Strictly 2023, Week 1, Main Show: The Gilded Crankset

She would like to speak with the manager.

This recap is dinosaur-shaped.


Whoever decided to open up the show proper with a dance that was in essence merely a montage of rejected Johanna Lindsey novel covers is my kind of evil genius (it was absolutely Katya, she has exactly 1 moodboard)

Fabio technically isn’t dead, but his career is (his last notable appearance was in a Trisha Paytas music video so… RIP.) and this is all the evidence I need to believe Nikita is him reincarnated. Although stealing the spotlight was forlorn coastal cello player, Michelle

she’ll play at weddings, corporate events, bar mitzvahs and extremely unsubtle rockpooling orgasms

meanwhile Nadiya was up on high ground like a wahler’s widow mourning the momentary death of her Strictly career

I’ll have your guts for garters Mushtuk – you did this to me. You took EVERYTHING from me, all those bird-legged men I suffered through in the hopes I’d get the ringer, now they only pay me in hair extensions and costume jewellery. YOU STILL CAN’T PULL FOCUS THOUGH CAN YOU?

You’ll always be the Skipper to my Barbie.

And of course, a shout out to the medium-sized castle ruin they managed to chuck into the back of the stage to keep the continuity between their location filming and studio sequence going

it’s like they never left Tantallon.
I do wish they could have kept it around, purely because it would have made Tess’s outfit make even less sense

I was very disappointed to learn that the undone tie was not in fact a pair of suspenders like some sort of sexy easy clean Magilla Gorilla situation

but it was a high benchmark to set for insane trousers nonetheless – she was however very quickly surpassed when Katya came out in her sexy circus strumpet leggings

I would say Vicky Gill was on one this evening, but there is no doubt in my mind that those came straight out of Katya’s own wardrobe – she’s been waiting YEARS to use them and finally the ferrets in the Strictly ball pit of ideas dropped *checks notes* “edgy Nirvana Freakshow Paso Doble” right into her lap.

I have nothing to say about the judges’ outfits – the duel of the nonsense pants kind of eclipsed everyone else.

Generic Soap Man Option 5 and Luba Mushtuk
Cha Cha Cha / Waffle House – Jonas Brothers

Someone has to kick off the whole Strictly shebang, I’m not sure the vanilla flavoured robot of the series would have been my first choice

I’m still not convinced that Adam hasn’t done Strictly before and this is some sort of national gaslighting campaign but I might also just be remembering his brother, Ryan Thomas, being eternally confused by the concept of jelly on Celebrity MasterChef last year

he does have a second brother, but his wikipedia link just goes to a Love Island series summary and I have a quota of only learning about two Love Islanders against my will every year and between Zara McDermott and Luca “I’m banned from SeaWorld” Bish, it’s full.

After her and James Cracknell’s Pancake Shack was shut down for violating 3 health codes and the Geneva Conventions

Luba, like 6 of the 18 candidates on The Apprentice every year, came prepared, undaunted, with a new dining concept – welcome one and all to Luba’s Waffle House – where the breakfast is kind of just ok and the seats are just ever so slightly too low

and because there’s only one thing on the menu, you don’t actually have to order breakfast, it’s on the table when you get there! But you can still read the menu for fun and to avoid making direct eye contact with the man that brought you to a place that only serves waffles for a date

but to be fair, he may have only just discovered the concept of a waffle – food-based confusion runs in the Thomas family

my headcanon is obviously that she hates him with every fiber of her being – it’s a fun drinking game to drink every time Luba visibly winces when he starts talking too loudly and down your drink when she pulls this face if anyone compliments them as a good looking pair

but also it’s all because of his REAL, ACTUAL dance teacher wife who exists

we’ll have to wait to see who’s Single White Female-ing who, or if perhaps they’ll maximise their joint slay and put on a touring modern dance production of The Parent Trap and leave Adam to fill his days doing… Celebrity MasterChef? Perhaps Adam benefitted from having double the dance coaches because he wasn’t awful – he did however still do the robot and I think that’s an automatic deduction of 3 points even if it does validate the fact he’s been AdamBot 3000 to me ever since he was cast (was he trying to be Ken? Is Luba starting an early campaign for the Barbie themed dance? She’ll have to pry it out of Zara’s cold dead hands, who will in turn have to dig it out of the Bychkova Family Mausoleum)

but you know, it was some very week 1 YAAAS KING! Give us nothing week 1 cha cha cha choreography and he was having a great time mostly being your dad miming Surfing USA in a game of charades at Christmas

and like every male celebrity to ever do Strictly, he was far too pleased with himself when he did a single little 360 spin

in that moment you could not convince him he was not *INSERT NON-PROBLEMATIC POST-DISCO FUNK MUSICIAN HERE*

My personal favourite bit was the Showgirls, cheersing with chips parallel

Luba as Nomi Malone makes far too much sense. Adam as Cristal Conners, much less so.

Craig: 4
Motsi: 5
Shirley: 5
Anton: 5
Total: 19

Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu
Tango / Prisoner – Miley Cyrus ft. Dula Peep

I don’t think Angela is technically a ringer, she just has that vibe that she’s pretty much instantly great at anything she tries – it’s a mystery to me that she was never a Countryfile presenter, although perhaps it’s because she failed the “How well do you handle the rain?” exam

I would do a lot of things for Carlos Gu, I would not stand in the rain outside a garden centre for him, and perhaps their meet-cute is what inspired their Shawshank Redemption: The Musical You Never Wanted! breakdown halfway through their tango

we’re going to get *a lot* of mileage out of that screenshot, I’ll tell you that now. But God bless her for fully living the “skirt go spinny” fantasy that I’ve always wanted to on that dancefloor, it was just a particularly funny break in character because it came straight after striking the most menacing Little Teapot pose you’ve ever seen

and she was clearly doing a very bad job of stifling the giggles the entire way through her leg kicking sequence (I’m very technical)

she’s going to be a menace when they hand her a cape for her paso doble.

Craig: 6
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 5
Anton: 6
Total: 23

Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer
Quickstep / Two Hearts – Phil Collins

Hello and welcome to my inexplicably favourite partnership of the series – what can I say, I love a trope

will they absolutely go out within the first 3 weeks in an incredibly unjust elimination? Of course, the British public hates fun and insist we subsist on a diet of The Lady Does A Sad Dance for 5 weeks in the lead up to Halloween Nonsense Week, and literally every single judge mentioning his personality first and foremost before his technique (which to be fair, was perhaps a bit lacking) doesn’t give me much hope that he isn’t a Week 4 Sacrificial Lamb when he gets a waltz that he can’t Carlton Banks his way through

Alfonso Ribeiro will be sending you a service charge my friend, we all know how trigger happy with a lawsuit he is. But he doesn’t seem to be resting on the laurels of his personality, or at least he, by this point in the competition has 4 sets of abs? (assuming each cheek is equally ripped)

that’s going to be quite the Attitude photoshoot.

I still had fun during the whole routine though even if it was palpably obvious that Karen was shouting at him the whole way through it

they’re so Monica and Chandler coded, and I’m not sure I was more scared during a routine than the moment Karen had to try and hurdle the squishy green room couch in a pair of heels

I mean that is a lie, I had to watch Angela Rippon walking down some stairs with my heart in my mouth and Les Dennis threatening to somehow still spill a set of glued down prop cocktails for 90 seconds. But still, an infinite amount of medium-sized set pieces and yet they still go for the overly large sitcom family couches, the prop economy of space is in chaos.

Craig: 4
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 6
Anton: 6
Total: 22

Angela Rippon’s Left Leg and Kai Widdrington
Cha Cha Cha / Get the Party Started – Shirley Bassey

It is so funny to me that in his first partnership on Strictly, Kai broke his partner’s ankle just before the final and then they have gone on to give him every woman over the age of 60 that walks beyond the glittery threshold of Elstree – that requires quite the liability waver. This does also mean he’s probably The Anton now, but not in a chaotic evil way, just in a way that feels like he’s the big saturday night headliner on a Saga Cruise

which is a nice change to feeling like we’re watching every Woman of a Certain Age being forced into a Butlins audition reel

never have I felt more conflicted about feeling sorry for someone and also feeling like they 20% absolutely deserved it.

Angela however was getting the star treatment with her big band Carol Channing Super Bowl Halftime Show themed Cha Cha Cha to a Bassey Banger

slightly rude to the grand opening of Luba’s Waffle House™, Angela Scanlon running around pretending to be Batman’s most ineffective nemesis and the pilot episode of At Home with Eddie and Karen that Angela was dancing to Get The Party Started. Why wasn’t she up first? She’d have been a perfect opener – she was a solid enough dancer and she has that Come Dancing Prestige and they’re clearly heavily invested in her, between the completely glass beaded dress tonight and her later years Olympic gymnastics coach Violet Beauregarde jumpsuit on the Launch Show, she has the entire sparkle budget wrapped around her little finger

or should I say, her left leg

that leg lift was enough to earn her at least a couple of overly generous scores and to completely eclipse Nikita’s waltz – there’s always a casualty. And if she sprained anything, Motsi’s got a handy little under the table fan

some judges stock tiny shoes under their desk, others have Cameron Lombard waving a tiny palm leaf, in case you were wondering where he went.

Craig: 7
Motsi: 7
Shirley: 7
Anton: 7
Total: 28

Nikita 2: It’s a Kanda Boogaloo and Gorka Marquez
Waltz / Run To You – Whitney Houston

Someone had to do the obligatory week 1 waltz, the task unfortunately falling on Nikita Kanda’s shoulders – and I only say “unfortunately” because I think she’s perhaps one of the less known names on the cast – her Wikipedia page is already 30% Strictly – and I think she could have done with a dance with more impact in order to make a first impression. This was just your standard waltz fare – Whitney Houston, a lovely beige dress a child could wear to a wedding, some clouds

and obviously, you can’t waltz without a full moon

there is one constant in the chaos of the world and it is the fit of Gorka’s trousers. But this waltz was, in Nikita’s own words, a bit of a syrupy doughnut

there’s worse people to do the syrupy doughnut with than Gorka though.

Craig: 3
Motsi: 5
Anton: 5
Total: 18

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin
The Big Gay Samba To End All Big Sambas / Touch – Little Mix

Ah yes, the fully authenticated Ringer from the Ringer Valley – and how do they cope with his previous dance and theatre experience? Why you have him make an entire VT about how hard the dance training is

and then you have Anton land a nuclear strike on it not even 5 minutes later

the only way that it felt like Nikita was really utilising Layton’s previous dance experience was by having him do a truly ungodly amount of spins, many of them for no real discernible reason

for me this samba had a lot of the same problems that Fleur’s Get Loud week 1 Cha Cha Cha had last year, in that there was A LOT of full body screaming going on


It did get a little over egged and at some point it became more omelette than samba and the threat of him over balancing gradually overtook the fun of the yassification of Nikita Kuzmin

my favourite part of this partnership is the ever looming threat that they’re going to put Nikita in drag as a nod to Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Nikita is a very beautiful man but that is not a face for drag.

This dance does make me worried for the prospect of the long overdue Eurovision Week if they’re already breaking out the vague trappings of Eurovision 2023

of course it was Unicorn… my arch nemesis. Big fan of the backless, DEEP V jumpsuit though, or as I like to call it The Ola Jordan Special

(never underestimate the archival power of your extremely horny dad forcing The Mirror to publish a quadrennial list of Ola Jordan’s most revealing Strictly outfits) it does leave you open to the consequences of extremely heterosexual backslaps though

that’s gonna leave a bruise, but by this point Layton wasn’t feeling anything, he’d been completely consumed by THE SPIRIT OF DAHNCE!

Craig: 7
Motsi: 8
Shirley: 7
Anton: 7
Total: 29

Love Island’s Louis Theroux and Graziano Di Prima
Mollie King’s Samba Reincarnate / Crush – Jennifer Paige

I am so MasterChef-pilled that I am used to rolling my eyes as we pretend that the contestants from Love Island haven’t done 4 weeks of cookery classes prior to the show, so I just automatically assumed that Zara was a ringer and would sail through to the final – her only obstacle being that she is unrelatably pretty

And then, like Mollie King’s unfurling springroll of a samba being reheated in the microwave, this cha ha cha was flopped down in front us like an incredibly ill-advised breakfast option

no thoughts, just vibes. It is obviously more forgivable because this was Week 1 and not a semi-final car crash, nor did she have Bruno Tonioli screaming and flailing his arms every time she did a samba roll

and there were some good bits, it was mostly the parts where she was literally all leg and very little agency as Graziano swung her around like the training room broom

she’s your stunt double, Zara McDerMop.

And by her own hands, doomed herself to a three from Craig

anyone else and that would have been a 2 with immediate effect, but Anton and Shirley both going on to score Les Dennis the same mark in the very next dance while lying through their teeth about him remaining on time is incredibly funny to me and Zara can maybe sue for defamation of character.

Craig: 3
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 5
Anton: 5
Total: 19

Les Dennis and Nancy Xu
What May Have Been A Tango / Do You Want Me – Human League

After two partnerships that mostly resulted in Nancy grinding men looking for a West End roll to dust

she was not holding back and was just jumping straight to the crucifixion of the Saint Les Dennis

prior to knowing he would be doing a fair amount of this routine armed with a tray, I did think he had shown up to training with a shield to at least try and fend Nancy off a little bit

it’ll take a little more than that to stop a woman that puts the Xu intos Crixus – we’ve all been thinking a little too much about the Roman Empire recently.

It was however his practice tray because their tango was set in a bar that was absolutely a mafia front

if I had £1 for every time Nancy has had a dance set in a disappointing bar, I’d have £2, which isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it happened twice (girl, read the Trip Advisor reviews)

someone please just get her a drink! Or several, it’s no wonder she had to order two to get through this, Les tends to dance like he just got to the Tesco checkout and realised he forgot to get bananas

never has a shrug resonated with me so well – that’s a man giving himself into to the will of the universe and letting fate swallow him whole – and by “fate” I do mean the John Sergeantification of his very being, it wasn’t quite dragging Kristina along the floor like a sack of oranges from darkest Peru

but his “dramatic” de-aproning had a very Paddington giving a “hard stare” energy to it

he will do whatever The Strictly Gods demand of him, he’s no longer a man, he’s merely their marionette. They want him to do a jive to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme while dressed as Raphael? He will do it, with an incredibly cumbersome turtle shell and all. Nancy will be April O’Neill, we’re not treading the fine optics line of arming her with a pair of katanas after the Miss Saigon fiasco last year.

And as much as I want to say the biggest mystery of the night was quite where the real Nigel Harman went and what Katya did with him, instead we must rampantly speculate about the marks on Nancy’s neck

I wonder who it possibly could have been…

what happens in the ruins of the Scottish coast, stays in the ruins of the scottish coast.

Craig: 2
Motsi: 4
Anton: 5
Total: 16

Generic Soap Woman Option 4 and Vito Coppola
Jive / Can’t Tame Her – Zara Larsson

Nancy wasn’t the only one finding herself in the midst of a mafia front, which you might think is about to lead into me making a very poor taste joke about Vito being Italian, but no, they were just in a bar whose decor was so disparate I can only assume it’s hiding *something* – there’s a grass wall, some Medium-sized Easter Island Heads (the show will be stealing those, they’re very The British Museum like that) and a far too twee neon sign

I did love that Ellie stood too far in front of it so the shot of her looked like that shot in Twilight where Edward was in front of the Barn Owl except instead of the angel wings, it looks like she has a pair of flourescent elf ears

and Vito accidentally made the rookie error of ordering the most normal sounding drink on the menu, not realising it was going to come served in a glass that looks like the basin in a Changing Rooms bathroom that Linda Barker described as “Tuscan Villa meets Victoriana”

the wide shots do not make me any less suspicious of the venue.

I wasn’t *that* excited for Ellie – her casting felt a bit like they were checking boxes for soap opera and People Willing To Do The Worm On National Television representation

and then she stomped out onto that stage brandishing her ponytail like a medieval flail and I was 100% sold

we’ll have to get Anton a clip-in

the rest of the jive? Kind of hit and miss, I don’t know if she ever truly found the necessary speed and Vito did a good job of covering it up by putting a fair amount of parts where she could just stand still and do a ~sassy~ point while he danced a bit more

and of course she could really relax during this sequence that looked like a finishing move in Mortal Kombat


I was only disappointed because I was hoping for more of a pay off as to why he was dressed like a Latin Ballroom Teen Wolf

there’s just always a vibe about Vito – he either looks like he’s constantly terrified it might be the full moon *or* he might be Wolverine from the X-Men’s Italian cousin, Lupo.

Craig: 7
Motsi: 8
Anton: 7
Total: 29

Jody CunDy and Jowita Przystal
Quickstep / I’m Sitting On Top Of [This Giant Clockwork Wedding Cake] – Bobby Darin

I am categorically not a bike person – the last bike ride I ever did was when a friend invited me to his 14th birthday party, during which we were doing a VERY LONG bike ride to a pub in the Peak District. In the rain. I fell over, I swore vehemently in front of his dad and vowed to never touch a bike again. I also dropped out of school a little bit later and I do blame that bicycle a little bit. So forgive me when I did not recognise the the gilded crankset (my favourite HBO drama) that Jody and Jowita were standing atop, and instead thought they were meant to be those little people from a novelty German cuckoo clock getting married

it would not have even been the weirdest theme this evening. And given that they did once have Victoria Pendleton descend from the ceiling like the Wicked Witch of the West competing in the Olympic keirin this was a positively subtle and tasteful move on Strictly’s behalf

health and safety wouldn’t allow them to have Brendan sit on the front, swaddled in a blanket like ET.

The rest of it was just an actual top hat and tails quickstep, which Jody did mostly do with a face that looked like he was having to do mental long division the entire time

but to be fair, the song was trying to manifest his downfall

it’s especially noticeable when Jowita is next to you radiating nuclear levels of 1940s Hollywood musical, (Oppenheimer could never) and perhaps he was trying to calculate the exact hypotenuse angle of Jowita’s leg so he didn’t take a shoe to the face

I think that’s the hypotenuse? As I said before, I dropped out of school during my GCSEs because of bicycle trauma

I can list more than my fair share of Roman war criminals but I cannot tell you what C equals.

Craig: 5
Motsi: 5
Shirley: 6
Anton: 5
Total: 21

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell
Foxtrot / All About You – McFly

Every now and again you have to face the weight of your own mortality and truly reading the headline “Jade Goody’s Son Joins Strictly Cast” was like staring unto my own cursed portrait. But don’t worry because mommy Dianne isn’t going to let you know that her ~precious little gemstone~ is 21 years old, and that’s not a ~sexy~ use of the word mommy, that’s an “I made you dinosaur-shaped sandwiches and will read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to you during naptime” use of the word mommy

I think it bares repeating, he is a 20 year old man that has seen the backstage of a Dolce and Gabbana fashion show, he’s *seen* things. That modelling career also means that he is far too tall for Dianne, which is why the judges kept bringing up his eyeline, he’s having to crane his neck to make eye contact with her (and that’s with a bent leg)

but because he’s 20 and she has the most TikTok engagement, they’re bound together forever and will do dances ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE AND FRESH VIBES for the next 15 weeks of eternity

no, you’re not having a stroke, Dianne is just burning her birth certificate.

