Strictly Saturdays | Week One

Strictly’s back guys and I am so excited!! The launch show was a couple of weeks ago and probably better than ever. The judges dances, Kylie performed, and the celebrities met their pro dancers. Autumn has most definitely arrived! I am looking forward to this year, my favourite dancers finally have partners, and the new judge Motsi is actual fire, it’s going to be epic!

Strictly Saturdays is a weekly review of Strictly Come Dancing. Expect biased reviews, uneducated dancing critique, and sass.

I know this will come as no shock to most of you, but, if you didn’t already know, I bloody love Strictly. For the last few years, I have reviewed each Strictly Come Dancing main live show for a Strictly Saturdays post, and have loved reviewing and chatting about the performances so I’m back! This year, things are changing a little bit for both the show and for my post, so let’s get the boring bits out of the way first!

I review and list the celebrity, their pro dance partner, and their dance and song in order of viewing on the main show, and link the dance performed live direct from Strictly Come Dancing’s YouTube channel. Then comes some sass and commentary on the rehearsal package and their overall dance performance, and then the scores on the doors from the judges. This year I’ve also included an extra highlight! My housemate and I *usually* watch Strictly together, so we’re scoring the dances ourselves. And because we know new to nothing about dance and can offer zero helpful insight, we’re giving 2 scores, the first for what we believe is technical merit, and the second for pure enjoyment/entertainment, you’re welcome.

On the show, well, we have lost dear Darcey, but in her place we have the fierce, the fire, the fantastic Mosti Mabuse (her intro dance in the launch show was phenomenal, you can watch it here). The incredibly funny, awesome, brilliant, wonderful, insert every lovely word about someone here Neil Jones and the absolutely fabulous Johannes have been upgrade to male partners and will have their first celebrity partners, as Graziano and Gorka (sob) drop to being pro-dancers and back-ups. The beautiful Luba has also stepped into the limelight and there is a new pro dancer called Nancy Xu who will join the pro dances. We also lost Jamie Laing (of Made in Chelsea and biscuit fame) to injury before the show even began, so Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher was drafted in as a replacement! It’s going to be good. After all, we have still have Dave Arch and his Wonderfull, wonderful orchestra. I love Dave Arch.

Let’s get on with the show!

I love week one, because everyone looks nervous and no-one has to go home. That, and we get an extra pro dance! This year, it was all about the quest for the glitter ball, and featured the dancers performing in weird ass pants in different places, before spinning and appearing in the ballroom. I have to say, I didn’t like it as much as some years, but it’s always fun to have a watch and see who will be the focus this year (you can watch it here).

And it wouldn’t be a strictly show without a comment on the outfits. Craig looked like Craig, well put together and fabulous, and well Bruno looked like Bruno. His shirt was far too open and his look far too extra, but, would we have it any other way?Darcey looked sensational in a white lace number and Motsi, well she was fire in a glitzy, silverly pinstripe suit get-up that I was seriously digging. Even Claudia and Tess both looked great in pretty awesome jumpsuits, I hope this sets a good precedent for the rest of the series and that someone does up Bruno’s buttons.

Time for the dances!

Alex Scott and Neil Jones | Quickstep to ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’ (watch here)

I love Neil so much and I love that everyone is so pleased that he has a partner finally. I think Alex is going to be a great partner for him, their shared interests and her footballing background will make them click and I am super excited that he will have a hard working dancer for his first full year. #TeamRed all the way (even if it means occasional trips to Emirates Stadium in the VT.) And a quickstep to start off, my favourite dance!

They were good, and cute, and Neil in his little tails. Sobs. He is so adorable, I’m so proud of him. She looked really cute and effortless too, I’m so pleased. I want them to do so well!

Craig: 5 Motsi : 5 Shirley: 5 Bruno: 6 Total: 21

Liz: 5 | 9.5 Emma: 5 | 8

Chris Ramsay and Karen Hauer | Cha Cha to ‘Juice’ (watch here)

I didn’t have that big of an opinion on these but bloody hell he is hilarious and is growing on me. They seem like a really good match of humour and hard work, which as much as I love him, he is going to need. I think he will give it beans.

Oh bless he tried so hard. He doesn’t have heaps of rhythm, but he is entertaining and looked like he was having a great time. He also was notably doing steps there! I can’t help but feel like this was under marked and suffered from early on in the show syndrome.

Craig: 3 Motsi: 4 Shirley: 3 Bruno: 3 Total: 13

Liz: 4 | 7 Emma: 3 | 7

Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe | Viennese Waltz ‘I Got You Babe’ (watch here)

I bloody love Johannes and have no opinion on her whatsoever so these could be amazing or she could bring him down and I will hate her forever. I feel her though, spinning is no fun, at least she has a vomit inducing dance out of the way first, right?

That was cute and adorable, and her dress was lovely, but it was clunky and you could see where the dance was learnt in pieces and meshed together, and where she was dizzy in transitions.

