Series 8 Launch Special: 11th September 2010
Welcome back to a brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing - and of course a brand new series of Strictly Come Bitching. We missed you, even if you didn't miss us. While the series proper doesn't kick off for another couple of weeks, we have still got the business of a "live" (in the same way that the Sunday results show is live) launch show in which the celebs are introduced to their professional partners. How exciting!
We open at BBC Television Centre in television's trendy London, which is still standing even though the Conservatives are in power now. There is a red carpet set up around the entrance to "the donut" (as the employees call the circular part of the building - see, you wouldn't get this kind of insider information on lesser websites) as this year's previously-announced celebrities arrive to greet their public, the men all looking vaguely uncomfortable at wearing so many sequins, and the women all praying internally that they don't get paired with James or Anton. We see Felicity Kendal! Paul Daniels! Tina O'Brien! Scott Maslen! Michelle Williams! (This one, just to clarify, not that one.) Goldie! This one, just to clarify, not that one.) Alesha! Len and Craig! Gavin Henson! Kara Tointon! Felicity Kendal again! Matt Baker! Bruno (and Alesha again)! Paul Daniels again! Jimi Mistry! Peter Shilton! Patsy Kensit! Vincent and Flavia! Michelle Williams again! Paul Daniels again! Bruce and Tess! Pamela Stephenson! Ann Widdecombe! Who closes her eyes when she talks, which is probably going to feel quite weird for the next few months! Well, after all that excitement, I need calming down. It's such a shame I've got to recap The X Factor after this.
This is Strictly Come Dancing! Not live, of course, and also without any opening titles, since presumably they would rather spoil the unveiling of the couplings, which is the entire point of tonight's episode. So instead we cut straight to the studio, where the professional dancers are performing a routine to Pixie Lott's 'Boys and Girls', which is this year's 'Girls' in terms of up-tempo songs that mention a gender of some sort and are therefore destined to be played on every reality show from now until the end of time. If this set-up is anything to go by, the usual suspects are still together for their pro pairings (Anton & Erin, James & Ola, Vincent & Flavia) and the rest have been split up thusly: Jared & Aliona, Artem & Katya, Robin & Kristina, and Brendan & Natalie. I'm already finding it very hard to tell Robin and Artem apart from a distance, so I suspect the pro-dances this year are going to be a recapper's dream. [Unless they both work shirtless. Just for the sake of clarity, you understand. Artem has tattoos. Yum. - Carrie] The Strictly singers, by the way, are still as atonal as ever. The studio's had a bit of a spruce too, with a funky little platform suspended over the band, linking the two staircases. I rather hope that might feature in a few routines.
The dancers strike a final pose, and then Bruce and Tess are revealed from behind them. In our first "dear God, Tess Daly, what is that you're wearing?" of the year, she's got this strange red concoction on that seems to involve a giant ruched crumb catcher that covers her entire torso, entirely flattening her tits and therefore making it look like she accidentally put her head on backwards. Ah, Tess's outfits. I think I missed you most of all. [I thought she looked all right, actually. It definitely wasn't one of her worst. - Carrie] Bruce welcomes us to this very special Strictly Come Dancing, where it is nice to see us, to see us nice, and Tess references the opening routine, which was choreographed by Matthew Cutler. And indeed we see Matthew, sitting in the audience, with the guy sitting next to him giving him a rather hilarious side-eye, and there's a general air of "oh, sorry you got axed, by the way" awkwardness hanging over the proceedings. Bruce and Tess admire the new set and the new dancefloor with a couple of obligatory tired jokes, and Tess tells us excitedly that "for the first time in Strictly history" the celebs will be paired up with their partners in the studio. There will also be a giant group number at the end, which Bruce notes will "give...all the bookmakers something to talk about". Indeed. Although I'm never putting a wager on again after the Who Killed Archie? fiasco that left me £40 in the hole and feeling entirely conned. Stacey Slater? STACEY SLATER? Worraloadofoldshit.
