Strictly Come Dancing 7 – Final

Bring on the Xmas Special!

Previously : THE WHOLE OF THE REST OF THE SERIES!

Were you not watching? It was the toughest Strictly yet. On the dancers. Not on the viewers. Oh no.

Oh Kristina. One day...

Hey, remember when we all though that he was a dead cert to win, and that Sports Reporter guy we’d never heard would go out wk1? Him or Ricky Groves anyway. Heady days people. Heady crazy days.

Oh dear

Ok, so the only explanation for this dress and those boobs is that she’s trying to clear the studio of Eric’s remains before it gets turned over to So You Think You Can Dance, and she’s periodically having to stuff his head in there. Because one of them keeps on inflating every 5 minutes or so, at random, but not in a natural “Nicole Cutler POST DIVORCE” way, but in a “no really, there’s an entire human head just appeared in there” kind of way. Anyway, Bruce and Tess go through the motions (just like Erin has all series), to an appreciative audience of :

I kind of wanted Harry to have a banner saying

the dads. Not to insult the families of these two in particular, but, apart from perhaps Ricky’s incredibly awkward dad, the families have been hella lame this year. I almost miss the heady days of Tom’s New Wife Claire. Almost. Also in attendance :

FLY MY PRETTIES, FLY!

Head Vampire Felicity Kendall, ready to partner Anton next year, and

Already more fun than 50% of the rest of this final.

Oh God I’m laughing again already. Ahem. Calm down Monkseal. Someone really should tell her to have a word with Darren about proper wig care and maintenance though. Damn thing’s on sideways. Bruce starts with a lame-o joke about how it’s a shame that Ali & Brian went out last week (not hilarious, like it was when Anton & Laila went out, obviously) but at least they get to go on a proper date now. WHAT, YOU MEAN THAT AWKWARD EVENING OF BOWLING AND TRYING TO SEXILY DRINK MILKSHAKES WAS NOT A REAL DATE? YOU HAVE LIED TO ME FOR THE LAST TIME SHOW!

Once the audience has recovered from dialing OFCOM about these BBC LIES until their fingers bleed, we’re reminded that it’s our votes alone that are responsible for who wins this evening, and that the judges are scoring for guidance only. Well, guidance of a sort. If a blind man had to get around using it they’d have been squished by traffic long ago. Tess then tells us that the race this year is SO fascinating, that it has inspired analysis, debates, and a bad rip-off of Dancing With The Stars “Dancecenter” segment :

(the debate in my living room :

Monkseal’s Boyfriend : So, Chris is definitely winning then?

Monkseal : Yes, yes he is)

The worlds of sports and the viewership of this show are so intertwined.

Do football commentators still use those massive old-style microphones? Surely technology has moved past that now. Unless this is just an individual case of Alan Hansen sticking it there with superglue 10 years ago and nobody having the heart to tell him. Anyway, Elton John there whitters on in sports-speak, taking about a minute to tell us that there are two pairs competing this evening, and they are called “Chris & Ola” and “Ricky & Natalie”. Thanks for that Elton. We then cut to a shot of said pairs in a football changing room doing their damndest to look as :

TO PROTECT THE WORLD FROM DEVASTATION!

TO YOO-NITE ALL PEEPULS WITHIN AR NAY-SHUN!

much like they’re auditioning for the role of “Team Rocket” in “Pokemon : The Musical” as possible. Anyway blah blah blah “Chris & Ola are real crowd-pleasers”, “Ricky & Natalie have really dominated the season” blah blah jumpers for goalposts and you can suck on Tess’s satsumas at half-time, and other such waffle until we get this :

What kind of fuckery is this?

and I feel like all the persuasion and petitions and arguing of the last month about whether to have a two-person final or not has been totally pointless, because really someone should have just waved a picture of this around and say “THIS IS THE SORT OF FRUITLESS BIZARRE RUBBISH THAT WILL HAPPEN IN A TWO-PERSON FINAL!”. They’re waltzing up the team tunnel for Chrisssakes.

Ricky says he’s cleared a space on his mantlepiece for his Strictly trophy (it’s alright Ricky, put a china dog there or something), Chris says greatness might not be enough (oooh get you Confucius), Natalie says we’re going to see the best choreography we’ve ever seen (…), and Ola says she intends to set the roof on fire. Oh Ola, I think they’ve stationed secruity guards up there after Erin tried to do that in the final last year. Chris and Ricky set up some more “Chris is the underdog, yes he is, don’t listen to YOUR ACTUAL HUMAN BRAIN” rubbish, some even more hobbit rubbish, and then Ola says breathlessly “it’s Ola vs Natalie”, to which Natalie replies “Ola who?”.

