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Strictly Come Dancing: Stars kick off first live show

Strictly Come Dancing kicked off its first live show on Saturday. 

And Nicola Adams and Katya Jones were praised as ‘absolute dynamite’ and a ‘fantastic partnership’ as they made history as the first ever same-sex couple to perform on the show, as HRVY and Janette Manrara came came top of the leaderboard. 

The boxer, 37, and dancer, 31, performed the Quickstep to Get Happy by Ella Fitzgerald, and the performance earned them a score of 21 which saw them come in joint second place.

‘You’re absolute dynamite!’ Strictly’s Nicola Adams and Katya Jones made history with show’s FIRST EVER same-sex performance on Saturday

Shirley was full of praise as she said: ‘Oh my goodness absolutely, but first can I say Katya you’re a genius, it’s very difficult to hold this move let alone changing it… this is a partnership I’m really going to enjoy watching.’

While Motsi went on: ‘I have to say I was very curious how it was going to happen, how it was going to work out.

‘Nicola I can see you have a strong core, you need to work on it to make sure its more stable, that being said oh my goodness, you rocked it!’

While Craig went on: ‘Well they proved its absolute dynamite, I absolutely adored that routine.. small little things but what a fantastic partnership.’  

One to watch: HRVY topped the leaderboard with his impressive jive after recovering from COVID-19

One to watch: HRVY topped the leaderboard with his impressive jive after recovering from COVID-19

Making history: Nicola and Katya performed the Quickstep to Get Happy by Ella Fitzgerald, and the performance earned them a score of 21 which saw them come in joint second place

Gushing: While Craig went on: 'Well they proved its absolute dynamite, I absolutely adored that routine.. small little things but what a fantastic partnership'

Great job! Shirley was full of praise as she said: 'Oh my goodness absolutely, but first can I say Katya you're a genius, it's very difficult to hold this move let alone changing it... this is a partnership I'm really going to enjoy watching'

Great job! Shirley was full of praise as she said: ‘Oh my goodness absolutely, but first can I say Katya you’re a genius, it’s very difficult to hold this move let alone changing it… this is a partnership I’m really going to enjoy watching’

HRVY and his partner Janette Manrara closed out the show, and wowed with their Jive that they came out on top after impressing the judges.

Craig began by asking HRVY about his name not having any vowels, before he said of the dance: ‘The jive was absolutely spectacular.’

Shirley went on: ‘I still think HRVY’s the one to watch, we have to remember this evening the talent is amazing you are no exception you are at the top of your game this is a fierce competition.’

Motsi was also full of praise, as she said: I’ mean for me this was the best first dance I have ever seen, ever, ever, and I have to praise you, this was awesome.

Delighted: Shirley said HRVY was 'the one to watch' as she said he was 'at the top of your game, this is a fierce competition'

Delighted: Shirley said HRVY was ‘the one to watch’ as she said he was ‘at the top of your game, this is a fierce competition’

‘My thoughts now are where do we go from here HRVY? Well done a great ending to a great show, I absolutely loved that.’  

Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez were so impressive that Motsi and Shirley were on their feet when they finished, and the judges gave them a score of 24.

Shirley gushed that Maisie was an ‘absolute firecracker’, as she added: ‘You pushed yourself, you challenged on the end, absolutely fabulous well done.’

Motsi said the performance was ‘absolute girl power’, as she went on: ‘You got us up, we were dancing with you. 

‘From the start it was a bam, what I love all those shaking things they felt authentic, you didn’t make it seem pretty you brought it back to mother earth, shake it up.’

While Craig added that she had things to work on, but thought all in all it was ‘a-ma-zing.’

Wow! Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez were so impressive that Motsi and Shirley were on their feet when they finished, and the judges gave them a score of 24

Strong start: Shirley gushed that Maisie was an 'absolute firecracker', while Motsi said the performance was 'absolute girl power' and Craig said they were 'a-ma-zing'

Strong start: Shirley gushed that Maisie was an ‘absolute firecracker’, while Motsi said the performance was ‘absolute girl power’ and Craig said they were ‘a-ma-zing’

Jamie Laing was first out onto the show, and he stepped out with his partner Karen Hauer to dance the Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr.

