be unlucky in his celebrity partner. With the likes of Ann Widdecombe and Judy Murray in his history it seemed certain he would get Carol Kirkwood to twirl around the floor this year. Yet in a twist of BBC fate, he’s got newscaster Katie Derham who looks like she can do a thing or two on the dancefloor. Maybe we’ll see Strictly favourite Anton go further into the competition than usual this year?
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton
Eastender’s star, Kellie Bright, lit up the show in a gorgeous turquoise dress last night and I expect her pairing with Kevin from Grimsby will foster an amazing friendship. In another year they might have made it further in the competition but with such a strong lineup for 2015 I have feeling we might be bidding a tearful farewell to this pair a bit too soon.
Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani
The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness follows in a long line of very successful contestants from boy bands (Harry Judd going on to win the competition a few years ago), yet somehow I don’t think he’ll have quite as much success. Last night’s show presented him as very shy which won’t fare well in the latin numbers. I am sure Aliona won’t let him rest on his laurels, however, and McGuiness can be counted on to try his absolute best – but I doubt his best will keep him past week 7.
Iwan Thomas and Ola Jordan
Athlete, Iwan Thomas bounded onto the Strictly dancer last night, ripping Ola Jordan’s dress in the process, showing this guy is clearly no wallflower. Expect to see Jordan reigning in Thomas’ slightly over-the-top enthusiasm and turning him into the dark horse in this competition.
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko
Perhaps the luckiest girl in the entire competition, television presenter Anita Rani has landed stunning new Russian pro, Gleb Savchenko. Whilst she may be the envy of all the nation these two aren’t likely to make it to the final but I’m sure we’ll all enjoy watching them whilst they’re around.
Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole
Having won in the first series, ambitious Cole has been very unlucky in his quest to replicate his success – but he’s got an excellent chance with Sky sports anchor, Kirsty Gallacher.
Anthony Ogogo and Otlile Mabuse
Sportsman, Ogogo will be used to putting in the hours and I expect with his boxing history he’ll be light on feet. His partner, Otlile is a newbie for this year’s series but looks set to put Ogogo through his paces.
And for the final four…
Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
Paired with new Italian pro, Giovanni, Georgia is likely to set the heart of many male viewers racing. She also seemed to have spent several Strictly sessions in the fake tan booth before last night’s show. Clearly all ready for the Strictly experience I expect this will be a fiery pairing who’ll make it through to the final stages.
Helen George and Alijaz Skorjanec
I must confess, I am a huge fan of Call the Midwife and Alijaz is one of my favourite professional dancers on Strictly so my ranking might be slightly biased here. Nevertheless, Alijaz is a great teacher and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if George had some excellent moves to show off!
Peter Andre and Janette Manrara
It might be nearly 20 years since Peter Andre, released his notorious single, ‘Mysterious Girl’ but the bookies’ favourite seems to be back on form for this year’s series. Expect to see these two waltzing their way into the final.
Jamelia and Tristan McManus
Jamelia’s personality burst off the screen last night, unable to contain her giggles throughout the broadcast she is bound to be popular with the audience. With her popstar background I expect she’ll have no trouble adapting to the ballroom and latin dances. We haven’t seen much of Tristan on Strictly so far as he came 14th in his first series last year but I predict these two will make a great team – and the training videos on It Takes Two will be a great laugh.
Whilst we may have to wait another three weeks to really see how these celebrities fare, Strictly fever has truly set in. I am counting down the days!
What are your thoughts on the pairings for this year’s series? Anyone else insanely jealous of Anita Rani’s Russian pro Gleb Savchenko?
Thanks for reading
Florence Odette xx