Quickstep takes Molly Rainford to top of Strictly leaderboard
Singer and former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Molly Rainford has secured the top spot on the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard with an impressive performance of the quickstep to Love On Top by Beyonce.
The dancing show’s 15 celebrity contestants took to the dancefloor for the second time on Saturday evening ahead of the public vote opening for the first time in the series.
The judging panel were blown away by 21-year-old Rainford’s show-closing routine, which she performed in a pastel yellow suit with partner Carlos Gu.
Craig Revel Horwood commented: “I love the outfits, I loved the dance darling, brilliant.”
Rainford was rewarded with a score of 34 for her performance, placing her at the top of the leaderboard just as the public vote opened.
As the celebrity’s week one scores have been combined with their week two scores, Rainford was left with an overall score of 65.
Radio presenter Richie Anderson was also praised for his quickstep, which he performed alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice to Dancin’ Fool by Barry Manilow.
The fast-paced performance received a standing ovation from judges Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas, with Mabuse saying: “Richie that was a moment, take it in, that was absolutely beautiful.”
Anderson, 34, walked away with an impressive score of 32, giving him a total score of 55.
Meanwhile actor Will Mellor and Nancy Xu dropped just one spot on the leaderboard into second place after receiving a score of 26 for their salsa to Never Too Much by Luther Vandross, giving them an overall score of 60.
Following the dance, the 46-year-old received mixed feedback from the judging panel, with Anton Du Beke saying: “Generally speaking you’ve got a great feel, you’ve got a great groove going on and I love it. I’d like your posture just to come up a little bit.”
Hamza Yassin, who was sharing the leaderboard top spot with Mellor after week one, was given a score of 24 for his performance of the jive to Blinding Lights by The Weeknd with partner Jowita Przystal.
The 32-year-old wildlife cameraman is once again joint with Mellor, but this time in second place also with 60 points overall after Ballas described the dance as “a little bit back weighted”.
Fleur East donned a simple pale pink dress and performed an emotional Viennese waltz to Glimpse Of Us by Joji with partner Vito Coppola to secure her total of 57 points after she was awarded 28 for the dance.
The 34-year-old singer became tearful after the performance, which judge Du Beke described as “beautifully refined”.
Paralympian gold medallist Ellie Simmonds and partner Nikita Kuzmin received a strong 30 points for their performance of the waltz to Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley.
Mabuse said the dance gave her “the biggest goose bumps ever” and Simmonds, 27, completed the performance with a total of 56 points.
Tyler West ended his second performance with a total score of 53 after he performed a theatrical jive to Hit The Road Jack by Buster Poindexter with partner Dianne Buswell.
The Kiss FM DJ was given 31 points for the dance and received a standing ovation from head judge Ballas, who said: “You’re the real deal. You bring something you can’t teach.”
TV presenter Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez took to the dancefloor with their cha cha to Rain On Me by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, which secured them 27 points, taking their overall score to 53.
Following the energetic performance, Ballas said: “I’m impressed with the coordination… As it went through the programme it got a little bit lost, keep working on that.”
Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe ended Saturday night with a total of 51 points after they were awarded 23 for the paso doble performed to Les Toreadors by Georges Bizet.
Following the performance, which saw the Ted Lasso actress dressed as a flamenco dancer, Du Beke said the performance lacked the “correct atmosphere”.
Actress Kym Marsh currently sits at the lower end of the leaderboard after she received a score of 27 for her performance of the Viennese waltz to Runaway by The Corrs with partner Graziano Di Prima.
The 46-year-old actress gave a slow and sensitive performance, which received encouraging feedback from the judging panel.
Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer performed the tango to Rumour Has It by Adele, which secured them a score of 26 points, giving them a total of 49.
The 37-year-old comedian, who was once an Adele tribute act, received positive comments, with Revel Horwood saying: “I thought you were really leading this dance, well done my darling.”
Actor James Bye achieved a total of 56 after he and partner Amy Dowden were awarded 24 for their tango to Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran.
After a dramatic performance, the EastEnders actor received varied feedback with Revel Horwood saying: “For me it was very ploddy.”
Kaye Adams performed the Charleston to Music! Music! Music! by Dorothy Provine with partner Kai Widdrington, and received a score of 22 for her efforts as Mabuse said: “It shows hard work pays off, keep doing what you’re doing.”
Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova danced the samba to Night Fever by the Bee Gees, with the Bros singer donning a disco themed outfit of white flares and a matching waistcoat as his partner wore a gold jumpsuit.
The 54-year-old received praise for his improvement on week one, with Ballas commenting: “From last week to this week, your confidence has grown 100%. I love that,” as he was awarded a score of 22, bringing his total to 42.
After a wobbly first week, Tony Adams hit the dancefloor once again with a Charleston to My Old Man’s A Dustman by Foster and Allen alongside professional partner Katya Jones.
Despite a fun and energetic performance, for which the pair dressed as dustmen, the 55-year-old former England football manager failed to move up from the bottom of the leaderboard as he was given a score of 22 points, landing him a total of 37.
Du Beke appeared overjoyed, saying: “I’ve not been this happy since I chucked Ann Widdecombe across the floor.
“That was the best. I loved that. I know last week was a disappointment, you’ve come out this week and you’ve smashed it.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One.