Let us all take a moment to appreciate the wonder that is Motsi. We should all be a little more Motsi. Bruno trusses Shirley and messes her dress, and she casually strokes Shirley’s shoulder and fixes it for her ❤

Craig: 5 Motsi: 5 Shirley: 5 Bruno: 5 Total: 20

Liz: 5 | 7 Emma: 6 | 6

Saffron Barker and A J Pritchard | Tango to ‘Lips Are Moving’ (watch here)

I know it’s unfair to dislike someone based on their partner and based on nothing at all but I just don’t like her. I find what little I’ve seen of her bland and vapid and I and gutted that her online following will keep her in for a while.

I may not have loved that but it was sharp and had a lot of content. She got the feel of the dance and was pretty good, dammit.

Craig: 6 Motsi: 7 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 7 Total: 27

Liz: 6 | 4 Emma: 7 | 4

Awwwww Jamie! I miss Jamie and he never even got to dance. I thought I would hate him, but him and Oti were perfectly paired and I wish we could have seen taskmaster Oti put him in his place every week. Sigh. I hope they bring him back next year!

Mike Bushell and Katya Jones | Jive to ‘Do You Love Me’ (watch here)

Mike is just so adorable. He is so here for this TV show and I am so here for him. They’re done a great job pairing him with Katya because she will bring everything out of him and come up with some hilarious and amazing routines. I think I’ll really like these.

He gave that so much welly. I am not sure I have seen someone love this show like that, in well., ever. He was so into it, and it was definitely a Jive, Katya is right, if he can manage that he can manage anything.

Craig: 4 Motsi: 6 Shirley: 6 Bruno: 6  Total: 22

Liz: 4 | 9 Emma: 4 | 9

Emma Weymouth and Aljaz Skorjanec | Cha Cha to ‘She’s a Lady’ (watch here)

I don’t know what I thought she would be like, but rubbing crap into the sides of a rhino is not what I pictured. She seems really lovely and is going to be so stunning next to Aljaz.

That was good, really good. It seemed kind of small, so contained, but there was such poise and grace. If She comes out of her shell a bit and makes things bigger, she will be really good.

Craig: 5 Motsi: 5 Shirley: 4 Bruno: 5 Total: 19

Liz: 5 | 6 Emma: 6 | 7

James Cracknell and Luba Mushtuk | Tango to ‘Gold’ (watch here)

I love the olympics and our olympians right, but even I have to say that he is dull and I am sorry for Luba. He just sounds like everything is boring, even his own sport that he is amazing at was reduced to nothing.

That was possibly the worst thing I have ever seen on Strictly. I had to give it an extra performance mark for just how bad it was. It was like dad dancing, but older. It was hunched and stompy and like he has forgotten how to walk properly.

Craig: 2 Motsi: 3 Shirley: 3 Bruno: 3 Total: 11

Liz: 1 | 2 Emma: 1 | 1

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse | Samba to ‘La Vida es un Carnaval’ (watch here)

I really liked Jamie and Oti, but there is something about Kelvin and Oti that is pretty great too. I think they’re a great match. I mean I love Oti anyway, but they’re amazing. I think the is going to go for this, he doesn’t hold back usually and its such a surprising opportunity to have him on this year, I think he’ll go for it.

Well that was insane. Oh wow can he dance and he is just going for it. it’s that old thing that if you go for it completely you go full circle into being attractive. That was insane, and a samba too! He’s going to be goooood.

Craig: 8 Motsi: 8 Shirley: 8 Bruno:8 Total: 32

Liz: 7 | 10 Emma: 8 | 9

David James and Nadiya Bychkova | Foxtrot to ‘Three Lions’ (watch here)

I was never a fan of his even though he played for my team, and I cannot stand her, so I fear this will be a poor match for me. Why is this dance so offensively ‘look I was a footballer who played for England don’t forget about me?’

That wasn’t;t as bad as James Cracknell, but that isn’t the best bar to hold it to. There was a frame, and a bit of movement, but it wasn’t great. I’m starting to feel sorry for Chris’s score now!

Craig: 3 Motsi: 4 Shirley: 5 Bruno: 5  Total: 17

Liz: 3 | 3 Emma: 3 | 2

Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice | Cha Cha to ‘So Emotional’ (watch here)

I don’t know much about her and I am not a Ru Paul Drag Race fan (never watched it) but she is going to be fierce and take it to Craig and Bruno. I am digging her Momma gonna eat you a live vibe she has going on with Gio, I think he digs it too!

Guuuurl can dance! She was shaking it, she has the attitude, but it was backed up with some serious skills. I loved it nearly as much as Motsi did! She is going to be a blast.

Craig: 8 Motsi: 8 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 7 Total: 30

Liz: 6 | 8 Emma: 7 | 9

Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell | Foxtrot to ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ (watch here)

Dianne was a revelation last year and I have started to listen to a little bit of Dev on Radio 1, so I like this pairing. I think this could be a pair top watch. He shout have musicality being a DJ and I get the sense he will go with her brand of weird really well.

