It’s that time of the week once again! Good evening to you all, and welcome once again to #StrictlyLiveBlogging, our weekly live blog of the hit BBC One Saturday night dance extravaganza that is Strictly Come Dancing.
Can you believe a week has passed since the first live show? Well we can’t, but it’s here now, and as always tonight, we’ll be here with our warm up preview of all of tonight’s dances at 6:15pm, before we start bringing you our live blog as the show goes live on BBC One at 6:45pm. To keep up with the live blog, just swipe down on your phone or tablet, or press F5 to refresh on your PC or laptop.
And as always we’d love to hear from you – don’t forget to leave your comments below, or you can Tweet us using the hashtag #StrictlyLiveBlogging. We’ve had over 50 readers in the last two weeks so thank you one and all! Enjoy the live blogs and the show tonight and tomorrow.
Welcome everyone! Second live show already! Last Saturday, the fifteen new celebrities and their professional dance partners took to the floor for the very first time watched by an audience of over 10m. Let’s just have a quick reminder of the leaderboard as it stood after the first live show last week:
So right up at the top with 31 out of a possible 40 for their dazzling Foxtrot were JLS’ Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara, closely followed by Debbie McGee on 30 with her surprisingly dark horse Paso Doble with Giovanni Pernice. Down at the joint bottom on 16 points apiece were This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford and Anton du Beke with their Waltz, and comedian Brian Conley with his partner, Amy Dowden for their Tango.
This weekend of course, is where it all gets serious as the stakes are about to get raised. The public vote will go live this week and will open at the end of the show (approximately 8:45pm) – details of how to vote are, as ever, on the BBC Strictly website.
However, this can also only mean one thing – by this time tomorrow night, the first couple will be voted off the competition, so adding up the judge’s first two sets of scores and viewer votes, it really is all to play for tonight.
Looking ahead to tonight’s dances, and we’ve got a veritable set of delights awaiting, including the first Charlestons, quicksteps and American smooths of the series. Here’s all the dances for the couples this week and what they’ll be dancing to:
And here’s all the couples today after completing their dress rehearsals:
15 minutes to go! Tess and Claudia are raring to go…
As are Shirley and, er…Bruno…
If you missed it last night, we’d highly recommend catching up with the first in the new series of Channel 4’s hit satirical news show The Last Leg on All4 after the first live show tonight. Paralympian Jonnie Peacock and his partner, Oti Mabuse were on as guests along with the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley and comedian Russell Howard and it was a hoot as you can see. They even got a good luck message from kid’s TV legend Basil Brush!
5 minutes to go!
Here we go people! Dah dah dah dah, dah dah dah, duh duh dah dah dah…
Tess and Claudia looking amazing tonight!
Some amazing costumes I am seeing tonight! Full credit to Vicky Gill and the wardrobe team!
Tonight’s first couple dancing are Chizzy and Pasha – they’ve got a Foxtrot this week. How will they fare after last week’s Cha Cha Cha?
Chizzy is very light on her feet here but still showing the same level, if not more, of sass she gave us last week!
Our score: 6. A unique and surprisingly well executed foxtrot!
Shirley said the technique was disappointing as she says the Foxtrot is the Rolls Royce of dancing. Bruno says Pasha better not mess with her as she’s getting sassy – but at the expense of the dance sometimes. Craig said her gapping needed work and that he needed less musical theatre and more grace but she was fun to watch. Darcey says she comes to sell a performance. Bit of a mixed bag I’d say!
Chizzy and Pasha’s scores are in:
Oh I’ve missed the terms and conditions dance!
Aston and Janette are up next with a salsa to the hit of the summer, “Despacito”. Will he be able to shake the dancefloor tonight?
This is really bringing a smile to my face! Aston and Janette bringing all the fun and party alive with a carnival/festival feel! Good work with the lifts too! (And on a totally unrelated note love their tent!)
Our score: 9. A party popping salsa that’s setting the bar high!
Bruno said his eyes were on stalks and that it was a snake hipped smidgen of perfection! Craig said some of the lifts were a bit wobbly but that it had rhythm and timing. Darcey said it was fast, compact and tight. Shirley loved it, loved it and loved it some more. I feel more good scores coming!
