Strictly Come Dancing returned for its second live show of the series on Saturday, with the 14 celebrity contestants and their professional partners hoping to avoid being the first to be eliminated in Sunday’s results show.
And things already got off to a fiery start as Craig Revel Horwood took a sarcastic swipe at fellow judge Anton Du Beke for failing to spot Katie McGlynn’s mistakes during her Jive with partner Gorka Marquez.
Meanwhile, McFly’s Tom Fletcher and his partner Amy Dowden missed this week’s show after testing positive for Covid-19, with the pair being given a bye until the following week.
Oh dear! Craig Revel Horwood took a sarcastic swipe at fellow judge Anton Du Beke for failing to spot Katie McGlynn’s mistakes during her Jive with partner Gorka Marquez
First to dance on the night was CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson, 27, and Nancy Xu, 30, who showed off their moves with a Cha Cha to Reach Out, I’ll Be There by Human Nature.
The energetic routine garnered a standing ovation from the audience and head judge Shirley Ballas, who remarked: ‘I’m in complete shock. I saw some fantastic straight legs, lowered heels and rhythm in you body’.
She added that the routine was ‘fantastic to watch’ and that if Rhys ever made it to the West End, she’d certainly be on the front row.
Didn’t see: Anton noted that he didn’t spot Katie’s mistakes while she danced
Meanwhile Anton Du Beke, who this year had replaced Bruno Tonioli, gushed: what a way to start the night!
He went on to comment on Nancy’s great choreography before noting Rhys could have a ‘little more fluidity’ as his cha cha part was ‘a little bit stilted’, adding that it was ‘terrific’ overall.
Craig Revel Horwood agreed with Anton as he remarked that their dance at times was ‘spikey, stiff’, with ‘no hip action in cha cha cha’, but added that he ‘finished all moves and sharp, enormous enemy – brilliant
Missing: Meanwhile, McFly’s Tom Fletcher and his partner Amy Dowden missed this week’s show after testing positive for Covid-19, with the pair being given a bye until the following week
While Motsi Mabuse said Rhys ‘gave us more and more’ this week, noting that he had ‘so much energy.’
The judge finished off her critique by joking: ‘If I’m going to go to a party, it’s with you Rhys!’
Next up was EastEnders actress Nina Wadia, 52, who was tasked with dancing the Tango this week to Would I Lie To You? By Eurythmics alongside Neil Jones, 39.
And though she gave it her all, she faced some harsh criticism from the judges.
While Anton noted that she made ‘a few mistakes’ and that her ‘head needed work’, Craig was far from sympathetic as he called out Nina’s poor frame and her ‘extremely ropey’ footwork, concluding: ‘I don’t think this was your dance.’
Motsi had some positives to say, noting she felt Nina’s strong commitment to the character, but added that the actress needed ‘To get control of your spine.’
Hosts: Strictly Come Dancing returned for its second live show of the series on Saturday, with the 14 celebrity contestants and their professional partners hoping to avoid being the first to be eliminated in Sunday’s results show
While Shirley commented Nina for recovering from her mistakes, telling her: ‘A very very good effort, well done.’
Third to dance was Adam Peaty, 26, and Katya Jones, 32, who danced the Quickstep to Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet.
Craig didn’t hold back on the negatives on the dance, moaning: ‘the frame wasn’t great, a lot of gapping going on, timing issues throughout’, however, he was quick to add: ‘the characterisation was excellent!’.
Shirley went on to speak about the importance of having contact with your partner during the quickstep as she observed that Adam was ‘100% competitive’.
While Anton gave Adam good advice on his arms, joking that taking his advice was ‘the best thing you’ll ever do for the rest of your life!’
It comes amid reports that bosses are considering ‘scrapping the show’s live audience and re-introducing quarantine bubbles for celebrities and their professional dancers.’
A crisis meeting is said to have been held after Tom Fletcher, 36, and his partner Amy Dowden, 31, tested positive for Covid despite having been double-jabbed.
A source has revealed ‘there is nothing they aren’t willing to consider’ in order to keep the show rolling full steam ahead.
They told The Sun: ‘These would be radical steps to take to increase safety on the set, but given the difficulties producers have had over the past two weeks, there’s nothing they aren’t willing to consider.
‘But if they did have to go down this route, it would be a logistical nightmare and might leave some of the stars with a dilemma as many of them are juggling their dance training with their day jobs.’
Decisions: It comes amid reports bosses are considering ‘scrapping the show’s live audience and re-introducing bubbles’ after Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden contracting Covid
Strictly’s live shows currently take place before a small audience with cast and crew adhering to social distancing measures.
It follows the news that Strictly bosses admitted they ‘aren’t bulletproof’ to COVID-19 in the wake of Tom and Amy’s positive tests.
It’s understood that show producers were quietly ‘dismayed’ after hearing of their shock diagnosis on Sunday, with the pair now ruled out of Saturday’s show while they recover from the contagious respiratory bug.
Amy, who received her COVID-19 vaccination prior to contracting the illness, had previously accompanied Tom and his McFly bandmates during their current UK tour.
But the BBC tell MailOnline there are no plans to increase testing because they are ‘satisfied’ the measures they currently have in place are as good as they can be.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Sunday at 7.05pm on BBC One.
Plans: But the BBC are unlikely to increase their once a week testing because they are ‘satisfied’ the measures they currently have in place are as good as they can be (pictured is Amy’s post after the news)