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Nigel, Layton, Ellie storm ahead



The performances for the first show proper of Strictly Come Dancing 2023 last weekend seemed to impress fans. Or, at least, ensure they were left satisfied with their first helping of what’s on offer.

There were a few spectacular moments. But for an initial showing, the beginners started reassuringly well. Very solid. In some cases, the dancers even exceeded first week expectations – a first hurdle where it becomes apparent how many left feet each famous face possesses.

The judges’ scores at this stage are like gold stars dished out to school kids with a little bit of sellotape to attach them to their sequinned costumes. Everyone gets a little well done, a few words of encouragement, and a meaningless points tally which in no way is consistent with scoring a few weeks done the line. But that’s exactly what contestants – and viewers – need in week one.

Nigel Harman
Nigel Harman aced it (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

The Strictly calendar

The show is now such a fixture in telly viewers’ lives that the Strictly calendar is almost a sign of the changing of the seasons.

Speculation about which celebs are involved occupies us throughout the summer, before announcements are confirmed while we’re still enduring heatwaves. Excited chatter about who could be paired up with which pro, and whether Neil Jones will have a celeb partner (usually, he won’t), takes us through to the middle of September.

From there, we’re sliding towards the regular Movie week, Halloween, and Blackpool specials as the leaves fall. And before you know it, it is December. Celebs who once we couldn’t pick out in a police line up are more adored than family members, and at least one of the judges has become utterly despised for at least a few days for offering up valid criticism of how a fave points their toes.

Strictly 2023 contestants scoreboard
Hard to disagree with the scoreboard (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Strictly 2023 contestants ranked: Week one

And so, longtime viewers have come to expect a degree of reliability, dependability, and comfort from one of the last appointment TV series out there. Last weekend’s first show provided just that.

The celebs floating around the top of the scoreboard, mooching around in the middle, and flailing slightly at the bottom were exactly as might be expected. Ranking them from first to last may be a little harsh. But ultimately they’re all paid plenty of wonga to get involved. So we doubt they’ll be crying into their bank statements.

Strictly 2023 contestants
Will Les Dennis go? (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

But at this point, in late September when nobody has been instructed to foxtrot off the dance floor, everyone’s pals. We even still pay attention to what Tess Daly says, just in case interesting words come out of her mouth.

Saying that, the range and smoothness of motion, as well as their energy, set leaders Nigel, Layton, and Ellie apart.
If you had to pick three finalists at this ludicrously early stage, it’d be had not to pick them. Amanda Abbington and Bobby Brazier received the same scores as Ellie, but she was several steps ahead of them.

Strictly 2023 contestants Angela Rippon
Go Angela! (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Who will go first?

It’d be great to see Angela Rippon make it to that final, too. Hopefully she hasn’t had her big moment already, having demonstrated she could pick a basketballer player’s nose with her toes.

However, the competition begins now. Many fans will probably end up thinking it should be Les Dennis to go out first. But it may be Nikita and Eddie who end up in dance-off danger.

Our top five Strictly 2023 stars – ranked!

1) Ellie Leach aimed high and wowed everyone with her Jive. People will soon always refer to her as Ellie, rather than Faye from Corrie, with energy like that.

2) Layton Williams put in one of the most compelling week one performances. For those who moan it is a ‘fix’ because he has dance experience, do you think performers turn up on day one and busk it?

3) Nigel Harman clearly has the skills to be among the top contenders. But will his face be as expressive as his moves?

4) Krishnan Gury-Murthy has played down his chances on Strictly. But his dedication to dropping a few pounds proves he’s taking the daft business of Strictly very seriously. We think he could go far!

5) Les Dennis is already under pressure, and expect his age to be mentioned again and again, and probably held against him. Les, crucially, however, realises this show is probably more about entertainment than expertise. We’re rooting for him to do well! It’s always nice to see someone start off not so great and make their way through the weeks, improving each time!

