And so we had Strictly boot camp. M’AM, YES M’AM! The pros are ready, but are the celebrities? The infamous pairing up show aired on Saturday the 9th, although some people might have already been spoiled by a certain publication we shan’t mention. Still, the show was different to the usual fare we get at this time every year. Aside from introducing three new female pros and a new head judge making her debut, there was the also the moving tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth. This show really had it all: laughs, tears, but most of all GLITTERRR…
How Celebrity is Strictly this year?
Marieke: I knew about six of them, although I could not have picked Jonnie Peacock out of a crowd, even though I have seen him run. There are a lot of soap stars this year, and people from the commercial telly channels I usually do not know. Pop stars, yeah they have crossed the sea with one hit or so. The Rev has featured on QI, I know Susan from Pointless and some other shows she featured on and I have seen Simon cook. Other than that… I am hoping for a pleasant surprise! Safe to say Chizzy made a bubbly and lovely first impression already. I do feel that there isn’t the major buzz around the celebs like there was last year, which also had a lot to do with Ed Balls signing up to dance. He was the first to be announced and that already created a weird form of excitement. I think people really wanted to see him fail or do well in a way which is not around this year. I am never that bothered, because a lot of my favourites have been people I had never seen before.
Danielle: I do have the luxury of home advantage unlike Marieke, so it’s safe to say that I knew just about everyone, even if it was more a case of knowing faces rather than names. However, I did initially draw a blank when it came to both Mollie and Charlotte. (Am I getting old? Yeah, probably.) As much as I think there might be some truth to the barrel scraping accusations about the calibre of the celebrities on this year’s show, it really doesn’t matter. All we need to know is if this year’s contestants can dance.
The New Dancers
Marieke: Three new ladies to replace Natalie (aww, shame!), Oksana (she did not fit in or she could not top dancing with the judge?) and Joanne (eh… yeah). I honestly have to say I don’t have a good impression of them yet, other than that there’s a blonde, red and dark one. I am sure we will get to know them better quickly. I do think Amy drew the short straw dancing wise, it looked like Brian has no rhythm at all. Also, why do Neil and Chloe not have a pro partner again? If they don’t want to, fine, but it is still a bit odd to me.
Danielle: It’s so hard to know how Dianne, Nadiya and Amy will fit in without seeing them properly get to grips with their partners. For what it’s worth, I quite liked what I saw in our first real glimpse of them. It’s far too soon to tell, however.
Predictions for this Series after the Launch Show
First to Leave?
Marieke: I guess Brian Conley will draw a few votes? I have no idea about his popularity. Charlotte Hawkins did not look that great either. Maybe Brendan will work wonders. Or he gets some votes. Hmm. But from first impressions, I say Charlotte and Brendan.
Danielle: Perhaps the Richard the Reverend and newbie, Dianne? I think Brian probably will stay a couple of week’s at least, if only for entertainment value.
Marieke: Aston, Joe and Mollie. Discounting any dark horse, I still think the finale will become predictable.
Danielle: Complete shot in the dark guesses at this point in proceedings, but how about Aston, Mollie and Gemma?
The Dark Horse?
Marieke: The Rev could pull an Ed Balls (okay, this is the weirdest sentence I have ever written). Maybe Debbie will pleasantly surprise Giovanni, who did not look all pleased for a second… I’d like to see Jonnie and Oti shine too.
Danielle: I have a feeling that Simon might surprise in the same way Eastenders actor, Jake Wood did a few years ago. Perhaps Brian will surprise in ballroom too.
Marieke: Jonnie, possibly. I think the ladies calling themselves elephants (Mollie and Gemma) will need some help with their confidence too.
Danielle: I actually got the impression that Davood and Alexandra were pretty damn nervous during the show. In terms of the dancing, I’m having trouble imagining Susan completely letting go as well, no matter how much she adores Kevin.
Marieke: There wasn’t one really, was there? Pairings were fairly predictable, although I had a lot of fun on getting them right too. Maybe it was seeing Shirley Ballas still dancing like she was one of the pros?
Danielle: All of the pairings were painfully foreseeable, but yes, the fact new head judge, Shirley, seems to have settled in so seamlessly was a fairly big surprise.
Not a Surprise At All
Marieke: Anton and Ruth. As soon as she was announced EVERYONE said she would be paired with Anton.
Danielle: Aston being assigned to fellow pocket rocket, Jeanette.
First to Fly?
Marieke: If Charlotte makes it past the first shows, Brendan might go for a spectacular distracting fly move. Unless he brings out that hoverboard again…
Danielle: I’m going for the Rev here. If they don’t have him dance to ‘Like A Prayer’ as well, then what is wrong with them?!
First to Lose their Shirt?
Marieke: Davood. Duh.
Danielle: Yeah, duh.
Marieke: Well, no-one. Len is gone! He is rhyming now, c’mon! On another note, this looks like a pretty seven group to me and I wonder who will first break through to higher marks.
Danielle: Joe and Katya, perhaps.
Marieke: Mollie and AJ.
Danielle: Aston and Janette.
First to Talk Back to Craig?
Marieke: Brian? Or I could actually see Anton do it. Brendan too.
Danielle: I hope Richard loses it with him. He has God on his side.
Marieke: I really liked Chizzy and Pasha. I also have high hopes for Joe and Katya (although no Gangnam…). Also very curious what Oti can do with Jonnie, and Susan and her hostage, Kevin. Lets see how Stockholm-ish that will get!
Danielle: It goes without saying that I always love Pasha, but Chizzy seems like a lot of fun as well, so I’ll be rooting for them. I’m stoked that Jonnie decided to take part in the show as well. It’s so important for young kids out there to see that disabilities don’t have to equate to insurmountable barriers. Oti is a hard taskmaster as well, so I have high hopes. I can imagine Brian and Amy being hilarious together as well.
Marieke: Davood. People think he’ll get through anyway and are so blinded by his muscles they just forget to vote.
Danielle: Debbie as she too risks being lost amongst the crowd.
Anyway, we’re very excited once again and can’t wait for the dancing to commence! Don’t forget to watch It Takes Two! Let us know who your early favourites are, and follow our Strictly updates on Twitter: @FezzyTV