That was weirdly cute. I digged the old man golf vibe, and actually thought he had an OK frame and a pretty decent dance right there.

Craig: 7 Motsi: 7 Shirley: 8 Bruno: 8 Total: 30

Liz: 7 | 8 Emma: 8 | 8

Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton | Cha Cha to ‘Gloria'(watch here)

I had heard os many rumours about Kevin kicking off and damaging the set that I felt a little bit sorry for Anneka, but then I saw the VT and remembered how much I dislike her. Kevin just does so much for his partners though, I know he will try and make her look so good and enjoy the whole thing.

Why have they changed the name to Anneka? Like it know why, but seriously? I can’t unhear that! I also cannot unsee that. That’s a dance I know I will never rewatch right there.

Craig: 3 Motsi: 4 Shirley: 3 Bruno: 4 Total: 14

Liz: 2 | 2 Emma: 3 | 3

Will Bayley and Janette Manrara | Quickstep to ‘Pencil Full of Lead’ (watch here)

I didn’t know too much about Will before but he looks so happy to be there, and I am pleased they’re celebrating equal opportunities still. His disability is going to hinder him, I’m curious how they’ll vote on some dances, but I like these. He seems to be so excited, they’re such little pocket rockets!

That was really good. It was definitely quick, he had a good frame, and it was full of personality and drive. I can tell these will work hard, I’m going to like them.

Craig: 5 Motsi: 7 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 7 Total: 26

Liz: 5 | 7 Emma: 5 | 7

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden | Cha Cha to ‘If I Can’t Have You’ (watch here)

I don’t know much about Karim but he seems to have more energy than Amy and I wasn’t sure that was possible. You can tell he is a kids TV presenter. I have a feeling he is going to be epic and latin.

He just moves so much, like, he never stops. Jake Gyllenhaal said Sean Paul kills every off beat in music, and Karim is the Sean Paul of the ballroom. He was good to, it wasn’t just pointless moving.

Craig: 8 Motsi: 8 Shirley: 7 Bruno: 8 Total: 31

Liz: 8 | 8 Emma: 8 | 8

Emma Barton and Anton du Beke | Jive to ‘Honey Honey’ (watch here)

So, Anton finally has someone who can dance as his partner, this is new. She must have dance training, she looks good in the VT. I love how excited he is too.

So…..Anton can dance. I am not sure I have ever seen him properly jive like that. Just dance side by side like that. I like it. I don’t mind her. These could be good. I can’t wait for their ballroom.

Craig: 6 Motsi: 6 Shirley: 5 Bruno: 6 Total: 23

Liz: 5 | 6 Emma: 6 | 6


1. Kelvin and Oti – 32
2. Karim and Amy – 31
3= Michelle and Giovanni – 30
3= Dev and Dianne – 30
5. Saffron and AJ – 27
6. Will and Janette – 26
7. Emma and Anton – 23
8. Mike and Katya – 22
9. Alex and Neil – 21
10. Catherina and Johannes – 20
11. Emma and Aljaz – 19
12. David and Nadiya – 17
13. Anneka and Kevin – 14
14. Chris and Karen – 13
15. James and Luba – 11

Judges Favourite | Liz’s Favourite | Emma’s Favourite 

Kelvin and Oti’s Samba

I think there was a clear favourite this week huh? Pretty unanimously voted by the judges, Emma, and I. I am sure it won’t be like that every week. No-one goes this week, so next week the scores will rollover so we can compare everyone over two live shows. I was going to post this last night, y’know, on Saturday but we started the show late, finished it late, and got caught in a YouTube hole watching all of our favourite dances, as you do, so for this week it has gone out on Sunday.

4 thoughts on “Strictly Saturdays | Week One”

  1. How are Len and Bruno doing both?! Whaaat?! Hopping the pond often,I guess! lol. I love Dancing with the Stars and this is obviously the British version. Oh and looks like Strictly came first in 2004, DWTS in 2005! lol. I watched a few seasons of DTWS in the beginning, then stopped for long awhile, and have been religiously watching every season for the last 9.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely love Strictly, I have literally watched every single episode ever!
      Len has left, retired from Strictly a couple of years ago and replaced by Shirley Ballas (Mark Ballas’s Mum!! She’s incredible and taught him, Julianne and Derek Hough to dance.) Bruno flies back and forth, ours is filmed and airs on a Saturday otherwise it would be impossible.
      I watch a lot of the DWTS videos, it doesn’t air over here so can’t watch the full show 😭


      1. Ahh okay. I was gonna say Len is too old to do that much travelling! lol. But Bruno is SO EXTRA. He can be absolutely ridiculous. But very entertaining. That’s cool that Mark’s mom is on it! I want Mark to come back to DWTS, he’s so creative!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He is so extra, you’re right, but under it he gives some really good advice so it can be annoying that it gets lost!
        Mark’s dances were always great – can see where he gets it from


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