After months of anticipation, varied teaser clips from the BBC and final weekend’s COVID-secure launch, Strictly Come Dancing‘s 2020 competitors lastly kicked off on Saturday, with this 12 months’s cohort of celebrities placing the advanced choreography they’d hopefully absorbed over many hours of intense coaching to the take a look at for the primary time.
Whereas it was onerous to foretell what the contestant’s debut performances would appear like contemplating the quantity setbacks they’re dealing with because of the ongoing pandemic, the Strictly Come Dancing line-up exceeded all expectations throughout week one. Every of them introduced high-energy enthusiasm to their routines, managed to stay to the steps (on the entire) and racked up among the highest scores Strictly’s first episode has ever seen regardless of Bruno Tonioli‘s absence.
Simply 12 factors separate first and final place for the time being, the bottom rating paddle used being a 3 and the best being a really uncommon 9, and with eight weeks to go till the Strictly last, the already-tight competitors is certain to get a lot nearer.
We’ve acquired the present apparent front-runners – pop star HRVY and EastEnders’ Maisie Smith. Whereas Maisie had already piqued bookies’ pursuits after successful Strictly’s Kids in Want particular final 12 months, she wowed the judges as soon as once more together with her scorching Samba with skilled Gorka Márquez, incomes her 24 factors (80 per cent). Nonetheless it was HRVY, together with his and Janette Manrara’s energetic jive, who nabbed the highest spot on the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard regardless of lately recovering from COVID-19, scoring 25 in complete (83 per cent) and a 9 from Motsi Mabuse – who advised BBC Radio 2 on Monday that she nearly gave him a ten.
HRVY is just the fourth particular person in Strictly historical past to obtain a 9 in week one of many competitors – following within the footsteps of Daisy Lowe (sequence 14), Austin Healey (sequence six) and Zoe Ball (sequence three) – and when evaluating percentages, his total mark is the best obtained by a celeb in week one since Ball scored a ridiculous 35 (87.5 per cent), receiving three 9’s and an eight for her waltz over 15 years in the past.
Nonetheless, these spectacular scores gained’t mechanically safe Maisie and HRVY the Glitterball trophy. Traditionally, the celebs who’ve shot to the highest of the leaderboard with a robust first dance don’t at all times take house the coveted Strictly title – simply have a look at sequence 16’s Ashley Roberts (runner-up), sequence 15’s Aston Merrygold (tenth place), sequence 13’s Peter Andre (seventh place) and sequence 10’s Lisa Riley (fourth place), all of whom did properly within the competitors however didn’t emerge as Ballroom champions.
They had been overwhelmed out by their opponents, who improved immensely over the course of the sequence – and with a number of celebrities trailing carefully behind HRVY and Maisie this 12 months, there’s each risk of that taking place as soon as once more.
Firmly within the operating at this stage of the competitors are the elegant Caroline Quentin, the history-making Nicola Adams and Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh, who’s already miles forward of the broadcasters from earlier sequence with a rating of 21.
They’re adopted by the celebs sat securely in the course of the leaderboard – presenter JJ Chalmers, Radio 1’s Clara Amfo (whose Cha Cha was criminally under-marked by Craig Revel Horwood, in my view) and The Needed’s Max George – all of whom are ones to observe with eight weeks to brush up on their approach, fine-tune their posture and embrace the Strictly course of.
Even Invoice Bailey, Jamie Laing and Jacqui Smith, who scored 15, 14 and 13 respectively, did properly regardless of touchdown on the backside of the leaderboard. Every of them displayed a robust sense of rhythm, carried out the choreography (albeit not in essentially the most technical method), appeared unfazed by their varied props and had been a whole delight to observe, regardless of the few errors made throughout their routines.
Actually, all of the contestants obtained scores within the double digits, which is spectacular when you think about some contestants wouldn’t have accomplished in earlier sequence if Bruno had been absent (with out the Italian decide’s marks, final 12 months’s James Cracknell would have scored simply eight factors in his first week, as would have Susannah Constantine in 2018).
With this 12 months’s celebrities demonstrating an eagerness to be taught, giant quantities of enthusiasm and plenty of on-stage charisma, the competitors is about to be a hotly-contested one, with all bets off at this stage of the competitors. Strictly Come Dancing 2020’s Glitterball trophy is really anybody’s game.