And do you know what the interesting thing is? Even when making a joke about not knowing who she is, NATALIE STILL MANAGES TO PRONOUNCE OLA’S NAME CORRECTLY BRUCE! We then get the nerve-jangling sight of this :
So happy to be doing this

No, never, at least not for 2 series, because I GET THE WINNER I WANT FOR THE NEXT 2 SERIES SHOW! THAT’S THE PATTERN! DON’T DENY ME NOW! NOT WITH LINEKAR! NOT EVEN WITH ERIN!

(…alright maybe a bit with Erin)

At this point, the madness ends, and both couples enter, to rapturous applause. Bruce tells the audience to calm down, because they’ve not done anything yet, and it’s sillyfor people who’ve done sod all to demand applause.

Not that he does that every single week you understand.

Bruce’s opening joke (well, to this bit) is that if Ricky loses he will cry because he is a sensitive new man (/woofy-poofy airy-fairy in Lenspeak), and if Chris loses, he’ll cry because Ola will beat the shit out of him. If Brian & Ali had somehow made the final instead, I so would have left that joke in the autocue and just changed the names around. Like Bruce would notice. And then he’d try to draw applause for it. BUT YOU CHOSE TO ELIMINATE HER YOU BASTARDS! Anyway, Ola’s all :

Why couldn't my schtick by the glamorous pixie? THAT'S WHAT LILIA GETS!

“yeah, ha ha, I’m violent and I’m half-naked and I’m a pole dancer from Poland, that glitterball’s still MINE”

Ricky Nipple & Natalie Lowe dancing the Quickstep :

We start with the unpleasant reminder that Ricky said at the start of the series that if he reached the final he’d dance in a thong. Yeah, the problems with portraying himself in a likable fashion began early with that one. Anyway, according to Bruce, Ricky has decided to actually go through with this, with Alesha’s help :

Ba wuh

because she gave him a pink frilly thong with flowers on it. THAT SHE GOT FROM BRUNOS’ DRESSING ROOM BECAUSE LOL HE IS GAY! It’s going to be a long evening. Anyway here is their Strictly Story from Natalie’s point of view :

Natalie : OI MIT RICKY WITTLE AND OI THOUGHT TO MOISELF, NATALIE LOWE, YOU’VE PULLED YOURSELF A ROIT SOLID BLOKE THIRE NAT NAT. HE’S BILT LOIKE A BRICK SHIT-HOUSE, NOT TOO LAIRY, BIDDAFASPUNK, ALTAHGITHAH NOT NOT BAD FOR A POMMIE BASTARD! MOYBE A BIT OF A FIGJAM, BUT WHAT SELF RESPECTING BLOKE ISN’T THESE DOYS?

IS THE WOYKS WINT BOY, HE PREUVED HIMSELF TO BE A BIDDAFA GROUSE MOVER ON THE OL DANCEFLOOR, BUT THOSE WHACKERS IN THE AUDIENCE COULDN’T TILL, CAUSE THEY WERE WAS TOO FLAT OUT LOIKE LIKE A LIZARD DRINKING WATCHING THAT SHORT SHEILA WITH THE DAGGY GOY. CUNNING AS A DUNNY RAT THOSE TWO. WE INDED UP IN THE DANCE-OFF TWOYCE, AND THOUGHT WE WUS ABOUT AS POPULAR AS A MUDDY IN YUS TRAKKY DAKS. BUT THEN WE MINIGED TO BEAT THOSE TWO WHAT WAS ROOTIN ROUND THE GARBO TRUCKS AFTER IVERY SHOW AND OI WUZZ GRINNING LOYKE A SHOT FOX!

NIW OI THINK WERE IN WITH A ROYEL CHINCE OF WINNIN, AND IF WE DO, OI WILL BE GUZZLING BICK MIDDYS AND LONGNICKS ALL NOIGHT LONG AND IND UP PROPER STINKING ROTTEN!

Apologies (profound apologies) to everyone even tangentially related to Australia for that. Oh God, remember when her hair was like this :

Mavis, the clown exploded again.

Amazing.

