Dance Dance Dance: ITV's new dance show is what it says on the tin

Jaye Nolan
Duane gets stuck into Usher's OMG on Dance Dance Dance
Duane gets stuck into Usher’s OMG on Dance Dance Dance

Chic told us to Dance Dance Dance. We’re trying, we really are but if we struggle, we can just watch ITV’s new Sunday night teatime special.

Now then, I don’t watch soaps or TOWIE so I’ve no idea who these people are. I did watch Wild at Heart so Lucy-Jo looks vaguely familiar, and I am actually aware of JB and JLS.

What I’m saying is, I can’t be biased, which is a good thing.

Of course, this may change as it became perfectly obvious that one dancer stood out above all others for me.

ITV’s new dance show debuted with dance fans rejoicing at the fact we have some more dancing on telly, but with others – who take their television a bit too seriously (Who? Me? Never!) – going for the jugular.

It is what is it, guys. Trained dancers – some of them having been away from it for a while – doing their best to provide a bit of fun but with a competition to create some tension. It’s never going to compete with Strictly so let’s just chill and enjoy Duane for the (hopefully) six weeks we’ve got him.

It’s hosted by former Strictly favourite Alesha Dixon, channelling Cleopatra (the Queen, not the band, and the dress really isn’t deserving of a whole article, Daily Express *rolls eyes*) who’s all spit and polish now. I missed the spontaneity we loved her for in Strictly. Bring back the Muttley, I say!

Alesha Dixon hosts ITV's new dance show Dance Dance Dance
Alesha Dixon hosts ITV’s new dance show

Knowing that dancing is hard, it’s great to see VTs of the couples training, if only to show numpties like myself how much work actually goes into turning out a routine lasting only a couple of minutes.

Anyhoo, we get cracking and first up it’s Eastenders actor, Jonny Labey with girlfriend Chrissy, recreating Michael and Janet Jackson’s Scream and setting the bar ridiculously high. It was clean and precise and judge Ashley Banjo was “sold from the first move”. They scored a combined score of 26 from judges Timor Steffens, Tina Landon and Ashley.

Jonny Labey and girlfriend Chrissy in Dance Dance Dance
Jonny Labey and girlfriend Chrissy in Dance Dance Dance

JLS star JB Gill and his wife Chloe should have got a room, dancing a contemporary rumba-ry number to Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, which led Timor to proclaim “the whole beginning was perfect”. Score 23.5

JB Gill and wife Chloe dance to Ed Sheeran's Talking Out Loud on Dance Dance Dance
JB Gill and wife Chloe dance to Ed Sheeran’s Talking Out Loud on Dance Dance Dance

TOWIE’S Jess Wright and friend Duane drew Jai Ho, that wonderful uplifting number from Slumdog Millionaire. Ashley told Jess she “needed to make that connection” – to be fair, she was wearing a bloomin’ annoying long scarf and was probably intent on not tripping on it – and also, she was dancing with Duane, so I barely watched her at all. Because he is just A-May-Zing. Score: 21.5 (20 of which I’m guessing was for Duane. Sorry, Jess.)

Jess Wright and the impressive Duane compete in Dance Dance Dance
Jess Wright and the impressive Duane compete in Dance Dance Dance

Emmerdale actress Fiona Wade and friend Ronnie got the most iconic dance – Time of My Life, from Dirty Dancing, but sadly, it was all about the lift, which they couldn’t pull off alone. It felt like it was over before it had really got going, and what dancing we did see wasn’t nearly as fluid as it should’ve been. Score: 19.5

Fiona Wade and friend Ronnie in Dance Dance Dance
Fiona Wade and friend Ronnie in Dance Dance Dance

Finally, my favourite overall performance in the duets was from Lucy-Jo Hudson and friend Rohan, with Everybody by the BackStreet Boys. She’s a natural dancer and threw herself into with great energy. Timor told her she “worked your ass off and nailed that routine” while I didn’t get distracted at all by the half naked men writhing around her. Score: 24.5

Lucy-Jo and Rohan dance to Backstreet Boys in Dance Dance Dance
Lucy-Jo and Rohan dance to Backstreet Boys in Dance Dance Dance

Moving into the solos and Chloe brought the attitude into Madonna’s Vogue, scoring 24.5, while Fiona needed to loosen up to truly deliver Rihanna’s umbrella – she’s a little too stiff, and lacking in confidence, thus scoring just 22.5.

Lucy-Jo gave Beyonce’s Crazy in Love everything she had, scoring 24.5 – she can certainly strut – but this round was really all about the boys.

Jonny Labey dances to Justin Timberlake in Dance Dance Dance
Jonny Labey dances to Justin Timberlake in Dance Dance Dance

Jonny nailed every little movement in Timberlake’s Rock Your Body, simply “oozing” as Tina said, in a less aggressive dance than before (score 27) but it was Duane who shone most – as technically proficient but with added soul – with Usher’s OMG being the standout performance of the show (for me – the judges scored him 26.5). Tina felt it too, scoring him the same as Jonny and saying “I was giggling all the time …sexy!” He completely captured the essence of the original. See for yourself:

At the end of week one, this is how they stand:

Jonny and Chrissy 53; Lucy-Jo and Rohan 49; JB & Chloe 48; Jess and Duane 48; Fiona and Ronnie 42

They all dance again for the next two weeks, then the couple with the fewest points gets eliminated. For more info on how it all works, visit here.

Same time, next week. TTFN.

Want to chat TV? Find me @Scattyjan on Twitter