IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR ALREADY! – Strictly Come Dancing 2015

After a dazzling opening show, where we saw the Strictly train ready to ride again, we discuss our preliminary thoughts and predict a dancing riot. Even though we aren’t psychic, we’ll be pushing ourselves to give our early impressions of who we like, who we don’t and who we expect to make an early exit.

So what were we thinking after witnessing the glitter-iffic opening ceremony of what has to be the campest show on British TV?

Strictly logo

How celebrity is Strictly this year?

Marieke: As the foreigner I don’t always know the soap, commercial channel and (weird…) sports people. I might’ve seen a face on the Beeb here and there whilst changing the channels… All in all I have to say it’s not a bad familiarity score this year. But obviously Strictly is about the journey and getting to know the celebs whilst they’re dancing. The unknowns often turn out to be the best ones! However I have to add I am surprised about the lack of cricketers and rugby players.

Danielle: Every reality show is going to start struggling to attract ‘big stars’ after they’ve been on the air for this long. Believe it or not, not everybody wants to risk ritual humiliation in front of a national audience. As Marieke said, it doesn’t really matter if they’re A-list (Ok, the BBC budget was never going to stretch that far) or Z-list; as long as they can dance and/or be reasonably entertaining.

New dancer Oti Mabuse with Anthony Ogogo. Can she and the other additions bring something new to the mix?
New dancer Oti Mabuse with Anthony Ogogo. Can she and the other additions bring something new to the mix?

The new dancers.

Marieke: Reading he won’t be performing on Dancing with the Stars I think Strictly should have leased Artem. I am still not over losing him! But it’s about the new ones now. Giovanni strikes me as typically Italian and he has big Armani boots to fit which were left behind by Vincent ‘Hands’ Simone. Gleb needs to get rid of the curtain haircut. Russians have proven to be original on this show, so let’s see how he will do compared to Artem (still crying!) and last year’s glorious winner Pasha. Oti is from South-Africa and I am curious what she will bring to the mix. I think she has the worst pairing of the three since Anthony is injured. This might prove to be a challenge! Also I hope we get to see more of Tristan, who had a very early exit last year.

I have to say I think Robin deserved a better exit after last year’s injury and I don’t like that he is not on the show this year. I will also miss Iveta, the Phoebe of Strictly with all her fantastically quirky training outfits.

Danielle: There’s always been a trend of ousting some of the longer serving dancers on the show and bringing in fresh blood, but more so than ever over the last few years. I can understand the producers wanting to provide a shot in the arm to revitalise a show that’s been on the air this long, but messing with the continuity of familiar faces is always a danger. Whether the public can warm to the new dancers remains to be seen, but what I do know from what I saw on the launch show is that their dance skills are not too shabby!

PREDICTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING SERIES:

First to leave

Marieke: It’s difficult. Will the worst dancer or the person least liked leave? Maybe they are united in one person? I have the idea Jeremy Vine could be the one to go. But maybe Anthony’s shoulder injury will be the game changer which will make him leave. I wonder how that will work out.

Danielle: The one that usually goes first is the one that flies most under the radar. They’re not the best dancer, but not the worst either and don’t have a rabid fandom to bolster them if they’re not exactly standing out from the crowd. In light of that, it’s either Carol or Jeremy for me.

It's not looking good for Newsnight veteran, Jeremy Vine.
It’s not looking good for Newsnight veteran, Jeremy Vine.

Finale

Marieke: At first I thought ‘all girls final again!’  But I don’t think we should underestimate Peter Andre. It would be nice to have some good male celebs again! And who knows what Natalie will be able to get out of Ainsley. Apart from some recipes, of course.

Danielle: *Cracks knuckles, takes a deep breath* Based on very little evidence so far, I’m going to plump for a Iwan, Georgia and Helen in the finale… and will probably get it horribly, horribly wrong.

Dark horse.

Marieke: I just really hope Iwan and Ola will fit the title. I hope she can unleash some Chris Hollins ‘POSTURE’ style magic on him.

Could Kellie be this year's dark horse of the competition?
Could Kellie be this year’s dark horse of the competition?

Danielle: I’d really like Ainsley to be this year’s surprise. The guy’s got tons of personality and hopefully he can match that with dancing ability. Kevin could also work wonders with Kellie.

Performance/nervous issues.

Marieke: There is always the dancer that needs to come out of their shell and to me it seems this year it will mostly be Jay struggling with this. Aliona has managed to get Harry out of his shell, so I reckon she will be up for this task!

Danielle: Bless him! Jay really did look like he needed a cuddle.

Biggest surprise.

Marieke: Anton being paired with Katie. It seems he didn’t get the dud of the year! Even though I am not convinced Anton is the best teacher on the show, I do hope he actually gets to dance this time. Although I doubt I will even get the canary Anne in yellow sweeping the floor out of my head…

Danielle: That was pretty surprising. It’s about time Anton had a chance of making it past week 2 without anything other than the sympathy vote. Iwan spinning Ola around and causing a wardrobe malfunction was also pretty surprising.

Not a surprise at all.

Marieke: Pasha being paired with someone who might be classified as ‘not a great dancer’.  I think the Beeb really does not want a two in-a-row eh? I have to say though that Carol Kirkwood was shining on the dance floor and there’s always hoping for a next Pamela Stephenson (although she showed more skill during the first dance than Carol did).

Danielle: Yup. Pasha being paired up with a rank outsider the year after winning was about as predictable as Claudia donning a silly hat.

First to fly.

Marieke: Usually it’s Anton’s partner who flies early. If Katie turns out to be a dancer someone else may have to use it as a prop… I am going to say Daniel, although it totally not fits his image.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Ann Widdecombe! Can anybody else match her prowess in the air this year?
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Ann Widdecombe! Can anybody else match her prowess in the air this year?

Danielle: Just to mix things up a little, I’m going for Claudia, because it’s unfair that the presenters get excluded from every category, and you know she absolutely would take to the skies given half a chance.

First ten.

Marieke: Seriously who thought of these categories? Oh… Err. Well let me think… Helen and Aljaz. No idea why! Also Craig’s first ten will be handed out in the semi-final.

Danielle: If Iwan finds his groove early on, he could well be the first contestant to receive a glittering 10. In fact, if he or Peter take their shirts off, Darcey may well find it hard to contain herself full stop.

Shock exit.

Marieke: There is always one. The couple that shouldn’t leave but does. I say it might be Kellie and Kevin. And Twitter will explode in shock and horror.

Danielle: If he gets sandwiched between dancers who are better than him, and those that aren’t but are instead offering ‘entertainment’ value, then it could well be Peter that gets squeezed out.

2015’s STRICTLY CONTESTANTS AND THEIR PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS

This year's celebrity dancers and their dance partners.
This year’s celebrity dancers and their dance partners.

Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko
Anthony Ogogo and Oti Mabuse
Carol Kirkwood and Pasha Kovalev
Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
Helen George and Aljaž Škorjanec
Iwan Thomas and Ola Jordan
Jamelia and Tristan MacManus
Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani
Jeremy Vine and Karen Clifton
Katie Derham and Anton du Beke
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton
Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole
Peter Andre and Janette Manrara

Anyway, we’re very excited and can’t wait till the Striclty madness starts again! Follow our Strictly updates on Twitter: @FezzyTV

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