Good evening and welcome to Strictly Come Dancing week two. We’ve got two whole hours of Strictly sparkle this evening, so pull on your glittery slippers and settle in.
Tonight is the night things get a little more serious, as the public pick up their phones for the first time and the celebs try their very hardest to avoid the first dance off of the season.
Join me, Ellie Walker-Arnott, live from 6:20pm tonight and prepared to be Strictly-fied. You can tweet me your comments, questions, queries and snap judgements on tonight’s dances @Ellie_Wa or post in the comments box below.
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We’ll be keeping you up to date on who’s safe and who’s already had their final fake tan. But do get in touch in the meantime. We’d love to know who your favourites are, and who you think deserves to face the dreaded dance off…
Comment at the bottom of this article or tweet me at @Ellie_Wa or @RadioTimes.
And remember to pop back and see me next Saturday for our week three live blog. Keeeeep dancing!
No one wants to be the first out, but someone has to be. Iwan and Ola could be in real trouble, while Jeremy Vine, Carol Kirkwood are also in need of a little support to be safe.
We’ll get to find out who’ll be hanging up their dancing shoes after just one week tomorrow at 7:15pm on BBC1.
Remember, voting lines close at 20:40 so you don’t have long. And you can also vote for free online here
The phone lines are now open for the first time this season. It’s time to back your favourite and make sure they don’t face the dreaded dance off in tomorrow’s results show…
Let’s look at the leaderboard. Peter is top, with Helen and Jay in joint second. Carol has jumped up from the bottom. Iwan’s there now, with Jeremy second to last.
She gets a 7 from Craig, a 7 from Darcey, a 7 from Len and an 8 from Bruno. Same as last week!
Helen channeled Nurse Trixie Franklin’s flirty confidence and proved she can do latin and ballroom with equal ease. “You could avoid to loosen up a bit,” says Craig, adding: “It was the best Cha Cha Cha of the evening.”
“It’s sleek fun,” says Darcey, saying she did a “beautiful job.” While Bruno called her dance a “very accomplished performance.”
Helen George has the final dance of the night. She’s dancing a Cha Cha. Can she convince in latin and dethrone Peter Andre?
Claud jokes that the next couple is her and Tess. If only, eh? Why hasn’t that happened yet?
The scores are in… It’s a 7 from Craig, an 8 from Darcey, a 7 from Len and an 8 from Bruno. He’s matched his impressive score from last week and jumped to the top of the leaderboard for the second time.
Bruno says it was crisp and clear with good technique and impressive storytelling. Craig thinks his knees were too high and his feet were too limp. “I’m being picky because you’re very good,” says Craig: “What a showman.”
“You bring the dance floor alive,” adds Darcey, while Len says “it was excellent, but you’ve got more to come.”
Peter’s Quickstepping to Valerie by The Zutons. It’s the first Quickstep of the season so he’s really setting the standard. He’s light on his feet, in time and convincing. But his dance last week was more enjoyable to watch, if you ask me…
We’ve just got two celebrities left this evening before you can pop the kettle on. It’s Peter Andre and Helen George, who battled it out for the top of the leaderboard last week. Are either of them going to take the top spot this week?
The scores are in and it’s 7s across the board. Has Anton ever had a score that high? “It’s a dream!” he splutters.
The judges can’t help but mention Katie’s tiny tumble, but Darcey says it’s beautiful. “It was sweet and delicious,” says Len.
“The way you look, the phone is going to ring off the hook,” adds Bruno. “Fantastic performance.”
Even Craig is impressed. “I really loved the drama… I just thought the whole thing was lovely.”
Anton du Beke and Katie Derham are tackling a Tango this week. She’s all frowns, high leg flicks and fast footwork. It’s engaging, entertaining and full of little surprises. Definitely one of the best choreographed dances of the night, whatever the judges say.
The scores? Craig gives him a 3, Darcey and Len go for 5s while Bruno gives them a 4.
Jeremy Vine puts his all into his library-themed American Smooth but the judges aren’t that impressed.
“I know you have it in you. I know you’ve got it,” says Darcey. It’s just not quite there yet. “It was a little bit lumpy and bumpy,” says Len, praising his heel leads and timing.
Bruno reckons he invented a whole new dance category – and he doesn’t mean it as a compliment. While Craig doesn’t have anything nice to say. “It was like a paranormal phenomenon,” he says.
The scores are in. 7 from Craig, 8 from Darcey, 6 from Len and a 6 from Bruno. A mixed bag. She’s got the same as last week, but it’s still a good score for week two.
Her gangster-inspired number is really very good. Anita is fun, easy to watch and, it seems, able to embrace any character. She’ll go far.
“Ambitious, darling, but you pulled it off,” says Craig. Darcey says her energy was brilliant. “The crime will be if you’re not back next week,” says Len, while an excited Bruno says it was a “great performance.”
