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5 of the most surprising moments from Strictly Come Dancing’s first live show

There were splits and snogs galore in a surprising week one for Strictly 2017

Joe McFadden and Katya Jones on Strictly Come Dancing
Published: Saturday, 23rd September 2017 at 9:42 pm

Strictly Come Dancing's first live show was nothing if not eventful.


From all the unexpected snogging to the very unexpected leaderboard, we look at the 5 most surprising moments from Strictly's first live week:

1. Debbie McGee being nothing short of amazing

Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice on Strictly Come Dancing

Hands up if you saw this coming. No? No-one? Well you're not alone. When Giovanni Pernice discovered he'd been partnered with TV and radio personality Debbie McGee, he probably didn't think they'd end up right at the top of the leaderboard after week one either.

But in one of the biggest dark horse moments in recent Strictly history, 58-year-old Debbie McGee went from zero to hero in the space of a high-kick as her incredibly impassioned Paso sent her soaring to the top of the leaderboard with a whopping 30 points.

It garnered a standing ovation from judges Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas and also a ton of online searches as everyone wondered just how you can get your legs to look like that when you're just two years why of a Senior Railcard.

2. The 'Strictly Curse' struck surprisingly early

Joe McFadden and Katya Jones on Strictly Come Dancing

We're still not entirely sure if this was deliberate or if there was some accidental last-minute head-turning involved, but Holby City actor Joe McFadden ended up sharing a smack-on-the-lips kiss with partner Katya Jones after their Jive. We're not sure what exactly was going on, but all we hope is that Katya's husband and fellow Strictly pro Neil Jones wasn't looking. We wouldn't like to see Joe and Neil have awkward chit-chat over a lager in the green room afterwards, anyway.

And if you thought the most shocking thing McGee was going to do on the dance floor was the splits, you were grossly mistaken. Taking Giovanni totally by surprise, she also planted a whopping smacker on his lips. It was 100% deliberate and it left almost 100% of her lipstick plastered across his face.

3. Alexandra Burke was tipped for great things by Shirley Ballas

After only three performances on Strictly Come Dancing, new judge Shirley Ballas laid her cards thoroughly on the table. After Alexandra Burke performed a Waltz to (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman with Gorka Marquez, Shirley was very full of praise for the former X Factor winner even going so far as to say: "I think you’re probably going to be a front runner off what I’ve just seen."

Crikey. That was before she'd seen Debbie though...

4. Rev. Richard Coles was heaven sent

Richard Coles on Strictly Come Dancing

Craig Reveal Horwood surmised that "all the problems really began darling when the cloud actually landed" in Rev. Richard Coles and Dianne Buswell's first performance.

Bit harsh, but not quite as arresting as Bruno's critique where he compared Richard to being a "demented Annie Lennox". We can hear the Ofcom complaints coming in now.

Well it wasn't quite Ed Balls flying in on a flammable piano or Russell Grant being shot out of a cannon, but it wasn't bad. Shirley Ballas called it a "fantastic surprise". What more could you want?

5. Susan Calman was called "weird but wonderful"

Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton on Strictly Come Dancing week one

Bruno said that this performance was "weird but it was wonderful". The only thing we thought was weird and / or wonderful about Susan and Kevin's performance was Kevin's little Poirot moustache. Apart from that, there was nothing but unfettered joy plastered on her face as she danced to the wildly appropriate Mad About the Boy by Dinah Washington.

Shirley said she "loved the cheeky character at the beginning" and was even impressed with Susan's fleckerl adding "what a great performance".

Craig, however, was less impressed, saying that Susan was a little "jackhammer-ish" and that her "leg sprung up like a mushroom", whatever that means.

Luckily it wasn't all bad news as Kevin reciprocated Susan's feelings and said he was having "the time of my life" dancing with her.


Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday September 31 on BBC1.


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