You’re a natural dancer… fantastic groove’: Strictly Come Dancing’s Caroline Flack dazzles the judges but EastEnders’ Jake Wood takes early lead
She may have been the first to take to the floor in the series 12 opener of Strictly Come Dancing on Friday, but that certainly didn’t have an impact on Caroline Flack and her impressive Cha Cha.
The TV presenter wowed in a gold, fringed dress as she performed an upbeat routine to Can You Feel It? alongside professional partner Pasha Kovalev.
Despite the 34-year-old being told she was a ‘natural dancer’, it was fellow competitor Jake Wood who went straight to the top of the leaderboard with an astonishing 28 points.
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Shake it! Caroline Flack was the first to hit the dancefloor with an upbeat Cha Cha to Can You Feel It? by The Jacksons
Spinning around: Despite the 34-year-old being told she was a ‘natural dancer’, it was fellow competitor Jake Wood who went straight to the top of the leaderboard
The first live show, however nerve-racking for the stars, saved them from a public vote and scores were instead carried forward until next weekend.
After Caroline’s routine, she faced the first grilling of the new season by the judges, however escaped without too much criticism.
Head judge Len Goodman told her: ‘You were fizzy and effervescent. There was one little mistake, but that was terrific.’
Strictly Come Dancing’s Caroline Flack dazzles the judges
Bruno Tonioli commented: ‘You were a flash of gold. I have to say your arms are very expressive -your my kind of girl. Great debut… Very promising.’
Craig Revel Horwood added: ‘You had musicality and rhythm. You’ve got into a fantastic groove. Some of your lines need a little bit more finesse, but you did a fantastic job.’
Meanwhile Darcey Bussell said she was a ‘natural dancer’. She scored a six from Craig and three sevens, totaling 27 overall.
On a high: The EastEnders actor and his partner Janette Manrara were awarded an astonishing 28 points on the night
Fast-paced: Wowing in a fringed gold dress, the TV presenter proved to be an impressive start to the show
‘Fantastic groove’: Darcey Bussell told Caroline she was a ‘natural dancer’
It was a passionate routine for Jake Wood and Janette Manrara, who performed a Tango to Toxic by Britney Spears.
The former EastEnders actor – who got a standing ovation afterwards – escaped the glitz in a black suit and green tie, before being told by Craig: ‘I’m impressed actually. Strong frame… you took the lead and it was full of intent. One to watch.’
Darcy commented: ‘It was cool. You looked so comfortable. I was shocked by the drama’, while Bruno added: ‘You are a brute aren’t you. Strong, tough… see you next week.’
Before adding: ‘I would like to see your softer side.’
It was sevens from all the judges, giving him the highest score of the night by just one point.
Joint second: The brunette beauty scored a six from Craig and three sevens, totaling 27 overall
Keeping close: It was a passionate routine for Jake Wood, who performed a Tango to Toxic by Britney Spears
A kiss on the cheek: The star escaped most of the glitz in a black suit and green tie
‘One to watch’: Craig told Jake: ‘I’m impressed. Strong frame… you took the lead and it was full of intent’
Meanwhile, second to dance was Tim Wonnacott, who started off from behind an auctioneer’s before also taking on the Cha Cha to Shop Around by Captain and Tennille.
The 61-year-old appeared to have enjoyed the routine, but Bruno was unable to stop laughing afterwards. He said: ‘I have to appreciate your confidence. You embraced the camp-ness. Your technique is difficult to define… it’s very personal.’
Craig commented: ‘I didn’t enjoy it. It looked like you were wearing a soiled nappy. It was all getting a bit Julian Clary.’
Darcey told the Bargain Hunt regular: ‘That was so entertaining. It was cheeky, fun and surprisingly… entertaining’, while Len said: ‘Your footwork wasn’t too clever, but your feet are a long way from your heart. You came full with personality so well done to you.’
He was given a three by Craig, and fives from the other judges, totaling 18 overall.
Back to the day job! Tim Wonnacott started off from behind an auctioneer’s stand, giving things a humorous twist
Giving it his all! The 61-year-old appeared to have enjoyed the routine, but Bruno was unable to stop laughing afterwards
Three, Five, Five, Five: Len told the Bargain Hunt star that the routine was full of personality
It was a much more serene affair for Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke, who Waltzed to Mull Of Kintyre by Wings.
Dressed in sparkly plaid, the star was told that her nerves were coming through a little too much by Darcey. ‘You shook a little bit all the way through’, she said.
Len, who joked that he’d seen a little too much of Anton thanks to his kilt, told him: ‘This is a very difficult dance to do, and I thought you did very well.’
Craig was far from pleasant at first, saying: ‘I thought you were dragging Judy around. Your arms need serious attention. Your posture is appalling. You came out and gave it a go, so well done.’
Mother of Tennis ace Andy received a three from Craig, a four from Darcey, a six from Len and a five from Bruno, placing her second from the bottom.
Plaid: It was a much more serene affair for Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke, who Waltzed to Mull Of Kintyre by Wings
Nervous: The sporty star was told that her nerves were coming through a little too much by Darcey
Mixed bag: Mother of Tennis ace Andy received a three from Craig, a four from Darcey, a six from Len and a five from Bruno, placing her second from the bottom
Scott Mills – who was dressed in a sparkly red top – danced the Cha Cha to a very apt Rock DJ by Robbie Williams with partner Joanne Clifton.
The Radio 1 presenter – who said he found the whole thing really stressful – certainly didn’t rock Len’s world on the night. He said: ‘Your footwork was poor… there was no rhythm. But you came out and you entertained everyone.’
Bruno said: ‘You’ve got the club vibe going but it didn’t travel down to the feet’, while Darcey said: ‘You came out and sold it.’
Craig was by the far the most cruel, telling Scott: ‘The zimmerframe has more movement then what I saw there. You were lifting your knees sky high as if you were having a tantrum. Not a dance for you.’
He gave him a miserable two points, while Darcey awarded a four, and Len and Bruno a five. He got a total of 16, placing him at the bottom of the leaderboard.
Bottom: Scott Mills – dressed in a sparkly red top – danced the Cha Cha to Rock DJ by Robbie Williams with partner Joanne Clifton
In sync: The Radio 1 presenter said he found the whole evening really stressful to host Tess Daly
Keeping is head up! Craig was by the far the most cruel, telling Scott: ‘The zimmerframe has more movement then what I saw there’
Pixie Lott was the final celebrity to dance on the night with new pro Trent Whiddon, who danced the Jive to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off.
Bruno told the singer: ‘I was loving the 60s look. Great performance and another great debut’, while Craig said: ‘I really enjoyed it. The time and energy was great. There was a slight hesitation, but it was great.
The swinging 60s: Pixie Lott was the final celebrity to dance on the night with new pro Trent Whiddon
Lively: The blonde pair danced the Jive to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off
The leggy-look: Bruno told the singer: ‘Great performance and another great debut’
Joint second: The 23-year-old was awarded sevens from Craig, Len and Bruno as well as a six from Darcey
Darcey added: ‘Wonderful energy and action especially in the upper body. You have so much ability but you could have sold it a little more too me. You are very exciting.’
She was awarded sevens from Craig, Len and Bruno as well as a six from Darcey, giving her 27 points and placing her joint second with Caroline.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturday night at 7pm.
Freak Friday: Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly wore outfits that their co-host would normally be seen in
First night: Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturday night at 7pm
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