It's now time to meet the stars of the show: EastEnders' Scott Maslen. Grammy Award winner Michelle Williams. (And it's not that I don't love Michelle, but doesn't everyone in America have like three Grammy Awards? Don't they give out an award for "best cup of coffee delivered to the studio during the recording of a Billboard Top 200 album" or something?) Football legend Peter Shilton. Screen siren Patsy Kensit. Countryfile's Matt Baker. Actress Tina O'Brien. Magician Paul Daniels. Funny girl and psychologist Dr Pamela Stephenson. (Although I swear it sounded like Tess introduced her as a "bunny girl". Maybe we'll get Kendra Wilkinson next year.) Movie actor Jimi Mistry. Model and soap star Kara Tointon. (Why does Tina O'Brien get to be an "actress" but poor Kara gets relegated to "soap star"? That seems rather unfair.) DJ and music producer Goldie. The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe (who seems to be having a fair bit of trouble just walking down the stairs, so this should be interesting). Rugby international Gavin Henson. And star of stage and screen Felicity Kendal. So, if the introductions on reality shows are anything to go by, Felicity Kendal operates in the exact same sphere of celebrity as Hayley Tamaddon. Doesn't that seem odd to you? The celebs indulge in their usual arrhythmic clapping. Michelle Williams is clearly having the time of her life already, bless her.
Bruce: "There they are, and I'm sure they're all thinking the same thing. 'I hope I don't get Anton.'" Hee! Tess informs us that the celebs will go into training with their professional partners first thing on Monday morning, and that tonight there will be phone votes, no judges' scoring, and no point. That last bit might've just been me. Bruce introduces the judges: back by public demand Bruno Toniolo (whose name Bruce gets wrong), back by public demand Alesha Dixon (at which point thousands of sneering internet posters simultaneously screeched "UGH I DID NOT DEMAND HER BACK HOW DARE YOU ATTEMPT TO SPEAK FOR ME MY OPINION IS PRECIOUS AND SPARKLY AND NOT TO BE PURLOINED FOR YOUR NARRATIVE PURPOSES"), back by public demand Len Goodman (at which point I fell off my high horse and screeched "UGH I DID NOT DEMAND HIM BACK HOW DARE YOU ATTEMPT TO SPEAK FOR ME MY OPINION IS PRECIOUS AND SPARKLY AND NOT TO BE PURLOINED FOR YOUR NARRATIVE PURPOSES") and "hello Craig". Craig gets the biggest cheer, of course. Bruce asks Len what he thinks of this year's line-up. Len thinks this is the best one ever. Of course, Len says that every year. Len once said that Lisa Snowdon is the best celebrity never to have won the series. Len's opinion is moo. Although it is a pretty good line-up, I'll admit. Len is excited that one or two are older than he is. Alesha is asked what she's looking forward to. Alesha is looking forward to everything, especially the professional dancers "and hopefully finding a genuine talent this year that's going to blow us all away." Somewhere, Chris Hollins is all "...ouch." Bruno says that he is bursting at the seams already, and there's something for everyone this year. He tells "Annie" that he's very excited to see her rumba. I'm already wary of the amount of jokes this year that are going to revolve around how old and slow and overweight Ann Widdecombe is. Craig is also looking forward to Widdy, and is very excited that the show has its first politician this year. He's also the only one who brings our attention to the new professional dance troupe that we'll be seeing later.
Tess tells us that the first night's show will involve either a waltz or a cha cha cha, and from there it's time to pair up the first three celebrities: Scott, Matt and Peter. In a VT, we see Peter's lovely hair from the eighties, and Peter tells us that he holds the most caps for England, and he's already lost me, though I'm sure Carrie can enlighten me later. [Most appearances, sweetie. They get given "caps" - actual velvety caps - for each game they play. - Carrie] Peter thinks that football and dancing are very similar, because they both require co-ordination, quick thinking, and lightness on your feet. And fantastic legs, though he neglects to mention this. [Oh. I thought it was baseball and dancing that were, like, the same game? - Carrie] Matt has been presenting programmes for the past eleven years. He tells us that he was sad to leave Blue Peter but he's having a ball on Countryfile. He says that he has "an incredible ability to be remarkably cheesy", which is a prime contender for the understatement of the night. He's a big ol' slab of Stinking Bishop, is Matt. He warns his partner that she'll have to spend a lot of time on location getting muddy. Scott won a British Soap Award for sexiest male, though we all know that those awards are idiotic and meaningless. The Inside Soap awards are the real deal. Scott, sporting a rather nice powder blue suit, says that he enjoys playing Jack Branning, but sometimes realises in the more physical scenes that he's not as fit as he used to be. The scheduling over the next couple of months will be challenging, he reckons (and I've learned in my day job that everything to do with scheduling at the BBC is deeply, deeply challenging) but he's excited all the same.
