After three weeks of agonising patience, Strictly Come Dancing has returned to our screens with a short edition of the programme where only six of the contestants took to the floor. Despite its brevity, Strictly was on classic form this week as they trotted out a well-worn but charmingly familiar formula, complete with a few “SEVEN”s from Len, withering looks from Craig and awkward puns from Claudia.
So how did the dancers fare this week on Strictly?
First up was Eastender’s star, Kellie Bright and partner Kevin Clifton. Her tango showed surprising promise and Kevin had clearly made great attempts to show off her bubbly personality which made for a great performance but did not quite add up to the classic tango feel – but its week 1 and there are no eliminations, so does it really matter?
Kellie and Kevin: Tango – Craig: 6; Darcey: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7 = 27
Next came boxer Anthony Ogogo and new professional dancer, Oti Mabuse who has been suffering from a painful shoulder injury that has inhibited his ability to practice. Unfortunately this made for a well-meaning but slightly lacking jive. Despite his pigeon toes, however, he has been dubbed as the “best boxer ever” to grace the Strictly dance floor – but does that actually mean much?
Anthony and Oti: Jive – Craig: 4; Darcey: 5; Len: 6; Bruno: 6 = 21
Third to take the floor was Call the Midwife actress, Helen George and Aljaž Skorjanec dancing the waltz. Though her desperate adoration of judge Darcey Bussell might be cloying for some, there is no doubt that Helen was the star of the night, performing a graceful waltz that had Darcey daring to utter the words “Ginger Rodgers”. Whilst it would have been incredibly cruel to issue harsh criticism after Helen’s profession of adoration for the ballet dancer, Darcey, and the other judges, were quick to commend Helen for her performance.
Helen and Aljaž: Waltz – Craig: 7; Darcey: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 8 = 29
Last year’s pro champion Pasha Kovalev and new partner Carol Kirkwood were next and had, unfortunately, been assigned the Cha Cha which was, frankly, terrible. Carol might be very amiable but even the greatest personality couldn’t have saved this car-crash performance. Beginning the dance simply standing whilst Pasha paraded around her was the best it got for Carol in a dance that was rather cringe-worthy. She tried – but my money is on Carol to be the first to leave the Strictly ballroom.
Carol and Pasha: Cha cha – Craig: 2; Darcey: 5; Len: 5; Bruno: 4 = 16
Irish crooner Daniel O’Donnell and much-talked-about pro dancer, Kristina Rihanoff took on the waltz next in a wooden but surprisingly promising performance. However, I can’t see this promise extending to the slightly more bouncy latin dances to come.
Daniel and Kristina: Waltz – Craig: 4; Darcey: 6; Len: 7; Bruno: 7 = 24
Finally, the most hyped pair (or pro) of the series took to the floor last in the cha cha – a rather difficult dance to assign to contestants in their first week. Whilst presenters, Tess and Claudia (and the rest…) spent most of the show promoting and swooning over new Russian pro, Gleb Savchenko, he and presenter Anita Rani ended the show in spectacular fashion. Hailed as a “born showgirl” Anita was a ball of energy on the floor, making up for inevitable first week slip-ups. Here’s to these two going the distance – and not just because Gleb is so nice to look at.
Anita and Gleb: Cha cha – Craig: 6; Darcey: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7 = 27
So that was it for the first Strictly of 2015. It was short but sweet, leaving everyone anticipating the second instalment tomorrow night where we will see stars Peter Andre, George May Foote, Katie Derham and the rest take on the Strictly floor.
Florence Odette xx