With the band on top form with Aretha's Think, Lisa really let herself go - the only one, except for maybe Colin, who really went for it and just got out there and danced. Musicality, energy, enthusiasm and pure fun. Even Robin's eyes were leaking. With a score of 30 - including an 8 from Craig - Team Robisa topped the leaderboard.
Cuban Breaks did for a few of the others, sadly, but all were credible performances for week one. Even bottom of the board scored 16 - Brendleton's cha cha plagued by nerves but showed enough potential to go into next week with more confidence. Arfer had similar issues but all done with a smile, with Darcey praising the leg extension: "I borrowed someone else" quipped Fern! Johnny, considering the last minute changes to the routine and dance partner did incredibly well. Arry surprised - sedate but watchable with some nicely placed basics.
The waltzes were all quite lovely, although it appears Karen may be the new Aliona, trying to pass off a definite lift as a swoosh during Kicky's. Lovely musicality though. Bruno with quote of the night "Your butt sticks out like a hanging basket" to Michalie, was swiftly followed by "And your face - like Shane Warne's after the makeover" and gurning a tight facelift at them, leaving them in hysterics, knowing that Warney was watching.
Jamise shone with a beautifully delivered, beautifully crafted waltz - becoming James's trademark; Sola's was atmospheric; Vani's charming and I'm so glad that Richin resisted trying to camp it up - warm and classy and fluid - why ruin it? We need to see versatility and not let him descend into the panto role. The only other criticism I have is Darcey's over use of 'Yeah'. And they need to cut her time down too - let the pro advise in training how to implement the suggested improvement.
The Scoreboard going into next week's show:
Robisa 30; Kisha 28; Flouvia 27; Sola 26; Jamise 25; Colina 23; Richin 22; Vani 21; Michalie 20; Arfer 19; Arry 18; Kicky 17; Johniveta 17; Brendleton 16.
With the controversy over on the Dark Side, wasn't it wonderful to be able to sit back and enjoy our Strictly, knowing we won't have to deal with any of that rubbish? I can imagine Len's face if a producer told him to string out his decision in the dance off (the only thing I disagree with, incidentally - it won't save a better dancer, it'll put two of them up against each other). While we may not always agree with the judges' decision, we do know that an obviously better dancer will be saved.
It's back on Saturday at 6.30pm, with all fourteen dancing to stay out of that Dreaded Dance Off. Keep up with all the news, clips and gossip on the Strictly website.