Strictly Saturdays | The One With The Final

It’s that time of year again – dust off your ballgowns, get out those sequins and glitter I know you have, or just get the snacks in and settle down for this year’s Strictly Come DancingThat’s right folks, everyone’s favourite prime-time British TV show is back! No, not Bake Off, the other one – the one where celebrities of varying degrees of apparent “fame” are paired up with dancers who have the thankless task of teaching them how to stop tripping over their feet and actually look graceful instead.

For this year’s Strictly, I happen to be in the fortune position of officially living with a fellow Strictly Come Dancing fan. This means only one thing – doubled-up live-blogging… because just bitching comments to each other verbally clearly isn’t enough – in this technological age, they must be recorded for posterity’s sake. So… that’s what this thing is.

Here’s how it works:
Each week myself and Liz are bringing you a tag-team live-blog of Strictly Come Dancing. We are alternating whose blog it is posted on so if you want to keep up-to-date with our clearly deeply insightful commentaries, then you should make sure you’re following both of our blogs. (/end shameless promotion)

In case you missed it last week’s recap can be found here on Liz’s blog. This week, it is the Grand Final. Not only that, it is Len’s last final, his last show, as judge on Strictly. To say both of us are a little bit emotional about that fact doesn’t quite do justice. I anticipate we might feel a little bit teary at any given point of this finale.

Let’s get dancing…

When asked, quick-fire, who she wants to win, Liz replied “Uh… Kevin! …” and then like 30 seconds later she corrected, “I mean, Louise.” I think that says it all about how likeable pro-dancer Kevin from Grimsby is. And I don’t disagree.

Group Dance to ‘When Love Takes You’ (watch here)

Liz: Oooh Danny’s rolled his sleeves right. (We both have a bit bug bear with this, no, don’t ask us about it unless you’re ready for an hour long rant)

Emma: Aww look at Kevin’s little happy face!

(In response to contestants being on platforms high above the floor) Liz: Oh this is health and safety gone mad!

Emma: Ore was definitely having the most fun there though.

Liz: Oh Danny looks nervous.

Emma: Oh they’re all back. Anatastasia was over there. You do realise that means She’s back, Laura.

Liz: OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE.

Emma: Ooo yay Louise looks like she’s doing her Flashdance. I’m so happy for her, she enjoyed that so much. And Ore is doing his American Smooth!


Ore and Joanne American Smooth to ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (watch here)

Training

Liz: Wait, why are the judges sitting on thrones?

Emma: I was just thinking that.

Liz: Damn, Joanne looks FIERCE.

The Dance

Emma: Is he gonna do his little head wobble on this line- yeahhh!

Liz: (Stamps her feet excitedly)

Emma: Is he gonna drop the brolly? Is he gonna catch it? Yay!

Liz: Aww look how happy his mum looks!

Emma: And that looked a lot smoother, that lift and those pauses.

Judging

Liz: For a ballroom dance, that is such a compliment from Len.

Emma: I feel like Bruno was really genuine and earnest there… awww Craig said something nice! Craig!

Scores:
Craig: 9 | Darcey: 10 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 39


Louise and Kevin Cha-Cha to ‘What a Feeling’ (watch here)

Training

Emma: Seriously how have we never noticed Kevin’s jawline before??

Liz: Is he in his 30s now though? (a quick Google later) Yes, mid thirties, he’s at that peak for men, 34, everyone knows that is a bonafide fact.

Emma: This is very true.

The Dance

Emma: Bruno’s already loving it.

Liz: Her hip action is better.

Emma: Aww look at Kevin’s little face, he looks so proud.

Liz: Bruno’s doing the same dancing in his chair there.

Liz: Did they add more steps this time? It feels like they did.

Judging

Emma: Obligatory shot of Jamie stood happily in the audience there.

Liz: He looks so proud of her stood there!

Emma: Aww she is more confident.

Liz: Yeah, that is it Len, she is on her own at the start, because Kevin.

Scores:
Craig: 9 | Darcey: 9 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 38


Danny and Oti Quickstep to ‘I Won’t Dance’ (watch here)

Training

Liz: Oh I love this dance. Damn she looks good.

Emma: She is stunning.

Liz: They chose the quickstep for them which I think is why Danny didn’t chose it to do in the final.

