The Pro dancers warm us up with a cha cha to my cha cha song, Boys and Girls, choreographed by the lovely Matt Cutler, in the audience there! James & Ola; Flavia & Vincent; Anton & Erin are unchanged of course, then we have the new pairings of Katya & Artem; Aliona & Jared, Natalie & Brendan and the most striking of partnerships, Robin & Kristina - a powerful dynamic.
Brucie's first joke of the evening makes an appearance; actually, he was on good form all through! The celebs are introduced and first impressions are that the boys are less nervous than the girls! They never expect to do well and there's always, always a shock in a good way.
First three pairings:
Scott and Natalie or, for my running commentary purposes, as you know: Scattalie - it's already my fave name, can't think why ;) Doubt Scott has Ricky's natural ability but he seems pretty game and Natalie's choreography will make the best of him.
Matt and Aliona: Mattiona - Aliona's sense of fun came through towards the end of the last series and Matt is Nice Bloke, could be the partnership we're all going 'ahhh' to.
Peter and Erin: Peterin - Shilts is still looking quite fit and Erin's proven she can work wonders regardless of her partner's ability.
Up to Tess' Tower (no more Pit) we meet Artem, Robin and Jared for a power paso with Katya, Kristina and Aliona. Rather liking Artem already, his dancing *coughs* is electrifying.
Next three pairings:
Michelle and Brendan: Brendelle - he's thrilled, she's thrilled - will we see nicey nicey Brendan again this year?
Pamela and James: Jamela straight on it! James has shed that grumpy image forever, with a stint dusting the airborne glitter ball last year, could be just the right man to bring Pamela's wicked side back!
Tina and Jared: Jarina - nice slide! They're are so going to be mothered by everyone in the show, far too young and cute.
Training for the group dance looks ... not bad! Didn't give much away though, except that Widdy's word of the day is "No".
Paul and Ola: Paulla - now you may think Ola wasn't going to be given a front runner - but she's got another with personality, so who knows!
Patsy and Robin: Robsy make for the sexiest pairing of the night, you figure they won't stop when they get to the top of the stairs, they'll bypass Tess' Tower completely and head for a room. If Patsy has the talent, could be dynamite on the dance floor in the Latin.
Goldie and Kristina: Goldina - and she'll be thanking the PTB for a man with rhythm. He's a DJ, he's surely got rhythm?
The pro's are back for two tribes with aerial work and lightbulb dresses, courtesy of Karen Hardy - Yep, Kristina and Robin certainly catch the eye.
Kara and Artem: Artara, another slide, another fit young couple. Let's hope the visa holds up.
Jimi and Flavia: Jimavia - one to watch I think, he's clearly getting into it and that's half the battle for the pro, a good attitude always appeals.
Gavin and Katya: Gavya (to be said in the voice of Smithy in Gavin and Stacey) he needs to not be too self conscious and just let go; Katya's a great teacher, roll with it.
A Strictly Showdance in electric blue - a first outing for Darren and Ian, with newbies Tanya, Shem, Crystal and Aneta.
Final two pairings:
Felicity and Vincent: Felicent - I'm already more than looking forward to. Which leaves Ann and Anton, surprise surprise - they're going for comedy gold. Hopefully. Welcome to Widdyton!
And now it's the group dance and there are too many I'm trying to watch - but glimpses of Pamela, Felicity and Jimi I liked very much, with no-one standing out in a bad way!
Roll on October 1st!