Here’s Aston and Janette’s scores:
Susan and Kevin are next tonight with the first Charleston of the series. Here come the swimming hands!
Susan’s legwork is letting her down a bit but fabulous arms and she’s capturing the comedy of the dance!
Our score: 5. Fun and action packed Charleston but quite a lot technically to work on!
Craig said she had none of the swivel required for the dance. Darcey said the dance was made for her. Shirley said she was entertaining, bright, synchronized and coordinated. Bruno said she was having too much fun like Pan’s People gone demented. Universally positive I’d say!
The scores for Susan and Kevin are in:
Charlotte and Brendan next. She has her first Latin dance with the Cha Cha Cha this week. Will she shine like she did with her Foxtrot?
Swit and indeed swoo at you Charlotte! Looking seriously hot in that dress! Bit rusty with the spin there but a lot of sass and attitude throughout.
Our score: 7. Not as on point as last week but still very good!
Darcey said she recovered despite her nerves but to work on creating a character to get over her fears. Shirley said her heart went out to her as she struggled to find technical elements that worked this week but that she went for it. Bruno says she was being dragged from pillar to post but to regroup and strengthen herself. Craig said it was a complete dance disaster but on a positive she’ll never have to dance it again. Poor Charlotte, I want to hug her…
Charlotte and Brendan’s scores are in:
Joe and Katya are up next with a Tango. Will he pull off his tango face with panache?
Joe’s stiffening up quite a bit but he’s bringing a lot of the storytelling and passion to this dance. As a fellow Scot I am loving his tartan waistcoat!
Our score: 7. Great rousing Tango, and a lot better than last week!
Shirley said it took a bit long to get started and it lost its pace. Bruno said he spent so much time in the wardrobe he was looking for Narnia and he spent the time skipping around like a March hare. Craig said it had too much attack and energy with fingers splayed. Darcey said it’s about balance but that he came out with energy. Mixed bag again I think!
Scores for Joe and Katya are in:
Brian and Amy – currently joint bottom of the leaderboard – are next with their Cha Cha Cha. Will they shake their groove things sufficiently enough?
Brian’s footwork is still letting him down badly. A bit too much disco and not enough Cha Cha Cha here to be honest!
Our score: 3. Close but no cig-cha cha char!
Bruno said he had the Saturday night fever and a certain case of flu that got stuck in the 70s. Craig said the timing was out and the hip action was stomping. Darcey said it was lively, bright and confident. Shirley said he needs to know his choreography and technique inside out.
Here comes Brian and Amy’s scores:
Gemma and Aljaz are next with their waltz. Will she be able to pull it off with grace and style?
Oh wow. Going a bit misty eyed here. Gemma looks so beautiful and graceful, like a ballerina in a music box! Really captured the technicality of the dance and very good arm movements too!
Our score: 8. Don’t doubt yourself Gemma. You’re a ballroom queen for sure and Aljaz has bought that out of you!
Craig said it was an improvement on last week and had nice rise and fall and he enjoyed it. Darcey said she was classy and elegant and control on the rise and fall and changes in direction. Shirley said it was a huge improvement with beautiful footwork and that she stayed with the pace. Bruno said it was a waltz that was stylish with a taste of La Dolce Vita! I’m sensing some good scores again!
The scores for Gemma and Aljaz are in:
Reverend Richard time! He and Amy are up next with the first American smooth of the series – in an Aussie outback hat?
Lots of beautiful character and charm from the Reverend here. Working the lifts very well too it has to be said!
Our score: 6. A treat of an American smooth from down under there!
Darcey said it was quite lumpy but she said the lifts were divine. Shirley loved his choice of music and his ear for it, but the technique and content needs a bit of work. Bruno said it was more of an Australian bender and created a feast of entertainment in a technical drought. Craig thought falling petals had more grace(!)
Here’s the Reverend and Dianne’s scores:
Ruth and Anton are next with their Great Gatsby inspired Charleston. Cue more swimming arms!
So much period class and elegance here with the fun element upped substantially. Good swivel action from Ruth too! (And love her wig!)
Our score: 7. Ruth bought her character out with this dance and it really showed!