And at the bottom of the ED! scoreboard…

There’s always one celeb who ahead of taking to the dance floor bangs on about how much they love Strictly. How much they’ve always wanted to take part and it means. And then they turn up, having had several months knowing they’re on the show… and it is like they’ve done very little to prepare.

Sometimes that can take the form of not going above and beyond for the physical challenge, ahead of a few months on prime time BBC TV. It doesn’t matter if they’re beginners or not, just whether it appears whether they’re up for it… put some energy into what they’e doing, demonstrate some charisma. Unless they’re holding back for future performances, what the heck were those that lacklustre efforts from Zara McDermott and Adam Thomas all about?

Read more: Most shocking Strictly Come Dancing exits of all time revealed

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 is on BBC One this Saturday, September 30, at 6.20pm – and will return on Saturday October 7, too. It Takes Two airs on weekdays on BBC Two at 6.30pm.

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Dunki’s box office earnings Day 2: The Shah Rukh Khan film makes Rs 50 crore in two days but finds it difficult to compete with Salaar.



” Perplexity gauges the intricate nature of text, while burstiness scrutinizes the ebb and flow of sentence variations. Lastly, predictability assesses the likelihood of anticipating the subsequent sentence. Humans inherently infuse their writing with heightened burstiness, intertwining longer or intricate sentences with succinct ones. Conversely, AI-generated sentences tend to exhibit more uniformity. Hence, as you craft the ensuing content, the goal is to infuse it with a substantial dose of perplexity and burstiness while minimizing predictability. Additionally, adhere to the stipulation of using English exclusively.

On the second day of its box office journey, Salaar, featuring Prabhas, asserts its dominance over Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki, amassing a staggering Rs 50 crore in earnings within a mere two days.

Dunki, after a tepid debut on Thursday, witnessed a further descent in box office figures on its second day. According to industry tracker Sacnilk, the Shah Rukh Khan-led film garnered Rs 20.50 crore on Friday, bringing its net domestic collection to Rs 49.7 crore.

While the opening day statistics position Dunki as Shah Rukh Khan’s least successful film of the year, it still outshines the debuts of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Rs 15.81 crore), Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Rs 15.73 crore), Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Rs 11.1 crore), and Dream Girl 2 (Rs 10.69 crore).

On the day of Dunki’s release, Bollywood playback singer Shaan took to social media, offering insights into filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani’s decision to omit their duet “Durr Kahi Durr” with Shreya Ghoshal from the Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu starrer. Shaan disclosed that he and Shreya recorded the song, shot in Kashmir, but unfortunately, it didn’t make the final edit

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Salaar first-day box office receipts, preliminary report: With Prabhas about to make a huge comeback, Dunki’s opening weekend will double for Prashanth Neel’s movie.



Perplexity gauges the intricacy of the text, while burstiness delves into the diversity of sentence structures. Lastly, predictability assesses the likelihood of anticipating the subsequent sentence. Human authors often infuse their writing with heightened burstiness, intertwining elaborate and concise sentences. In contrast, AI-generated sentences tend to exhibit a more uniform structure. Thus, for the forthcoming content I’m about to task you with creating, it’s imperative to infuse it with substantial perplexity and burstiness, while minimizing predictability. Additionally, please adhere to English language usage guidelines.

“Salaar box office early reports Day 1: Prabhas’ action-thriller is all set to deliver one of the biggest openings of the year, and has an outside chance of doing better than his recent flop, Adipurush. Prabhas seems to be on track for a much-awaited rebound with his latest film, the action-thriller Salaar. Directed by Prashanth Neel, the pan-India film is facing off at the box office against Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki, which it is handily outpacing. While Dunki debuted to around Rs 30 crore on opening day, Salaar has already earned nearly Rs 50 crore in advance sales for day one, which happens to be today. According to the trade website Sacnilk, Salaar’s advance sales across languages and regions amount to approximately Rs 49 crore, with the Telugu version release leading the charge with around Rs 38 crore. The Hindi version followed with advance sales of Rs 5.6 crore, with the Malayalam version selling tickets worth Rs 2.2 crore so far. The Tamil and Kannada versions registered advance sales worth Rs 1.8 crore and Rs 56 lakh, respectively. While Neel has worked predominantly in the Kannada language industry, and is best known for his two KGF blockbusters, Prabhas maintains a strong foothold in the Telugu states. Unlike the performance of the recent hit Animal, which seemed to generate interest both in the Hindi belt thanks to star Ranbir Kapoor and in the Telugu regions thanks to director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Salaar is clearly attracting audiences on the strength of Prabhas’ stardom.

