Strictly Come Dancing Week 1

So, for those of you who may have missed it, the new series of Strictly Come Dancing started this weekend. I am something of a Strictly mega-fan (it would probably be my specialist subject on Mastermind were I to ever go on it) and was particularly excited for this series as it had some potentially really good contestants - admittedly no major Hollywood stars as there have been in previous series, but lots of people I thought could turn out to be rather awesome. So this Friday and Saturday night, I settled down in front of  

I have done this as a post on all the routines because I wanted to be able to compare them all to each other (plus, you know, my thing about not having two posts on the same topic on consecutive days). So, without further ado, here's what I thought of this week's dances!

Ashley & Ola (Cha-Cha-Cha) - I had high hopes for this, and it wasn't bad for a first dance, but his knees drove me crazy. Straighten your legs man, she's not that short! And he had no hip action to speak of that I saw, and there was a wee bit of skippiness. However it did improve on a repeat viewing, so I don't know if it was just having nothing to compare it against. But he looked like he was having fun, which as I've said before is all I ask in a Strictly contestant, and it is only week one. Onwards and upwards.

Tony & Aliona (Waltz) - Classic older male contestant first dance. It was sweet, and he was surprisingly light on his feet, but there was a stumble about midway through and he didn't really look like he was enjoying it. That said I do think Craig marked it harshly. I think he'll be out next week though because he looks like he'll struggle with the Latin. And, annoyingly, Aliona had the second nicest dress of the night.

Mark & Iveta (Tango) - It was one of those routines that could have gone either way, but thankfully it wasn't too hammy and there was actual dancing in it. Yes, there was a point near the end where it got a bit skippy, and I knew Craig would hate that thumb, but he had a good frame with no gapping and acted it brilliantly. The worry is his Latin, but I think as long as he keeps the fun element he'll hang on in there for a few weeks.

Susanna & Kevin (Jive) - Jive is a really, really hard dance to get early on, and the fact that Susanna did a decent job suggests to me she'll go far, especially considering how much solo stuff she had to do. I liked that she looked exactly like I think most of us would in the arm section - "Where am I going? What am I doing? Argh, I don't know!" - but also properly went for it in a 'stuff it, I'm going to enjoy this' way. It might not have been technically perfect, but it was so much fun!

Sophie & Brendan (Waltz) - Firstly, can I have her whole outfit? She looked absolutely beautiful. Secondly, I agree with the judges that her top line does need a little bit of work. But she moved well, and I think she's got potential to be the top ballroom girl. And points to Brendan for the least prop-based faffing, showing that you can tell a story without all that messing abaht (to paraphrase Len).

Natalie & Artem (Cha-Cha-Cha) - My favourite of the first night, if only for the completely inspired choice of music. She moved well and clearly had rhythm, but I have to admit I'm not sure what Craig saw in it, especially as a lot of the focus seemed to be on Artem and it didn't feel like she was allowed to do an awful lot compared to, say, Susanna. It also didn't seem that complex. So technically good but there didn't seem to be a huge amount of personality in it, which worries me a little...

Ben & Kristina (Cha-Cha-Cha) - I think he suffered from first night nerves, bless him, because it wasn't fantastic. As Len said, it suffered a little because when he panicked he sped up and consequently his timing went a bit funny. He also needs to take charge a bit more. That said, he did have more hip movement than Ashley, and when he was able to keep his timing he actually did quite well. Plus, doing that with 50 per cent hearing is pretty impressive, so props for that.

Fiona & Anton (Tango) - First of all, it was really nice to see Anton with someone who can dance! (I make no secret that I'm an Anton fan.) Considering it was a first go there was definitely lots of potential there and it was well acted. There were bits where it was rough around the edges - hands weren't finished and it wasn't quite as sharp as I'd have liked - and a few walky patches, but otherwise it was a good start. Now fingers crossed for the Latin...

Dave & Karen (Cha-Cha-Cha) - Oh dear. I couldn't see much of a cha-cha in there, and it did feel very much like Karen threw everything at it choreography-wise and saw what stuck. That said, it was so much fun I almost didn't care. Plus his posture wasn't horrendous and he was in time (well sort of), so it makes me think his ballroom may not be terrible. That said I think he'll be there a long long time, much to Craig's chagrin.

Rachel & Pasha (Waltz) - I was worried about this, because he'd had two really good partners, so this was pleasantly surprising. She looked beautiful, had a lovely top line and the grace and the way she glid across the floor with the rise and fall was just gorgeous. Plus I think it says much about Pasha as a choreographer that he gave her what looked like quite an easy routine but let her shine in it. The only negative was she looked slightly nervous, but that'll pass in time.

Julien & Janette (Cha-Cha-Cha) - The first thing that struck me was there wasn't a huge amount of dance content in there - it was very posey and they didn't actually move about all that much. He also had terrible hip action, which surprised me quite a lot - I was expecting him to be a lot more loose in that department. I also think he's going to annoy me immensely with the constant interrupting the judges. But it did give us Bruno's most innuendo-tastic moment of the night, which was... interesting, to say the least.

Deborah & Robin (Tango) - I have been waiting for a tango to Money, Money, Money for years, and I'd like to say this lived up to expectations. But it did fall a little bit short. Granted she'd lost time because she'd been on holiday, which I took into account, but there were some skippy bits and it needed to be sharper. That said, it was very entertaining to watch, she acted it surprisingly well, and I think she's got a brilliant personality. Looking forward to next week's Latin.

Patrick & Anya (Jive) - I agree with the judges' comments about his feet, and there were some slightly sloppy kicks, but the energy level was fantastic and they seem to have a really nice relationship with each other. It says much that he was the best of the boys and I think a lot of that was about bringing personality to it and conquering the nerves, which pleases me as I had a feeling he'd be someone who went for it on the fun front. Now bring on the ballroom!

Vanessa & James (Cha-Cha-Cha) - I was actually a bit disappointed with this one as there was too much acting and not enough dancing (though the dancing she did wasn't bad, despite the fact there were lots of unfinished moves especially with the hands), and there wasn't much of her personality in it. But her timing was good so hopefully she'll improve in the ballroom.

Abbey & Aljaz (Waltz) - Well they did look gorgeous together (despite his slightly dubious white jumpsuit) - I fully expect at least one tabloid to be splashed with rumours about them within weeks - and it was a lovely performance, but it was just a bit beige. She moves well and has a lovely line and posture, and they've got chemistry by the bucketload, but I personally didn't connect to her. I also think she seemed a little tentative, so I'm intrigued to see if she can let go in her Latin.

I'm also going to do a weekly leaderboard with my thoughts on the week's dancers, plus a running total for the series:

Laura's Leaderboard: Week 1
Susanna & Kevin - 8 
Rachel & Pasha - 8 
Abbey & Aljaz - 8 
Patrick & Anya - 7
Natalie & Artem - 7
Sophie & Brendan - 7
Deborah & Robin - 6
Ashley & Ola - 6
Fiona & Anton - 6
Ben & Kristina -6
Mark & Iveta - 5
Dave & Karen - 5
Vanessa & James - 5
Julien & Janette - 4
Tony & Aliona - 4

Overall, it wasn't a bad first week - lots of potentially good people, with Dave, Rachel and Susanna amongst the highlights, but nothing I was particularly wowed by. But it's only the first week and we've a long way to go yet, so I'm very excited for next week to see if people improve after getting the first one out of the way, and what effect the change in styles has.

Did you watch the Strictly opening weekend? What did you think of the dances? And do you have any favourites yet? Let me know in the comments and have a great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment