It’s that time of year again, when fifteen new celebrities take to the dancefloor in a bid to lift that coveted Glitterball trophy. Adorned in sequins, the contestants will Tango, Twist, Samba and Salsa into the nation’s hearts every Saturday night.
The series began with a launch last night (Saturday 5th) where the celebrities were paired up to the professional dancers.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that you had switched over to a new soap opera on ‘Strictly Street’ as the launch began with Tess and Claudia waking up to a hilarious Len Goodman-themed alarm clock, which, of course, bellows “Seven!” to ensure that our hosts are up and ready for the new series. The cutesy breakfast routine with the pro dancers was a nice touch, before they- quite literally- started Dancing in the Street.
To the studio, and if the entrance is anything to go by, the show is set to be bigger and bolder than ever. The professionals Latin dance to a Dave Arch rendition of Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Let’s Get Loud’ before the judges appear on the dancefloor to ‘Uptown Funk’.
Meet the Contestants…
Stricly Come Dancing / BBC
Ready, Steady, Dance: TV chef Ainsley Harriot and Natalie Lowe. The VT revealed Ainsley’s dancing in the kitchen, which was truly inspired.
Ainsley Harriott is 100% my winner #strictlycomedancing
— lucy (@LucyAnnDey) September 5, 2015
Going for Gold: Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas and Ola Jordan. Iwan is in the right competition, as he says dancing is something he has “always wanted to do”.
All Time High: The Wanted boyband member Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani. Jay admitted that he was a “bag of nerves”, but his choreography experience in a band could give him an advantage.
Why So Serious?: Jeremy Vine with Karen Clifton. Jeremy will swap radio for rumba as he gets ready to “stop dad-dancing and move like Jagger.”
Sure to deliver: ‘Call the Midwife’ star Helen George and Alijaz Skorjanec. Helen revealed that she may use her dogs to practice the routines.
Could she be a ballroom Superstar?: Jamelia with Tristan McManus. Jamelia wants to make her Strictly fan daughters proud with her performances.
Dancing in the (Coronation) Street: Actress Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice. Wanting to break away from the ‘child actress’ label, Georgia hopes that people will see the real her.
Anything good on the tele tonight?…… Oh wait! @bbcstrictly starts! Arrrrggghhh!!!!
— Georgia May Foote (@georgiafoote) September 5, 2015
Contestant, ready: Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher and former bad boy Brendan Cole. Having presented the Gladiators comeback, Kirsty is no stranger to competition.
He’s got a fighting chance: Anthony Ogogo and Otlile Mabuse. Anthony is “all about shaking the hips” and is not afraid of being covered head-to-toe in sequins.
Luck of the Irish: Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff. When Daniel is on the dancefloor, he is happy with “anything from ABBA”. You can expect a routine to ‘Dancing Queen’ from the legendary crooner (don’t argue with me- he is a legend) before the end of the series.
Well, Daniel, you bragged all your life about twirling folk around the floor, now let’s see what you’re made of #strictlycomedancing
— John Whaite (@JohnWhaiteBakes) September 5, 2015
Abs-tastic: ‘90s pop sensation-turned-TV presenter Peter Andre and Janette Manrara. Peter and his “hibernating abs” will bring some Insania moves to the floor.
Wellies to waltzes: Countryfile presenter Anita Rani and Russian newbie Gleb Savchenko. Anita says that what she lacks in talent, she makes up for in enthusiasm.
Ready for the drama: Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton. Kellie is looking forward to being able to perform as herself, and was apologetic in advance when Claudia Winkleman informed her that partner Kevin has never been in the weekly ‘Dance Off’.
Classic glamour: BBC Proms presenter Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke. Katie says she’s got some “secret moves” and will be taking the dancing “super seriously”.
Forecasting success: Presenter and “mum dancer” Carol Kirkwood is paired with the 2014 champion Pasha Kovalev.
— Charlotte Branson (@charliemush) September 5, 2015
The launch night
The pairing proceedings were interspersed with some live music. Chart sensation Jess Glynne performed ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’ (sound advice for this year’s contestants) and ‘Hold My Hand’, as the celebrities took to the floor for their group dance. The “organised chaos” group dance showcased who has got potential. Kirsty and Helen were the standout stars for the girls, while Iwan and Peter showed some promising rhythm.
The launch was the gift that kept on giving as Grammy award winning singer Gregory Porter brought some Hollywood glamour with ‘Putting on the Ritz’ while the pro dancers treated us to another routine.
One of the biggest shocks of the night is that Anton Du Beke was FINALLY paired with someone who, he noted, can actually dance the steps in the right order. Katie Derham might even accompany him at least half way through the series.
With popular celebrities, stunning professional dancers, and a lot of glitter, Strictly Come Dancing 2015 looks set to be truly spectacular.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Friday 25th September on BBC One. Tune in and let us know what you think!