Back in the studio, Scott's standing next to Bruce, who asks Scott if he's still the Walford romeo. He attempts to be humble about it, but the wolf whistles and shouts of "woooooarrrggh gerremoff!" from the audience outvote him. The seven female pros are lined up. "Have a look along that line," Bruce encourages. "Fancy anyone?" This is all getting a little bit Blind Date, isn't it? Scott's dancing partner is...Natalie Lowe! She dances over to him, and Scott goes in for a peck on the lips, prompting Natalie to pull what I'm sure will be the first of many Epic Natalie Lowe Faces this year and kiss him on the cheek instead. Hee. I heart Natalie. They do a practice hold, and Scott tries not to look at her tits. Bruce tells them to go off and "get the feel of one another". I think it's too late for that, Bruce. Matt's next, and Bruce asks him if he's wiped his shoes. Matt will be paired with...Aliona Vilani! Which is great for me, as I predicted they'd be paired together. Aliona seems pleased, and Matt's delighted. And I'm sure Matt's gymnastics background will work well with all those cartwheels Aliona will put into the choreography. Finally Peter, who's someone Bruce has always admired, and they swap footballing stories. Peter is paired with...Erin Boag! This'll be another year when Erin won't win, then.
Bruce asks the judges what they think of the first three couples. Len thinks Erin did a great job with Peter Schmeichel, another goalkeeper, so he thinks she'll do another great job. Bruce throws to Tess, who is...somewhere else! Why, yes, she's up in a "tower" at the other end of the studio, meaning that the House of Tesstosterone may have to be renamed the Balcony of Tesstosterone or something. I dunno, I can't just come up with these things on the fly - leave it with me. Anyway, if you saw the last season of Dancing With The Stars, Tess's new domain is not entirely dissimilar to what Tom Bergeron rather clunkily called the "Celebaquarium", though mercifully Kate Gosselin is nowhere to be seen. Tess is very excited about her new domain, and also (shocker) about this year's three new male dancers.
Which brings us to another VT, in which Artem, Jared and Robin introduce themselves. Artem is from Russia, and presumes he's the new Strictly hunk. I think Paul Daniels will have something to say about that. Robin thinks he doesn't look like a traditional ballroom dancer, but looks can be deceiving. Jared wipes some lingering amniotic fluid off his forehead and tells us that he's our new American boy. Artem has danced all over the world, and is excited to be here. Robin thinks it's about time the boys on the show had some serious competition, and that's him. Jared thinks that some of the other Strictly dancers could be his dad (judging by the chin, it'd have to be Anton, which would presumably make Bruce his long-lost grandpa) but that he's still a force to be reckoned with. Jared's lists of accomplishments include "US youth Latin champion, US swingdance champion, High School Musical, Glee: The Tour, and Ashley Tisdale." I may have added that last bit. Artem thinks they all have something different and they can't wait to bring it.
Back in the studio, the new boys have got their capes out and are dancing to 'Live And Let Die'. Jared seems to be having a bit of trouble controlling his, but let's be honest: he's so young and wee and precious and skinny that Artem and Robin could use him as a cape. Actually, Jared looks a bit like he's struggling to keep up with the other two, which makes me wonder how he's going to fare over the competition as a whole, and whether that'll have any effect on his celebrity partner, though perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
Following that, it's time to pair off three of the female celebs: Michelle, Pamela and Tina. Tess says that Tina has gone from a girl-next-door into "one of the sexiest women in the world". No disrespect to Tina or anything, but I would rather like Tess to cite her sources on that one. Tina runs through her Corrie storylines: pregnant at 13, kidnapped, driven into a canal and nearly killed. By the first celeb to be eliminated from Strictly series five, as it happens. Also, she neglects to mention that time her boyfriend decided he fancied her brother more and then their mums had a fight on the cobbles in their dressing gowns. (I strongly recommend you watch that video if only for the line "oh, here's the rest of the Village People.") Tina last danced on a night out with the girls in Marbella, and is looking forward to meeting her pro, as long as they get on. Pamela shot to fame in Not The Nine O'Clock News where she met her husband, Billy Connolly. Billy says that Pamela is very intense, "verging on the wild and savage", though Pamela claims not to recognise that aspect of her personality. She's looking forward to Strictly as a chance to let go, and hopes she gets a pro with a sense of humour. Michelle was in Destiny's Child, and the editors have their work cut out trying to find pictures of her where someone hadn't shoved her in the background out of Beyoncé's way. Michelle tells us that she's now a solo artist, and is anticipating the mumblings about how she already knows how to dance. She then bops her arms in front of her a bit and says "nooooo". She's never done ballroom: "I may very well suck. We'll see!"
