Ed Balls' 'Strictly Come Dancing' Debut Gets A Mixed Reaction From The Judges

He raised a smile, but it didn't transfer to points, unfortunately.

Former Labour MP Ed Balls made his much-awaited ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ debut on Saturday (24 September) night, taking to the dance floor with new recruit Katya Jones for the first time.

The two performed a waltz to Elvis Presley’s ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’, accompanied with a backdrop of the Houses Of Parliament, while Ed wore a glittering two-piece suit.

Ed wound up getting the lowest score of the 15 stars taking part in the current series of ‘Strictly’, bagging just 21 points of a possible 40, which was no doubt big news for Lesley Joseph, who was the lowest-scoring celeb the previous evening.

However, Ed did manage to get some positive feedback from the judging panel, who encouraged him to try and conquer his nerves if he’s going to stay in the competition.

Darcey Bussell told him: “There was glimmers of an elegant gentleman there. Think of a narrative and story, build on that character and you will be fine.”

Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli both admitted they’d been pleasantly surprised by Ed’s abilities on the dance floor, with the latter adding: “It was surprisingly conservative, very prim and very proper… overall very politically correct.”

<strong> Ed Balls and Katya Jones</strong>
Ed Balls and Katya Jones
Guy LevyBBC

True to form, Craig Revel Horwood pointed out that he found the performance “a little pedestrian”, though Len insisted that Ed had defied his expectations.

Luckily for Ed, eliminations don’t take place until the second week of ‘Strictly’ live shows, with his points from his first performance being carried forward.

Meanwhile, Daisy Lowe and Aljaž Skorjanec were the week’s highest-scoring pair, earning 32 points for their waltz to Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’.

Speaking to HuffPost UK in the lead-up to this year’s ‘Strictly’, Ed admitted he’d been surprised with the calibre of his competitors, revealing: “The standard is high, a bit too high to be honest. I was hoping that there were going to be a few people who clearly couldn’t dance at all. And other than me they don’t seem to be there.”

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