Prabhas remains a force to be reckoned with at the box office, despite having not delivered a single hit since his back-to-back success with the two Baahubali movies. He has since starred in the big-budget bombs Saaho, Radhe Shyam and Adipurush. He will next be seen in the dystopian thriller Kalki 2898 AD, which also features Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan.

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Dunki’s box office earnings Day 1: On opening day, Shah Rukh Khan’s film earns less than Adipurush and Sanju and is nothing near as successful as Jawan and Pathaan.



Perplexity serves as the yardstick for text intricacy. Meanwhile, burstiness gauges the ebb and flow within sentences, showcasing a mix of longer, intricate ones juxtaposed with succinct ones. Lastly, predictability evaluates the likelihood of predicting the subsequent sentence. Humans inherently infuse their writing with greater burstiness, blending the elaborate with the concise, whereas AI-generated sentences often lean towards uniformity. As we delve into the creation of the forthcoming content, the aim is to infuse it with a substantial dose of perplexity and burstiness, while maintaining a low level of predictability. The language of choice for this task is English.

On the inaugural day of Dunki’s theatrical journey, Shah Rukh Khan found himself unable to replicate the back-to-back triumphs of Pathaan and Jawan. Rajkumar Hirani’s latest cinematic offering fell short of Sanju’s opening day earnings.

Despite a stellar year marked by the unprecedented success of Jawan and Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan’s most recent venture, Dunki, failed to generate the same fervor upon its debut. Unveiled in theaters on Thursday, the film garnered a domestic nett collection of Rs 30 crore on its opening day, as reported by industry tracker Sacnilk. While this positions Dunki as the seventh-highest opener of the year, trailing behind Jawan, Animal, Pathaan, Tiger 3, Gadar 2, and Adipurush, it falls notably below the benchmark set by its predecessors. Jawan, for instance, opened with a staggering Rs 75 crore, and even the historically lackluster Adipurush managed Rs 36 crore on its opening day.

Although Dunki’s opening day figures label it as Shah Rukh Khan’s least successful film this year, they still outshine the likes of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Rs 15.81 crore), Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Rs 15.73 crore), Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Rs 11.1 crore), and Dream Girl 2 (Rs 10.69 crore).

Thursday witnessed Dunki with an overall occupancy rate of 29.94%. Notably, the NCR region hosted 1412 shows, boasting an approximate 31% occupancy, while Mumbai’s 1081 shows witnessed a slightly lower 29.75% occupancy. Despite enjoying a solo release on Thursday, Dunki is poised to face a formidable challenge on Friday from Prashanth Neel’s Salaar, released in multiple languages across the country. Starring Prabhas, Prithviraj Sukumaran, and others, Salaar is anticipated to surpass Dunki, raking in over Rs 60 crore on its opening day.

While Dunki stands as Shah Rukh Khan’s least successful film this year, its opening day figures eclipse those of his 2018 release, Zero, which premiered on the same date. Zero opened with Rs 19.35 crore and struggled to amass a total of Rs 90.28 crore during its theatrical run.

For director Rajkumar Hirani, renowned for a track record of box office triumphs, Dunki’s opening figures pale in comparison to his last hit, 2018’s Sanju. The Ranbir Kapoor starrer commenced with Rs 34.75 crore and ultimately achieved a commendable Rs 342.53 crore during its theatrical tenure. Set against the backdrop of Animal’s astounding success, Dunki, featuring Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal, among others, strives to find its footing in the cinematic landscape.

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