Strictly Come Dancing returned with a bang on Saturday night, with millions tuning in to catch a glimpse of this year’s celebrities as they took to the dance floor for the very first time. And while there were sequins, sparkles and fake tan aplenty, there was one notable change in the debut episode. It was Love Island's Curtis Pritchard – brother of Strictly star AJ Pritchard – who first highlighted the missing moment, as he spoke about the BBC show during an appearance on Hits Radio. "Before they dance, the pro and celeb wave to the camera, they run the VT and then they dance," he remarked. "That hasn't been in it this year, and I think everyone missed that it hasn't been in there."
The Strictly celebs took to the dance floor for the first time on Saturday
Saturday was a big night for Kelvin Fletcher, who was brought in as a last-minute replacement for injured Jamie Laing. Despite having just two weeks to practice with partner Oti Mabuse, he wowed the judges, audience and TV viewers with his Samba, topping the leaderboard with a score of 33 – the highest ever score for the first show in five years. Other celebs who impressed on the night included Michelle Visage and her partner Giovanni Pernice, who earned 30 from the judges, as did Dev Griffin and Diane Buswell, who danced the Foxtrot. Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden, meanwhile, were awarded 31 points for their Cha-Cha-Cha.
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Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse are currently top of the leaderboard
At the other end of the scoreboard was James Cracknell and his pro partner Luba Mushtuk, who received just 11 points for their Tango. Chris Ramsay and Karen Hauer, meanwhile, were given 13 points for the Cha-Cha-Cha, while Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton were awarded 14 points for the same dance. All the scores from Saturday’s show will carry over to next week and will then be combined with the scores for their week two dances, as well as the results from the public vote, to determine who'll be the first couple to leave the competition next year.
After just one episode, Kelvin is currently favourite to win the series – and during an appearance on It Takes Two on Monday evening, partner Oti Mabuse said Kelvin's potential was clear from the outset. "We went into rehearsal and Kevin [Clifton] was in the studio. And he was just like, 'Oh. My. Goodness!'" Host Zoe Ball then added: "When you get that reaction from Kevin, you're like, 'Yes!'"
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