‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was back with a bang on Saturday night, with all 15 of this year’s celebrity contestants taking to the dancefloor with their partners for the first time.
It was also the first time new head judge Shirley Ballas took her seat on the judging panel, following Len Goodman’s departure from the BBC dance show last year.
Shirley proved to be instant hit with viewers, who praised her constructive criticism…
Seriously, I feel like this is most technical ballroom critique we’ve ever had on the show. God bless you, @ShirleyBallas #strictly #scd2017
— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) September 23, 2017
Well Shirley Ballas is an absolute QUEEN isn’t she? #Strictly pic.twitter.com/NJFAqJQRC3
— Joanna Barlow (@joannasbarlow) September 23, 2017
Constructive criticism from the legend @ShirleyBallas she’s going to be a great judge!
— Ian Waite (@ianwaite) September 23, 2017
Loving Shirley Ballas’ judging style, very specific comments, balances the other judges, fair
— ellie (@ellietheking) September 23, 2017
Full love in Hound Towers for Shirley Ballas. Len’s shoes unfillable in many ways, but she is a perfect replacement #scd
— Rufus Hound (@RufusHound) September 23, 2017
Yas Shirley Ballas, giving the first lot of proper constructive criticism I can remember on #Strictly in about 6 series
— James (@JamesPovey) September 23, 2017
Strictly’s newest recruit also had to deal with fellow judge Bruno Tonioli getting a little over-excited, when he ended up groping her as he gave contestant Alexandra Burke some feedback.
Meanwhile on the dancefloor, former JLS star Aston Merrygold is an early contender after blowing the judges away with his Foxtrot, earning him top billing on the ‘Strictly’ leaderboard with 31 points.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood said he was “one to watch”, while Darcey Bussell described it as “cool, controlled and confident”.
Debbie McGee narrowly missed out on the top spot with her “outstanding” Paso Doble with partner Giovanni Pernice, who she planted a kiss on at the end of their routine.
‘EastEnders’ actor Davood Ghadami turned up the temperature in the studio after performing a sizzling Cha Cha routine with former Playboy model Nadiya Bychkova, which earned him sixes and sevens.
However, it wasn’t all good news, with Reverend Richard Coles failing to impress the judges, earning a very measly two points from Revel Horwood.
Despite his low score, the former …