So the dancing has started and the scores are in. The whole experience – the dance, the comments, the run up to Claudia and then the painful wait for those paddle boards to reveal at least a seveeeern (I wish!) – is here with us from now until Christmas. And I can’t wait.
I have to say the standard is actually better than I imagined it would be for week one. I really don’t think there were any awful ones. It was pretty decent. And I say this through gritted teeth as I was hoping someone would be a bit rubbish… Just a bit!
I know it’s a cliché to say that you don’t want anyone to leave but I actually don’t think any of the dancers deserve to.
Even Jeremy Vine, who I suspected would be on the bad side, danced with so much enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but smile. He is what the show is all about. He’s loving the fact he’s learning a new skill – and who thought we’d ever see Jeremy in purple sequins? He’s a brave man. I remember at the beginning of the series just asking for black with perhaps a splash of colour. Good on you, Jeremy.
And can we talk about Ainsley Harriet, please? Technically the dancing wasn’t great, but as they always tell you backstage, that doesn’t matter in the early stages. If you can act and move with that much confidence, you’re not going home for a while. Ainsley is a grower and those people are the ones who shine on Strictly – and who the audience get behind.
My biggest surprise of the two nights was Jamelia. I expected her to fly close to the top of the leaderboard but it didn’t work out for her. This could just be a blip, of course, and maybe the Waltz wasn’t the right dance for her.
But Peter Andre was the star of the two shows for me. Janette isn’t making it easy for him – her choreographing is tough and she is really pushing him, because she knows what he is capable of. Watching that routine I got dizzy and nervous just seeing what she was putting him through. But he delivered – and I think he will continue to.
I also felt really sorry for Anthony and his sad little face when his score wasn’t that high! I know how that feels…