Strictly Come Dancing 2021, Week 1 thoughts

Published September 27, 2021

Strictly Come Dancing glitterball

Right, we’re in it now, aren’t we? The first proper week of people dancing and showing us what they’ve got. What an incredible show it was, a bonanza of lights and colour, banging tunes and of course buckets and buckets of glitter. I think we say this every year, but the standard seems so high? I don’t think there was a single dance that was cringey and unwatchable, and there’s usually always one. But let’s revisit dance by dance and see what predictions we can make.

Tom & Amy - Cha Cha Cha

I’m glad Tom’s McFly tour is only a short UK one as I don’t think I could have dealt with the stress of seeing him so busy all week. Considering how difficult it must have been to manage both those worlds, he did a good dance, didn’t seem too nervous. It wasn’t the best cha cha but seemed like lots of potential, plenty for Amy to work with.

Tilly & Nikita - Waltz

If I’m honest, I’m not a fan of this couple yet, and I do find the waltz a boring dance unless it’s done particularly well. It wasn’t an inspiring song, either, so let’s move along.

Ugo & Oti - Samba

Ugo is properly adorable, and I liked that there was some technical knowledge from Oti in the intro video. Ugo had more hips than I was expecting but it didn’t look like he’d quite unlocked it. And there was absolutely no performance game face yet, he was 100% concentrating on dancing. Quite a claim to have re-invented the volta though.

Rhys & Nancy - Viennese Waltz

This pair have so much energy. Too much. Torture devices in the training room but, for once, no mention of motion sickness. A good dance, but Craig’s “a bit frantic” was spot on.

Sara & Aljaž - Cha Cha Cha

Not one of the best, but not embarrassing to watch, and she seems lovely, with more character than I’d expected on the dancefloor. Motsi called it “sweet and salty at the same time.”

Dan & Nadiya - Quickstep

Training in football socks and dance shoes is a very specific choice. This was better than I expected, tall people with long limbs have struggled in the past. They covered so much ground, gonna need a bigger ballroom!

Rose & Giovanni - Jive

Genuinely so adorable together and Giovanni has grown so much in the past few years. It was an amazing dress and Rose was so good at the bits by herself. Jive is so hard and such a fast dance to kick off with! Didn’t even see Giovanni during the dance, so Rose definitely captured focus. Props to the live translation, too, incredible.

Katie & Gorka - Tango

It’s Christmas in Hollyoaks, apparently. Tango is a tough one to kick off with too. Katie looked good, but she’s not grabbed my attention like some of the others yet. Very powerful character, but the dance came to a really weird end.

Robert & Dianne - Cha Cha Cha

They make a good couple and he comes across as such a nice guy. But the concept of this dance boggled my mind. It feels almost impossible for a beginner to be able to spoof a dance they’ve not even learned yet. But Craig said he couldn’t care less about the technique, it was a crowdpleaser and he loved it.

Greg & Karen - American Smooth

Not bad, a bit old school, and the Viennese Waltz option which is tricky. Lovely Emma in the audience, stealing the show without actually saying a word.

Nina & Neil - Samba

Nina gets stuck in and starts questioning the dance terminology which is hilarious. Neil producing another fierce female dance which is great. Good dance, not the best bounce, but good character. This was the moment we realised the judges can hear everything Claudia is saying, so can’t get away with anything!

John & Johannes - Tango

One of the best bits about these same sex couples is how the pros are so excited about the potential for creativity. It was an amazing result too - incredible song, great choreography. Harder, too, I think, because you can clearly see the four legs tangling together rather than two legs and a dress.

Judi & Graziano - American Smooth

Entertaining, not the best dance, but good enough. They’re a great partnership though. I feel like Graziano is the new Aljaž where Aljaž is the new Anton.

AJ & Kai - Jive

Another couple that haven’t grabbed me yet, he has displayed very little charisma so far. It was a super fast jive, AJ had great sass, but actually I found it quite boring where the jive should usually be a lot of fun. At odds with the judges though, I really don’t think anyone should be getting a 9 on week 1.

Adam & Katya - Cha Cha Cha

Did he say “my Boy George” on purpose? Because it was hilarious. Surprise hips making Adam the new Kelvin. Katya’s choreography is, as per usual, crazy but brilliant. Can’t wait to see more from Adam.

Top of the leaderboard then was AJ & Kai, swiftly followed by joint John & Johannes, and Adam & Katya. For the most part the leaderboard seemed fair and in the right order but the scoring was all over the place.

And all that’s left to do after the first week is to make some predictions. They’re a really talented bunch, this year, but some have already stood out. It’s always a mix of skills, character, personality, and chemistry, so it’s hard to call it after just one week, but that’s the job.

If I had to predict the final four, I’d go with John, AJ, Tom & Adam. Annoyingly can’t see a female dancer that hugely stands out YET. But I’m looking forward to changing my mind and being proved wrong as the weeks progress.

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