🎵 It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 🎵

No, not Christmas time. It’s Strictly time, of course! It just so happens to also be the countdown to Christmas but Strictly first and everything else later!

And what a phenomenal start it was. I was pleasantly surprised by all the celebrities, they all raised their game and it’s only week 1!

Danny & Amy: Foxtrot

What a way to open the show. A nod to Danny’s Red Dwarf, their Foxtrot to the Top Cat theme tune was a great show-opener. You can tell he has previous dance/choreographer appearance from his confidence and I personally appreciated the little ballet and jazz features hidden in there!

He seemed to slip on the slick floor during a couple of turns but that could also just be first week nerves. Overall, I thought it was a stylish piece, it just lacked more traditional Foxtrot!

Judges Scores: 6, 7, 7, 7= 27/40

(L-R Craig Darcy, Shirley, Bruno)

My score: 7

Kate & Alijaz: Cha Cha Cha

Wow, Kate really gave us something. I was expecting her to be timid and hold back a little when in fact, she did the complete opposite! How fab did she look in that hot pink number?

She lost a bit of steam towards the end of the dance but I really thought it was a solid first dance. She needs t work on the finer details: footwork and arm placement.

Judges Scores: 4, 6, 4, 6= 20/40

My score: 5

Lauren & AJ: Waltz

First of all, how stunning did Lauren look? I was very impressed by the way she held herself in hold and her footwork was to a pretty good standard for me.

Confidence will be a major factor for her and it was nice to see AJ choreograph a dance where he showed off his celebrity, rather than himself. I predict that she’ll go pretty far in the competition!

Judges Scores: 6, 6, 6, 7= 25/40

My score: 6

Seann & Katya: Tango

I was mostly impressed with the intensity in Seann’s face. With him being a comedian, I thought he would be joking around but he’s really taking it seriously.

For a Tango, I thought it was full of intent and he has some nice footwork. Genuinely, I was pleasantly surprised!

Judges scores: 3, 5, 4, 6= 18/40

My score: 6

Vick & Graziano: Jive

Vick seriously has the most insane set of pins I have ever seen! It took them a while to get into the jive for me, less messing and more choreography. In all honesty, I wasn’t massively impressed with this dance.

It was definitely high energy and she has potential but it would be great if the pro could start choreographing the celeb more instead of just showing off around them whilst they wiggle on the spot!

Judges Scores: 3, 5, 4, 6= 18/40

My score: 5

Susannah & Anton: Samba

I don’t even know where to start with this on! I have to give it to Anton, he never gets embarrassed and he loves a snazzy, over-the-top costume! I’m not entirely sure what actually happened through this dance but Susannah seemed to keep it together!

I think once she gets into a ballroom routine and Anton’s hold, we should be able to see just how good she could be. I doubt she will win the competition though!

Judges Scores: 1, 4, 3, 4= 12/40

My score: 4

Charles & Karen: Cha Cha Cha

From what I saw, Charles will go very far in the competition but Karen needs to up her choreography game!

I was disappointed that this was more of a disco routine than a cha cha cha but it was enjoyable just the same. It was a confident start and he can move his hips! Certainly not shy!

Judges scores: 6, 6, 6, 7= 25/40

My score: 5

Ashley & Pasha: Viennese Waltz

Now I know there are two sides of the Ashley fence but I am judging the routine, not the celebrity. This was an excellent first dance. She had a lot more fluidity than I expected her to have but it doesn’t mean she’s the complete package just yet.

The ballroom hold is definitely the main area she will struggle with as most commercial dancers are used to dancing solo! The judges will hold her in high esteem compared to the other contestants because of her background.

Judges scores: 7, 8, 7, 7= 29/40

My score: 8

Dr Ranj & Janette: Cha Cha Cha

Now that’s how to do a cha cha cha! I get a feeling that Dr Ranj is going to be the surprise package that Ore was in 2016.

He certainly didn’t hold back and I thought it was a well-rounded first dance for him. It was great to see so much content in the routine but balanced with personality and huge amounts of energy!

Judges scores: 6, 6, 8, 7= 27/40

My score: 7

Katie & Gorka: Waltz

Aw Katie, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so nervous for their first dance! Firstly, she looked so beautiful in her gown and it was a good first attempt.

It’s clear she’s going to find learning the footwork difficult so hopefully she will stay in long enough to learn how to pick up choreography quickly because it does come in time. She just needs to relax into it more and led Gorka lead her around.

Judges scores: 4, 4, 4, 5= 17/40

My score: 6

Graeme & Oti: Samba

This man has no inhibitions whatsoever. Crickets have an impeccable record when it comes to Strictly so he has big shoes to fill! I loved that he was moving his hips so much!

The Samba is such a difficult dance and I’m annoyed it is featured in week 1 but Graeme certainly had a stab at it! I can’t wait to see him in ballroom!

Judges scores: 5, 6, 6, 5= 22/40

My score: 6

Stacey & Kevin: Quickstep

Never has a Quickstep been done in week 1 before and I’m not surprised! It’s called the Quickstep for a reason! However, I couldn’t believe how good Stacey was in this dance!

She was very light on her feet and kept her hold, both of which are very difficult during such a quick routine! I’d love her to use her face a little more once she gets a little more comfortable.

Judges scores: 6, 6, 6, 6= 24/40

My score: 8 (I really enjoyed it!)

Lee & Nadiya: Waltz

Oh Lee from Blue, my childhood crush. I love a more dramatic routine as waltzes can seem a little bland to me. I thought he was light on his feet and moved smoothly across the floor.

He needs to stick his bum under though; it’s like Greg Rutherford all over again! Overall, it was a good first dance: good basics but plenty to improve on.

Judges scores: 4, 6, 6, 6= 22/40

My score: 7

Joe & Dianne

Probably the biggest surprise of the night, Joe was full of energy! I don’t know a great deal about him (I’m not into Youtube) but I was impressed by some of his flicks and kicks.

He had great musicality for a non-dancer and has created a great bond with Dianne already. I just wish they didn’t include those silly new dance moves off that game! (I’ve no idea what it is but all the kids keep doing it.)

Judges scores: 6, 7, 7, 7= 27/40

My score: 6

Faye & Giovanni: Cha Cha Cha

Another frontrunner shone tonight and Faye closed the show in great style. You can tell she really worked on the technique as she is a very clean and precise dancer. The judges appreciated this!

Adding into the Steps moves was such a throwback for me! I thought she had great energy and speed around the floor and can’t wait to see her partnership with Gio progress.

Judges scores: 7, 8, 7, 7= 29/40

My score: 7

For a first week, there were some pretty high scores! Usually if you get a 5 or a 6, you’d be thrilled but this time there were plenty of 7s and 8s! Although viewers may think that this is not the most famous line-up, there are several contenders already and it will be a tough vote!

Until next week, keep dancing!

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SR

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Strictly is on BBC One on Saturday and Sunday. Check listing for times.

All clips courtesy of BBC.

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