Michelle is with Tess, and shakes her bootylicious booty. Tess informs us that Michelle just whispered to her "if this is a dating show, can I have all of them?" Normally I would suspect that was just a bit they'd scripted, but judging by Michelle's behaviour on the rest of the show, I don't doubt it for a second. "Shall we meet your man?" Tess asks. Michelle's response? "Yes, yes. BRING 'EM TO MAMA!" And that was pretty much the point where I fell in love with Michelle Williams as a contestant and vowed to powervote and keep her in as long as I possibly can. Michelle is paired with...Brendan Cole! They're both excited to get each other, and I have high hopes for them as a pair. Tess reminds us that Brendan is a former champion, even though that happened in series one when this was an entirely different show. They run off and Brendan carries her up the stairs to the Balcony of Tesstosterone. [My favourites so far. - Carrie] Pamela's next, and Tess asks if she'll be using her psychoanalyst skills on her partner, and Pamela's all "...I hope I won't have to?" I mean, seriously. She wants someone with a sense of humour, and she's got...James Jordan! Oh, bad luck, then. James lifts her into the air and Pamela wraps her legs around his waist. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that Pamela might be secretly quite good, but I'm not sure why. James thinks she was looking great in training, and Pamela hopes James doesn't think he's drawn the short straw, being all gross and coy and coquettish. Come on, Pamela, you're a grown woman. There's no need for that. Tina has been struggling with the group dance rehearsals, and is a bit worried. She wants a partner who's a good teacher and also patient. She's partnered with...Jared Murillo! Tina looks very relieved. Jared tells her he's definitely got patience because he's got six brothers and sisters. And three moms. And that will be the absolute last polygyny joke I make, I swear.
Bruno is very excited about these three couples - he thinks Brendan in particular looked like a cat who'd got the cream. "Be careful not to spill it, Brendan!" he hoots. Bruno also says that he goes back a long way with Pamela, and he knows that she'll surprise us. And he calls Tina "Tina the Head-Turner". See what he did there? [This was also Bruno's first wheeling-out of a list of unrelated words in response to a question of the series. - Carrie]
Time for a group performance preview. It's being choreographed by Karen Bruce, aka Giant Lady, who thinks it will be one of the most terrifying days of their life. Widdy limbers up on a balance beam. Kara wonders if they will have a whip to get strict. I wouldn't put it past Giant Lady, quite frankly. Tina thinks she's stumbled into Fame. Or possibly just into fame. Jimi is a bit starstruck by Peter, Tina is a bit starstruck by Michelle. Kara is sizing up her potential partners. Paul Daniels tries out some magic tricks on Michelle, but James Jordan is not impressed. Giant Lady is hoping they all look upon it as a challenge. Widdy thinks it is too noisy and confusing. Heaven help her if she ever tries to watch a Michael Bay movie. Jimi is alarmed by the demands of the choreography. Ola, Erin and Natalie tell us in unison that Gavin is "very shy". Erin says that some of the celebs are "very competitive". Goldie tries to stake a claim to getting Ola as his pro partner. Patsy steps on Brendan's foot. Giant Lady sees some signs of progress. Tina thinks if it works, it'll look amazing.
Everyone's up on the Balcony of Tesstosterone. Tess asks Goldie if he found his ideal partner, and he admits he found "a few of them". Ann is asked if she found the first steps enjoyable; she did not, but she thinks that people will enjoy watching her if they like a good laugh. Ann refers to herself as "the pantomime act", and Tess says that she's a very welcome member of the group. Everyone applauds, and Michelle screams "WE LOVE YOU ANN!" from just off-camera. Seriously: Team Michelle.
Time for some more pairing up. Paul, Patsy and Goldie. Goldie says that music opened a lot of doors, including getting him into a Bond movie. Then he did Maestro, and surprised middle-class white people across the land by being skilled in the domain of classical music. Goldie says that for all he's achieved over the years, being on Strictly is the thing he's most excited about. Patsy talks about making movies in her teens, and talks fondly about knowing Mel Gibson back in the days before everyone knew what an enormous douche he is. She hasn't danced in a long time, so whoever gets her will have their work cut out. However, she promises to try her best, however that works out. She just doesn't want to embarrass her kids. Paul is "mostly known for being an international sex symbol and body builder, doing magic on the side." He is under no illusion about his ability to dance, and wonders what he's doing here.
