It’s Week 1! And you may find yourself saying that after a lot of the scores come in, as justification, as in many cases we’re looking at a lot more heat than light (although, yes, it is WEEK ONE!). And not just from the contestants, as three of the judges score exclusively with 6s and 7s, meaning the leaderboard ends up both lacking range and featuring a surplus of ties. Even Craig only uses three paddles all evening, and only goes as low as a 5 – maybe he’s saving himself for Ed Balls?
At the bottom of the leaderboard are the waltzes, both on 23. For Lesley this feels like a case of her performing above her level, mostly via the deployment of nuclear levels of schmaltz, sentiment, and Linda Robson sat at the side crying her face off the entire time. For Naga, a case of her performing below her potential level, as she stumbles a little through a fairly dull Wk1 waltz (has Pasha ever made an impact wk 1? In a way that doesn’t involve descending from the ceiling clutching a raincloud with his top off?). Still, as Darcey tells her, she has a beautiful neck. And that’s it. Meow.
In the middle, the cha chasm both on 25, the judges obviously not subscribing to the “I like when two people do the same dance because it means you get to really compare them” school of Strictly thought. Laura’s is fairly nice and safe, with a “GIOVANNI IS ITALIAN!” theme (again!) and very “week 1 cha cha from a demi-ringah”, although I can’t remember when they’ve ever leant on the showmance angle so hard this early, with the entire pre-dance VT featuring them gazing into one another’s eyes like a Love Is cartoon. Judge Rinder on the other hand goes to…other extremes, leaping around gurning harder than has been seen on the Strictly floor since the halcyon days of Karen Hardy and immediately getting his tits, abs, and back-rolls out. AND with an over the top judge theme with him banging his gavel in time to Duffy. Does he have anything left for future weeks? Does he need to have?
Sat at the top on 27? Ore and Greg both, and in both cases the judges are being quite kind. Natalie’s jive for Greg is a masterpiece of Goddess Natalie shammery as she does everything she can to stop him…well, jiving. Because his jiving isn’t pretty. But he sure can jump off some stairs and goose the judges with energy. Ore on the other hand is clearly being given sympathy for having to deal with Joanne’s choreography, which comes across like a Scott Mills routine. Several Scott Mills routines. Layered on top of one another. Bicycles and comic books and park benches and balloons and nerd glasses and trousers that are FAR too tight, and music that sounds nothing like a tango at all. This isnt even to mention a VT where Joanne meets Ore’s wife (GIVE ME A MINUTE) and they both look the same and then they go off and have a threesome? Everything about this couple needs to calm right down to be honest. Right down.