The sparkles are back! Strictly 2021 – Megan B

With the start of Autumn in my family, we know that it is nearly time for Strictly Come Dancing to start, and with the first 3 weeks underway I thought it was time to do a small review of each couple, and this year the competition is as fierce as ever. If you haven’t watched last Saturday’s show be careful of the spoilers! The judges were back with Craig Revel Horwood providing us with every reason for hating the routine, Shirley Ballas keeping her title as head judge, Motsi Mabuse bringing the energy to the judge panel and the new official judge Anton Du Beke after proving himself as a judge last year when filling in for Bruno Tonioli who couldn’t make it to England for the series. 3 weeks have now passed in Strictly so I think it’s time to introduce you to the events so far…

The Launch Show:

The glitter and the sparkles returned with the launch show and the vibrant professional dancers, as always, opened the show to a sparkling number to I Feel Love by Donna Summer. During the show the general public finally found out the couple pairings after much anticipation, yet this year things were a little different as every couple already knew their partner by the launch show, due to the start of their vigorous training – the only people left to be enlightened were the viewers at home.

However, the couples didn’t get to dance until the next Saturday where each couple performed one dance without fear of elimination as the public did not get to vote in week 1. It was evident throughout the show that each couple had worked hard on their routines but as always on Strictly, there is always room for improvement and Craig always has something to say! Each couple has now performed 2 styles of dance with many more to come but each couple and their dances are as follows…

Swimming Gold medalist Adam Peaty was coupled up with the energetic Katya Jones. They both performed the famously difficult Cha Cha Cha to Madcon’s Beggin’ as their first dance in week 1, and in week 2 their Quickstep received comments from Craig about how Adam appeared to have run away with the dance instead of dancing it to it’s proper speed – the Olympic speed kicked in on the wrong dance it seems!
British TV presenter Aj Odudu and Kai Widdrington were coupled up in the launch show and performed an outstanding Jive in week 1 and went on to perform another amazing Foxtrot in week 2, making her a firm favourite to carry on through the series.
Most of the nation already knew this man’s face from the outset of Strictly, after presenting BBC Breakfast most days, which put extra pressure on Dan Walker and his partner Nadiya Bychkova to perform to the best of their ability. Their Quickstep in week 1 raised a few eyebrows yet there was an immense improvement in his Paso Doble in week 2.
This Sense and Sensibility movie star Greg Wise was partnered with the longest running celebrity on the show, Karen Hauer. His elegance and grace was obvious from the beginning in their American Smooth with Emma Thompson his wife crying in the audience, and their Couple’s Choice in week 2 was received just as highly by the judges.
You might recognise Judi Love from Loose Women, who was partnered with Graziano Di Prima and despite some hesitancy from the audience about their dance their American Smooth was received quite highly in week 1 and their Samba in week 2 provided everyone with much needed energy.
Soap star Katie McGlynn was paired with Gorka Marquez and their Tango in week 1 brought a new fierceness to the dance floor, yet their Jive in week 2 caused them to be placed into the bottom 2 of the leaderboard – being faced with the challenge of dancing a second time around. However they managed to win the judges’ votes to stay in the competition.
CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson brought the energy to the dancefloor with Nancy Xu as she takes on her first series as a professional dancer in a couple, and their Viennese Waltz in week 1 brought a newfound beauty to the dance. In week 2, their Cha Cha Cha brought a lot more energy to the dance floor meaning they knew they were safely through to week 3.
Comedian Robert Webb was partnered up with Dianne Buswell, who won in 2018 with Joe Sugg. Their first dance in week 1 was a vibrant Cha Cha Cha in red costumes that made Robert Webb look very similar to Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid with little effort at all. However, their feisty Paso Doble in week 2 still meant that they would dance into movie week.
Actress and Comedian Nina Wadia and Neil Jones performed a Samba in week 1 which unfortunately the judges did not automatically like and her performance in week 2 with their Tango meant that they were in the dance off with Katie McGlynn and voted off of the show by the judges.
Soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis finds learning the dance harder than some of the other couples due to being deaf. However, her partner Giovanni Pernice does not hold back and their week 1 dance to the Jive proved that Rose is a natural dancer, and her Salsa in week 2 again proved just that.
Dancing is a bit different for Entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den businesswoman Sara Davies who is partnered with Aljaž Škorjanec and their week 1 Cha Cha Cha did not look promising for the couple yet their Foxtrot in week 2 proved everyone wrong as it meant they moved to the top of the leaderboard.
Social media star and daughter of Gordon Ramsay, Tilly Ramsay was partnered up with Nikita Kuzmin one of the new professionals. Their Waltz in week 1 was beautiful and elegant whilst their Charleston was far more energetic, and both dances earned them some high scores from the judges.
McFly Singer Tom Fletcher was partnered with Amy Dowden and their week 1 Cha Cha Cha was unfortunately the only dance we got to see as the couple had to go into isolation after the first show, but we hope to see them dance next week!
English Rugby player Ugo Monye was partnered with Oti Mabuse and their Samba in week 1 received good scores from their judges and again in week 2 their Quickstep also received similar treatment with most of the comforts being positive.
I have to say that John Waite and Johannes Radebe are by far my favourite couple of the series. Their week 1 Tango received mainly positive comments from the judges and John Waite’s natural abilities were evident in their week 2 `Cha Cha Cha.

After the two shows I can finally say that all of these couples brought their A-game to the dance floor and aimed to be the best with some astonishing improvements with each week despite room for larger improvements in the coming weeks. The return of Strictly has been emotional for some and the die-hard fans will know that sometimes the show brings light to even the most darkest of times and proves that life can carry on despite the current ongoing pandemic. If you enjoy Strictly Come Dancing as much as my family and I do then join the rest of the 7.9 million viewers around the country next Saturday night for movie night with themes from some of the most iconic movies in Hollywood.

I encourage you to comment your favourite dances below! Maybe even your favourite couple! Simply create an account and you can comment on every other Bubble Article from then on, including my fellow editors’ articles.

2 thoughts on “The sparkles are back! Strictly 2021 – Megan B

  • October 9, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Neil Jones was a professional Latin dancer before Strictly. His ballroom dancing was always a bit sketchy so having to do the tango so early in the series wasn’t a good thing for him with such a new celebrity. It certainly didn’t play to his strenghts and they paid the price.

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