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Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Week 1

I have been on holiday for the past two weeks, so I'm only just getting back into Sparkleland, hence the tardy look back at last weeks shows. But I'm here now!

I was pretty impressed with the standard across the board.

Laura & Giovanni had the difficult task of going first. Laura tried hard. She was a bit stompy, and had bent knees throughout, and her arms looked a bit awkward. But for a non-dancer, it was a great start to the series.

Naga & Pasha begun their series with a waltz. Naga has lots of potential. She looked so elegant. Like Laura, she needs to make sure she straightens her knees more. I can't wait to see her progress.

I cannot bring myself to call Robert 'Judge' throughout the competition, as that's not his name. Anyway, I enjoyed Robert & Oksana's cha cha. Yes, Robert's open-mouthed face was distracting, but I loved that he gave the routine everything. Actually looking at his steps, he had tried so hard to get the styling of a real latin dancer. His rhythm is pretty good. Okasana has lots to work with.

Lesley was always going to do well in a waltz with Anton. There's no way it can go wrong. The song choice was a no-brainer, too. She needs to watch her top line, which is difficult with such a height difference, but we need to see her neck.

We're back to dodgy music choices for tango, but even that didn't detract from Ore & Joanne's tango. Great storytelling - I agreed with Len that it too long to get going, but that's not Ore's fault.He needs to make sure his posture is correct, his bottom was out and his shoulders were too far forward. But he has great potential.

Probably a smart move for Greg & Natalie to get the jive out of the way early doors, although he did a really good job if it. He was a bit pigeon toed, and probably needs to make sure he straightens his legs properly. But it was a good start to the competition.

I liked Louise & Kevin's jive, too. They looked good together, the side-by-side elements were pretty together. It was light and bouncy. Brilliant kick ball-change turns toward the end of the routine. A great start.

Melvin & Jenette's cha cha was solid. It wasn't wowing, but it was a good start. It was just not very interesting. Not one to watch again.

Daisy & Aljaž's waltz was delightful. Romantic, with a beautiful story. Perhaps a little gapping in places - she needs to make sure her hips are completely under. Lovely rise and fall, though. A great start.

Dirty ringer time. West end star Danny's cha cha was on point. If you didn't know Oti was the pro, you might have to ask your neighbour. Slick and professional, Danny was brilliant. I fear that he is too good for the general public, who want to see a J-word.

Fabulous paso doble from Tameka & Gorka. She was just delicious, and is delivering exactly what everyone hoped. She had the attitude and drive, and had the face to match. It wasn't perfect, and I'm not sure how she'll fare with the ballroom dances.

Anastacia gave the cha cha lots of attitude, and reminded me a bit of Claire King. There were a few mis-steps, and Brendan had to save her from going A-over-T in the middle, but I really enjoyed it. She's gorgeous. Can't wait to see more.

Ed & Katya's waltz was quite sweet. He needs to make sure he doesn't lead with his left arm, and should pull his shoulders back. In an earlier series, that would have been acceptable for week 1, but with everyone else in the competition being so good, I don't know if it is going to be good enough.

I had high expectations for Claudia & AJ's cha cha, but it didn't quite hit the mark. She looked off time in a couple of places. They seemed to rely on gymnastics a bit too much. She looked a bit awkward in the heels. She seemed more comfortable out of hold than in it.

I struggled to decide if it was those awful trousers, or just bad posture that made Will & Karen's tango look odd. Will needs to make sure his head is over his shoulder, it was square for much of the dance, which made it lose style. It was OK, and I think he showed potential, but it wasn't my favourite.

I think the leaderboard was a fair reflection of what happened for the most part. Ed and Melvin were definitely the ones who moved me the least. I probably would have had Danny at the top rather than Daisy, and would have had Ore and Greg higher than Will.

What will Saturday's second round bring?

Here are the videos...

Laura & Giovanni

Naga & Pasha

Robert & Oksana

Lesley & Anton

Ore & Joanne

Greg & Natalie

Louise & Kevin

Melvin & Janette

Daisy & Aljaž

Danny & Oti

Tameka & Gorka

Anastacia & Brendan

Ed & Katya

Claudia & AJ

Will & Karen


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