Louise Redknapp tops Strictly charts with sizzling Tango

Louise Redknapp has flown to the top of the Strictly Come Dancing scoreboard after earning three 10s for her Argentine Tango, the first of the series.

Former singer Louise and her professional partner Kevin Clifton performed a sizzling routine that had head judge Len Goodman raving that “there was nothing I didn’t like”.

The competition between the remaining nine celebrity contestants is hotting up with the famous Blackpool ballroom special just two weeks away.

Ex-shadow chancellor Ed Balls managed to beat his record score from last week, but is once again at the bottom of the scoreboard with 27 points.

Ed and his professional partner Katya Jones were dressed as Laurel and Hardy for their quickstep to Help! by The Beatles.

While their routine did not earn them a top spot, it did prompt Judge Craig Revel-Horwood to praise Ed’s dancing efforts.

He said: “I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, you are actually improving.”

TV star Judge Rinder was berated by judges Craig and Bruno Tonioli over his facial expressions.

The barrister tackled the quickstep with partner Oksana Platero to Chantz Powell’s version of It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and pulled his usual array of faces mid-dance.

Bruno told him: “You look very good, you don’t need to do the trout pout. You don’t need it.”

TV presenter Laura Whitmore was emotional after she made a small mistake during her samba to Gipsy Kings by Bamboleo.

Judge Darcey Bussell lightened the mood by commenting on a solo section of the dance done by Laura’s professional partner, Giovanni Pernice.

Darcy quipped: “I quite enjoyed Giovanni’s end”.

Early favourite Danny Mac opened the show with a sizzling jive to Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally, which earned him two 10s.

Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford and his partner Natalie Lowe were overjoyed as they managed to reclaim their higher spot on the leaderboard.

Greg became tearful last week after receiving very low scores, but was praised by Len this week.

The head judge told him: “Well, it’s firework night and you’ve come back with a bang. You’re back, well done.”

Following her sassy performance, Louise has become the favourite to win the show.

“Louise Redknapp’s performance tonight prompted a huge gamble on the singer going all the way in the competition where her odds were slashed in half this evening,” said Coral bookmaker John Hill.

He added: “Laura Whitmore is the favourite to leave this weekend and miss out on a place in Blackpool, while the betting suggests either Ed Balls or Daisy Lowe will be in the dance-off with her.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Sunday at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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