Well, it’s that time of year again, Strictly is officially back on our screens for the next 4 months! It’s absolutely my favourite time of year because it means Christmas is coming! On Saturday night, the launch show aired and everyone knows who they have been paired with so I thought I would discuss the show and the pairings and compare them to my predicted pairings. When I first saw the pairings on the Strictly Spoiler after the Launch Show was filmed, I really wasn’t happy with most of the couples but after watching the show, I really love them!
The show opened with a fabulous routine by the professionals. I adored the first half of the dance on the red carpet to Gotta Dance. I love the old Hollywood glamour, the costumes and the feather fans (I think that’s what they’re called). The second half was a latin dance to Get Lucky. Personally, I would have liked to see that continue when they got into the studio but I know they need to kick up the energy to start the show with a bang. I don’t usually like it when they involve the judges in the dances but I really enjoyed seeing the new head judge, Shirley Ballas showing what she can do and I think she was amazing (as you would expect).
Pairings of Group 1
Partner: Aljaz Skorjanec
Predicted Partner: Aljaz Skorjanec
There was only one pro that could have been paired with Gemma and that’s Aljaz, they’re both very tall and they look amazing together.
Partner: Giovanni Pernice
Predicted Partner: Anton Du Beke
This pairing surprised me, Giovanni is quite popular so I thought they would have given him someone who could get quite far in the competition but I think he will do a great job with Debbie. (Update… looking back on this I was EXTREMELY wrong!)
Partner: Pasha Kovalev
Predicted Partner: AJ Pritchard
I think Pasha is going to have such a fun time with Chizzy. She reminds me a lot of Alison Hammond who I loved so I’m excited about this partnership!
Partner: Anton Du Beke
Predicted Partner: Brendan Cole
This is such a great pairing. I was a little surprised that Ruth was put with Anton but I think they’re going to be so good together. They’re both fun and she’s got a lot of support behind her from what I’ve seen on Twitter so I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on in the competition.
The New Dancers
Okay, so I LOVED this dance. If the rest of the pro dances are like this it’s going to be an incredible series! I loved the Charleston mixed with a bit of Latin and the lifts were amazing. The only thing I didn’t like was the way they changed Single Ladies.
Pairings of Group 2
Partner: Janette Manrara
Predicted Partner: Janette Manrara
Again, there was only one possible partner for Aston because of his height and I think Janette is going to do amazing things with him! I’ve got very high hopes for this pair!
Rev Richard Coles
Partner: Dianne Buswell
Predicted Partner: Oti Mabuse
I absolutely love this pairing! I hadn’t heard of the Rev before he was announced but I’ve seen some of his tweets and he’s hilarious (follow him if you don’t already) and I’ve seen Dianne on Instagram and she’s so much fun, I’m so excited for this pairing and I predict another Ed Balls!
Partner: Nadiya Bychkova
Predicted Partner: Nadiya Bychkova
This was another pairing that was obvious because of their heights, they’re both very tall so they couldn’t be with anyone else but I think they’re going to be amazing together!
Partner: Karen Clifton
Predicted Partner: Dianne Buswell
I don’t know why I didn’t predict this pairing, I think they’re going to be amazing! He’s a chef and Karen loves cooking and eating so they’re going to get on so well together! I think he’s going to be very fun (and hopefully good) and she’s always amazing with the fun ones (Dave Myers and Jeremy Vine) and they’re often one of my favourites.
Ore and Joanne
I love that these two got to come back one last time. As you may know, they were my favourites last year so it was super emotional for me to see them back, especially now that Joanne has left because she was one of my favourite pros. I’m going to miss her so much but I’m so so happy for her now that she’s following her dream of being in the west end because she’s incredible! Their jive from the launch show isn’t online so here’s their original performance from last series. After Tess and Claudia spoke to them at the end of their dance, I was in tears.
To make things worse, I was already in tears after watching Ore and Jo, then the tribute to Brucie came straight after. By the end, I was a MESS. It was so beautifully done, with the VT of all the lovely things everyone had to say and then the gorgeous dance by the professionals, it was just perfect. I don’t know why they made Tess speak after the tribute because she almost couldn’t. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her because she had worked with him the longest and most closely over the first 10 years of Strictly. So, grab some tissues because here it is:
Pairings of Group 3
Partner: Brendan Cole
Predicted Partner: Pasha Kovalev
I think these two will be so good together. I don’t think that Charlotte is too confident about dancing so I think Brendan is the perfect partner for her.
Partner: AJ Pritchard
Predicted Partner: Gorka Marquez
I don’t know why, but I really wanted Mollie to be with Gorka and I, along with most of Twitter thought they would be paired together but they were not. But, I think AJ is going to be amazing with her so I’m VERY excited about these two!
Partner: Kevin Clifton
Predicted Partner: Kevin Clifton
I love Susan. If I got to do Strictly and I was paired with Kev, I would have had the same reaction. I was crying just watching, you could see how much it meant to her to be with him and it was just so relatable for me because I love him so much. I can’t wait to see what he does with her and I hope they stay in for a long time!
Partner: Gorka Marquez
Predicted Partner: Giovanni Pernice
I think these two will be great together and I’m so excited to see what Gorka can do with a contender (although I loved Tameka last year!).
Pairings of Group 4
Partner: Katya Jones
Predicted Partner: Karen Clifton
I’ve thought Joe could be good since he was announced so I’m excited to see what Katya can do with him. Based on what she managed with Ed last year who, let’s say wasn’t a natural dancer, I think she could do even better with Joe.
Partner: Oti Mabuse
Predicted Partner: Katya Jones
I think Jonnie is going to have some struggles with the training and will be a bit limited on what he can do and because there hasn’t been anyone like him on a series before so I think Oti is the perfect partner for him to work out what he can and can’t do so I think they will be amazing together.
Partner: Amy Dowden
Predicted Partner: Amy Dowden
These two are going to have so much fun together I think, based on the reactions of them being paired together. I’m hoping the get far because us Welsh have got to support our own!
After all the couples had been announced, it was time for one of my favourite things, the first group dance with the celebrities of the series. This is the first time we get a glimpse of what they can do and we get a pretty good idea of who could do well and who may not go so far.
Every Monday of Strictly 2017 (starting on the 25th Sept) I’ll be writing about the past weekend of dancing and discussing the eliminated celebrity. For these posts, I will remain impartial BUT as a viewer, I will be supporting Mollie and AJ, Susan and Kevin, Simon and Karen and Rev Richard and Dianne. I can’t wait for the series to start properly! Let me know what you thought of the couples, the new pros, Shirley and the group dance in the comments. Also, let me know who you’ll be supporting, I’d love to know! If you want to read my other Strictly related posts, you can find them here.
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Thanks for reading, Em xo