The former Emmerdale star was the only one of this year’s contestants that viewers were yet to see dance, having been brought in as a last-minute replacement when Jamie Laing injured himself during the show’s first group routine.
With all eyes on Kelvin during this series’ first live show, he more than delivered, impressing viewers and judges alike, with the panel giving him and partner Oti Mabuse a whopping 32 points for their must-watch Samba routine.
This score, as pointed out by presenter Claudia Winkleman, was not just the highest week one score since Daisy Lowe in 2015, but also the best ever week-one Samba on Strictly.
At 32 points, Kelvin is now in joint third place for highest-scoring week one routines ever, alongside Daisy Lowe, Abbey Clancy, Jason Donovan and Austin Healey.
Zoë Ball – who now presents spin-off show It Takes Two – holds the disctinction of first place, pulling in an incredible 35 points with her Waltz back in 2005.
Hot on Kelvin’s heels was CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual who, despite being one of this year’s lesser-known stars, caused quite a stir with his dance floor debut.
He and partner Amy Dowden’s Cha Cha earned them 31 points, with the judges praising Karim’s unique moves during his performance.
Michelle bagged 30 points for the routine, as did Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin for his Waltz with Diannse Buswell.
At the other end of the scale was Olympian James Cracknell, who got a scathing reception from the judges, earning just 11 points.
Chris Ramsey similarly failed to impress, earning just 13 for his Cha Cha to Lizzo’s Juice.
Strictly continues with its second live show next weekend, after which the public will cast the votes and the judges will decide which of this year’s stars should be sent home first.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.