So it's down to business as usual with all celebs taking to the floor for their very first dance. As always, the first dance is deemed safe. With no elimination threat, it gives the dancers time to teach their celebs some basics and see what they may be capable of, knowing they will still be returning next week to dance again. However, the routines are still judged the same and this weeks score will carry over to next week when determining the leaderboard results.
Opening the show then, we have Danny John Jules, my personal favourite and the one I'm backing this year. After seeing his debut, I'm glad he didn't let me down. He was suffering earlier this week with an injury to his toes but it didn't show and certainly didn't hold him back. One of my favourite routines of the evening, he and Amy danced the Foxtrot to the theme from Top Cat. Given the role of The Cat on Red Dwarf is his most notable role to date, I was wondering how they would tie that in and it was a brilliant and stylish routine.
Next up was Kate Silverton. From the launch show, I had a feeling she was going to be cheeky and a lot of fun. She danced the Cha Cha Cha with her partner Alijaz. It was a reasonable effort for week one and enjoyable to watch, as was the following Waltz from Lauren Steadman. It was charming, sweet and elegant and AJ brought out all her good points beautifully. Oh, and she had been able to train very little having been in Australia competing in the ITU World Championships where she won a gold medal. Well done that girl!
The next three dances were nothing great. Seann Walsh did a wooden Tango with Katya (she's not going to retain that trophy this year), although I think Shirley Ballas was out of line telling him to tidy himself up. She might not like his long hair but what does that have to do with his dancing? Cheeky mare! Next up was a disappointment for me in Vick Hope. I was hoping she would do well as she looked pretty good in the group dance at the launch and she has the dishy new dancer Graziano to teach her, but sadly their Jive was flat and it was all about Graziano. I know he's new and wants to impress (shadows of Nadiya last year) but the way to impress is to showcase your partner. The pros get to shine in the pro numbers but the main dances should be about the celebs. Vick didn't appear to do much other than point at Graziano leaping around. I hope he calms down and they improve, it worked for Nadiya last year. Davood really came on once she focussed on him and not herself. Finally, in the appalling section, we had Suzannah Constantine doing the Samba. In all honesty, my living room wall has more rhythm than she does and I think Anton knows it (she totally deserved that 1 from Craig). I feel sorry for him, he never has a chance so he makes sure his routines are remembered. Sadly, it's not for the dancing but for their flamboyance and downright campness. You have to admire a man prepared to wear tangerine trousers in front of millions of viewers.
Then, at last, we had some decent dances once again. Charles Venn danced a smouldering Cha Cha Cha with Karen although again Shirley taking a dig at the pro for making it too disco. As Bruno rightly stated, what's wrong with disco? Then Ashley Roberts and her partner Pascha danced a beautiful Viennese Waltz although I expect her to go far, she has the most dance experience out of them all. Although to be fair, this dance is nothing like the burlesque stuff she's used to, it was still pretty amazing.
Ooooooh next we had the Pocket Rockets, Dr Ranj and Janette. They were also dancing the Cha Cha Cha (time for another Shirley dig at previous Cha Cha Cha thanking Janette for putting lots of Cha Cha content in) but it was pretty good, I think Dr Ranj could be one to watch as well. And god love him did he not only put in loads of hours training but also worked night shifts at his hospital, still did his slots on this morning and was even a birthing partner for someone until the early hours of the morning. He's certainly not afraid of hard work.
Next was a disappointing performance from Katie Piper. She was also dancing the waltz but her nerves clearly got the better of her. She was very hesitant and almost clinging to her partner Gorka at times. Something she needs to work on because I think she can do quite well if she combats those nerves.
Next up was a big surprise for me. Graeme Swann, as wooden as the cricket bats he's used to in the launch dance, but he was also doing the Samba and whilst it was nowhere near technically perfect, he showed he can be quite flexible and certainly got his hips moving. Kudos for Oti there, she had a lot of work and she delivered on the night. Bonus points for dancing to the BBC Cricket theme tune too.
After them came Stacey Dooley and partner Kevin. They were dancing the Quickstep which not only is a very hard dance apparently, and very fast, it's also the first time it has ever been done in Week One in the history of Strictly, for the very reason it is very hard. But boy, did Stacey nail it, that girl has got a lot of potential and Kevin is one of the best pros to help it along.
Lee Ryan and Nadiya danced a nice but nothing special Waltz, I honestly didn't see where he slipped but eagle-eyed Shirley did. At least they didn't deduct points for it as it was deemed not Lee's fault because some debris from the previous routine hadn't been cleared away and they were impressed he didn't let it affect him.
The penultimate dance was Joe Sugg and he was also doing a Jive. As I said in my last post, I don't want to like him but I can't help but like him. It was a really good Jive, he can move, he can keep up the pace and he knew the steps. Again, he has great potential and there really is something very likeable about him, he seems a really nice lad. (No I'm not going to be one of the millions subscribing to his channel though)
The final dance was from Faye Tozer who also did the Cha Cha Cha. It was clean, sharp and sassy and straight to the top of the leaderboard, and I really loved the Steps 'steps' in there. Another one to watch, I'm not seeing any clear front-runners here, the field is too wide open at the moment and for Week One we saw some brilliant performances.
So this is how the official Leaderboard looks after Week One
So all the points will be carried over to next week where we will lose our first celeb. My money is on Suzannah but stranger things have happened (Ed Balls, Ruth Langsford etc)
Until then everyone, keep dancing