Strictly Saturdays | The One That Was On Friday

It’s that time of year again – dust off your ballgowns, get out those sequins and glitter I know you have, or just get the snacks in and settle down for this year’s Strictly Come DancingThat’s right folks, everyone’s favourite prime-time British TV show is back! No, not Bake Off, the other one – the one where celebrities of varying degrees of apparent “fame” are paired up with dancers who have the thankless task of teaching them how to stop tripping over their feet and actually look graceful instead.

For this year’s Strictly, I happen to be in the fortune position of officially living with a fellow Strictly Come Dancing fan. This means only one thing – doubled-up live-blogging… because just bitching comments to each other verbally clearly isn’t enough – in this technological age, they must be recorded for posterity’s sake. So… that’s what this thing is.

Here’s how it works:
Each week myself and Liz will be bringing you a tag-team live-blog of Strictly Come Dancing. We will be alternating whose blog it is posted on so if you want to keep up-to-date with our clearly deeply insightful commentaries, then you should make sure you’re following both of our blogs. (/end shameless promotion)

Note: this first week is a double-show week, so Liz will be bringing you tomorrow’s show post over on her blog.

Without further ado, let’s get going

Opening Credits

Emma: Dramatic shitty acting and voiceovers, this is a little serious for Strictly… where’s the terrible puns and sequins? Oh, wait, Ed Balls’ face, there’s the humour.

Liz: Oh I have missed this show.

Emma: Liz just clapped excitedly like a child – I think she’s a bit excited about Strictly coming back.

Walkdowns & Intro

Liz: I don’t like those open shoulder dresses. And how can Tess still not walk in heels.
Craig’s white jacket has clearly given him some energy, check out those spins

Emma: Craig spins in… nice, nice. That dancing from the judges was less cringey than normal – or maybe I’m just used to it by this point?

Liz: Awww I love Kevin.
What a shirt Melvin
Ore looks so cute
Bad joke Will, nice try though
Oooof, hello Gorka

Emma: Addressing him as Robert Rinder… lbr his name is Judge Rinder, it even says so on the opening titles, duh.

Liz: Oh, the jokes get no better.

Emma: “most glamorous and sparkly school” Did they stutter and mean to say ‘campest’?


Laura Whitmore & Giovanni Pernice – Cha Cha to ‘Venus’ (watch here)

Emma: Me and Liz don’t even know who Laura Whitmore is… some kind of presenter? MTV? Channel 4? Who knows.

Liz: I just don’t really like her, and it is based on nothing at all. This opening sequence is doing nothing to help her. I forgot how forced and awkward these opening bits are.

Emma: I feel like Laura’s gonna be good at the whole performing for the camera thing. Big surprise.

Liz: She looks like she is one tiny push away from slipping over all the time, and looks like timing could become a little bit of a problem. Her dress looks like she is moving and grooving way more than I think she actually is.

Emma: Yeah, I do feel a little bit like the tassels really help make her look like she’s moving more vigorously.

Liz: What on Earth has Gio got on his head? What is snaking round his forehead? I’m confused.

Judges’ comments:
Emma: “So much fun” apparently but there feels like there’s gonna be a ‘but’ here, Len.
Liz: Oh, how I have missed Bruno, your overactive eyebrows and your over enthusiastic pieces of feedback.
Emma: Bruno already sexually harassing the contestants.
Emma: “A little bit unstable” well I mean I’d be unstable if I were dancing in heels too.
Emma: And we have the first “SEVEN!” from Len. Bit enthusiastic though, I mean, it wasn’t that good.
Liz: It wasn’t a bad effort, but it didn’t make me like her any more, and I didn’t think it was that good. It was average. I’ll have probably forgotten it by the end of the night.

Judges’ scores:
Craig: 5 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7
Total: 25

Liz: Claudia with the obligatory “highest score of the series” joke, and the first dodgy pun of the series.

Emma: Now it’s truly Strictly.


Naga & Pasha – Waltz to ‘Run To You’ (watch here)

Liz: I feel entirely neutral about this pairing. I kind of like both of them, but have no particularly positive or negative thoughts about them. They could grow on me, I could forget them.

