The programme opened as usual with Bruce and Tess action and a small thumbs down for both of them as the normally very hot and stylish looking Tess Daly was dressed in a frankly unflattering yellow dress. Sir Bruce also managed to take the pressure of those waiting to see when he fluffed his lines as the first joke was messed up.
After some introductions for the judges, all 15 dance pairings and the band it is on to the serious business of the night with the first pairing out on the dancefloor.
First on view are Ashley Taylor Dawson from Hollyoaks and the lovely Ola Jordan who is in the interesting position of possibly being the first Strictly dance professional who is better known than her ‘celebrity’ partner. Oh and let’s not forget that Ola has just been shooting her 2014 calendar which features her naked on the beach. Pay attention these two facts may not be unconnected!
Ola and Ashley started off their bid for the 2013 Strictly glitterball with a cha cha to One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful. Although understandable Ashley seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time staring at Ola Jordan’s bottom. Ola’s husband James probably has nothing to worry about though as Ashley seems to fancy Ashley more than anyone else.
They end up with a very creditable week 1 score of 25 points.
Next up veteran golfer Tony Jacklin and his dance partner Aliona Vilani. Tony looks a little awkward and nervous and Aliona says that she has never seen anyone sweat quite as much as him. We guess she will not be expecting to lift the trophy this year and they end up with a score of 16 for their waltz to Alison Krauss’s What’ll I Do. We will let you guess which one of the judges scored them just 2 points for their week 1 effort.
After Tony and Aliona’s ‘dance disahster’ (Craig R H), we have actor Mark Benton and his partner Iveta Lukoslute. At first sight the couple seem a little ill-matched as he is more than a little heavy and she is one of the thinnest dance professionals we have seen on the show. As often with Strictly though things don’t always turn out as expected and they put in a very good opening performance with a tango to Hernando’s Hideaway that gets a very good score of 24 points.
Next up is the thinking man’s sexy newsreader Susanna Reid who has said in the run up to the show that she is really looking forward to wearing some of the sexy revealing outfits. She is clearly keen to get started early as just a few days ago she managed to flash her knickers to the BBC Breakfast audience while crossing her legs. Not many newsreaders can manage such an early morning wardrobe malfunction so things look get for Susanna securing the viewers votes in the upcoming weeks.
Susanna and her partner, new Strictly professional Kevin Clifton dance a very good jive to Shake A Tailfeather and score an impressive 28 from the judges, including a week one 8 from Len Goodman, who is clearly a fan of the BBC Breakfast show!
Just 2 more couples left tonight with the next pair on the dancefloor Sophie Ellis Bextor and Brendan Cole. Although there is not a lot of chemistry on show between the two at least Brendan doesn’t feel the same about Sophie as he did about either last year’s partner Victoria Pendleton or Lulu.
They dance a waltz to Moon River from the Audrey Hepburn movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It is another good week 1 performance and like Susanna and Kevin before them they get a score of 28 from the judges.
Natalie and Artem dance a cha cha to the very 70’s sounding Rasputin by Boney M. The word leading up to tonight’s show was that Natalie was taking the Strictly thing very seriously indeed and on the strength of tonight’s performance she has clearly put a lot of work, and hours, into her training for the competition.
After what looks more like a performance from week 5 than the opening week Natalie and Artem get a score of 31 points from the judges and she takes a clear lead. Our only comment would be that despite her obvious dancing skills she may not prove as popular with the viewers as she does with the judges. Both Susanna Reid and Sophie Ellis Bextor seemed to get a warmer reception from tonight’s live audience.
So we reach the end of this series opening show with less than 24 hours before we get to see the rest of the Strictly ‘Class of 2013″.
In case you were wondering you didn’t miss anything tonight, the photo of Ola Jordan is from her 2014 calendar as we couldn’t get see a nice shot from tonight’s performance that didn’t have Ashley looking overly pleased with himself or leering at Ola’s bum.