Sunday, 4 September 2016

Blast Off!

OK, first things first. What was with that opening? Whose brain concocted that sparkle-infested oddity? The only explanation must be that one of the producers has genuinely lost his/her heart to a fecking starship trooper. I never seen anything quite like it in my life. From Craig busting questionable moves to Brendan doing a cartwheel, it was nothing short of bonkers. And not really in a good way.

Louise and....... KEVIN!

She needs no surname. She is the right Louise, despite what dem yoofs on Twitter may think. There was a little talk online about her costume not being as nice as some of the others - but some folks had heard she had actually asked to cover up a little, which implies she's a little wary and inhibited. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We all love a journey, after all. I'm not always Mr Clifton's biggest fan but I think in this circumstance they will make a really great pair. He's such a perky little package of energy, he's bound to bring her out of her shell.

Naga and........ PASHA!

Naga has already perfected her Paso Face. That's the only reason for having perfected a death stare. Right? At least that will get put to use. Looking fabulously statuesque in red, Naga already seems to be (to use Frankie's phrase) 'embracing the sparkle', despite it being so far removed from her usual reality. Pasha is an all round darling and I'm looking forward to seeing what these guys come up with. 

Anastacia and.........BRENDAN!

We get so super excited when an American is on the show. Why is that?! Do we expect they will be bringing over stockings and gum? And remember Williamsgate 2010 where we all expected her to be the bee's knees and she was about as rhythmic as a baby giraffe who has been slipped a dram of Scotland's finest? Not that I am expecting Anastacia to to be terrible by any means. Brendan's reaction and her performance in the group number suggest she's going to be good. And embrace every second of it. Love her ombre-mermaid dress. 

Laura and............. GIOVANNI!
Oh I do love a Strictly-Superfan-On-Strictly. Their excitement is infectious. I'm expecting the tabloids to latch onto this partnership like a limpet on a sequin-encrusted rock. She's the standard PYT (Pretty Young Thing), bound to start relatively well and end more or less on the level of a professional backing dancer. But Strictly needs these stock characters as much as it needs feathers and fake tan. 

Melvin and.......... JANETTE!

I didn't realise he was quite so dinky and therefore almost inevitably destined to be partnered with Janette. He seems like he's going to be a jolly good sport and possibly a nifty dancer. Perhaps how many times 'Dance of Odoom' is uttered by the presenters could become a drinking game. 

Greg and....... NATALIE!

I have never quite shipped a couple from this early on before. This pairing seems like destiny. I was eyeing him closely in the group dance and his timing looks good. I already love these two. Natalie managed to get Michael 'I have no rhythm' Vaughan to dance a passable ballroom, I genuinely can't wait to see how she does with Greg, who actually seems to have potential. He's humble and doesn't take himself too seriously either. My very-early-on faves. This rarely happens. 

Judge and ................ OKSANA!

Yes, yes, he shall henceforth be known as 'Judge'. That is his first name right? I'm not so much looking forward to his dancing (although he does look like he has some rhythm going on) as his out Craiging Craig at judging time. This partnership should be a good measure of Oksana's televisionability (I'm totes coining that,)  Remember how adorable the partnership between John Sargeant and Kristina was? They don't always need a ringer year one to make an impression.

Danny and .................. OTI!

Ooh, he's a wee bit of a charmer, isn't he? Oti seemed positively delighted with her new partner. I have to admit, the last time I watched Hollyoaks, Monica and Chandler were not yet married, we had only just been introduced to the KitKat Chunky and construction began on the Millennium Dome. That is, I had absolutely no idea who he was. He's another PYT. Expect to see him at least up until the quarter finals. 

Claudia and............. AJ!

Have we seen a couple this tiny since Tina and the teeny one from High School Musical who didn't know how to dance ballroom? And still the height difference is huge. I hope they don't fill all their routines with gymnastics instead of dance. I'm not sure I can stomach a triple full layout in the middle of a Viennese Waltz. Her little pink costume makes her look like a little cupcake. They are uber cute. 

Daisy and....................ALJAZ!

Now officially a modeliser, Aljaz looked delighted with Daisy. And boy, they do make a pretty pair. She seems genuinely excited, which is nice. Who doesn't want to bathe in glitter? She has a touch of the Sophie E-Bs about her. I'm expecting some nonchalant cool. But perhaps I'm wrong and she'll go all eyes-and-teeth camp? Who knows?

Lesley and......... ANTON!
Oh these two were always a certainty. She can quite clearly boogie though and these two are going to be great fun. Prime candidates for the Race-To-The-Bottom, I'm wondering whether Anton is going to camp it up enough to rival the pure weirdness of Ed Balls taking part. 

Tameka and........ GORKA!

I don't watch Eastenders so I wasn't sure who she was. But I love her. If you could bottle that enthusiasm and take it to Dragons' Den, they'd be throwing offers all over the place. She looks all kinds of fabulous in her take-me-to-the-emerald-city costume. These are potentially the most fun pairing of the series...

Ore and...........JOANNE!

Oof, now this two could be a pair to watch. He is quite clearly a good dancer. I just hope he can overcome his nerves. Joanne should now get the chance to show us what she can do. I was impressed with her on It Takes Two last year and she clearly knows what she is talking about. 

Ed and.........KATYA!

Officially the most random contestant of the year. Yet, his taking part, seems like a weird kind of inevitability. It was always going to happen at some point. Katya didn't seem all that impressed, but with a line up full of potential ringers, getting Mr Balls is quite surely a short straw. But see above re Kristina and John. Sometimes the one that seems like the dud is a blessing in disguise, especially if he can make fun of himself. I'm expecting dad dancing and high camp. 

Will and ......... KAREN!

Karen! Let Will go! No wonder he was wanting to initiate a #SaveWill hashtag. I adore the thought of him dancing a rumba in his kitchen. I totally do that. That kind of self-deprecating nugget of information gives him a wonderful air of inevitability. I think he'll be pretty good from the start. I hope not too good though, as that often can ruin the show for me...

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