Anita’s doing the Charleston this week. If it’s anything like last week, it’s bound to be brilliant…
The scores are in. 4 from Craig and 5s from Len, Darcey and Bruno. It’s two less than last week. As Claud says, Anthony needs your votes or he’s in danger of being knocked out…
Bruno thinks there is a lot of work to be done with the footwork. Craig says there’s no improvement on last week but it was interesting to see him try. “You did well with what you’ve got darrrrling,” he conceeds. We’re getting the tough love approach.
Darcey and Len don’t have much to add. They are looking forward to his Paso next week (if he makes it that far…)
The pair got a solid 21 points last week for their latin number. Can they better that tonight?
Anthony Ogogo is trying to be romantic this week with a Waltz. It’s a little stiff, but you can’t criticise him for trying to embrace the heartfelt theme. Just look at that little face.
Kellie and Kevin are doing a beach-inspired Cha Cha. It’s fun, flirty and she is easy to watch.
“It was just like fish ‘n’ chips… Tasty,” says Len. Darcey says she’s oozing cheeky energy but Craig doesn’t agree: “It was a little bit spiky and aggressive.”
She gets a 6 from Craig and 7s from the rest of the panel. Same as last week.
4,6,5,5. An improvement on last week. And she’s not at the bottom. A success there then.
This graceful, stylish number is a much better fit for telly’s smiliest weather presenter than last week’s latin in my opinion.
The judges were more impressed too. “It was such an improvement from last week,” says Darcey, praising her glide and flow. “The clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came onto the floor,” says Len. “I can see a bright spot on the horizon,” adds Bruno.
Craig was a little mean, but said he thought she did much better than last week. Can she leave the bottom of the leaderboard behind?
There’s no respite from the weather puns when it comes to Carol Kirkwood. She’s dancing a foxtrot this week and trying to fight her way up from the bottom of the leaderboard…
It’s a 6 from Craig, a 7 from Len and Darcey and a 6 from Bruno. 6 points higher than last week. And much higher than Georgia’s Waltz…
“I thought you did a brilliant job brining that dance to life,” says Craig, who was impressed in spite of some errors: “You did some of it wrong but you did it wrong with style and panache.”
“You dance like I cook, chuck it all in and hope for the best,” says Len. Anyone else think they’ve heard that Len-ism before?
Ainsley’s doing latin this week and clearly having the time of his life. This food-themed, high energy number is what he is made for. I’m not sure about his technique but the crowd is cheering, his bottom is wiggling and he cannot stop grinning. He might not score that highly but he is a joy to watch nevertheless.
Scores might be lower than last week, but over on Twitter Strictly fans are impressed by the standard:
There are a number of contestants on this year's #Strictly who would have won in previous years.
— Jamie Foster (@1jamiefoster) October 3, 2015
An unimpressed by the judges scoring
Scoring as ridic as always (cept for Craig). How was that dance only 2 points better than Ewan’s?! #strictly
— James Stuart (@thisforkicks) October 3, 2015
It’s 6s across the board and a Len-like “SEVEN!” from Bruno. That’s two less than last week…
“I loved the chemistry,” says Bruno, who reckons she can improve her top line. “You’re very easy to watch, darrrling,” purrs Craig.
Darcey praised the romance and her sophistication, while Len thinks she’s got some work to do on her technique.
Perhaps I overestimated her potential scores? What do you reckon?
It’s another romantic number for Georgia and Giovanni. And, just like lat week, it’s very, very good. I predict 7s and 8s from the judges.
Georgia May Foote is up next. She was so good last week she’s ditched training and been eating black pudding instead…
Craig gives him a 2, Darcey and Len present 4s and Bruno gives him a 3. It’s a lower score than last week. The Olympian looks crushed. Claud’s bowl of sweets aren’t even enough to cheer him up.
Len thinks he was so enthusiastic Iwan’s dance lost its finesse. “You smashed it to the point of distinction,” says Bruno. “That was like murder. You can’t murder the Cha Cha Cha, you’ve got to dance it.”
Craig was as mean as expected: “21 and a half hours wasted.” While Darcey, the good fairy of the judging panel, praised the fact that he was there for Ola, and that he had fun on the dancefloor. Amen to that.
He’s pulled out all the stops for the public vote. Break dancing. Knee sliding. Thrusting. Bum wiggling. A completely unbuttoned shirt.
I’m not sure the judges will have been distracted by it though…
Iwan Thomas is up next. He’s got to impress this week or her might be in trouble…
It’s a 7 from Craig, an 8 from Darcey, an 8 from Len and an 9 from Bruno. 31. The highest score of the series so far. Aliona will certainly not be leaving the competition first this year!
The audience are on their feet for Jay and the judges are impressed too. “I’m blown away,” says Darcey, who is impressed by both his style and technique, his intensity and technique. “You are going to be one special dancer.”
“It takes a lot to get me excited… you got me excited.” says Len. “Jay, you’re hear to stay,” adds Bruno. And Craig? “Your thumb was sticking up. But all the rest of it was very, very well danced.”
