Strictly Saturdays: The One With The Rocky Mountains

It’s that time of year again – get out your spray cans, fish out the rhinestones and sequins I know you have stashed away, and grab the wineglasses – Strictly Come Dancing is back! Yep, you read that right, the nation’s favourite Saturday night show is back on TV. And while last night was really good, I do think Strictly makes a Saturday night, and Saturday nights are made for Strictly. (For a round up of last night’s action, click here.)

This year, I happen to be living with a good friend who is also a big Strictly fan and fellow blogger. This means only one thing – doubled-up live-blogging… because bitching comments and shameless perving shouldn’t just be reserved for our living room, it should be shared with the…masses?

Here’s how it works:
Each week myself and Emma 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.

Now as the shameless promotion is out of the way, let’s get dancing:

Opening Credits

Emma: You know, Louise had better be good otherwise I won’t forgive her.

Liz: I feel like the dross could well come out tonight *cough* Ed Balls *cough*.  He is even creepy and awkward in the opening credits.

Emma: Shit, I just saw what looked suspiciously like Ed doing a Charleston move in training. Well, this should be interesting… um “entertaining”

Group Dance

Liz: Awww, cutie kids depressingly talented and dancing on tv like superstars, and then cutie oldies. Oh how adorable. I do like a good group dance to open. This is stunning, really beautiful.

Emma: Oooo group dance with adorable children. Don’t want to say the BBC know their audience but…

Liz: Lens dancing!! I like this, having the judges dancing properly, I approve.

Emma: Len just looked like he was having the time of his life. Mind you, so did Craig… dont think Ive ever seen him smile so broadly

Liz: Oh I love this, this is perfection. The show could end there and I would be happy.

Walkdowns & Intro

Liz: The irony that a dancing show is presented by this pair, who can barely walk never mind dance! What is going on with Claudia’s face. it looks like it is melting!!

Emma: Claudia and AJ look about twelve, seriously.

Liz: Melvin, that shirt gets no better!

Emma: When Aljaz smiles I feel like I’m staring into the sun – in the best way possible. It’s impossible to see his big grin and not automatically smile

Liz: Darcy you look spectacular in that piece of stunning tin foil. Beautiful and elegant. Shame that Bruno looks like he swallowed a pen and vomited ink all over his shirt just before he came out.

Liz: I love how Aljaz and Kevin always sing and jig along with the theme tune.

Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton – Jive to Jump, Jive, and Wail (watch here)

Liz: I love this pairing already, she is a LFC captain’s wife, and he is Kevin from Grimsby. It’s perfect. Ideal. Absolutely love them.

Emma: Her kicks could be a bit more flicky but… you know what I love this. I love them.

Liz: Oh I like this, they are good, it’s very classy and cutsie. And she can move.

Emma: Her kicks could be a bit more flicky but… you know what I love this. I love them. Those spins were so well done by Louise. That had a lot of content for week one – well done Kev.

Liz: Going to call it now, but I think this has been the best dance so far, and it’s not just because I love them. Yes, it could have been a little cleaner, but it was jam packed of actual dancing.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: ‘’Floats my boat’’, nice pun Len, I see what you did there. It was good, high expectations is what we like to hear.

Emma: Why haven’t we stopped booing Craig? Is it a reflex thing now whenever he opens his mouth

Liz: The first Craig outstanding, I feel so proud.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 8 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 8 | Bruno: 8

Total: 31

Liz: Ooo-er, the 8 panel

Emma: And in week one…wow!

Melvin Odom and Janette Manrara – Cha Cha to Going Loco Down In Acapulco (watch here)

Liz: That shirt. Is that shirt your secret weapon? To blind the judges?

Emma: He seems to be doing all the steps but it’s strangely… stilted?? Purposeful?

Liz: He seems very slow It’s very placed and not smooth at all. Quite forced, rather than effortless.

Emma: You can see him doing step one then step two, hitting all the marks but not really flowing through it enough.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: Chased by a swarm of bees? That’s never what you want to hear, neither is being as stiff as an ironing board.

Liz: I feel like Darcey’s ‘’good time out there’’ is Mary Berry’s ‘’It looks informal’’

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 4 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 6

Total: 22

Liz: Despite that shirt, I feel like I could completely forget those two.

