Strictly Come Dancing 2017 kicked off properly last night as the epic first live show aired on BBC One.
The 15 couples danced for the first time but no one will be sent home this weekend. Instead they will all dance again next weekend and the first public vote will take place following the live show.
New Head Judge Shirley Ballas made a big impression with her impressive critique that offered constructive technical criticism, something the show has often lacked from some of the other judges.
I’ve picked out my Top 5 performances of the night. My choices are irrespective of scores and the judges’ comments. Find out who I think made the biggest impression…
5. Chizzy Akudolu & Pasha Kovalev – Cha Cha
Was it technically good? Not really. Do I think Chizzy is going to go on to win the show? Nope. Regardless there’s no denying that she brought the entertainment factor last night. With a huge smile on her face and enough technique to suggest she’ll improve week-on-week, Chizzy was infectious and entertaining.
4. Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez – Waltz
If there was one performance I felt was undermarked last night, it was Alexandra Burke’s beautiful Waltz. Made all the more poignant in the light of the death of Alexandra’s mum recently, the Waltz was breathtaking and Alexandra has a clear chemistry with pro Gorka Marquez (could there be a Strictly romance on the cards?).
3. Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara – Foxtrot
I was torn about this one. Aston, regardless of what he and the show’s VT says, has extensive dance experience. They were at pains to point out that it wasn’t ballroom experience but all the same you need rhythm, timing and ability to carry off any dance and he has all of those clearly. I think the performance was over marked and the Foxtrot elements weren’t evident enough but there’s no doubt Aston is a contender for the final.
2. Joe McFadden & Katya Jones – Jive
Katya does it again! She made her mark last year with Ed Balls and she’s already put Holby City’s Joe McFadden to work. Last night’s Jive was nothing short of gobsmacking for a week 1 performance. Joe has a lot of potential and he really threw himself into the routine. We could be looking at a contender for the Mirrorball Trophy!
1. Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice – Paso Doble
Hands up who thought Debbie McGee would be one of the joke celebs this year? Don’t feel bad, I did too but how wrong was I. Debbie was outstanding last night and she deserved to top the leaderboard (which she almost did). With power, passion and impressive technique, Debbie has already proven us all wrong and it looks like she’s the dark horse of the competition.
Strictly Come Dancing 2017 continues at 6.45pm on Saturday on BBC. See all of the action from last night’s show in our gallery below: