Tonight the glitz and glamour returned to BBC One, when Strictly Come Dancing returned for this year’s series.
Fifteen new celebrities were eager to hit the dance floor and impress the judges, including new head judge, Shirley Ballas.
The show began with a stunning group dance by the professional dancers to ‘You’ve Got The Love’, before the fifteen pairs were introduced.
The first couple to take to the stage were actress Gemma Atkinson and her partner Aljaz. They did the Cha Cha to ‘There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back’ and pulled off an assured opening performance. They scored 20 after receiving mixed reviews from the judges.
Next up was comedian Brian Conley and his partner Amy, one of this year’s new professionals. They Tangoed to ‘Temptation’, scoring 16 from the judges.
Third to perform was singer Alexandra Burke and Gorka, who did the Waltz to ‘(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman’. After an emotional few weeks, she put her heart and soul into the performance, scoring 24.
Chef Simon Rimmer and his partner Karen were next to take to the floor. Their Paso Doble to ‘Song 2’ was energetic, but after mixed comments they scored 17.
Presenter Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan were fifth to perform. They did the first Foxtrot of the night. They danced to ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ and scored 22, narrowly missing out on joining Alexandra and Gorka at the top of the leaderboard.
Holby City actress Chizzy Akudolu and her partner Pasha then took to the stage, doing the second Cha Cha of the night, to ‘Boogie Fever’. Their performance earned them a score of 21 from the judges.
Paralympian Jonnie Peacock and Oti were the seventh pair to perform. They danced to ‘When I Need You’ and pulled off a graceful Waltz. They scored 20, the same as Gemma and Alijaz.
Next up was actor Joe McFadden and his partner Katya. They did a car wash-themed Jive to ‘Rockin’ Robin’ and scored 29, taking them straight to the top of the leaderboard.
Comedian Susan Calman and Kevin were the ninth to perform. Their Viennese Waltz to ‘Mad About The Boy’ also earned them a score of 20 from the judges.
Magician and radio presenter Debbie McGee and her partner Giovanni then performed a Paso Doble to ‘Be Italian’, which saw them get a standing ovation from the audience. The judges scored them 30, taking them to the top of the leaderboard.
The eleventh pair to perform was Eastenders actor Davood Ghadami and his partner Nadiya, one of this year’s new professionals. They did the Cha Cha to ‘Dedication To My Ex’ and scored 27.
Presenter and panellist Ruth Langsford and Anton then danced to ‘This Nearly Was Mine’, Waltzing their way to a score of 16, joining Brian and Amy at the bottom of the leaderboard.
Next up was Vicar and broadcaster Rev. Richard Coles and Dianne, another of this year’s new professionals. They performed the Cha Cha to the ironically named song ‘There Must Be An Angel’. A score of 17 saw them fall near the bottom of the pack.
The penultimate couple to perform were The Saturdays singer Mollie King and her partner AJ. They did the Jive to ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ and scored 23.
JLS star Aston Merrygold and Janette were the last to take to the floor. Their Foxtrot to ‘It Had To Be You’ was a confident performance, earning them a score of 31 – meaning that they ended the show at the top of the leaderboard.
Strictly Come Dancing returns next Saturday at 6:45pm on BBC One for the second live show, where tonight’s scores are being carried over – and the first public vote.
Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two returns from Monday at 6:30pm on BBC Two with Zoe Ball.