The Made In Chelsea star, 31, is the first start to return to the show after injuring his foot before being able to perform in the 2019 series.

Jamie’s enthusiasm delighted the judges but his technique was something they all had some critiques, leading him to get a reasonable score of 14. 

Strictly Come Dancing: Week One Scores

HRVY and Janette Manrara – Jive to Faith by Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande – 25

Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez – Samba to Samba by Gloria Estefan  – 24

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones – Quickstep to Get Happy by Ella Fitzgerald – 21

Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice -Paso Doble to End Of Time by Beyoncé – 21

Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe – American Smooth to 9 to 5 (Morning Train) by Sheena Easton – 21    

 JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden – Waltz to What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong – 19

Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec – Cha Cha to Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa – 18   

Max George and Dianne Buswell-Tango to Best Fake Smile by James Bay – 17

Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk – American Smooth to My Girl by The Temptations – 16  

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse – Cha Cha to Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba  – 15  

Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer – Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr – 14 

Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke -Foxtrot to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python – 13 

Shirley Ballas began the judges remarks, as she told Jamie: ‘What a way to open the show with all that glitz and glamour… you gave a very nice performance and you do show the potential for a wiggly lower half.’

However, she added: ‘A little bit more sense of line and technique but well done.’

Motsi Mabuse was in agreement, as she went on: ‘Well Jamie I have to say I’ve never ever in  my life see anyone want to dance so much like you right there… 

‘The male parts where you had to freestyle you had a lot of fun high energy really work on that technique, I know its boring but it’ll really work out.’

First out: Jamie Laing finally made his debut on the Strictly ballroom on Saturday, as he danced with his partner Karen Hauer to dance the Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr

First out: Jamie Laing finally made his debut on the Strictly ballroom on Saturday, as he danced with his partner Karen Hauer to dance the Cha Cha to Think About Things by Daði Freyr

Delighted: The judges praised Jamie's enthusiasm, as Motsi said: 'Well Jamie I have to say I've never ever in my life see anyone want to dance so much like you right there'

Delighted: The judges praised Jamie’s enthusiasm, as Motsi said: ‘Well Jamie I have to say I’ve never ever in my life see anyone want to dance so much like you right there’

Not bad: Jamie's enthusiasm delighted the judges but his technique was something they all had some critiques, leading him to get a reasonable score of 14.

Not bad: Jamie’s enthusiasm delighted the judges but his technique was something they all had some critiques, leading him to get a reasonable score of 14.

Craig Revel-Horwood was a lot harsher, as he hit out: ‘All very flat footed I’m afraid, very stiff of hip I’m afraid, very tight and restrictive may be to do with those very tight trousers, didn’t leave much to the imagination.’

He also added: ‘stop the mouth from counting the numbers, but i have to say I love the energy and your commitment to the dance is amazing.’ 

Caroline Quentin then stepped out with her partner Johannes Radebe for their American Smooth dance to 9 to 5 (Moving Train) by Sheena Easton.

Things to work on: Craig was a lot harsher, as he hit out: 'All very flat footed I'm afraid, very stiff of hip I'm afraid, very tight and restrictive'

Things to work on: Craig was a lot harsher, as he hit out: ‘All very flat footed I’m afraid, very stiff of hip I’m afraid, very tight and restrictive’

Caroline Quentin then stepped out with her partner Johannes Radebe for their American Smooth dance to 9 to 5 (Moving Train) by Sheena Easton

Caroline Quentin then stepped out with her partner Johannes Radebe for their American Smooth dance to 9 to 5 (Moving Train) by Sheena Easton

She wowed the judges with her performance, as she was given an impressive 21 for her first dance, after her performance left her in tears.

Motsi began ‘I didn’t see a dancer I saw a dancing queen’, though she recommended Caroline pay ‘attention to detail’.

She then gushed: ‘Oh my goodness, I want to say thank you to you it was really beautiful.’

Craig, normally quite stern, was delighted with the performance, as he said she was 'elegant and graceful, I loved it'

Craig, normally quite stern, was delighted with the performance, as he said she was ‘elegant and graceful, I loved it’

Sweet: While Shirley went on: 'I think you're going to bring so much joy to millions of people, I've waited a lifetime for this where you feel what a dancer is feeling'

Sweet: While Shirley went on: ‘I think you’re going to bring so much joy to millions of people, I’ve waited a lifetime for this where you feel what a dancer is feeling’

Craig, normally quite stern, was delighted with the performance, as he said: ‘You just have to watch your feet aren’t too turned down, you need to be a lot more in line but musicality was sensational… elegant and graceful, I loved it.’

While Shirley went on: ‘I think you’re going to bring so much joy to millions of people, I’ve waited a lifetime for this where you feel what a dancer is feeling.

‘You are elegant you are charming… lower half needs a little bit of work but you should be so proud today you are exquisite.’ 

Max George then went up with Dianne Buswell to dance the Tango to Best Fake Smile by James Bay, which earned him a respective 17 points.  

Performance: Max George then went up with Dianne Buswell to dance the Tango to Best Fake Smile by James Bay, which earned him a respective 17 points

Performance: Max George then went up with Dianne Buswell to dance the Tango to Best Fake Smile by James Bay, which earned him a respective 17 points

Critiques: Craig said: 'I would have liked to see more of a v shape, [your] free arm placement bothered me, I didn't know where you were putting that hand you need to make a choice'

Critiques: Craig said: ‘I would have liked to see more of a v shape, [your] free arm placement bothered me, I didn’t know where you were putting that hand you need to make a choice’

Craig said: ‘I would have liked to see more of a v shape, [your] free arm placement bothered me, I didn’t know where you were putting that hand you need to make a choice.’

Despite his remarks, Craig claimed he was ‘very watchable’ and said he ‘left me wanting more’.

Shirley went on to say that they performed a ‘fierce’ Tango, but she claimed she would have preferred if they had done a more traditional dance.

Motsi said he had ‘potential’ as she said: ‘I felt a little bit like you were thinking during the dance, that keeps your energy inside you have to have faraway projection, lift yourself up, let it go to your face because you have got it all.’ 

Doing well: Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec went out with the Cha Cha to Dua Lipa's Don't Start Now, which earned them a score of 18

Doing well: Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec went out with the Cha Cha to Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now, which earned them a score of 18

High praise: Shirley was delighted with the performance as she claimed Clara had 'some rhythm' and said it was 'amazing'

High praise: Shirley was delighted with the performance as she claimed Clara had ‘some rhythm’ and said it was ‘amazing’

Clara Amfo and Aljaž Škorjanec went out with the Cha Cha to Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now, which earned them a score of 18.  

Shirley was delighted with the performance as she claimed Clara had ‘some rhythm’ and said it was ‘amazing’.

She went on: ‘I did love the poly-rhythms at the end, very clever, difficult to do all in all a very good start to the show.’

Motsi went on: ‘When I see you dance the word that comes in my head is determination, every single step you do is great.’

Craig didn’t agree as much, as he said it was ‘stompy’, before adding: ‘I thought you could do with straighter legs in cha cha, disco elements I loved, technically it could do better but now its time for you to improve.’

Trying their best: Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke went up next, as they danced a Foxtrot to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python, which sadly landed them at the bottom of the leaderboard with 13 points

Trying their best: Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke went up next, as they danced a Foxtrot to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python, which sadly landed them at the bottom of the leaderboard with 13 points

Oh dear: Craig was a lot harsher as he claimed their performance 'lacked musicality' which meant it was 'lumpy

Oh dear: Craig was a lot harsher as he claimed their performance ‘lacked musicality’ which meant it was ‘lumpy

Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke went up next, as they danced a Foxtrot to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python, which sadly landed them at the bottom of the leaderboard with 13 points.

Motsi began the critiques, as she said: ‘I have to say going from being a former politician and coming onto the ballroom and looking like a dancing girl, you did really well, what we need now is you feeling comfortable expressing yourself, keep everything constant but well done.’

Craig was a lot harsher as he claimed their performance ‘lacked musicality’ which meant it was ‘lumpy’, but he encouraged her by adding: ‘I am looking on the bright side, when you consider Theresa May and her dancing, you were ten times better.’ 

