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Strictly Come Dancing: Live show kicks off


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She has been preparing for the live show with two weeks of intense training.

And Gemma Atkinson impressed with a raunchy cha cha as she kicked off the dances with partner Alijaz  Skorjanec on Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night. 

Whirling and gyrating through the routine, the blonde beauty seemed overwhelmed when she finished, telling Tess: ‘It’s a bit nerve-wracking but its exciting, we’ve done it now, so we can chill out!’ 

 

Sizzling: Gemma Atkinson impressed with a raunchy cha cha as she kicked off the dances with partner Alijaz Skorjanec on Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night

New head judge Shirley said: ‘Well first of all I’d like to say what a way to open the series. You brought your cheeky cha cha cha!’

Bruno added: ‘It was like one of those Amazonian catwalk queens on London Fashion Week. Give it to me baby!’

Unimpressed Craig, who complained that the dance was ‘on the heavy side’, gave Gemma a four, while the others gave her a 5, 5 and 6 – giving her an overall score of 20.

Speaking ahead of rehearsals, the actress said: ‘I want to enjoy it, and everyone says you will enjoy it with Alijaz.’ 

Loving life: Whirling and gyrating through the routine, the blonde beauty seemed overwhelmed when she finished, telling Tess: 'It's a bit nerve-wracking but its exciting, we've done it now, so we can chill out!'

Loving life: Whirling and gyrating through the routine, the blonde beauty seemed overwhelmed when she finished, telling Tess: ‘It’s a bit nerve-wracking but its exciting, we’ve done it now, so we can chill out!’

Raunchy: New head judge Shirley said: 'Well first of all I'd like to say what a way to open the series. You brought your cheeky cha cha cha!'

Raunchy: New head judge Shirley said: ‘Well first of all I’d like to say what a way to open the series. You brought your cheeky cha cha cha!’

Elsewhere, Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton performed a passe doble, but left judges unimpressed.

Craig said: ‘The moments of whipping yourself I was slightly unnerved by, if that;s what you’re into – then good luck darling!’

Meanwhile Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole pulled off an impressive foxtrot to The Best Is Yet To Come by Michael Buble.

Shirley said it had ‘some of the elements she was looking for’ while Bruno instructed ‘don’t lose your frame’. Overall, the TV presenter bagged 22 points. 

Next up was Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev, who roared through a sexy cha cha and left judges more than impressed. 

Pretty good: Unimpressed Craig, who complained that the dance was 'on the heavy side', gave Gemma a four, while the others gave her a 5, 5 and 6 - giving her an overall score of 20

Pretty good: Unimpressed Craig, who complained that the dance was ‘on the heavy side’, gave Gemma a four, while the others gave her a 5, 5 and 6 – giving her an overall score of 20

Bruno gushed: ‘This girl can really move. but I love to see you on the dancefloor, a great job.’

Craig drawled: ‘For me it was all disco and very little cha cha cha unfortunately, but you have a great sense of the rhythm.’ Overall, Chizzy was awarded 

Chizzy joked: ‘I said to Pasha, “don’t fall in love with me”. Every time we dance he just looks at me – I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.’ 

Alexandra Burke broke down in tears after performing an emotional waltz to her late mother’s favourite song.

She performed the dance with partner Gorka Marquez to Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman – one month after her singer mum Melissa Bell’s death.

Emotional: Alexandra Burke broke down in tears on Friday night after performing an emotional waltz to her late mother's favourite song

Emotional: Alexandra Burke broke down in tears on Friday night after performing an emotional waltz to her late mother’s favourite song

Overwhelmed: Talking to Claudia, she said: 'It's really overwhelming. I'm so grateful for you Gorka, thank you so much'

Overwhelmed: Talking to Claudia, she said: ‘It’s really overwhelming. I’m so grateful for you Gorka, thank you so much’

And it all became too much for Alexandra, as she burst into tears in Gorka’s arms at the end of the routine. 

Speaking during rehearsals, she said: ‘This is a song that my mum always made me sing, it’s just making me nervous because I’m so emotional about it.’

And at the end of the dance, it all became too much for the singer as she burst into tears in Gorka’s arms. 

Shirley praised her dance, saying: ‘I can see that this dance meant something to you, I got carried away with the emotion. 

Tough time: Melissa was just 53 years old when she passed away after a nine-year battle with kidney failure, which was brought on by diabetes 

Tough time: Melissa was just 53 years old when she passed away after a nine-year battle with kidney failure, which was brought on by diabetes 

Stunning: She looked incredible in a green beaded dress as she made her entrance 

Stunning: She looked incredible in a green beaded dress as she made her entrance 

‘You’re a feeler. you are probably going to be front-runner after what I’ve just seen.’

Darcey added: ‘I’m so excited to see what else you do.’  

