STRICTLY COME DANCING GUYS COME OUT TO PLAY

While episode two of Strictly Come Dancing may not have been an elimination round, it has certainly set the stage for a fiery and explosive season of this scintillating series going forward.

With Graeme Richards and Lindsey Muckle in pole position, the veneer of niceties has been removed and the spirit of competition has hit home for everyone. Bottom of the log Damon Kalvari and Hayley Hammond face a week of anxiety and much reflection as they plot their survival in the competition.

This state of affairs comes after a drama filled second episode when it was the turn of male celebrities and their partners to light up the dance floor with their unique and signature moves and be judged accordingly by the strict judging panel.

Scored on their individual dances in the first episode, this week the female celebrities had fun doing their group dance, the Tango – much to the delight of the studio audience and judges.

On the other hand, the Foxtrot (suave and sophisticated) and the Cuban dance, the Rumba (smooth and sensuous) provided a rather peculiar challenge for the men. 

Experts say while the Foxtrot is a great dance for beginners, it’s long, gliding and brushing actions must evoke grace and beauty. For the Rumba on the other hand mastering the hip action to present something sensual and romantic does the trick.

Here is how they did.

Kicking things off was funny man Mpho Popps with partner Nombulelo Hlathi with a smooth, very well-rehearsed and crowd pleasing interpretation of the Rumba that set the tone for a very competitive evening.

Following a short Foxtrot demo, popular Durban based musician and entertainer L’vovo took to the stage partnered by Mary Martins in what was the most eagerly anticipated routine of the evening. True to form, L’vovo had the ball room on its feet with a gangster infused version of the elegant Foxtrot dance which despite the low score, has put him amongst the early favourites for the overall title judging by the reception received from the crowd in attendance.

With the bar raised to dizzying heights, the next couple was radio man Damon Kalvari and partner Hayley Hammond. Being a previous winner of the show, Hammond took the challenge by the scruff of the neck and put in an impressive performance with a visibly tiring Damon that received a good public response.

The Foxtrot was back on centre stage as TV presenter Graeme Richards and partner Lindsey Muckle displayed a very smooth, continuous and progressive dance characterised by flowing movements across the dance floor, much to the crowd’s delight. This well executed routine got the deserved thumbs up from the judging panel and sees them lead the pack as front runners for the title.

Rounding off the entertaining night were early favourites for the title, Thapelo Mokoena with talented partner Hayley Bennet, another former winner of the show. These two certainly lived up to their billing with a very rhythmic and themed Rumba routine that impressed all and sundry with its cohesiveness and execution.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on SABC 3 Wednesdays from 20:00 to 22:00.

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