Strictly Come Dancing fans touched by story behind JJ Chalmers’ Waltz

The Invictus Games medalist and dance partner Amy Dowden moved viewers with their routine

Strictly Come Dancing star JJ Chalmers

Tonight’s much-anticipated Strictly Come Dancing saw the sequin-clad celebrities taking their training to the dance floor with their professional dance partners for their first official routines.

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Viewers were moved by JJ Chalmers touching story behind his Waltz with his professional partner Amy Dowden. The Invictus Game medalist was learning the dance for his brother’s wedding whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2011, with the help of fellow Marine and former semi-professional dancer Cassidy Little. A few weeks later, both him and Little were severely injured in a bomb blast.

Fans shared their emotional reactions to the performance on Twitter.

Many felt JJ brought a raw performance to the dance floor.

One tweeted: “JJ and Amy that Waltz was so beautiful even if it wasn’t perfect, I absolutely loved it!”

Judge Motsi Mabuse was also visibly moved as she revealed that their song choice What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong is her father’s favourite song.

When JJ’s wife and child appeared via video link to tell him how proud of him they were, viewers were tearing up all over again.

JJ and Amy finished fourth on the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard for week one, with a respectable score of 19 points for their first dance.

Strictly released the songs and dances for week one for all the contestants after the celebrities were partnered with their Strictly Come Dancing professionals in a pre-recorded launch last weekend.

This year’s line-up features the welcome return of Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing, who has been partnered with Karen Hauer, and they performed a Cha Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr, scoring 14 to JJ and Amy’s 19.

EastEnders actress Maisie Smith danced the Samba with Gorka Márquez, scoring an impressive 24.

Also in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up is boxer Nicola Adams, partnered with Katya Jones, former NFL star Jason Bell, partnered with Luba Mushtuk, and radio presenter Clara Amfo, and The Wanted’s Max George.

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This year’s series has missed its usual launch in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, debuting instead on Saturday 24th October and continuing until 19th December, the weekend before Christmas.

Strictly Come Dancing live shows air Saturday nights on BBC One. To find out what else is on in the meantime, check out our TV Guide.