Anyway, they’re dancing their quickstep again, to “Down With Love” again, and once again it’s just a really good quickstep. He does appear to be :

NOMMY NOMMY FLIES!

catching flies a lot of the way round, but at least he’s pulling happy faces even if they are a bit weird. I guess that’s dance faces for you – I only really object to them when they make people look tense or nervous. Otherwise we wouldn’t have Karen Hardy or Matthew Cutler. We wouldn’t have half of what I don’t like about Anton’s Latin either but…swings and inappropriately sexual roundabouts frankly. Oh and look who it is in the audience :

Oh by the way, MATT DI ANGELO WAS BETTER THAN YOU!

No not Head Vampire Felicity Kendall or David Haye trying to get a look at Natalie’s bum. That’s right, it’s Dominic Littlewood. Why, oh why (Points Of View) am I continually denied tickets when Dominic Littlewood is there EVERY SODDING WEEK? (Oh yeah, and Andrew Castle). Anyway, they end by

Fred & Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinge

going up the stairs like Fred & Giiiiiiiiiiiiinge and we all know what that means right? Sadly, Fred himself was busy taking a dump during this dance, and by the time Giiiiiiiiiiiinge called him back to the Heavenly Sofa it was too late. He still can’t work that sky+. Once they finish Natalie reacts like this :

OH MOI GOD!

because bless her, she hasn’t worked out yet that every dance tonight is getting a standing ovation, whether it likes it or not.

As they walk over the judges, Ricky high-5s some guy in the audience, and Bruce asks who it is, and Natalie says that it’s her flatmate. Bruce obviously automatically jumps to “it’s your mate” because in Bruce’s world, unmarried women don’t live with men of the opposite sex lest it provoke scandal amongst the townsfolk, unless they’re a woman of loose virtue, and we certainly wouldn’t have one of those amongst the female pros on this show (stop your sniggering at the back there). Natalie gushes about the crowd, as well she might, because judging from the clips the Australian version is filmed in a cow-shed in front of two men and a sheep.

As always, when we’re not performing contemporary style rumbas to Bonnie Tyler, this is a good time for Bruce to introduce our band, Dave Arch, his wonderful singers, the orchestra, Dr Teeth on keyboards, Zoot on saxophone, Sgt Floyd Pepper on bass, Janice on guitar, Animal on drums and

I'LL MISS YOU MAN IN THE HAT!

THE MAN IN THE HAT. Out of focus, probably because he’s told the cameramen he’s scared of my love.

Now to the judges, who are apparently still talking about Darcey’s dance from last week. They’re the only ones.

Darcey herself starts for the judges, by saying “wowie Mr Whittle!” still looking like she can’t quite believe the words coming out of her own mouth. Apparently Ricky made a hard dance look easy with his athletic frame. (OH MY GOD SHE SO FANCIES HIM etc etc). Len follows by saying that tonight is all about great dancing, great entertainment, stupid sections featuring John Motson that go nowhere, laughing at Lisa Snowdon, and “Great Expectations”. You just know that Erin would make an amazing Miss Haversham, all dressed up in her American Smooth outfit still convinced her glitterball is coming. Estella can be…erm…I dunno, Aliona.

Oh yeah, the content, erm, the quickstep met Len’s expectations. Great. In fact it was the best quickstep by any male celebrity in 7 series (Colin Jackson says no). Alesha concurs, clutching her hands and saying it will go down as one of the great dances in Strictly history. Nice that she’s already got “absurdly portentious” down. B- overall in your Strictly Come Dancing Judging A Level Alesha Dixon. Bruno leaps up and :

WORGH!

from now on I’m just going to post a picture of Bruno rather than retell what he actually said. Saves time and is about as insightful. Bruce segues from this to making a “on springs/on something” joke that even I managed to make from the privacy of my living room. Why you’re paying this guy hundreds of thousands when I could do the same job for simply getting to breathe the same air as Ian Waite I do not know.

Craig starts by saying that they’ve not yet found Bruno’s cage, then Bruno springs to his feet yelling that no cage will hold him, then Alesha calms him down, then Craig drones “calm down Norma Desmond” and Darcey :

Sigh. Nuryev

looks like she retreated to her happy place a long time ago. Oh yeah the dance. It was quite good wasn’t it?

