Secret Strictly gestures – Maisie’s glance at HRVY to couple’s ‘sexual sizzle’

Strictly Come Dancing finally returned to its rightful place as king of Saturday night TV this evening, full of glitter, sexy dancing and, of course, the occasional tear.

As the professionals and their celebrity partners took to the floor for their first routine, the chemistry was electric for some while for others… it was more wet flannel-esque.

But with the couples now sitting at their own tables in the audience, some of their telling backstage looks and gestures won’t go amiss.

We’ve got body language expert Judi James on hand to analyse each couple’s chemistry and what they really thought about one another…

Jacqui and Anton

Forget all the fake whoops and screams of delight when the couples first met up last week, it’s this first show where all the chemistry or lack of it begins to show in the small peeks we get of their body language behind all those cheesy smiles.

Poor Anton barely bothered to do more than sport that Wallace & Gromit-style teeth-baring grin he performs when they pair him with yet another celeb who stands zero chance of allowing him to get his hands on that glitter-ball trophy.

Anton has gone into comic mode with Jacqui

Anton has gone into comic mode with Jacqui and it was telling that he pulled a denial-gesture grimace when she announced in political style that she was ‘in it to win it.’ He delayed the ‘congratulatory’ hug for as long as possible at the end.

0/10 for chemistry or sizzle.

Maisie and Gorka

If we hadn’t seen the last dance tonight we might have just handed Maisie the trophy and let her waltz away with it now.

Maisie is a strong dancer who soaks up attention like a sponge. There were rumours she and HRVY might have a bit of flirting going on but after tonight and watching her face when he was told by one judge he’d done the best first dance ever, we might see more of an epic battle between these two rather than an epic romance.

Maisie is already making Gorka looks surplus to requirements as she danced better solo and hogged all the cameras in the process.

4/10 for chemistry and Maisie sizzles enough out on the floor by herself.

Nicola and Katya

Katya is such a force of nature and so competitive but she seems to have reined her excitable energy in a bit to design a very clever routine with the equally-determined Nicola.

Watching their mutual energy and drive was fascinating. 8/10 for like-minded joy and focused energy.

Clara and Aljaz

It was quite funny to watch Clara put the very charming Aljaz in his place a bit with some eye-rolling at his compliments and comments and the way she stood with her elbow on his shoulder as they waited for their scores.

He’s such a star but she looks like the contestant least in awe of their partner. Her down-to-earth attitude could make for some good, sassy routines though.

6/10 for friendship and laughs.

Ranvir and Giovanni

It looked as though Giovanni might be too full-on for Ranvir as he is always a bit of a scene-stealer but her capacity for fuss-free hard work paid off in an unexpectedly high-scoring routine.

Not a match made in ballroom heaven but 5/10 for shared commitment.

Caroline and Johannes

A physically odd pairing thanks to the height difference and Johannes’s facial expressions did seem to flip from kindly smiles to lightning grins that dropped quickly into looks of what might have been puzzlement.

Lovely Caroline was the stand-out emotional star of the night, dropping to the floor to cry tears of happiness during rehearsals and clutching at Johannes in what looked like more tears at their great performance.

Caroline got emotional during her performance

He looks like the man to boost her confidence and he kissed her head to calm some of her excitement.

7/10 for compatibility is he is able to continue with the kindness as there are signs of even greater performances from Caroline if she grits her teeth and accepts she could even win.

Jason and Luba

He’s so happy and his humour showed through on the dancefloor but Luba looks like a woman determined to win.

She narrowed her eyes, placed a hand on her hip and the other on his shoulder to show who is boss as they waited for their scores, suggesting he’s in for some tough love during grueling rehearsals.

4/10 for chemistry currently although if he knuckles down and improves his scores that score might go up.

Max and Dianne

I think this will be the pairing to watch in terms of improvement over the next few weeks. They’re so well suited and Dianne must have noticed she’s got the hottest guy in the competition.

Max is funny and self-effacing but shows signs of dance talent if he’s not put off by Maisie and KVIN. They were the first couple to show sexual sizzle during their routine although that did end as soon as they were off the floor.

Max used a ‘gentleman’s hand’ gesture when his arm was round her waist but his fingers avoided touching her.

9/10 for chemistry on the dancefloor but their body language turns to respectful friendship off the floor.

JJ and Amy

JJ was the night’s romantic lead male, managing to convert to something quite breath-taking even while up on tip-toes out there on the floor.

Off the floor it was pure romance again but all for his wife, who he mentioned constantly and who he nearly cried over when she popped up on screen.

6/10 for professional, well-acted romance during their routine though.

Bill and Oti

Bill’s lugubrious facial expression suggest he’s allergic to smiling while Oti is probably the most smiley dancer on Strictly.

She kept her distance to get the measure of him and her ‘I’m crying with laughter’ routine looked more polite than genuine.

Bill threw himself into his routine like a man who really does want to win and not as the comedy turn.

1/10 for chemistry but if anyone can turn Bill into a genuine dancer it will be Oti.

Jamie and Karen

In his white jeans that were so tight he looked as though he was in Swan Lake rather than Strictly, Jamie did look at some moments as though he might be going for Bills comedy crown.

With his wide eyes and wide smile Jamie is super-keen to do well but Karen looked keener to play deadpan, putting him down with eyes to camera and a pause before a low ‘yes?’ when he asked if she was excited to be paired with him. She uncoupled quickly after some low scores too.

3/10 for chemistry so far.

HRVY and Janette

This pairing looked a bit odd but it is clearly made in heaven in terms of Janette playing slightly maternal to get the best out of the excitable but energetic HRVY.

She got his attention and his dedication for a points-winning number 9/10 for professional compatibility.

*Strictly returns next Saturday on BBC One

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