This week’s YOUNG PEOPLE AND FRESH VIBES being the YOUNG PEOPLE AND FRESH VIBES of prom night in 1953

hey, it works for a Foxtrot and I can’t blame Dianne for wanting to wear the pretty dress and make Bobby look like one of the portraits of aspiration hair in a hipster barber

the routine was just too twee for me, he’s a very promising dancer and if the show decides to pull out of the nosedive they’re currently doing on his likability by constantly bringing up how he’s never watched or been interested in the show prior to getting a sticky note about it from his agent and generally give him some interview training, he’ll be able to get Dianne across that Week 4 hurdle, or at the very least artfully roly poly under it

find someone that loves you like Dianne loves cramming a barrel roll into a ballroom routine – she’s working hard for that Star Fox themed tango during Gamer Week.

Craig: 6
Motsi: 7
Shirley: 8
Anton: 8
Total: 29

A Retro Recap Supplement

Due to their outspoken anti-trans stances (even in a statement denying said outspoken anti-trans stances) and, in the case of Annabel truly wild Covid denialism (the PR team could not get ahold of her accounts quick enough) I will not be writing about or engaging with Amanda and Annabel’s routines or time on the show and shall instead, for as long as they’re both here, be including a Retro Recap of a routine from past contestants – I’ll try and prioritise Giovanni and Johannes but I have a few in mind that I want to get to and am happy to take suggestions (Alison Hammond’s American Smooth and Judge Rinder’s Paso Doble are VERY MUCH on the list already.)

Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
Jive / Dear Future Husband – Meghan Trainor

Throwing it all the way back to Giovanni’s first ever Strictly partnership and the grand opening of Giovanni’s Portable Hair Salon for One!

and already the production team knew that they needed to cover the mirrors or else Giovanni, like a tropical bird, would get very distracted

and Georgia for some reason was just perusing the Strictly Brides[QUESTION MARK] magazine

a niche publication that for some reason they stopped issuing and I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY

we used to get A LOT of marriage and wedding themed routines and then Series 16 hit us like a ton of bricks and Vicky Gill’s cornering of the veils for cha cha-ing brides market really dried up. This was however one of the weirder iterations of that – of all the locations to shop for your future husband, I’m not entirely sure the local salon is the best one, but I’m sure there were no complications in their marital future

he’s just European.

As ever, with a Georgia May Foote routine, you can play a fun game of guessing which part is going to be the most watched segment on YouTube – shockingly it wasn’t this poorly aged manoeuvre

2015, different times – thankfully I’m not sure any of the pros would risk that stunt anymore – apparently the horny dads of youtube aren’t ass guys, the most watched part was instead The FanFickers Delight (oh the heady days of the Team GG Army, where do their allegiances lie now?)

I’m not sure it really counted as a kiss though, I think the very nature of a jive means it was more of a headbutt.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Lauren Oakley
Cha Cha Cha / Boom Shack-a-Lak – Apache Indian (that famous rave banger)

I imagine there’s quite a lot of pressure put on a pro when they get their first partnership, especially after a newbie just won – you’ve got to make a good first impression but also not look too much like you’re desperately trying to earn your keep – lest you suffer the same fate as Graziano and end up being benched for 3 years following The Vick Hopening of Series 16

the Graziano stans were in the trenches fighting for their lives.