Daisy Lowe and Aljaz Skorjanec – Waltz to Unforgettable (watch here)

Liz: I feel like she is going to be rubbish. I don’t know why, but I just don’t think she is going to be very good.

Emma: I kind of think she might be shit. As a model surely she’ll take direction well but might be a bit stiff??

Liz: Aljaz is just the happiest most perfect human ever. Oh, but I thought the sob stories were just reserved for X factor?

Emma: Her frame is very good already, it kind of comes naturally.

Liz: I find it odd that her hips are higher than his I know it can’t be helped and it’s not their fault, but I find it odd none the less. But, Oh my God, their legs.

Emma: I’m impressed that she’s as graceful as that

Liz: Wait, that’s it? I feel like that was so short, and just completely by passed me. Did it actually happen?

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: Sickly, gawkish, but danced beautifully? Maybe, if I realised there was a dance, I’d see it.

Emma: I feel like she’ll be terrible at Latin though

Liz: Never a better dance in week 1? Well I called the ‘’I feel like she is going to be rubbish thing wrong’’

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 7 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 9 | Bruno: 8

Total: 32

Liz: I did not think that was better than Louise and Kevin; at least I realised those two had actually danced.

Emma: Once again Aljaz has a partner where I thought I’d kind of probably hate her but will probably end up growing to like her simply because I love Aljaz. It happened with Abby, it’ll happen with Daisy, I’m going to predict that now. I hate myself.

Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse – Cha Cha to Cake by the Ocean (watch here)

Liz: This looks like it is going to be quick. Maybe it has the potential to great, and also the potential to go wrong.

Emma: There’s a hell of a lot of stuff in this, very quick… probably because he clearly has rhythm and can dance.

Liz: Cheeky lick of the lips there, and oh hello, some slick moves to start, he can dance. Those hips. And those spins, damn Danny!

Emma: Shit, that hip action was good. And I say that as someone who is very quick to hate people that, well, that look like Danny Mac.

Liz:  That was really good! The audience liked it.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz:  Shocked and speechless, it must have been those magic hips. A contender. And do you know what Len….I can see that little smile you both have.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 8 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 8

Total: 31

Liz: I thought I was going to dislike him, I almost wanted to, but I don’t, and I am not sure I understand.

Tameka Empson and Gorka Marquez – Paso Doble to Y Viva Espana (watch here)

Liz: Them arms, those tattoos. I like him.

Emma: She’s just so likeable… to the extent I kind don’t care how shit or not this is

Liz: And she is a laugh, so excitable. I think it is impossible to dislike her! I genuinely believe her when she says this is a dream.

Emma: A good bit of cape twirling.

Liz: The cape is out and the he music is traditional.

Emma: I love cape work. I bloody love Paso Doble

Liz: It has the stalkery drama that a good paso should have at least. Not sure that middle bit wasn’t a bit unceremonious though.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: She seems like I would be after if I tried to do a full dance on this show.

Emma: Beautifully attacked. And you have to attack the Paso.

Liz: She really did own the stage. I liked it. She is infectious.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 6 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7

Total: 26

Liz: HE’S WEARING A RING. The devastation.

Emma:  I spent most of the dance staring at Gorka.

Anastasia and Brendan Cole – Cha Cha to Lady Marmalade (watch here)

Liz: I apologise in advance, but this could get bitchy, but I don’t particularly like her, and I really dislike him…so…yeah. This is just painful, this segment is horrendous. I’m struggling.

Emma: This is a cha cha right? I feel like this is the sultriest cha cha I ever saw.

Liz: This is not dancing, this is barely walking and moving. This is a little bit racy. I’ve seen way more of her than I ever wish too.

Emma: Shit! A slip.

Liz: That was well caught Brendan, That could have been a lot worse.

Emma: To be fair, kudos to her for carrying on.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: Very talented and very good? Did we watch different dances? They are really annoying me. I can’t be doing with them.

Emma: It was well attacked.

Liz: Filth and indecent – of course Craig loved it.

Her dances are going to have one tone throughout – sultry and sexy. Like, I can’t see the waltz being elegant or her letting herself go for a cheeky Charleston.

