Strictly Come Dancing has returned to British television screens for the iconic show’s 19th series. More than one couple is already the favourite to win, but who looked the most confident on the dance floor last night?
AJ and professional partner Kai Widdrington scored 31 points last night, making the presenter’s total score a whopping 65 points.
Does AJ and Kai have what it takes to make it to the final?
Body language Judi James thinks so. She analysed the couples’ body language last night, looking at how confident each pair seemed.
She said: “Week Two of Strictly always brings the first real confidence crisis of the series, and some brutal scores from the judges in Week One meant several celebrities must have been needing the crash cart to revive their egos prior to this week’s performance.
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“Funnily enough, the most confident celebs in Week Two tend to be the ones with the least to lose.
“Hitting the bottom in Week One can take a lot of the pressure off, which is probably one reason why Sara and Aljaz did so well this time around.”
However, Judi’s bet on who will win the talent show is AJ and Kai. She said: “If anyone looks as though they know they stand a good chance of winning the contest it’s the amazing AJ.
“Verbally self-effacing, her body language suggests the perfect blend of confidence: not only does she look as though she knows what she’s doing out there on the floor but she also looks as though she cares enough about the competition to work hard but not so much that she allows nerves to get the better of her.
The body language expert said: “Rose threw herself into some dangerous-looking lifts with absolute courage, telling Claudia she ‘loves adrenalin’.
“Her best steps were her solo ones out there on the floor too, which must be challenging without Gio to help keep the beat.”
John Whaite and pro Johannes Rabebe are another couple who showed “total confidence” last night.
Judi said: “John and Johannes are already looking like friends or an equal team of two rather than dance coach and celebrity.
“John is a natural scene-stealer and the cameras love him so much that you can hear the casting guys queuing up to sign him for other roles.
“He performed the first part of his routine solo and direct to camera with a flair that suggested total performer confidence.
“He clapped the band at the end and flung an arm around Johannes’ shoulders as though he was the pro dancer and Johannes the nervous celeb.
“Johannes placed his hand on top in the clasp as they ran up the steps to the balcony, suggesting an air of leadership or control but John seemed to twist the clasp around so his hand was on top.
“Like last year’s same-sex couple they’re currently doing mirrored routines, dressed and dancing identically which is a shame because it magnifies any flaws from the celebrity.
“Hopefully they’ll try some more paired and less mirrored dancing for the rest of the series as it could up their good scores into great scores.
“I think John’s career will be a winner this year even if he doesn’t get his hands on the glitter ball.”
From the most confident to the least, Judi noted that both Rhys Stephenson and Adam Peaty needed a “confidence redesign” last night.
She said: “Rhys actually looked over-confident in Week One, but thanks to the very firm Nancy he’s now producing signals of enough anxiety to keep him focused despite all his high energy.
“He rubbed his thighs as she spoke; did a chomping ritual with his teeth; a mouth skew and some head-holding to suggest he is now knuckling down to her strict-looking regime.
“He even performed a fig-leaf pose on the balcony with Claudia and Nancy.
“He’s got so much talent and energy and this confidence crush and re-boot could power him to the finals.”
Looking at Adam and professional dancer Katya, Judi claimed: “Adam and Katya are both so competitive it almost hurts.
“Adam’s eyes are always direct to camera during their rehearsal videos though and they need to turn back onto Katya alone if he’s going to convert his talent into a win.
“The judges said he looked like he was panicking during the dance and they were right.
“He clearly tries so hard that it can be easy to make mistakes.
“As a swimmer he’d probably just try harder after a defeat but as a dancer he needs to suck up any mistakes and learn to relax and enjoy his routines.”