Lauren needs not worry though, or at least she’s immediately my new Queen of Pros purely for the fact she threw Krishnan’s hat like she was the lovechild of Oddjob and Jürgen Schult

that fedora absolutely took out the entire front row, there were no survivors, and there could have been more but she managed to keep the intrusive thoughts of flinging that medium-sized room temperature pizza like a shuriken at bay

THAT’S RIGHT LUBA! The Waffle House has competition, Lauren’s Brooklyn Pizza (and Coffee) Shack is open for business 24hrs a day for all your pizza (and coffee) needs!
She did *kind of* steal the show, you cannot convince me that she isn’t at least 1/4 Tex Avery cartoon

although nothing was going to eclipse Krishnan dancing like the Detective Pikachu meme

it was certainly a transportative dance…

I wonder where…

but also… rave? To reggae dancehall banger Boom Shack-a-Lak? Either way, it was all he needed to do to earn a five from Craig as the weight of her own existence avalanched on Zara’s shoulders

don’t worry babe, Graziano has more than enough monogrammed fedoras that you can throw at Craig like he’s the Hyacinth to your Apollo.

Craig: 5
Motsi: 6
Shirley: 6
Anton: 5
Total: 22

Colin the Ringmaster and The Woman That Broke Him
Paso Doble / Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Ah yes, the classic Vanilla Bookending technique… or so I thought because my hopes for Nigel Harman fizzled the moment he was cast and I realised his Instagram handle was TheMeditatingActor and he runs meditation classes – I have done one too many NHS prescribed ineffective mindfulness courses to not be suspicious that beneath every coat he wears is a 5 pack of CDs of relaxing nature noises (and if you order now he’ll throw in the soothing sound of Katya’s eyerolls every time he mentions meditation in for free!)

but if Katya will do anything, it’s break a man and remould him anew and thus the man that routinely turns up at places looking like an accountant at an office party

was, through the medium of a Dave Arch cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit and some medium-sized circus dressing, like a P.T. Barnum phoenix from the ashes of an excel spreadsheet rebirthed as… Colin the Ringmaster

he’s not just a ringmaster, he’s an M&S Ringmaster.

This isn’t however the first Smells Like Teen Spirit paso doble, as 6 years ago, Janette and Aston also did one while dressed as the cool goth teens that hang out at the cemetery and customise their imported Hot Topic hoodies

Aston’s makeup is the closest we’ll ever get to a The Babadook themed dance.

The general consensus seems to be that this Paso Doble of Many Things (they really threw it at the theme machine at 100mph) was the dance of the night, it did after all get that standing ovation from Shirley

and it wasn’t just because of Katya’s leggings and the yeti merkin that was somehow acting as a modesty protector

Vicky we need to talk about how and where you apply the glass beaded fringe, this is chaotic evil.
But the glistening pelvic wig catching the moonlight wasn’t the scene stealer because, dare I say Colin the Ringmaster, a man who turned to the profession because he didn’t have the interpersonal skills to make it as a table magician, may have made me feel things?

scientific theory: Nigel Harman might be the hottest Nigel? I mean, it’s a small, genetically not great pool so…

I will still hold him at arms length until he promises he’s not going to bring out his own brand of vitamins once this is all over.

But as good as he was, I think Lauren still has him beaten in Olympic hat hurling competition

still strong enough to at least give one person a black eye.

Craig: 8
Motsi: 8
Shirley: 8
Anton: 8
Total: 32

And that’s it for week 1! Here’s the leaderboard:
1. Colin the Dance God – 32
2. The Bruised Whirling Dervish – 29
=. Ellie Leach’s Ponytail
=. Mommy’s Littlest Gemstone
5. Angela’s Left Leg – 28
6. Angela’s Shawshank Tango – 23
7. The Eddie and Karen Show – 22
=. The Rave At The Pizza Shack
9. A Marriage of Clockwork Convenience – 21
10. Luba’s Waffle House [CONDEMNED] – 19
=. Refried Samba Springrolls For One
12. The Syrupy Doughnut
13. Paddington Bear’s Flaring Classes

a fairly solid start for the Class of 2023

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2 thoughts on “Strictly 2023, Week 1, Main Show: The Gilded Crankset

  1. Laura

    This is fab! Live how you phrase & describe things. 😆

    Loved the retro recaps. 👍 Be interesting to see how things stack up however many years later… 😬

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