Jay looks pleased, but Aliona is beside herself. Remember, she’s been out first for the last two years…
He may be nervous about performing live, but there’s something about Jay. He already looks like he’s leading Aliona around the floor. And he’s confident when left on his own too. There was some nice spinning (technical term…) there.
Jay is up next. Aliona is getting him a hair cut. That’s serious commitment to the Strictly cause. He does look rather dashing now….
The scores are in! It’s a 5 from Craig, a 5 from Darcey, a 5 from Len and a 5 from Bruno.
“What?!” says Kirsty. “That’s disappointing.”
“For me it lacked fluidity and connection,” says Craig, adding: “You did rather well, I thought.”
“You threw yourself into that,” says Darcey. “You made that look very, very easy… You did a very good show.”
“You’ve got to get a little bit lower, get down and go to town,” says Len, saying that her Salsa sizzled.
We have lift off!
A confident start to Kirsty’s Salsa, but she’s got a serious expression. No smiles here.
Kirsty Gallacher’s up next. She was super nervous last week, and didn’t do as well as we – and the bookie’s expected. Can she improve this week?
Craig gives him a 5, Darcey, Len and Bruno a 6. They’ve got 23, one less point than last week. But still a solid score.
“More swivel,” says Craig. “This dance is about doing over the top and I felt you didn’t quite do that. However, you do have fantastic rhythm. You do have a dancer lurking within.”
“I was not expecting that,” says Darcey, who was impressed by his dance.
“It was a tad on the safe side, however if I was a bookie you’re odds on to be back next week,” adds a grinning Len.
It’s fun. Clearly more of a challenge than his Irish-themed dance last week. But there are lifts. He’s doing solo sections. He looks a little terrified but credit to him!
O’Donnell’s up next and he’s doing – wait for it – a Charleston. It’s a toughie. He performed a wonderful Waltz last week, but the Charleston is a whole different kind of dance…
Claud’s got herself a wind machine to read out the terms and conditions. That gal should have her own show.
The scores are in… It’s a 4 from Craig, a 6 from Darcey, a 5 from Len and a 6 from Bruno. That’s the same score as they got last week.
That 4 feels pretty harsh to me. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter. I’m @Ellie_Wa!
“Your performance level was high, but your technique level was low,” says Len. “A good attitude,” adds Bruno.
“It was all too spiky, sadly,” says Craig, calling her foot placement “decidedly dodgy.” He’s a fun of the bump and grind though…
There’s some serious volume in that hair. And some sexy moves. But she still looks like she’s counting in her head to me… Can’t wait to see what the judges have to say.
Jamelia is first on the floor this week. I was a little disappointed by her performance last week. I had high hopes for the Loose Women presenter but she didn’t really deliver. This week, she’s swapping the Waltz for the Cha Cha though. I reckon this could be a better dance for her…
This might not be the first time the celebs have stepped onto the dance floor but you can guarantee tensions are running high. This week the celebs are dancing for survival – and no one wants to go first.
Katie Derham is looking delightful in monochrome, Jay has balanced a little hat on his curls while Helen George is embracing latin in a tiny blue number…
And have you seen Kirsty’s feathered trim? That right there is what Strictly is all about.
Tess and Claud are looking delightful as usual. But has Anton forgotten to pop a shirt on under that jacket?
Each celeb is set to perform either a Latin or ballroom routine – whichever they didn’t dance last week…
Let’s remind ourselves of how things stand. Remember, no one left last week but those scores still count. They are being carried over from last week where they’ll be added to tonight’s scores.
It could all change but here’s how the leaderboard currently looks. Peter Andre is at the top, with Helen George a close second, while Carol Kirkwood is bringing up the rear…
Who are you rooting for? I pulled Ainsley Hariott out of our RadioTimes.com sweepstake so I’m team Ainsley. But here’s who impressed me last week…
And we’re off. Brace yourselves for teak tans, seriously skimpy dresses and more bad puns than you can possibly imagine.
We’ve already had wardrobe malfunctions. Bruno has already fallen off his chair. It’s only going to get better from here!
Tonight is a long one. There will be no loo breaks, no time to pop the kettle on. We’ve got two hours in the Strictly studio, so you’ll need some seriously sparkly stamina. But never far, I’ll be by your side. We are in this together!
Almost time… While we wait, I’ve got the official song and dance list here for your perusal. Do let me know in the comments, or on Twitter, if there are any you are particularly looking forward to.
I’ll see you back here just before 6:20pm, to hopefully add a little extra sparkle to tonight’s proceedings. This isn’t a one man band though. Do join in by having your say in the comments box below – and tweeting me @Ellie_Wa.
There are just over two hours until the stars take to the floor. If you haven’t sorted out your Strictly sweepstake yet, tonight is your last chance. We lose our first celebrity tomorrow night…