Liz: The rocky mountains. I think I just died. She is going to give Len a coronary.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 8 | Darcey: 7 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 6

Total: 28

Liz: That was way way way over scored.

Ed Balls and Katya Jones – Waltz to Are You Lonesome Tonight (watch here)

Liz: Here we go. Dad dancing through a midlife crisis. This is going to be *special*.

Emma: Dancing clearly doesn’t come naturally to him.

Liz: At least he knows he is rubbish. That always helps. He’s got first out stamped all over him.

Emma: But, you know what, he’s trying and he isn’t as shit as I anticipated… which is almost (almost) a compliment.

Liz: Oh he is trying at least. He’d gone for it with the rhinestones, that’s a point for embracing it. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s awkward, but he is actually dancing. That wasn’t that bad. I didn’t hate him.

Emma: I am pleasantly surprised. Very proper waltz.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: I think I only dislike him when he opens his mouth

Emma: He just needs to not even open his mouth, because then I remember he’s a politician.

Liz: I feel like Craig was scathing for scathings sake. I never thought I would be defending him.

Emma: We’re both getting slightly defensive of Ed Balls – I never thought I’d ever say that ever.

Liz: Len said it how it is: We all thought he would be rubbish, and he wasn’t bad. He tried, and yeah, I was quite pleasantly surprised too.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 5 | Darcey: 5 | Len: 6 | Bruno: 5

Total: 21

Liz: No-one has scored lower than half marks.

Emma:  I kinda like how self deprecating he is.

Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard – Cha Cha to What Makes You Beautiful (watch here)

Liz: I have seriously high hopes for these tweens. I hope they don’t abuse her gym background too much though. They’re so small and young.

Emma: They’re incredibly cute

Liz: They’re just so tiny!

Liz: It’s very clean and exact, I don’t think it is brilliant though. It felt like a few sections placed together rather than a complete dance.

Emma: She is performing all the moves and it’s very exact.

Liz: I feel like they focused on too many wow moments, and not enough on the dancing.  Len is going to hate all of the tricks and flicks.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: As if Len made a Zayn joke, I never thought I would hear that. I knew Len wouldn’t love the gymnastics bits.

Emma: I’m already sick of the gymnastics moves added in and it’s only week one.

Liz: He is too young to make that sort of sexual assault on Bruno, way too young. It’s creepy.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 6 | Darcey: 6 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7

Total: 26

Liz: I feel like we are seeing a bit too much of you there AJ, those trousers are a bit, erm…tight?

Will Young and Karen Clifton – Tango to Let’s Dance (watch here)

Liz: Someone needs to have a serious word with Will about his training room wardrobe. He looks like a homeless elf. The ballroom is not the time to be wearing ankle grazers.

Emma: I Was a bit worried whether Will would be able to not smile.

Liz: They have the fire and the passion

Emma: It’s not a problem apparently, these two can do fiery. Something’s a little bit wrong with his frame and arms, I can’t work out what.

Liz: It’s too smooth. It’s not quite snappy enough, which is a shame because the basis of it is good.

Emma: This is a bit too smooth and fluid… which seems an odd criticism

Liz: It’s weird to say a dance is too smooth, but even with that, I really think is that if he could do a fusion with the foxtrot that would be amazing.

Judges’ Comments:

Liz: The drama and intent, and the passion and interpretation were there.

Emma: It just isn’t harsh and staccato enough for a tango.

Liz: I didn’t think that Will Young would have quite so much attack, and manliness, and power.

Judges’ Scores:

Craig: 8 | Darcey: 8 | Len: 7 | Bruno: 7

Total: 30


Liz: Daisy is at the top of the leaderboard, and she is pretty much the only one I actually went ‘’wait did she dance?’’. No-one was actually atrocious though.

Emma: Well, Ed Balls wasn’t as shit as I thought he would be. And I liked Louise…

Liz: And this is what the recaps are for, noticing Ore pulling tongues and Bruno’s face when Greg leaps at the judges. Do you know what, I think Melvin was actually worse than Ed!

Next week – the threat of the first elimination looms, and Ed is going to have a good go at Latin. Bring it on…

…..keep dancing.


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