Strictly Come Blogging

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

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday Service: Week 1

Strictly is back! And it's back to normal. No more Covid protocols. They have kept a few elements, though. The judges have kept their desk pods, and the couples are sitting in the front (which probably means fewer audience tickets, pft), but there are a small number of folks up in the Clauditorium again.

Eyes down for a butt-numbing 2.5 hour opening show...

Kym & Graziano had the dubious honour of going first with a jive. I actually think the whole performance would have been better at a slightly quicker tempo. Kym had some lovely lines, and everything was in control and nicely placed and presented. Lots of clean, recognisable basic steps. It was lovely, but it would have had so much more life it had been slightly quicker. I think that's why Craig found it "sluggish". It could have been an even bigger party starter.

I hate when couples do American smooth before Viennese waltz or foxtrot, because they don't get the chance to get the technique down. Tyler & Dianne's American smooth was nicely choreographed, but lacked ballroom content. Tyler needs to pull his shoulders back, as his posture was a bit forward. He has lots of potential, though. I think he's going to be a latin boy. And and brave lift for Week 1.

I was quite surprised at how tentative Jayde looked in places. She seemed to be a little unsure of the choreography. I somehow expected her to be able to use her body more than she did. I was expecting more movement, but she was more flat-footed and had less hip action than I anticipated. She seemed to lead Karen well on the sections where she was leading. Probably a good thing they've got the samba out of the way. I like this partnership, though.

Thank goodness Kaye has Kai to lead her around the floor. Her tango was not the best. I liked the attitude at the beginning, but it seemed to disappear when she got into hold. She needs to take bigger steps. And she needs to believe in herself. She looks capable, but needs to find her inner goddess.

I liked James & Amy's jive. James was a bit heavy in places, and it was a little untidy, but I really enjoyed watching him. I liked the partnership. It's just a shame there were a few things which went wrong.

I was a bit concerned about Richie's ability to control his limbs and keep in time, but actually his cha cha cha wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. He was better on his own than with Giovanni. When they danced together, it really showed off his dodgy timing. I can't see how he is going to get on with something which requires more control.

Helen & Gorka's American smooth was really sweet and brought a smile to my face. It was controlled, clean and relaxed. Elegant and easy on the eye. They could do really well in his competition.

I loved Molly & Carlos' samba. High energy, clean, well presented and a joy to watch. Everything just worked. A dynamite partnership in the making.

Quickstep is a really tough dance to begin with, and having it in Week 1 was Matt's undoing. He likes to portray himself as a smooth, stylish guy, and that just did not come across in the dance. He lacked control and was totally out of sync with Nadiya. It was difficult to watch. He did get to dance to Stevie Wonder though, who Matt adores. So good for him.

Ellie & Nikita's cha cha was cute. She definitely got into the character of the dance. She was counting at the beginning, which was a bit of a shame, but she soon stopped. Her timing was pretty good. The dance suited Ellie. I'm intrigued to see where this couple go in the coming weeks.

Tony was clearly a better footballer than he is a dancer. Oft. He was definitely leading. I'm just not sure he was taking Katya where she was expecting to go! It was a bit too aggressive, even for a tango. There was lots of errors, and lots of timing issues. The only was is up, I guess. He seems like a nice bloke, but I'm not sure he'll be around for long.

Will & Nancy were as good as everyone expected them to be. Their jive was high energy, slick and a fantastic start to the competition. He is going to be one to beat.

Ellie & Johannes looked gorgeous together. Their quickstep was pretty decent for a first week. She has a very nice topline. It was go elegant and glamourous. Her legs and footwork could have been better, but I think she has a lot of potential.

Hamza & Jovita's foxtrot was just glorious. Hamza just made everything so easy. It was so smooth. His footwork was excellent. He was in total control. Wonderful musicality as well. I loved it.

Fleur's cha cha had a little too much attack for my taste. She's clearly got massive potential. She had rhythm and performance, but Vito needs to help her add light and shade to her movement. Power is good, but you need quiet moments to balance things out. If she can find that, she'll be great.

Did you survive the night? Good, because we get to do it all again next week!

Hamza, Helen, Molly and Will are all off to a flying start. I think Tony and, surprisingly, Matt have the most work to do in the next week.

This is looking like it could be quite a tight series. The couples are looking quite evenly matched so far.


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