Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – Live Blog


Here we go, it’s the first show of 2016. We’ve seen the judges, the costumes, the line-up, and first up is Laura Whitmore and Giovanni Pernice!

21.09 – Venus was the song, and it was a cha cha cha. Laura looks fab and definite promise there! What will the judges think? Len’s happy, thank gawd, Bruno thinks he might need a fire extinguisher, but Craig is critical. Who knew! Darcey reckons Laura is sassy, and very good for a first dance.

5 from Craig, 6 from Darcey, 7 from Len and 7 from Bruno. A total of 25 points. An impressive start!

21:15 – Next up, Naga Munchetty and Pasha Kovalev. Run to You is the tune, it’s a waltz, and I want that dress. No worries about elegance, according to Bruno, who reckons Craig knows all about how to drag well. Cheeky! Darcey praises her ‘beautiful neck’ as one of the best attributes in her top line adding, ‘You are going to look stunning!’ Lovely. Len says every mistake is unfortunately magnified, but like Craig he loved the potential and elegance.  Naga’s proud parents look so happy! Aw.

5 from Craig, 6 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 6 from Bruno. A total of 23 points.

21.24 – Judge Rinder time. He’s paired with Oksana Platero.  They appear to be practicing in something resembling a court. Hm. It’s a Cha Cha Cha to Mercy in robes. Another hm. Are we to endure weeks of judicial puns? I hope not. Over to the judge and jury. Shit, now I’m doing it. Frenetic, says Craig, with an ‘excessive collagen procedures’ face. Ouch. He does praise his rhythm though! Extraordinary, says Darcey to laughter from the audience. We can expect Len to be the worst offender when it comes to puns with Bruno a close second.

6 from Craig, 7 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 6 from Bruno. A total of 25 points.

21.32 – Lesley Joseph time! A great match for Anton Du Beke who wants her to bring her enthusiasm and personality to the floor. They’re dancing a waltz to the Birds of a Feather theme. Go Lesley! It started in black and white, and I kind of hoped it would stay like that; as it was very atmospheric. They mentioned the height difference and you can see it on the dancefloor. Sophisticated, romantic and elegant says Darcey. High shoulders from nervousness, but all good. Len liked the costumes and clean precise footwork. Bruno found it touching and well felt and acted. Again, the shoulder and neck line needs work, but it was lovely. Craig sees the posture as the biggest concern, but thought she danced with ease.

5 from Craig, 6 from Darcey, 6 from Len and 6 from Bruno. A total of 23 points.

21.40 – Tango time!! It’s Ore Aduba and Joanne Clifton. Ore’s wife is on hand to reveal his obsession with David Beckham and phobia of birds. The dance then starts with bird noises, but Beckham is clearly elsewhere. I’ve never been a fan of those chino style trousers on the dancefloor. They look uncomfortable. Len was predictably frustrated about how long it took them to get started, complaining ‘you’re a good dancer, I want to see a full routine’. Bruno liked the tango with a ‘cheeky spin’ and loved that he hadn’t seen anything like it before. Craig thought it was strong and dramatic, adding an enthusiastic well done!’ Darcey reckons Ore has so much potential, she can’t wait to see more. Deserved praise! I’m already looking forward to his next dance.

7 from Craig, 7 from Darcey, 6 from Len, and 7 from Bruno. A total of 27 points.

There’s a fake stuffed bird in Claudia Winkelman’s hand for no apparent reason. When it comes to Claudia, there doesn’t have to be one.

21.50 – Greg Rutherford now and a very happy Natalie Lowe with my favourite, the jive. Jumps aplenty? Tick, tick, tick. It’s fast and fun and there’s definite promise there. But what do I know? Over to the judges. Ooh, I know more than I think. Bruno says he could go all the way with talent and presence. Craig mentions free arm and pigeon toes, so blot your Strictly bingo card for those two, but he enjoyed it. Darcey loved the rhythm, energy, and lightness on his feet. Len loves the ‘dynamic duo’ and praises the fabulous kicks at the beginning. High praise very well deserved, and for a man who has never danced in his life, impressive stuff.

6 from Craig, 7 from Darcey, 7 from Len and 7 from Bruno. A total of 27 points. He can be very happy with that.

21.56 – We’re at the half way mark now with tomorrow’s show to look forward to. We meet the remaining 9 couples. Louise Redknapp tries to cope with Kevin’s energy, Daisy Lowe panics about getting it completely right, Tameka Empson is excited, Anastacia concentrates on getting her mind and feet to speak the same language, and Will Young learns to accept he isn’t going to get it in 5 minutes.

And that’s it for tonight! Strictly is back tomorrow at 18:30. There’s no vote this week, and all scores from the two nights will be carried over to next week. Even though we’ve only seen 6 of our dancers with 9 to go, I’ve a good feeling about this series.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes

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