Strictly Come Dancing: Stars kick off first live show

Strictly Come Dancing: Stars kick off first live show

Strictly Come Dancing kicked off its first live show on Saturday. 




Jamie Laing was first out onto the show, and he stepped out with his partner Karen Hauer to dance the Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr.


The Made In Chelsea star, 31, is the first start to return to the show after injuring his foot before being able to perform in the 2019 series.


First out: Jamie Laing finally made his debut on the Strictly ballroom on Saturday, as he danced with his partner Karen Hauer to dance the Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr



Jamie’s enthusiasm delighted the judges but his technique was something they all had some critiques, leading him to get a reasonable score of 14. 


Shirley began the judges remarks, as she told Jamie: ‘What a way to open the show with all that glitz and glamour… you gave a very nice performance and you do show the potential for a wiggly lower half.’


However, she added: ‘A little bit more sense of line and technique but well done.’


Motsi was in agreement, as she went on: ‘Well Jamie I have to say I’ve never ever in  my life see anyone want to dance so much like you right there… 


‘The male parts where you had to freestyle you had a lot of fun high energy really work on that technique, I know its boring but it’ll really work out.’


Delighted: The judges praised Jamie’s enthusiasm, as Motsi said: ‘Well Jamie I have to say I’ve never ever in my life see anyone want to dance so much like you right there’



Not bad: Jamie’s enthusiasm delighted the judges but his technique was something they all had some critiques, leading him to get a reasonable score of 14.



Craig was a lot harsher, as he hit out: ‘All very flat footed I’m afraid, very stiff of hip I’m afraid, very tight and restrictive may be to do with those very tight trousers, didn’t leave much to the imagination.’


He also added: ‘stop the mouth from counting the numbers, but i have to say I love the energy and your commitment to the dance is amazing.’ 


Caroline Quentin then stepped out with her partner Johannes Radebe for their American Smooth dance to 9 to 5 (Moving Train) by Sheena Easton.


Things to work on: Craig was a lot harsher, as he hit out: ‘All very flat footed I’m afraid, very stiff of hip I’m afraid, very tight and restrictive’



She wowed the judges with her performance, as she was given an impressive 21 for her first dance, after her performance left her in tears.


Motsi began ‘I didn’t see a dancer I saw a dancing queen’, though she recommended Caroline pay ‘attention to detail’.


She then gushed: ‘Oh my goodness, I want to say thank you to you it was really beautiful.’


Craig, normally quite stern, was delighted with the performance, as he said: ‘You just have to watch your feet aren’t too turned down, you need to be a lot more in line but musicality was sensational… elegant and graceful, I loved it.’


While Shirley went on: ‘I think you’re going to bring so much joy to millions of people, I’ve waited a lifetime for this where you feel what a dancer is feeling


‘You are elegant you are charming… lower half needs a little bit of work but you should be so proud today you are exquisite.’ 


The professionals started out the show with an impressive dance to a medley of Latin music, which saw the dancers turn up the heat with their sizzling number



The professionals started out the show with an impressive dance to a medley of Latin music, which saw the dancers turn up the heat with their sizzling number. 


Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealed that they had NHS frontline staff in the audience, as the pair thanked the group for their work during the COVID-19 crisis. 


Claudia told the NHS workers: ‘Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and everything you continue to do.’ 



Strictly Week One Dances



Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe – American Smooth to 9 to 5 (Morning Train) by Sheena Easton – 21


Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec – Cha Cha to Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa


Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke -Foxtrot to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python


Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez – Samba to Samba by Gloria Estefan


Nicola Adams and Katya Jones – Quickstep to Get Happy by Ella Fitzgerald


Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice -Paso Doble to End Of Time by Beyoncé


Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse – Cha Cha to Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba


HRVY and Janette Manrara – Jive to Faith by Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande


Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer – Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr – 14


Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk – American Smooth to My Girl by The Temptations


JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden – Waltz to What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong


Max George and Dianne Buswell-Tango to Best Fake Smile by James Bay – 17




Nicola shared a candid look at the her rehearsals over the past week, as she tried to learn the steps and worked hard with Katya.


She appeared delighted after she managed to finally get the steps right, as she knelt on the ground and smiled brightly.


Another behind-the-scenes video saw the pair going through their dance routine again and again, while Katya also helped her to unwind as she massaged her back.


Nicola wrote in the caption: All the hard work getting the steps right has finished, now it’s time for @KatyaJones and me to preform the quick step tonight.’


