Craig Revell Horwood wasted no time in telling new professional, Karen Haur, how it was, while Denise Van Outen shone as brightly as her outfit in the first live of Strictly Come Dancing this year,
First to take to the floor was Fearn Britton, who fluttered up a stir with the judges over her 'skirt wafting', but managed to avoid any major criticism. Craig reminded everyone of his brutally honest opinions, successfully getting some his favourite adjectives into the feedback (hideous, disaster and my personal favourite: ghastly).
Westlife's Nicky Byrne got a compliment from Bruno, who said: “Nicky, you can certainly work your boyish good looks”. Craig however only had words for Nicky's dance partner, newest professional dancer to the show Karen Haur. He told her: “I'm not particularly happy Karen. I know you're new but you broke the rules.” He explained that she had included a lift in the choreography, which is not allowed in a waltz. He went on to say she may be “a female version of Brendan Cole” and “you will be marked down”, awarding them a mere two points for their performance.
Cricketer Michael Vaughn and Natalie Lowe also got away without too much criticism, the judges main problem being with Michael's rear end, which Bruno joked “stuck out like a hanging basket”.
Next up was Olympic Gold Medallist, Victoria Pendleton. Despite messing up a number of moves – which resulted in her and dance partner Brendan Cole receiving the lowest score of the night – was told by both new judge Darcy Bussell and Len Goodman that she had “great potential”. Bruno also tried to give the teary cyclist a confidence boost, explaining: “you've fallen off the bike before, get back on it”.
But it was the final two performances of the night that really lit up the ballroom. First, actor Colin Salmon worked his magic on both the audience and judges with what Bruno described as the “best Cha Cha of the night.” Craig was less enthusiastic, saying: “There were some moments we could do without,” however, Bruce Forsyth showed he is still the king of comebacks, putting in Craig in his place and telling him: “There are some judges we could do without!”.
Denise Van Outen and James Jordan stole the show with a well executed Waltz. Bruno told Essex girl, Denise: “You extended your lines beautifully, Darcey would be proud.” Craig summed her performance up in a sentence: “Save the best till last I say”. Her score of twenty five topped the leaderboard and gives us an idea of the treats we have in store with this series of everyone's favourite dance show.
Tomorrow night will be the turn of the other sequin-clad celebrities. Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh and Gymnast Louis Smith are just two of the hopefuls we can look forward to seeing in action, along with more sparkles, slip-ups, and, of course, Bruce's timeless jokes...
Take a look at this year's line-up at the series' launch: