Before we start, I'd just like to list my qualifications for offering any kind of comment on a dancing show:
1. Once I did an entire interpretive floor dance at a friend's 30th with a girl I'd never met.
2. My grandparents taught me to line dance when I was about six.
3. I've picked up some great moves from my three year old.
4. When I was a kid I would dance in my room in front of the mirror, until one day I saw my mum laughing at me through my bedroom window. Ah shit, hold on. I've ventured slightly into childhood trauma.
Robert Rakete kicks things off by saying he can't dance, but I think he's lying to me. He also casually mentions that he's 51, which I only believe because he said it himself - I would also buy it if he said he was 32. He mentions his mum's passing last year, so I'm in tears and we're only 10 minutes in. I think he does a great job, but then he gets one of the lowest scores, so it appears that my stellar qualifications have given me false confidence.
Next is Jess Quinn, and I was so ready to be disdainful of someone whose job is a social media influencer, but she is just delightful. SHE DANCED WITH A BRUISED RIB, AFTER BEING IN A&E LAST NIGHT. My ribs are in tip top condition, I've never been in A&E, and I'd probably fall over just coming down those stairs.
Chris Harris is third up, and I wonder why I have never heard of him, until I find out he's a cricketer. He jokes that he hopes his problem shoulder doesn't get dislocated this season. His dance partner Vanessa is NOT laughing. Judge Rachel tells him to work on his arms, feet and body, but that other than that he was great. Basically, good job for smiling the whole time Chris. Come on, can we give him some credit for keeping his shoulder in its socket?
Gilda Kirkpatrick kicks off her segment by saying 'I'm really hoping that [my dance partner] doesn't smell, because if I smell something, my brain just shuts down'. Oh god. She's amazing. She keeps mentioning how all the Real Housewives are psychos, and I wonder is she's including herself in that statement because I definitely am. She has the serious tango face nailed, and her outfit looks like she's wearing a giant red sequinned g-string. I'm a little bit distracted by her partner Shae's immaculate eyebrows too.
Marama Fox is a QUEEN. Her dance partner Brad says he's been dancing competitively for 13 years, but he is so young that I'm sure he was in the womb 13 years ago. My lack of knowledge about what the hell good dancing is is really starting to show; every time a pair finishes and I think they've done really well, the judges hit me with the 'oh you really looked like you were having fun, buuuut...'. Marama says she messed up a few times but she's really good at faking it, and co- host Sharyn replies 'most of us are'. Well. For those of us watching who know nothing about dancing, here is finally something to relate to.
YES SHAVAUGHN. She says she's going to have to find her inner sexy lady, and then she comes out in a LACE CATSUIT AND DOES THE SPLITS. I'd need six years and a topographical map to find my inner sexy lady. And a lifetime would not be sufficient for me to master the splits.
Sam Hayes tells us she has to tell her partner to 'use your words', and I'm an early childhood teacher by day, so already I can relate. She dances beautifully, and finally my totally uninformed opinion matches the actual professionals'.
I'll be honest, I've never watched Dancing with the Stars before, and it is awkward as shit.
But I didn't get to see Suzy Cato tonight, so I'll be tuning in tomorrow, and then probably every week after that. Just when I think I can extract myself from reality TV, it turns out I'm lying to myself and I never will.