Emma: I adore Pasha so Naga had better be good. I sympathise with Naga on the “not feeling elegant” bsns.

Liz: OK, elegance and poise is an issue, but she was endearing, so I’m liking her a little more already. They make me smile, it seems natural. OOOO I love that dress, very beautiful, very Disney princess. No tie Pasha? The open collar is odd.

Emma: Ouch, the left (?) arm seems to have slipped almost immediately.

Liz: The frame survived the first sets of turns and twists, but erm, well it never stayed right through. Those pesky shoulders. But fairplay she gave that waltz a good go, and stayed in “hold” throughout.

Emma: She did gave it a go though with her arms and elegance.

Judges’ comments:
Liz: “Ethereal and elegant” – well that’s not a bad start at least.
Liz: “If you’re going to drag, drag well. Ask Craig about that” – I can’t tell if that was catty or complimentary.
Emma: “If you drag, drag well – ask Craig about that”… I have no words.
Liz: I think I missed the “incident” they’re talking about. I thought she had grace and potential, and I could tell it was a Waltz.
Emma: I know this is a contentious position but I disagree Craig – I think the rise and fall was fine, just her arms/shoulders went too far up.
Liz: I am going to take this defensive position I’ve adopted as evidence that they have grown on me straight away.

Judges’ scores:
Craig: 5 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 6
Total: 23

Liz: First mum and dad shot of the year!! And I do not think that was worse that Laura’s Cha Cha


Judge Rinder & Oksana – Cha Cha to ‘Mercy’ (watch here)

Liz: I love that he is Judge and not his name. And yes, 150% is absurd, thanks!! Oooo a newbie. I feel like I like her already. She is amusing me. I also think his name is going to be pun central this year. I like them.

Emma: I really like Oksana. And of course they’re doing a courtroom thing.

Liz: Oooof hello Judge Rinder. Those turns, that leg, those abs.

Emma: Jesus he’s enjoying himself.

Liz: Well if you’re going to go for it, go for it. It might be a little much, but it is hilarious.

Emma: I have no idea what I’m watching but god I’m enjoying it.

Liz: Those are some snakey hips there Judge, but I think your facial expressions may need a little bit of work!

Emma: I think Judge Rinder’s face is the most expressive thing I’ve ever seen.

Liz: And that flip up, hello. Judge Rinder has some secret skillz.

Emma: What the fuck was that flip? Was truly not expecting that.

Wait… is he throwing himself a little too far into it? And “facial choreography”? That’s a diplomatic phrase, make no mistake.

Judges’ comments:
Emma: “Frenetic”. That’s the word. “with reckless abandon” – yes.
Liz: Frenetic is a spot on description. And he does have rhythm. And reckless abandon in spades.
Emma: “if entertainment’s a crime, you’re guilty” – I wonder how long they can keep up the courtroom puns.
Liz: It was “extraordinary” says Darcey – well yes, yes it was that. Aaand first sexual pun of the year: Bruno/hung/judge…
Emma: … yeah you can put that one together for yourself, I’m sure.

Judges’ scores:
Craig: 6 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 6
Total: 25


Lesley & Anton – Waltz to ‘What’ll I Do’ (watch here)

Liz: Somebody is paid to write these puns. How?

Emma: “got the one I wanted” – Anton always gets the more, um, mature contestants so it’s not a long-shot

Liz: I have no idea how old she is, but I am impressed. She is a properly grooving granny. If only she was a little younger, I think she could be quite good.

Emma: I feel like the height difference is unfair here… because her arms look odd but she’s short.

Liz: It’s not particularly advantageous to them. I can’t tell if it looks wrong because she has gone wrong, or he is just too tall and she can’t reach.