Back to the Tesspit, where Darren

GOTTLE OF GEER?

is doing his usual impression of a vent’s dummy being operated by nobody, along with all the other pros. Tess asks Ricky how he feels after performing the best quickstep ever, says Len (not even what he said Tess. Not even what he said) and Ricky replies that it’s all down to Natalie, especially those 3 weeks they spent training before the show started, when she “ground him down and broke him up” until he was a dancer. Wow, way to sell her Ricky! This is apparently the cue for Ian (of course BECAUSE HE IS A GAY) to pass Tess a thong for Ricky :

Worst gimmick ever.

I don’t think even ballroom dancers are that tacky. Scores are in :

Seriously, invent an 11, these people are whacking their heads into a glass ceiling like a pigeon at a patio window.

Yeah, it’s that sort of night. Notably, when the first 10 is revealed, the camera follows Natalie instead of Ricky for a reaction shot. Yeah, they know where the money is in that pair face-pulling wise. Speaking of which :

look at me look at me look at me!

YOU WERE ELIMINATED MONTHS AGO RAV, NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FACE!

Team Cola dancing the foxtrot :

Bruce’s opening joke is about how the mean ol judges keep on calling Chris names, and then it’s a load of fish puns. Seriously, I could do that. Read my introduction for the Apprentice recap for when Howard got fired. There were tonnes of them. Ahem.

Ola : Yeah Baby! Olachops here, from Team Cola. I liked it so much, I put my name on it. With a C on the front. Because that’s what starts Chris. He’s the other one. The boy one. No, not James, the boy one who people LIKE. 9 out of 10 Strictly viewers prefer it! Or thereabouts, we’ll know when they release the voting figures. When I met Chris, I thought “hmm good things come in small packages. And if Carlsberg designed dance-partners, I think they’d go something…like Chris”. Let’s face it, it was about time I had a good dance partner. Why? Because I’m worth it. Also because they never paid me the danger money they promised me for dancing with a GMTV presenter last year.

Over the weeks we’ve had our ups and downs. Way back in week 1 our rumba was finger licking good (that’s why his fingers were splayed, honest, it’s cause they were covered in Team Cola’s Special Sauce (buy it for £9.99 from all good retailers. Say “James Jordan really should move into presenting, he comes across really well and totally naturally on It Takes Two” for a 50% discount (and to be sectioned)) and our tango reached the parts that other tangos just couldn’t. But then we faced problems. Just like when I went to work on a Spoony (/egg) things started to fall apart. Chris kept on going wrong. But then,just when he was at his most upset I said “Schhhh….Chris, Just Do It. Have it your way. Happiness is a foxtrot with your flexible friend Ola”.

From then, there was no stopping us, and the plink plink fizz was back in Team Cola. Our Charleston was magically delicious and our Argentine Tango was full of Eastern Promise. Really far east. Like, so far east it’s be quicker to go west. To South America. So tonight, let your fingers do the walking and vote for Team Cola. You won’t regret it! BAH BAH BAH BAH I’M LOVING IT, EVERYONE’S A FRUIT & NUT CASE, VORSPRNG DURCH TECHNIK!

They’ve got catchphrases is what I’m saying.

They’re reprising their foxtrot to “I Could Have Danced All Night”, and I apologise for getting this all wrong in my preview originally and getting the music choice for this mixed up with his Viennese Waltz. I fail at PURITY OF DAHHHHHNCE obviously. Anyway, it’s slightly better this time, and I quite liked it first time round. His top portions, from his shoulders upwards, no longer look like they’re on the verge of imploding like a dying star, and he just seems far more relaxed this time around. I guess the same old studio with a few crappy Xmas trees put up isn’t nearly as daunting as the magical land of Blackpool. Although whichever cameraman chose to shoot his hands from this angle :

How rude

is officially a right bastard, especially as they can normally barely keep peoples heads in focus half the time. Also, if you’re not shouting “PIVOT!” every time they happen a la Ross From Friends you’re not playing along properly quite frankly. Also brilliantly when they end, Chris’ mouth is an awkward position and Ola :

NO! END THE GURN! THE DANCING IS FINISHED!

jams it shut as quickly as she can. Canny girl that one. Although she then does this :

SHOCK TWIST!

A little bit late for the TRIPLE WEDDING Ola. My lawyer friends are still drafting Lilia’s restraining order against Dominic Littlewood, we can’t draw up a divorce from James Jordan that quickly.

Over to the judges (after another standing ovation, natch), and Alesha starts by saying that Chris was really enjoyable to watch and has been on an Incredible Journey (was he the labrador or the talking cat?) Bruno?

