Seann Walsh and Katya Jones impress Strictly judges with first dance since kiss drama
- Credit: PA
Seann Walsh and Katya Jones landed in the top half of the leaderboard for their first dance on Strictly Come Dancing since their controversial kiss, making no reference to the scandal at all.
The pair had been at the centre of a media storm over the past week after being pictured locking lips in The Sun newspaper, despite Katya being married to fellow Strictly dancer Neil Jones and Seann being in a relationship with Norwich-born actress Rebecca Humphries. She publicly dumped Seann via social media earlier this week.
They had both previously apologised for their actions, which had prompted speculation they might leave the programme, but they returned on Saturday night with a cheeky Charleston to Bills by Lunchmoney Lewis.
The judges were largely impressed, with Dame Darcey Bussell commenting: 'That was a full routine, you delivered a great energy, strong vibrant character, there were some really tricky lifts in there, I enjoyed one of the first ones where you took one arm and one leg where you swung her around.
'How you saved that last one...'
Head judge Shirley Ballas said Walsh 'gets an extra point' for saving the last lift, and she said the 'whole routine was totally entertaining, you got one tiny kick wrong in the middle, but I loved it'.
They were given 28 points from the judges, one of the highest scores of the episode, putting them in fifth place overall.
Although the programme largely ignored the drama, hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly did make a light-hearted reference to it as they opened the show.
- 1 'God's waiting room' - Norfolk town is country's pensioner hotspot
- 2 'It's just not viable anymore' - Pub near Great Yarmouth closes
- 3 Police called to 'altercation' between pupils at Norfolk school
- 4 Green light for park and ride, drive throughs and offices near Norwich
- 5 Lloyds to close bank in Norwich suburb
- 6 Norfolk holiday cottage business sold to a leading lettings agency
- 7 Norfolk worst area in UK for uninsured and untaxed drivers
- 8 Weather warning as thunderstorms set to hit Norfolk
- 9 'He could've gone all the way' - Mum's tribute to aspiring boxer, 19
- 10 Tyson Fury is making a comeback to Gorleston
Daly told the audience: 'For the last seven days, our couples have been eating, sleeping, breathing, dancing.'
Winkleman chipped in: 'Apart from that, it's been a quiet week...'
Daly added: 'Other than the odd headline.'
The dance and the generous scores should see them stay in
Well the BBC were shameless in putting Seann and Katya right near the end, the producers clearly knew who people were tuning in for.
Apart from the jokes by Claudia and Tess at the beginning of the show, it was business as usual until we got to the Charleston. Ashley was great, Katie had improved and Charles was undermarked.
And even when we finally got to Seann and Katya's dance, if you had lived under a rock this week you may have not noticed anything different.
Their training footage mentioned nothing of the week's headlines but it did make a point of them having a Charleston coach (chaperone) in the rehearsal room.
The dance itself, which was set in a pizzeria, was as far removed from a romantic or a sexy number as they could get, full of comedy elements and quite a few bars spent messing around with pizza boxes.
It had energy and was entertaining but I could sense the nerves from both of them with Katya nearly tripping at the beginning and a few very nervy moments in the lifts.
The judges praised the dance as the pair stood next to Tess, unsure where to put their hands. But when they made it up to the Claudatorium that is when the atmosphere changed.
A lot of the dancers looked very awkward and it did not go unnoticed by myself, and many people on Twitter, that Katya's husband Neil, who is usually such a joker, had a face like thunder.
And Katya may have missed the mark when she described the past week as 'amazing'.
There was a quick kiss on the cheek for Katya from Seann after they scored a rather generous 28 points from the judges, including an eight from Shirley who was adamant this week that she would be marking them on their dancing not their personal lives. Well with that eight paddle Shirley I think we were watching different dances.
They finished fifth on the leader board and I think that will be high enough to keep them out of the dance off, even if they lose a lot of the public vote.
• Did you enjoy Seann and Katya's dance? Let us know in the comments.