Paul's been in the business for 40 years. "So you're just a beginner?" says Bruce. Time to find out who will be the magician's assistant. It's...Ola Jordan! Ola tries and fails to look convincingly excited. Bruce asks Paul what he thinks, and Paul thanks Bruce in Polish. Hmm - does he just happen to know that, or is there some TV FAKERY going on here? Paul has met Ola several times during training and thinks she's fantastic. "And she's last year's champion, don't forget that," Bruce reminds him, to which Paul responds, "was she?" HA! Someone's just here for the cheques, then. The Lovely Debbie McGee applauds from the audience. Patsy Kensit is next, and she's paired with...Robin Windsor, who shimmies his way over to her. Now, several people speculated on Twitter as soon as this was announced that he would be her next husband or the father of her next child, and...well, I'm thinking that if it's the latter, then there'll need to be a turkey baster involved. 'S all I'm saying. Patsy thinks they're going to have fun, and Robin makes porny faces at her. I think he'll be doing that a lot. Bruce summons up Goldie, and expresses his relief because he was "expecting the Blue Peter dog". And he's paired with...Kristina Rihanoff! Kristina looks relieved that after three years of trying, they've finally given her a partner with rhythm.
Bruce asks Craig for his thoughts, and Craig suspects Ola will need more than magic to assist Paul Daniels. He hopes Patsy is good at her Latin, because Robin is a Latin master. Finally, he says that Goldie will need to watch Kristina's footwork "because we all saw what happened last year". No one quite knows how to respond to this, as the audience half-gasps and half-chuckles, while Kristina mugs gamely for the cameras and Joe Calzaghe makes threatening gestures from the audience.
Tess is on the stairs, and welcomes back the professional dancers, who are performing a routine to 'Two Tribes', which involves Vincent and Flavia being flown in awkwardly from the ceiling and looking a bit like they're in an incredibly low-budget remake of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It's a bit of an odd routine, though it makes me think that Kristina and Robin are going to be a very well-matched couple. Oh, and since it's a generalised Latin number, no surprises that Anton looks rather lost at several points throughout. [Srsly. Even the bits where he just had to stand there. - Carrie]
The audience are on their feet, and I realise that Alesha's dress is entirely bizarre in the area surrounding her waist. It really is a dress that better suits being sat behind a desk. Bruce informs us that Future Head Judge Karen Hardy choreographed/can be blamed for that routine, and then it's time to pair up three more celebs: Kara, Jimi and Gavin. Gavin talks nervously about his grooming habits, and hopes that people know him best for playing rugby. I imagine they'd be far more likely to know him for playing rugby if he ever, y'know, actually played rugby. He mentions cagily that he's got "a lot of stressful things going on in my life at the moment" (shots of tabloid headlines featuring him and Our Char), so he thought that learning a new skill might take his mind off things. [I...quite feel sorry for him now. - Carrie] Gavin is excited about the beautiful dancers touching him. But enough about Anton. Jimi talks about being in the movies, and tries to play down his dancing experience on screen, particularly the "iconic" disco scene from East Is East (I want to like you, Jimi, and I'm pretty close, but your careless banding around of words like "iconic" could be a dealbreaker, so tread carefully). He feels that he has rhythm anyway, and cackles. Kara loved being in EastEnders, and is hoping to have fun. She reminds us that she did the one-night-only Sport Relief edition of Strictly, where she did a samba with Mark Ramprakash, and "looked like a chicken". Hence her aim for this series is "to not look like a chicken". Seems fair enough.
Kara's with Tess, and admits to feeling "a bit hypnotised by it all". Tess tells her she looks "nothing like chicken tonight." Or possibly nothing like Chicken Tonight. Kara is paired with...Artem Chigvintsev! Artem knee-slides across the room to her. Kara is happy, and Artem is a man of few words. Jimi and Gavin join Tess, and Gavin looks incredibly uncomfortable already. Tess tells them that there are only two female pro dancers left, but at least that means "there's one each". Sorry Tess, but they've already replaced Carol Vorderman on Countdown, so your attempts to wow us with your mathematics skills are somewhat tardy. Tess tells Jimi that he's bringing a bit of Hollywood glamour to the show, and Jimi's reaction is equal parts "I'm just a jobbing actor really" and "keep saying that Hollywood stuff, OH YEAH", which I guess is the only way you can really respond to that sort of thing. Jimi says that the last few days have been the most fun he's ever had on anything. Gavin folds his arms and looks uncomfortable, again, some more. Jimi is paired with...Flavia Cacace! Which means Gavin's paired with Katya Virshilas, meaning that they can both stand around looking bored and uncomfortable together! Handy. Tess reminds Gavin that rugby players tend to do well on this show, like Matt Dawson and Austin Healey (and Martin Offiah, but it's not like anyone ever remembers series one), and Gavin gets self-conscious about the pressure. Tess notes that Gavin has got bigger guns than Austin Healey. Oh good - can't wait for the progression of that little narrative arc over the series.
