Tony Jacklin and Aliona Vilani Leave Strictly – the 69-year old golfer and his professional dance partner became the first pair to leave the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing tonight.
Tony had never looked very comfortable since the competition started and it was no surprise tonight when he found himself as the first celebrity to leave the dance competition.
Tony and Aliona found themselves in a dance-off with fashion designer Julien Macdonald and his dance partner Janette Manrara after they received the lowest totals after counting up the public vote following their performances last night.
It was really more a case of ‘who was the least worst’ for the judges as both celebrities looked stilted and uncomfortable on the dancefloor. In the end though it was the decision of all 4 judges that it was Tony’s time to leave.
As usual things were very tense in the studio as the couples waited to find out their fate and you could see by the reactions of many of the celebrities nobody wants to go home yet. We anticipate that in about 3 weeks time all of the weaker celebrities will have left and we will see things get much harder for those left. With such tremendous performances already you can bet that some of the pairings will be putting in plenty of hours in the dance studio training, just to keep their places in the competition.
From what we have seen early on this year it would be hard not to think that it will be one of the female celebrities who will lift the glitterball trophy this year.
LIke last night’s main show tonight’s result show was hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman. Claudia got plenty of support for her co-hosting performance last night when she stood in for Sir Bruce Forsyth at short notice. Claudia always brings her own relaxed/manic style to any show she presents and the performers and audience seemed to enjoy it last night. So too did the tv audience if comments on Twitter are anything to go by as several people suggested it was time to make the Tess/Claudia pairing the full-time Strictly presentation team.
There were some who missed Bruce last night though and he does lend a certain old-time charm and innocence to the Saturday night schedule. Although Tess Daly is one of Bruce’s biggest fans even she seemed more relaxed last night as she didn’t have to wait for him to stumble over his jokes.
For those international readers who might not know that much about Ms Winkleman, she has a strong following in the UK and has worked in UK television since the early 90’s. We did discover this early photo of Claudia when she first started out and to our knowledge it is probably the only time you will get to see her in a bikini. She and another girl were helping to launch a new range of mobiles for Motorola.
Incidentally if you don’t buy Claudia’s slightly dotty presentation style then you might be on to something as she is certainly far from being stupid having left Cambridge University with an MA in the history of art. She comes from high-performing parents too, with her father Barry Winkleman being a former editor of the Times Atlas of the World and her mother Eve Pollard being a former editor of several newspapers including the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Express.