Strictly Come Dancing's 5 biggest stories this week: Leaderboard champions and harsh judging

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal make their Strictly Come Dancing debut. (BBC)
Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal make their Strictly Come Dancing debut. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

Week one in the ballroom is done, which means the Strictly Come Dancing celebrities are heading towards their first eviction on Sunday night.

Before we find out who will have the unenviable title of first 2022 contestant sent home, let's take a look back over the week's biggest stories from the BBC One show.

Rose Ayling-Ellis brings viewers to tears

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice reprised one of their Strictly Come Dancing routines on the 2022 launch show. (BBC)
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice reprised one of their Strictly Come Dancing routines on the 2022 launch show. (BBC)

One of the duties of the previous series champion is to come back for the launch episode and show the new cast how it's done.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice created many an emotional moment during the 2021 series, and it seems none of their dancefloor magic has worn off.

Viewers shared on social media how they had been in tears watching the couple dance their beautifuul Viennese Waltz, proving exactly why they won last year.

Read more: All the winners of Strictly so far

Ayling-Ellis told the 2022 cast: "Listen to your partner. They know what they're talking about. They are the dancers, they are the experts - not the celebrities.

"Just embrace learning so much of a new skill and just enjoy it because, once you finish it and once you stop it, you will never be able to do it again. So just appreciate it."

Helen Skelton makes an escape bid

Helen Skelton made her debut appearance. (BBC)
Helen Skelton made her debut appearance. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

We can only imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to step out into the ballroom for the first live show, even for the most TV-weathered celebrities.

Countryfile's Helen Skelton admitted her nerves almost got the better of her before show one as she tried to run out of a fire escape.

Speaking on her BBC Radio 5 Live show, she said: “I had a little cry. I’m normally cool, calm and collected.

“I got on the dancefloor and they said, ‘When the audience come in...’ and I went, ‘Oh crikey, yeah, there’s people. I was like, ‘There’s a fire door, there, I can get out of it,’ and I did."

She went on: "And Gorka [Marquez, her dance partner] found me and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Just having a minute.’

"I literally ran. It was like when I did Celeb SAS, I tried to escape that.”

Hamza Yassin stuns on the dancefloor

Hamza Yassin topped the leaderboard. (BBC)
Hamza Yassin topped the leaderboard. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

Many viewers may not have been quite sure who wildlife expert and cameraman Hamza Yassin was before his debut on the show - but his first performance certainly justified his casting.

Yassin and his partner Jowita Przystal are currently joint top of the leaderboard with 34 points for their foxtrot to 'Islands In The Stream' by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Joining them in the top spot are Will Mellor and Nancy Xu, but will this weekend's second set of scores see things turned upside down?

Kym Marsh hits back at low scores

Graziano Di Prima & Kym Marsh on the Strictly live show. (BBC)
Graziano Di Prima and Kym Marsh on the Strictly live show. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

It's a tough gig going first on week one of Strictly, but Kym Marsh made a valiant effort with the notoriously tricky jive.

However, judge Craig Revel Horwood awarded Marsh and her partner Graziano Di Prima just four points.

Marsh responded to the criticism on Morning Live, saying: "I mean, obviously it's disappointing, isn't it, because we did work very hard.

"But you've gotta take it on the chin and accept the comment and just kind of move forward with it, so we have taken onboard what he said."

Read more: What is the Strictly curse and who has fallen for it?

Di Prima added: "Obviously we're gonna take it onboard and work harder, but listen, she's a diamond.

"I know what she can do, she's been working so hard and you know we're gonna do our best again. I think she was brilliant, I think she was genuinely brilliant.

"And to open Strictly 2022... trust me, I'm a professional dancer, I was shaking. So she was perfect, she was dancing by herself. I couldn't be more proud of that."

Scott Mills shares the trauma of harsh judging

BBC radio DJ Scott Mills was a Strictly contestant way back in 2014, but the embarrassment of dancing dressed as a lobster still hasn't left him.

Speaking on BBC podcast The Talent Factory: Inside the Music Machine which launched this week hosted by Amelia Lily, he remembered the pain of being the joke contestant.

Mills admitted: "I got absolutely annihilated by the judges and as much as you do try and remember in your head that it's a TV show, it's very hard to not let it get you down, and it did, to be honest."

Watch: Who is Strictly's Hamza Yassin