Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Why Mark Wright’s Free Willy And Emotion Set Him Apart

There are 15 celebs battling for our attention.

And Mark Wright set himself apart from the rest of his fellow ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ contestants in the opening live shows this weekend with his cheeky moves and tearful moment.

Mark might have only nabbed himself a mid-table position with 24 points from the judges for his cha cha cha, but he shot to the top of our list when he opened Saturday night’s show. Why so?

1. He did The Worm. THE ACTUAL WORM, PEOPLE. On a ballroom dancing programme.

Len Goodman called it a Free Willy (*snigger*) and wasn’t impressed. Craig Revel Horwood called it a caterpillar and was impressed. We called it the worm and gave Marky a virtual high five for his cheekiness.

Mark’s pro partner Karen Hauer clearly isn’t afraid to throw in a novelty move or two. This is the woman who helped Hairy Biker Dave Myers stay in last year’s ‘Strictly’ well beyond his ability, after all. Methinks there’s plenty more non-standard dance moves to come. GOOD.

2. He had a blub. Wide boy Mark comes across as your typical laaaad, and the judges even commented on his “cocky confidence”, but deep down the former ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ star is basically a BIG OLD CRY BABY. And we love it.

Up on the podium with Claudia Winkleman straight after his performance, Mark got all damp around the eye balls and admitted to feeling totes emosh after having been “petrified”. N’awww.

3. He had star support. OK, so Frankie Sandford won the unofficial Best FROW Support Team award at the weekend by having the entire Saturdays gang turn up, but Mark didn’t do too badly.

His fiancée Michelle Keegan wolf-whistled from the audience. We’re looking forward to seeing her gorge face every weekend.

4. He brought out the guns. If you’ve got muscles and you’re on ‘SCD’, it’s criminal not to flash the flesh. Mark obliged in his tight, bicep-baring outfit. Thom Evans, your turn next week. Cannot. Wait.

5. He can go on the journey. Just as we predicted after the launch show, Frankie started off strong and topped the leaderboard, but that might not work in her favour overall with the voters.

After all, THE JOURNEY is where it’s at when it comes to reality TV competitions. Mark got a strategic middle table position for his first dance. With his “fantastic potential”, in the words of the judges, he’s got room to improve week on week. For Frankie, the pressure’s increased tenfold. Eek.

As for the rest of ‘em…

The Strictly Romance: Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute stood out for their chemistry.

Secret Groover: Jake Wood made us pay attention thanks to his surprisingly good moves.

The Guns: Steve Backshall won the muscles awards with those ridiculous arms of his.

The Legs: Pixie Lott won the legs award with those pins that went on forever.

The Hide Behind The Sofa: Scott Mills made us hide inside our jumpers. The only way is up.

The Infectiously Fun: Alison Hammond is loving life right now. Who can blame her with Aljaz on her arm?

The Smooth Mover: Simon Webbe was amazeballs. That is all.

So take note, Mr Wright; keep crying and breaking the rules and you’ll go far.

Elizabeth Wagmeister

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