Shirley added that she was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the pair, as she on: ‘Like everybody else, its the first show you’re starting out but I was absolutely surprised and I loved it well done.’ 

Moving: JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden made Motsi tear up after they performed the Waltz to A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, which he has always wanted to dance after missing out the chance to do so at his brother's wedding

Moving: JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden made Motsi tear up after they performed the Waltz to A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, which he has always wanted to dance after missing out the chance to do so at his brother’s wedding

Impressive: The pair earned a respectable 19 with their performance, as Craig began by saying their dance was 'simple, effective, really beautiful'

Impressive: The pair earned a respectable 19 with their performance, as Craig began by saying their dance was ‘simple, effective, really beautiful’

JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden made Motsi tear up after they performed the Waltz to A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, which he has always wanted to dance after missing out the chance to do so at his brother’s wedding.

The pair earned a respectable 19 with their performance, as Craig began by saying their dance was ‘simple, effective, really beautiful’

Shirley went on: ‘I love the music, I love what it all represented I’m sure your brother was very proud of you… the way you hold your frame is magnificent. This was just simple beautiful just lovely.’ 

Motsi teared up as she began to talk, saying: ‘I loved it, I’m just getting a little bit emotional its okay… that’s my dad’s favourite song, you captured what to me is ballroom dancing. I loved it, it was magical, keep doing it as that for me was what dancing is.’ 

Wow! The professionals started out the show with an impressive dance to a medley of Latin music, which saw the dancers turn up the heat with their sizzling number

Wow! The professionals started out the show with an impressive dance to a medley of Latin music, which saw the dancers turn up the heat with their sizzling number

Special guests: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealed that they had NHS frontline staff in the audience, as the pair thanked the group for their work during the COVID-19 crisis

Special guests: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealed that they had NHS frontline staff in the audience, as the pair thanked the group for their work during the COVID-19 crisis

The professionals started out the show with an impressive dance to a medley of Latin music, which saw the dancers turn up the heat with their sizzling number. 

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealed that they had NHS frontline staff in the audience, as the pair thanked the group for their work during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Claudia told the NHS workers: ‘Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and everything you continue to do.’ 

Nicola shared a candid look at the her rehearsals over the past week, as she tried to learn the steps and worked hard with Katya.

She appeared delighted after she managed to finally get the steps right, as she knelt on the ground and smiled brightly.

Another behind-the-scenes video saw the pair going through their dance routine again and again, while Katya also helped her to unwind as she massaged her back.

Nicola wrote in the caption: All the hard work getting the steps right has finished, now it’s time for @KatyaJones and me to preform the quick step tonight.’

Behind-the-scenes: Nicola shared a candid look at the her rehearsals over the past week, as she tried to learn the steps and worked hard with Katya

Behind-the-scenes: Nicola shared a candid look at the her rehearsals over the past week, as she tried to learn the steps and worked hard with Katya

Winding down: The pair chatted through their routine

Preparations: Another behind-the-scenes video saw the pair going through their dance routine again and again with Katya

Preparations: Another behind-the-scenes video saw the pair going through their dance routine again and again with Katya

Supportive: Katya also helped her to unwind as she massaged her back

Supportive: Katya also helped her to unwind as she massaged her back

Days before her first dance with Katya, Nicola laughed off any worries of the so-called Strictly Curse.

The Olympian has been dating her girlfriend Ella Baig, 22, for over two years and told Grazia magazine that the curse doesn’t actually exist.

‘It’s not a big deal. It’s not even a curse. You’re either happy with your partner or you’re not!’ she insisted.

The Strictly Curse has been speculated about for years, after celebs and pro dancers on the series have fallen for one another, ruining their relationships – and even marriages – in the real world. 

'You're either happy with your partner or you're not!' Nicola recently laughed off any worries of the so-called Strictly Curse [pictured with long-term love Ella Baig, 22]

‘You’re either happy with your partner or you’re not!’ Nicola recently laughed off any worries of the so-called Strictly Curse [pictured with long-term love Ella Baig, 22]

The couple is typically torn apart by time-related issues or one partner’s attraction to another person on the show, which in the past has led to divorces, breakups, called-off engagements and more.