Talking to Claudia, she said: ‘It’s really overwhelming. I’m so grateful for you Gorka, thank you so much,’

Explaining that she was grateful that her brother and auntie are in the audience, she cried as judges awarded her 24 points. 

Melissa, who was a lead singer in R&B act Soul II Soul, died on August 29 after battling diabetes and kidney failure. 

Impressive: Meanwhile Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole pulled off an impressive foxtrot to The Best Is Yet To Come by Michael Buble

Impressive: Meanwhile Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole pulled off an impressive foxtrot to The Best Is Yet To Come by Michael Buble

Throwing some shapes: Shirley said it had 'some of the elements she was looking for' while Bruno instructed 'don't lose your frame'. Overall, the TV presenter bagged 22 points

Throwing some shapes: Shirley said it had ‘some of the elements she was looking for’ while Bruno instructed ‘don’t lose your frame’. Overall, the TV presenter bagged 22 points

Up next was TV star Brian Conley who danced a passionate tango with partner, new professional Amy Dowden.

The couple seemed pleased with their routine, with Tess praising his ‘facial choreography’ although Brian quipped he was surprised at that because he was ‘full of Botox’. 

Bruno said he ‘absolutely loved the acting’, but Craig criticised his ‘poor posture’ and said his splayed hands was his ‘pet hate’.  

Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock was partnered with Oti and showed off his athlete potential by leaping over a desk in the waltz.

Beating the blues: Next up was Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev, who roared through a sexy cha cha and left judges more than impressed

Beating the blues: Next up was Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev, who roared through a sexy cha cha and left judges more than impressed

Good job: Bruno gushed: 'This girl can really move. but I love to see you on the dancefloor, a great job'

Good job: Bruno gushed: ‘This girl can really move. but I love to see you on the dancefloor, a great job’

Whirling to When I Need You by Luther Vandross, the athlete left judges impressed with his ‘endearing’ and ‘very sweet’ moves – winning him 20 points. 

Meanwhile Holby City actor Joe McFadden topped the leaderboard as he performed a rocking jive with Katya Jones to Rockin’ Robin by Michael Jackson. 

Bruno said ‘very good for week one, well done’ while beaming Craig added ‘three words: I… like… you’ and awarded a rare 7.

A flabbergasted Joe grinned and hugged a screaming Katya with delight as the judges gave them 7,7,8 and 7 for a showstopping total of  29 points.

Oh dear: Elsewhere, Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton performed a passe doble, but left judges unimpressed

Oh dear: Elsewhere, Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton performed a passe doble, but left judges unimpressed

Racy: Craig said: 'The moments of whipping yourself I was slightly unnerved by, if that;s what you're into - then good luck darling!'

Racy: Craig said: ‘The moments of whipping yourself I was slightly unnerved by, if that;s what you’re into – then good luck darling!’

The BBC 1 contest’s hotly-anticipated 15th season welcomes a fresh batch of 15 celebrity contestants, three new professional dancers and former international Latin star Shirley Ballas, who will make her debut as head judge following Len Goodman’s departure last year. 

Meanwhile, the Strictly contestants have told of their nerves and lack of sleep ahead of Saturday night’s first live show.

Comedian Susan Calman and newsreader Charlotte Hawkins revealed they had endured somewhat sleepless nights hours before they take to the dance floor, while Loose Women’s Ruth Langsford and actress Gemma Atkinson have told of the physical impact their nerves are having. 

Meanwhile Langsford told her fans in a video message: ‘I’m so nervous – my hands are cold, my mouth is dry. I’m also excited, I’ve got the excited tummy.’

Exciting: Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock was partnered with Oti and showed off his athlete potential by leaping over a desk in the waltz

Exciting: Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock was partnered with Oti and showed off his athlete potential by leaping over a desk in the waltz

Elegant: Whirling to When I Need You by Luther Vandross, the athlete left judges impressed with his 'endearing' and 'very sweet' moves - winning him 20 points

Elegant: Whirling to When I Need You by Luther Vandross, the athlete left judges impressed with his ‘endearing’ and ‘very sweet’ moves – winning him 20 points

Purple reign: Professional dancer Oti Mabuse exuded opulence in a lilac beaded gown

Purple reign: Professional dancer Oti Mabuse exuded opulence in a lilac beaded gown

On Instagram, Atkinson shared a picture of herself with a dog filter over her face and wrote: ‘Show day! Shaking like a s******* dog.’

Singer Alexandra Burke tweeted that she was embarking on a ‘full gym workout’ in order to try to get rid of her nerves, which she described in an earlier online message as ‘unreal’. 

The first stage of the official competition comes two weeks after the spectacular live launch show, which saw the stars matched up with their partners for the first time.

It also featured a moving tribute to Sir Bruce and the return of last year’s champions Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton who delighted the audience with a repeat of their famous jive dance.

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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