Emma: Ah, now it all makes sense! I was disappointed when I thought they weren’t going to be doing it again.

The Dance

Emma: oh shit, I don’t think I’m ready, look at him.

Liz: Smooth.

Emma: They’ve changed it!

Liz: Yeah they’ve cut the first bit down. Len said he didn’t like the farting around.

Emma: Aww but I liked that when she lifted the flap of the coat up, it was cute and storytelling.

Liz: Fuck this is quick. There’s no gapping this time either.

Emma: God there really isn’t is there; I feel mildly uncomfortable at the lack of space.

Liz: NO!

Emma: Did he just go wrong!?!

Liz: Noo Danny!

Judging

Liz: Yeah you are a superb dancer, but you’ve got to be able to hold up under pressure.

Emma: I agree with Len, he did raise the bar and set the standard so high. Ooo he used the word ‘disappointing’, ouch! Ok this is pissing me off a little bit. ‘It’s a live show, it’s a live show’ etc. etc. well no shit but it was a live show for the other two and they didn’t fuck up.

Liz: It’s been a live show every week but no one said that every time Ed Balls messed up.

Scores:
Craig: 9 | Darcey: 9 | Len: 9 | Bruno: 9 = 36


Ore and Joanne Showdance to ‘I Got Rhythm’ (watch here)

Training

Emma: The Cliftons are good choreographers, aren’t they.

Liz: Yep.

Emma: If we mess up there is no coming back” Not to be dramatic or anything, Ore.

Liz: I do like a dance with an element of danger involved.

The Dance

Emma: A health and safety office somewhere is shitting himself.

Liz: Why are there poles… ah yes, that’s why. This is seriously good.

Emma: This is so his style. He’s doing the stair hop thing!

Liz: He slid down the banister!

Judging

Emma: That was so classy and classic.

Liz: Remember when Jay and Aliona tried to do that where they incorporated their previous dancers and failed? That’s what it should have been.

Emma: Len’s stood up and applauding. Len.

Liz: I spy 40.

Scores:
Craig: 10 | Darcey: 10 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 40


Louise and Kevin Showdance to ‘One Moment in Time’ (watch here)

Training

Liz: I’m worried about this one, not gonna lie. It could be stunning, it could be really emotional, it could be dodgy.

Emma: The bit I have a problem with is the fact it looks like a contemporary. I mean, he’s not wearing shoes and she’s wearing ballet shoes, what’s that about?

The Dance

(We were silent about it throughout. The lack of bitching or snide comments usually mean we really loved something.)

Judging

Liz: I loved that, I felt like it was really happy.

Emma: Yeah, so celebratory, she looked really happy and just so into it.

Liz: You know I don’t get emotional, but that really got me.

Emma: Omg Bruno’s crying. Like actually crying.

Scores:
Craig: 9 | Darcey: 9 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 38


Danny and Oti Showdance to ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ (watch here)

Training

Liz: I’ve got high hopes for this – damn though, Oti’s boobs.

Emma: They’re quite something. Oh, Danny, don’t fuck it up, don’t choke.

(When Claudia winces and says ‘Don’t drop!’ whilst watching them practice a lift) Emma: Claudia speaks for all of us!

The Dance

Liz: Argentine/Paso this has got to be good.

(We are watching so intently we forget to even breathe, I think)

Emma: That was so intense and relentless.

Liz: I think he took the frustration out of messing up on his quickstep out on that picture frame at the end there.

Emma: I am exhausted from just watching it.

Judging

Liz: You can tell Bruno liked it because he didn’t actually harass him.

Emma: They were incredibly close throughout that.

Liz: Yeah it looks like something happened this week with me, like it kept looking like he was going to kiss her.

Emma: He’s “passionate and intense” apparently. I mean we don’t need to even comment on that, do we?

Scores:
Craig: 10 | Darcey: 10 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 40
 


Ore and Joanne Jive to ‘Runaway Baby’ (watch here)

Training

Emma: Yess, I love this dance. This and Singing in the Rain are the ones I always re-watch on YouTube.

The Dance

Emma: Not sure who is having the most fun there.

Liz: That was a lot more controlled than last time.

Emma: That seemed slower but that explains if it was more in control.

Judging

Emma: Craig says “I have nothing to complain about, I hate that”. Cue both of us bursting out laughing.

