Sunday, 18 December 2016

Strictly Come Dancing - The Grand Final (Spoiler Alert)

So at last it is here.  The Grand Final of Strictly Come Dancing.   Over the last 3 months, fifteen celebrities have been slowly whittled down to just three. There has been tears as well as triumphs, history has been made and the end of an era approaches as Len Goodman hangs up his dancing shoes as Head Judge.  Who will replace him has yet to be announced and there is much speculation. However, my theory is that it won’t be decided or at least announced until the next series begins.

However we have one exciting night ahead of much dancing as the finalists perform not one, not two but three dances apiece.  Their first dance will be one they’ve already danced selected by the judges to dance again.  Their second dance will be the much awaited showdance, a dance which showcases the best of the dancers choreography to show off the celebs and how much they have learnt.  Unlike the other dances, there are no rules in the showdance, they can put anything into the routine and for my video choices I have chosen to insert these as they are never before seen routines. Their final dance is each couples favourite dance from the series.  I also must point out that the judges are only there for guidance in the final.  The winner is decided by viewers votes alone.

So after a thrilling opening number from the pros, our finalists enter the arena.  Welcome Danny Mac and his partner Oti Mabuse; Louise Redknapp and her partner Kevin Clifton; and Ore Oduba and his partner Joanne Clifton.

First to dance is Ore and the judges choice for him was the American Smooth from Week 3.  This was from Movie Week and he danced to Singing In The Rain.  It scored a huge 35 points back then and even Gene Kelly’s widow had got in touch with Ore to congratulate him.  So the judges wanted to see it again as they felt he could improve the routine even more.  It was danced to perfection, the steps and twirls were brilliant.  The judges could see the improvement and he scored a fantastic 39 points with just Craig marking him down for a minor pointing of the toes.

Next up was Louise and the judges had also returned to Movie Week for her as well.  They wanted to see her Cha Cha Cha again.  They felt that given how much her confidence had improved over the weeks, she would perform this much better and also the fact she had won the Cha Cha Challenge should mean her performance would be vastly improved.  They were right and she performed this fantastically, she was more confident and smiley during the routine and it was full of energy and very sexy.  Her score rose from 31 in week 3 to a huge 38 in the final.

Finally up was Danny Mac and the judges asked for him to perform the Quickstep from Week 4.  He had scored 36 for this previously, each judge giving him a nine.  However his performance wasn’t great this time round.  He was out of time at the beginning, he seemed to struggle to get moving and then his final run was horribly out of step.  However the judges gave him the same marks, each scoring him a nine which I felt was overmarked given the mistakes.  Had this been anything other than the final, I think they would have ripped him to pieces.

Next it was the much awaited show dances. Again first up was Ore and Joanne.  Joanne had packed so many different dance styles into the one routine danced to ‘I Got Rhythm’.  There was Jive, Quickstep, Charleston, even a bit of tap in there.  But the highlight was the section where they danced on a series of platforms made up to look like a drum kit.  They were leaping around on and off them, one false move and it would go horribly wrong but it was danced to perfection and I really can’t begrudge Ore his perfect 40 score from the judges.

Next up was Louise and Kevin.  I was really looking forward to this as I love Kevin’s routines and I’ve made no secret of these two being my choice to win.  Kevin had put together a beautiful routine telling the story of Louise’s journey through Strictly from a shy and nervous starter to a strong confident performer and dancer.  Set to Whitney Houston’s One Moment In Time, this was a stunning routine, elegant and fantastic lifts and the performance reduced me to tears.  She scored 38 from the judges but it would have been a 40 from me.

Finally performing to Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain was Danny and Oti.  Again I had high hopes as Oti is an amazing choreographer.  However this didn’t really live up to my expectations.  It seemed too much.  It was a good performance but not really to my liking.  It felt like they were trying too hard and Danny didn’t seem as at ease as he has in previous routines.  Maybe he was still recovering from his mistakes in the first dance but I didn’t feel it was his best performance.  However the judges gave him a full house and a score of 40.

Then we come to the final dances of the evening which were the choices of the celebs themselves.  No surprises in any of them as Ore went for his Jive which scored 39 first time round, Louise performed her beautiful Argentine Tango again which also scored 39 when she first danced it.  Danny chose the amazing Samba from a few weeks ago which scored him a history making 40.  All celebs performed their dances perfectly tonight and all three of them got a perfect 40 this time round.

So all the dances were done with and while the votes were cast, counted and verified we had a performance from Emilie Sande (I made my dinner during this point, I’m not a fan).  Then there was a lovely ballroom dance from the pro dancers in a tribute to Len Goodman and then finally all the eliminated celebs were reunited on the dancefloor for one final dance (minus Will Young who had declined to return after withdrawing in week 4).  It was great to see them all back again, even Ed Balls.  The dance routine highlighted each celebs best moments of their time on Strictly.  Anastacia’s splits, Ed’s Gangnam Style, Lesley’s Tango, Daisy’s bicycle ride, Greg leaping over a bar and spinning Natalie round, Judge Rinder shaking his bum again and Claudia cartwheeling down the floor to AJ who lifted her up in that amazing final lift from their Lion King routine.

Finally it was time for the result and after what seemed like an eternity, it was announced that the winner was ORE AND JOANNE.  I can’t say I am totally surprised, after all he was only one point off a perfect score all evening and he is clearly a favourite with the public.  Of course I would have loved Louise and Kevin to have won it but Ore was my second choice.  That being said the three finalists were the strongest performers from the series although I would have liked to have seen Claudia there too.

All in all, this series of Strictly has been amazing with great celebs, memorable moments and some truly outstanding dancing.  I can’t imagine the next series living up to this one but who knows? It could be even better.

There is still the Christmas special but these are never as good as the main series, however no doubt I will be watching it.

Roll on Strictly 2017, my Saturdays nights will be empty without my dancing fix.  But as they say……….KEEP DANCING!

1 comment:

  1. You know I wanted Louise to win too, and that Ore was my second choice too. I LOVED his energy this week!! All of the dances were really awesome. I think what sealed it for Ore was his cheekiness and just how much fun he looked like he was having. I suspect nerves may have gotten the better of Danny Mac.