Katya is no stranger to this idea, as she was caught kissing her dance partner Seann Walsh in 2018 when she was married to fellow pro Neil Jones, 38. The couple split 10 months after the scandal.

In a previous chat with The Sun, Nicola remarked that Katya is ‘smoking hot’ but echoed her sentiments that she and Ella ‘are so strong we will never be a victim of the Strictly Curse’.

Ella also added: ‘I’m not worried about the curse. Nicki and me are best friends so I don’t really see anyone as competition and she doesn’t either.

Love: After the launch show, Nicola's girlfriend Ella said she doesn't think they'll be hit by the 'Strictly Curse'

Love: After the launch show, Nicola’s girlfriend Ella said she doesn’t think they’ll be hit by the ‘Strictly Curse’

‘The grass is never greener on the other side and me and Nicki have a lot of history together, so I don’t think anyone is going to steal her off me.

‘We did have a conversation about the curse and we agreed I would meet her dance partner so there are no hard feelings or jealousy there.’

Before taking to the dancefloor with Nicola for the first time, Katya said being in a same-sex couple doesn’t faze her as it’s a ‘really normal thing’ in the dance world.

Speaking with the Radio Times, Katya praised her partner and added that she thinks the duo will be ‘a powerhouse together’ as they’re both ‘strong-minded women’.

Katya explained: ‘In the ballroom world, there are same-sex partnerships and same-sex competitions, so it’s a really normal thing, you know? 

Energetic: Before taking to the dancefloor with Nicola for the first time, Katya said being in a same-sex couple doesn't faze her as it's a 'really normal thing' in the dance world

Energetic: Before taking to the dancefloor with Nicola for the first time, Katya said being in a same-sex couple doesn’t faze her as it’s a ‘really normal thing’ in the dance world

‘I’ve always taught as a lead and a follower, so this doesn’t feel like anything extra. I’m just really excited to get someone whose work ethic is out of this world — she’s so used to training hard.

‘For me, that’s all I look for in a partner. We’re two strong-minded women and we’re going to be a powerhouse together. And, you know, dancing is dancing.’

Ahead of Saturday’s first live show, athlete Nicola and Katya were training for 10 to 12 hours a day to ensure their Quickstep. 

Last week’s launch episode consisted of the celebrities discovering their professional partners for the first time, though in a post-COVID change, they were instead revealed via video link.

After all the pairings were announced, the celebrities and their professional partners had to take to the floor to perform with contestant Jamie teased after he injured himself during the group routine on the 2019 launch show. 

Fans were left delighted over Nicola and Katya’s pairing as they hailed the dancing duo as ‘trailblazers’ after their partnership was announced and they performed in a group routine. 

Katya was left overjoyed as she started screaming and jumping, she said: ‘This is a dream, honestly,’ with Nicola adding: ‘I am super excited to be paired with Katya, absolutely buzzing.’ 

Elsewhere during the episode, the pros dazzled with a sensational opening routine with judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood seated on separate podiums to ensure the programme adhered to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

Fourth judge Bruno Tonioli was unable to travel back to the UK from his home in LA for the filming due to the Covid-19 crisis and his work commitments on Dancing With The Stars.

Already the BBC favourite has seen its highest ratings in three years, after finally making it to screens after months of uncertainly sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Saturday, viewing figures averaged at 8.6 million and it is the show’s highest ratings since 2017.

This year’s couples have formed their own separate ‘bubbles’ to allow them to train and perform, and are being regularly tested to avoid a virus outbreak during filming.

The show will continue to have a live audience, though members of the public will be seated in their separate households or ‘bubbles’ and will wear a mask throughout filming.

Strictly class of 2020: (L-R) Max George, Nicola Adams, Jacqui Smith, Caroline Quentin, HRVY, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, Jason Bell, JJ Chalmers, Maisie Smith, Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh

Strictly class of 2020: (L-R) Max George, Nicola Adams, Jacqui Smith, Caroline Quentin, HRVY, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, Jason Bell, JJ Chalmers, Maisie Smith, Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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