This weekend saw a bumper edition of Strictly Come Dancing as our 15 famous faces stepped out onto the dance floor for their very first solo performances.
To get us back in the spirit of Strictly, we were treated to two consecutive episodes, full of shocks, surprises and pleasing amounts of sparkle. Episodes which, when it came to predicting who will make it to Blackpool and beyond, were something of a game changer.
You see, it seems it’s harder than I thought to predict finalists without ever having seen the celebrities dance. Sure, I tried my hardest, using their CVs and trawling YouTube for evidence, but post-week one I feel my confidence was maybe a little misplaced, especially in Scott Mills, who found himself at the bottom of the leader board. It seems I was wrong when I predicted a life listening to chart-toppers would provide him with “a confident feel for timing and rhythm”…
So now, with a little more information, I have re-selected my semi-finalists.
Erm, unless I’m proved wrong again next week, in which case I will simply title this ‘the celebrities who impressed me… in week one’.
Former TOWIE star Mark Wright’s snake-hipped and confident cha-cha was something of a surprise for me. We know he spends a fair amount of time toe-tapping at Sugar Hut but “Marky No-Moves” has been so self deprecating about his dancing talents, I was sure he’d be out in the first few weeks. Instead he scored a very respectable 24 (which was even a little mean, I thought). And he was battling a lot of nerves to get out there. Once his confidence matches his ability, he’ll go far.
Who’d have guessed softly-spoken Jake Wood would produce such a convincing Tango? Sure, he was channelling his EastEnders character Max Branning this week but his fancy footwork (all his own) scored him second place on the leaderboard. Only time will tell whether Wood will be as confident when he’s meant to be soft, sexy or elegant – it’ll have to be bye-bye Branning then – but I’d bet tanning booth tokens that he’ll be just fine.
Defecting from ITV’s The X Factor has done Caroline Flack a world of good. Her gold and glitzy cha-cha was the first dance of the entire competition – it’s enough to make the professionals quake in their jazz shoes but Flack didn’t appear to bat an eyelid and landed a strong third place. She’s clearly been watching those X Factor hopefuls and taking some notes of her own…
Saturdays star Frankie Bridge is already top of the leader board, so she seems like a good bet here. Her graceful and elegant waltz bagged the first eights of the series, which for week one is almost unheard of. And with a toddler at home and a UK tour to contend with, it’s clear Frankie is one hard-working gal. Sure, she’s used to strutting her stuff on stage, but she looks more focused than fellow pop stars Pixie Lott and Simon Webbe, who admitted to RadioTimes.com he’s not a fan of practising. For that reason I think she’s here for the duration.
Steve has already admitted that facing deadly spiders and strange creepy crawlies is nothing compared to standing in front of the Strictly judges (Craig in particular). But he had nothing to fear this week when his Tango to Born to Be Wild garnered him 26 points. He was something of a natural(ist). Also, I’m not sure anyone had noticed how muscly Backshall’s arms were before – they must have been hidden beneath camo. I’m not one to judge a book by its perfectly-toned cover, but there’s been a clear correlation between muscle definition and public support in the past…
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6:20pm on BBC1