Tess asks Alesha's who's in with a chance, and Alesha's all "well, nobody's danced yet, so we can't really tell, can we?" But she's very impressed with the couplings. Tess reminds us that Jimi said he's got the moves. Cut to a shot of Jimi, looking all "me and my big mouth".
Back to Bruce, who introduces the professional dance troupe, who will be doing a jive-quickstep to 'Ballroom Blitz'. I am so beyond excited to see Ian Waite again, I can't even tell you. The newbies, whose names are *consults press release* Tanya Perera, Shem Jacobs, Ania Piotrowska, and Crystal Main (best name ever), seem like great additions to the show, and I'm quite looking forward to seeing what they're going to be bringing us over the rest of the series.
Time to pair up the final two celebrities, "the Right Honourable Ann Widdecombe and the right tasty Felicity Kendal". Don't look at me, I'm just transcribing this stuff. Tess's voiceover describes Ann as "the no-nonsense ex-Tory politician", which rather makes it sound like Ann isn't a Tory any more, which I suspect she is. Ann says that criticism is part and parcel of everyday life when you're a politician, and veritably scoffs at the idea that anyone's mocking of her dancing will ruin her life. Felicity admits that she grows her own vegetables. "I don't know the names of anything, but what I put in grows, so it must work." Heh. She says that this is the first time she's doing something that's just her, and she won't have to learn any lines. She also hints that she has a dark side which might come out. I can't wait.
In the studio, Anton and Vincent are making kissy faces at Felicity and Ann. They're such hams. Felicity is paired with...Vincent Simone! Thank fuck for that - if they'd given her Anton, I might have actually shot someone. Plus, I actually predicted Ann & Anton and Felicity & Vincent as couples, which gives me a grand total of...three out of fourteen. Well, that's not bad, is it? Vincent dances over to Felicity, and Ann starts to walk over towards Anton before Bruce is all "no, dear!" and manhandles her back into position for him to officially announce that Ann will be forming a coalition with Anton. Felicity is very handy to be with Vincent, who Tess refers to as her "pocket rocket", prompting Felicity to cackle, because she's obviously got a filthy mind. Love her! Vincent calls Felicity his "bellissima". Bruce asks Ann how she feels about being paired with Anton. "Absolutely terrific," Ann replies. "I've always wanted him." And everyone laughs again, until Ann clarifies that he's her "ideal dancing partner", since she's this year's designated pedant. Bruce tells Ann that she's her favourite, and we all laugh at the mad old lady some more.
Len's asked for some final words on the pairings, and Len replies that "it's never too early to start panicking on this show." He thinks some couples that potentially stand out for all the right reasons, and some who do so for the wrong reasons. Alesha reasons that they'll be feeling nervous, but she thinks they'll all have the time of their lives. Bruno's asked who might be "the surprising package". Gavin Henson, if the news reports are anything to go by. Also, I hate that I had to google "gavin henson erection" to find that link. I'm probably being entered onto a sex offenders register as we speak. (And before you ask: yes, I did click on the images tab out of curiosity, and no, there wasn't.) Bruno thinks the personalities, and the artists they have got on the show, as he's worked with them in the past. Presumably the pro dancers, rather than the celebrities, unless they're those OMG RINGERS that Digital Spy posters keep boring on about. Tess asks Craig if she's sharpened his claws. Craig: "No, but I put my tongue in for a service, darling." Snerk.
Group dance time! They're dancing to the Shirley Bassey version of 'Get The Party Started'. Unfortunately, the camera tends to cut so quickly between the couples that it's quite hard to see who's good and who isn't, but I can confirm that Gavin Henson already looks mortified by the entire thing, that Ann is surprisingly game, that Pamela's quite nimble, Kara's a little hesitant, Jimi and Felicity have got some good moves, and Michelle is still having the time of her life. Curiously, this pre-choreographed number all ends with the dancers in their correct couples. Coincidence? I'm saying nothing. [It's not like it was a complex end to the routine, Steven. The celebs would have had their marks set out, and the pros would have just learnt the separate bits. - Carrie]
They make it through and streamers erupt from the ceiling. Bruce says that he thought he was going to have to say it was seriously bad, "but actually it was seriously quite good". High praise indeed! The live shows start on Friday October 1st, and we'll be back to walk you through it as always. See you then!