Nnnnnng

Very good Bruno.

Craig

BABY BABY!

dressed like a gay Tremaloe praises him for his timing and footwork, but thinks he still needs to work on his hands and that it lacked swing and sway. But it was better than Blackpool. LIES! NOTHING WAS BETTER THAN BLACKPOOL! Sadly.

Darcey follows up by saying that this dance showed the best of Chris dance ability (and this is my real problem with Darcey – she’s seen what, 4 of his dances? What does she know about his dance ability? HOW CAN SHE TRULY APPRECIATE HIS INCREDIBLE JOURNEY?) and that he was clearly really enjoying it, before Len finishes by saying that this dance has travelled well, because it was Top Notch in Blackpool and it’s still Top Notch now. And 5 judges is still too many. Just saying.

To the Tesspit, which Chris enters in his usual ebulliant style,

The most wonderful thing about tiggers, is that tiggers are fictional.

where Tess calls them Tiny Dancers and I am officially over this whole SHORT PEOPLE thing. I feel like Randy Newman, and I AM a short person. WE GET IT, THEY’RE SMALL! Chris talks some about how the foxtrot was a really special moment for him and how it represents his journey from non-dancer to dancer, but really I’m distracted by the fact that Joe & Kristina are basically shagging behind them the whole time, whilst Lynda’s stood there with the frozen expression of the lady on the tube with the snogging 13 year olds next to her.

Don't make eye-contact, don't make eye-contact.

Scores are in – 46(/36) including their first

10!

and let’s just say it’s entirely coincidental that Alesha is the judge I’m choosing to ignore tonight. Honest.

Back to Bruce now, who tells us that’s it for the Ballroom Round, and didn’t it go quick? IT LASTED ALMOST HALF AN HOUR BRUCE! THERE’S ONLY TWO OF THEM! I watched the So You Think You Can Dance USA finale last week (and yes I will be recapping the UK version, stay tuned for details etc etc) and they got through 9 DANCES in 40 minutes. THIS WAS NOT QUICK.

Anyway, it’s Filler Time (Cola could have used that one as well), as the filler is embedded all over this night, like shotgun pellets all over the corpse of a dead Mexican gun-runner. This particular piece of filler pie, is the marvellous recap portion :

WEEK 1: Couples had to learn and perform two dances! It was the start of the toughest Strictly ever (as bourne out by the technical brilliance of the eventual winner!) Ali had the potential for magic (as she’d got the David Blaine Junior Start Up Kit for her birthday and was already working on the complete lack of affect!) Chris & Ola were like two lovely little dancing hobbits! Erin just said

Building a nice conservatory in her head.

sod it, I don’t even care about dignity any more, whatever, I’m dry-humping the mechanic from Eastenders ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! Joe had rigor mortis! Martina Hingis found the show just as nerve-wracking as driving through the Colombian border with a bootful of…PLAYING IN THE WIMBLEDON FINALS! AND THEN SHE WENT HOME!

Week 2: 8 more couples took to the dance-floor! And we didn’t even know how crazy

So innocent.
So very, very innocent.

these two were yet! Ricky & Natalie were going to be the most formidable couple ever (at Junior Cluedo!) Phil bowled Len over! Anton’s Latin choreography continues to be

LOOK! BOOBS!

full of subtlety, nuance, and Latin Passion! The best part of Jo was when she was just standing still! Richard had Lilia’s voice ringing in his ears in the middle of the night! AND THEN HE WENT HOME!

Week 3 : This was it! All 14 couples up against each other for the first time! Lynda opened up a whole

Make love to that camera baby!
Erm...not that much.

TIN OF HAM ON OUR ASSES! And she was like a stunned mullett said Craig (who would know, as he had one sat on his head for the last 3 series!!!!!)! Ricky Groves was like a bull in the mating season – HILARIOUS! Rav’s quickstep was whiffy cheese! AND HE WENT HOME!

Week 4 – Natalie knew how to get the party started (SIMPSONS MONOPOLY!) Bruno could not believe Phil could work his bum with such enthusiasm! Phil’s bum! Not Bruno’s bum! BECAUSE HE IS GAY!!!! Ali & Brain were clean, fast, but too hectic for Len (I told them they should have performed position #14 not #29!) Lynda didn’t get it first time round AND SHE WENT HOME! AND THE FIRST SIGNS OF DEPRESSION OF A LEVEL PREVIOUSLY ONLY SEEN IN SWEDISH PLAYS WERE VIEWED IN FLAVIA’S EYES!