Shirley said 100% better than last week and loved Anton’s routine and that she nailed it! Bruno said she was a good flapper but needed a few more cocktails to get her crazier. Craig said it needed 80% more energy than it was given. Darcey said the difference and belief she had was stronger and to keep it up!
Ruth and Anton’s scores are in:
Simon and Karen are next with their Waltz to a football anthem close to his heart – so they’ve gone to Anfield!
Hmm. Simon is trying his best but he’s visibly nervous when in hold. It’s rather letting down the flow of the dance.
Our score: 4. Not completely terrible but not as good as it could’ve been.
Bruno said it started so good but that it needs more flow. Craig said it was a shame it stumbled because it showed a lot of promise. Darcey said he was a strong elegant gentleman but that the emotion overcame him. Shirley’s giving him a hug for encouragement and that she felt the emotion of a special piece of music. God where’s our tissues?
Simon and Karen’s scores are in:
Nice to see Marvin and Rochelle Humes in the audience tonight! Her Saturdays bandmate Mollie and AJ are next with a tango.
Well it’s safe to say Tallulah the Tango Queen has arrived! Such great poise and attack from Mollie here and great choreography from AJ.
Our score: 8. A much better turn out from Mollie this week. She’s got her tango face nailed down!
Craig said it had attack and intent but that they were getting marked down for an illegal lift(!) Darcey said she had the focus from the beginning. Shirley said it’s the best tango of the series so far. Bruno said she had a much better connection this week and a good interpretation of the dance. Better marks are coming I think (except from Craig)!
Here comes Mollie and AJ’s scores:
Jonnie and Oti are up next with a Western inspired Jive. It’s Jonnie’s first dance on his blade so how will he get on?
Go Jonny go! I think we’re looking at a contender here people. Good kicks and flicks, and better with the “hat-ography” than Oti even is!
Our score: 8. Seriously good jive from Jonnie B Goode!
Darcey called him Cowboy Jonnie with strength and stamina and said he was fabulous out there. Shirley said his kicks and flicks were outstanding! Bruno said if it looks good, it feels good. Craig said there was a bit of hesitation and that he needs to work on focusing the energy in his arms but brilliant otherwise!
Scores for Jonnie and Oti are in:
Dark horse Debbie and Giovanni are up next tonight with their Viennese Waltz. Will she surprise us all as she did last week?
Again as with last week, so much grace and the air of a natural dancer has our Debbie! This dance really suits her.
Our score: 8. As with Jonnie, definitely one to watch I think!
Shirley says she was like a beautiful English rose. Bruno said it was graceful, with gorgeous fluidity. Craig gave his first UH. MAY. ZING. of the series! Darcey said it was effortless with ease! More good scores I think!
The scores for Debbie and Giovanni are in:
Davood and Nadiya has the first quickstep of the series next. Can he bring it the speed and athleticism needed?
So much cheekiness and content to this from Davood, and great choreography from Nadiya! Very light on his feet too!
Our score: 8. Very enjoyable first quickstep of the series! Davood’s another contender I think!
Bruno said it was like a race straight to the bedroom – the fast and furious of ballroom! Craig said it had a lot of style and a lot of incredible energy. Darcey said impressive but difficult quickstep but to control the upper body energy. Shirley said she was a traditionalist and had a bit too much faffing around beforehand.
Closing the show tonight is Alexandra and Gorka with their Paso Doble. I have a feeling she’ll do well with this!
So much attack and panache from Alexandra and Gorka here! She beautifully captures the mood and feel of the dance here – good music choice too!
Our score: 9. Charging the ballroom dancefloor with drama and passion!
Craig’s just given a standing ovation and a fist pump! Darcey praised the strength and drama that was beautiful to watch. Shirley said she can shift weight from foot to foot and that will stand her well as she loved it. Bruno said she blew him away and that he felt everything she felt with the dance.
Here are Alexandra and Gorka’s scores:
So that’s it – all the dances done and what another fantastic show! Lines are open to vote now – we’ve cast for our favourites but have you? We’ll see you back here tomorrow at 6:45pm for a recap of tonight’s show and our live blog of the results show that starts at 7:15pm. See you all then!