Judges’ comments:
Emma: “Clean and precise footwork” – yes, Len, it was.
Liz: “Sophisticated, romantic, elegant” – good descriptions, but yes, lost in Anton’s chest and high shoulders, definitely feel this could be nerves and height.
Emma: Acting, yes, it was pleasantly touching. Mind, she is an actress so…
Liz: She is an actress, Bruno, but yes, it was. Linda has a little tear there!
Emma: “Press your pelvis into his” That’s genuine advice spoken aloud – calm down, Bruno, seriously.

Judges’ scores:
Craig: 5 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 6
Total: 23


Ore & Joanne – Tango to ‘Geronimo’ (watch here)

Liz: Yes, I like these. They’re my early faves, and a tango!! One of my fave dances. I think he is going to be quite good. And Joanne, well she is awesome, and exciting. Everyone loves some dancing robots. His wife seems amazing, dishing the dirt already, To be fair, everyone loves a good bit of David Beckham. We all know how wears the trousers in that relationship.

Now to the dancing… (or not) he can ride a bike!

Emma: Are they gonna actually start dancing?

Liz: Geek chic, this gets better and better. And a quirky opening. Len will hate this. It’s a long ass non dancing opening.

Emma: Thank god they started dancing, and dancing well. He can dance why are they “storytelling”/arsing around at the start?

Liz: First tight trousers of the year.

Emma: That felt like a Charleston’s attitude mixed with a tango’s steps. Um… not a traditional tango.

Liz: Once they get dancing, it is quite good, he can definitely move. I think he is going to be good. They didn’t have enough dancing in it which is a shame. It was definitely a tango, but there was other things mixed it.

Judges’ comments:
Emma: What a surprise Len doesn’t like it.
Liz: Ore is too sweet for “fire and thunder”, “lollipops” just is more him.
Emma: The least fiery tango I’ve ever seen… I mean that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it was just unexpected.
Liz: The storytelling was good Craig, thank you!
Emma: “So much potential I can’t wait to see more” from Darcy (I mean we pretty much saw most of Ore thanks to the tightness of those trousers but…) I agree.
Liz: Ease, attack, strength, and focus, The p word (potential) has been dropped.

Judges’ scores:
Craig: 7 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 7
Total: 27

Liz: I love these two, so cute and happy and good, and cute. He weeps at the theme tune, awwww. But, oh Len, I’m disappointed in you! I predicted it, but I’m disappointed.


Greg & Natalie – Jive to ‘Get Ready’ (watch here)

Liz: Still disappointed he is with Natalie, I like Greg and I have never liked her. He forgot to invite people?? I think they should have Milo in every week, because he is adorable, shame he isn’t in this intro.

Emma: Ok the energy and the bounce and the attack is there… the steps just look very unnatural for Greg to do.

Liz: He has the energy and the excitement straight away. And the bounce, there is bounce, it just looks a little messy and unnatural. I think he will end up being good. Wow what was that jump! The flicks are little bit, not flicky. There aren’t many of them.

Emma: What’s his face doing? Is he tired out? “Sexy jive face” says Tess – I don’t think that was sexy but different strokes for different folks.

Liz: His little face. He looks tired and relieved.

Judges’ comments:
Emma: “Giving it welly” – Bruno is spot-on
Liz: That’s a concise way of describing it. I love watching him too, Bruno.
Emma: Now for Craig’s opinion… gird your loins…
Liz: For someone who enjoyed that enormously you did a good job of stripping and ripping it to pieces.
Emma: Yeah his free arm was “awkward” but I kind of expected him to be a tiny bit gangly so…
Liz: Finishing on a show stopping high. I can’t, Natalie just nearly fell down the stairs. Yes, that happened.

Judges’ scores:
Craig: 6 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7
Total: 27


Conclusion:
Emma: I think my favourites are Naga and Judge Rinder, the former because I think she’s going to become amazing if she can gain confidence in how elegant she definitely can be, and the latter because he’s going to be so entertaining. Why did I say “going to” as though he isn’t already? I correct my prior statement – he is so entertaining.

Liz: I feel like the judges have basically just voted on who they have taken to there, because I am quite sure they voted higher if you had more personality and did a Latin dance.

Tomorrow – ooo group dance, and high heeled back-flips, bring it on, and…

… keep dancing!

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