Behind-the-scenes: Nicola shared a candid look at the her rehearsals over the past week, as she tried to learn the steps and worked hard with Katya



Preparations: Another behind-the-scenes video saw the pair going through their dance routine again and again with Katya



Supportive: Katya also helped her to unwind as she massaged her back



Days before her first dance with Katya, Nicola laughed off any worries of the so-called Strictly Curse.


The Olympian has been dating her girlfriend Ella Baig, 22, for over two years and told Grazia magazine that the curse doesn’t actually exist.


‘It’s not a big deal. It’s not even a curse. You’re either happy with your partner or you’re not!’ she insisted.


The Strictly Curse has been speculated about for years, after celebs and pro dancers on the series have fallen for one another, ruining their relationships – and even marriages – in the real world. 





‘You’re either happy with your partner or you’re not!’ Nicola recently laughed off any worries of the so-called Strictly Curse [pictured with long-term love Ella Baig, 22]



The couple is typically torn apart by time-related issues or one partner’s attraction to another person on the show, which in the past has led to divorces, breakups, called-off engagements and more.


Katya is no stranger to this idea, as she was caught kissing her dance partner Seann Walsh in 2018 when she was married to fellow pro Neil Jones, 38. The couple split 10 months after the scandal.


In a previous chat with The Sun, Nicola remarked that Katya is ‘smoking hot’ but echoed her sentiments that she and Ella ‘are so strong we will never be a victim of the Strictly Curse’.


Ella also added: ‘I’m not worried about the curse. Nicki and me are best friends so I don’t really see anyone as competition and she doesn’t either.


Love: After the launch show, Nicola’s girlfriend Ella said she doesn’t think they’ll be hit by the ‘Strictly Curse’



‘The grass is never greener on the other side and me and Nicki have a lot of history together, so I don’t think anyone is going to steal her off me.


‘We did have a conversation about the curse and we agreed I would meet her dance partner so there are no hard feelings or jealousy there.’


Before taking to the dancefloor with Nicola for the first time, Katya said being in a same-sex couple doesn’t faze her as it’s a ‘really normal thing’ in the dance world.


Speaking with the Radio Times, Katya praised her partner and added that she thinks the duo will be ‘a powerhouse together’ as they’re both ‘strong-minded women’.


Katya explained: ‘In the ballroom world, there are same-sex partnerships and same-sex competitions, so it’s a really normal thing, you know? 


Energetic: Before taking to the dancefloor with Nicola for the first time, Katya said being in a same-sex couple doesn’t faze her as it’s a ‘really normal thing’ in the dance world



‘I’ve always taught as a lead and a follower, so this doesn’t feel like anything extra. I’m just really excited to get someone whose work ethic is out of this world — she’s so used to training hard.


‘For me, that’s all I look for in a partner. We’re two strong-minded women and we’re going to be a powerhouse together. And, you know, dancing is dancing.’


Ahead of Saturday’s first live show, athlete Nicola and Katya were training for 10 to 12 hours a day to ensure their Quickstep. 


Last week’s launch episode consisted of the celebrities discovering their professional partners for the first time, though in a post-COVID change, they were instead revealed via video link.


After all the pairings were announced, the celebrities and their professional partners had to take to the floor to perform with contestant Jamie teased after he injured himself during the group routine on the 2019 launch show. 


Fans were left delighted over Nicola and Katya’s pairing as they hailed the dancing duo as ‘trailblazers’ after their partnership was announced and they performed in a group routine. 


Katya was left overjoyed as she started screaming and jumping, she said: ‘This is a dream, honestly,’ with Nicola adding: ‘I am super excited to be paired with Katya, absolutely buzzing.’ 


Elsewhere during the episode, the pros dazzled with a sensational opening routine with judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood seated on separate podiums to ensure the programme adhered to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 


Fourth judge Bruno Tonioli was unable to travel back to the UK from his home in LA for the filming due to the Covid-19 crisis and his work commitments on Dancing With The Stars.

Already the BBC favourite has seen its highest ratings in three years, after finally making it to screens after months of uncertainly sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Last Saturday, viewing figures averaged at 8.6 million and it is the show’s highest ratings since 2017.


This year’s couples have formed their own separate ‘bubbles’ to allow them to train and perform, and are being regularly tested to avoid a virus outbreak during filming.


The show will continue to have a live audience, though members of the public will be seated in their separate households or ‘bubbles’ and will wear a mask throughout filming.


Strictly class of 2020: (L-R) Max George, Nicola Adams, Jacqui Smith, Caroline Quentin, HRVY, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, Jason Bell, JJ Chalmers, Maisie Smith, Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh



How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?



Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.


Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.


Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.


The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.


It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.


Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.


The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.


Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 


Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 


With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.


To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 


Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.