Liz: Jo’s gone, she’s properly crying.

Emma: Aand so has Ore, big surprise.

Liz: They’ve nailed it under pressure, they have.

Emma: That’s what I was worrying about with Danny.

Liz: Technically Danny is superb, but I just want a Clifton to win. And I just want Louise and Kevin to get their 40 finally.

Scores:
Craig: 10 | Darcey: 10 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 40


Louise and Kevin Argentine Tango to ‘Tanguera’ (watch here)

Training

Liz: I really want them to get a 10 from Craig.

Emma: Fucking hell, Kevin, he’s properly gone and emotional about her and her confidence growing and he’s so genuinely proud of her and her growth.

Liz: I really don’t think I’ve wanted someone to win as much as this you know.

Emma: Oh no he’s going to do The Face. I’ll just ignore it.

The Dance

Liz: Shit, I forgot how good this dance was.

Emma: Did she do that drop last time??

Liz: That was SO much better than last time. That had better get 40.

Emma: I can’t take Kevin’s like flourish at Louise like ‘it was all her’.

Judging

Liz: Craig says “superlative, darling”… they’re gonna get a 10 from him aren’t they? Oh come on. Oh no but if they do I might wee.

Scores:
Craig: 10 | Darcey: 10 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 40

Liz: Look at Kevin celebrating. He looks so proud of her!


Danny and Oti Samba to ‘Magalenha’ (watch here)

Training

Liz: Oh I’m not ready for this one either, phew.

Emma: I like it that she always calls him “Danny Mac”, that’s so cute.

The Dance

Liz: Oh I’m not ready for this.

Emma: I don’t think anyone in the world is.

(We’re silent and sitting forward watching it)

Liz: Aww look at him he’s so cute!

Emma: You can tell they muted her mic there because they knew she’s scream with joy at the end of it!

Judging

Liz: Bruno is right, that will never be forgotten, that’s one for the history books.

Emma: He sounds just overwhelmed.

Liz: He really does, doesn’t he?

Emma: “I hate this” says Craig as he gives a ten. Classic ten. Omg that was the last 10 from Len!

Scores:
Craig: 10 | Darcey: 10 | Len: 10 | Bruno: 10 = 40


Liz: Shit though, there was only 9 marks lost on the entire night.

Emma: This so close, it always has been really close between these three couples because they’re all a level above.

Liz: Oh I just want to eat them all, they’re so adorable.


Then, Emile Sande performed whilst Giovanni and Katya danced and Liz’s hatred for Giovanni was so intensely strong and heartfelt that I couldn’t possibly convey it in print without you thinking Liz was genuinely about to stab him so, to prevent persecution for murder, I will neglect to provide evidence here.

 

And we can’t possibly speak about Len’s tribute because… because it’s Len and it’s too emotional to talk about. And, as a tribute, the pros did a classic ballroom dance to ‘May Each Day’ by Andy Williams for him (watch here). Let’s just say, there were tears, I won’t say who from, or how many.

 

The group dance with all the pros and celebrities was so joyous and amazing and a montage of the most memorable bits of everyone’s dance (watch here). And the soundtrack was strangely 90s cheesy pop and the campest thing ever and I loved everything about it.

 

And as for the result? (watch here)

Well, I feel like I speak for both of us when I say we were always going to be happy no matter who won – cliché but true in this instance!

Having said that, we are made up to see a Clifton win, as you can see:

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Kevin’s reaction to Joanne and Ore winning was the most absolutely adorable and genuinely proud reaction ever and, for that alone, Strictly this year was worth it. But to think that Ore (yes I’m going to say it) had no dance or music training whatsoever, didn’t even dance at his own wedding, and yet came out to the Strictly ballroom and danced with such classy grace that Gene Kelly’s widow said Gene himself would have been proud of Ore’s ‘Singing in the Rain’ dance? That’s something; that speaks for itself. When all is said and done, both Ore and Joanne deserved to lift the glitterball trophy. Congratulations to them.

And, it’s been a delight to live blog Strictly and keep a (completely biased) record of our obviously very important thoughts on all the dances. It’s been a pleasure to write up these posts every (other) week and it’s been a laugh.

But, as all good things come to an end… until next year… keep dancing!

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