It was a long winter for Ms Cacace, and full of ennui...

Week 5 – Ricky got the first 10! Absolutely nobody minded! Laila failed to get her bum in gear and do proper Latin! Craig was like someone’s dad dancing down the local disco! Jo was more like a bush kangaroo! (ANIMAL IMAGERY!)Chris did an

NNNNNNNNNNNG!

invisiwank! Joe put Kristina through the ceiling ( as opposed to through the headboard) AND THEN HE WENT HOME!

All those losers are now back, and Bruce tells us not to worry, because they’ve got their professional partners with them. It didn’t seem to help them last time Bruce.

Martina’s first, reprising her rumba and she’s absolutely awful. And this was the BETTER of the two dances she did. I really don’t get the “Martina Hingis had such potential” thing. I still would have saved Rav, even with the knowledge of what was to come later. She’s giggling throughout, awkward, and her arms move like someone built a rescue claw out of Twiglets. Richard next, and he’s doing his cha cha, complete with those bloody

*goes cross-eyed*

hitch-hiker steps. Lilia is clearly yelling “DO THIS! GO HERE! DON’T YOU AGREE THAT I DIDNT GET ZERO?!” throughout and again he’s utter bobbins. Rav next, doing his tango, and I still think I could find Aliona’s choroegraphy agreeable if she toned it down to a “oops, Flavia’s gone mental again” level, rather than a “Bad Choreography montage” level. I mean, Rav’s still not very good, and she basically flinging herself around him but…I wouldn’t be too averse to her coming back next year. Lynda & Darren are next, reprising her foxtrot, and really who wanted to see that? GIVE ME DEVIL WOMAN OR GIVE ME DEATH!

Finally out are Joe and Kristina doing their

BEAT THAT VAG!

vag-punching jive and he’s… about the level I’d expect someone who’d kept up their dance lessons since leaving the show to be at, compared to where he was before, given his prior level of progress. So well done to Joe for that at least. I’d rather watch this against than any of the 4 other messes that just happened.

Chrissy Nipple-Tweak and Team Ratalie dancing the Lindy Hop :

Bruce informs us that both of the couples will be performing on the floor at the same time, so we will be able to compare them like for like, as they perform exactly the same choreography. Oooh, will points be knocked off for collisions as well Bruce? (*STILL A BIT ANNOYED ABOUT THAT ONE*)

airyplanes!

So yes, the Lindy Hop is yet another new dance this year, and yet another American one, and yet ANOTHER one that’s just a load of leaping about and pulling faces. This show gets more and more tailored towards the type of winner I enjoy watching with every passing series I cannot even tell you. It’s sad, because I quite like these people

Indeed.

and their choreography and their ability to pull silly faces, and at the same time would rather have seen substantially less of them. You can’t imagine Erin doing this shit out of choice can you, and that is why it has no place on this show. It is hampering Erin. Anyway the lady one assures us that you can’t dance to Lindy music without enjoying it. How about watching people dancing to it? Oh right, I’m about to get the answer to that one in spades.

To training, and there’s a lot of semi-ironic grumbling from Chris & Ola about how Ricky & Natalie are so good at this and how they pick it all up so fast (yes, that’s right, not because of these two, but after 7 series “naturally gifted at dancing” is now an insult. This show has done so much to encourage respect for dance I can’t even tell you) and a lot of semi-ironic grumbling from Ricky & Natalie about how it suits Chris & Ola so much better because it’s basically the Charleston all ove…because it suits their personalities. Oh and this

HIGH COMEDY!

Marvellous. I do notice that “tweaking” is up on the wall there, so it turns out that Ola’s training methods are a valid part of the dance world after all. Who knew? And tweaking may well explain some of Aliona’s choreography…choices as well.

Both couples take to the floor and :

No.

I’M SORRY GOD, WHATEVER IT IS THAT I DID I’M SORRY! Basically the whole dance is like one Technicolour trad Blue Peter Swallows & Amazons explosion. Spanking, leapfrogging, silly faces, knee-trembling, slow motion rubbish, lame burns :

OOH BURN!

trousers up to your nipples,

No.

pretending you’re a monkey. Basically it’s like watching other people play Cranium on my tv for 90 seconds+ Who wants that? I will tell you now, I have never HATED a dance-style more on this show. Come back cha cha, all is forgiven!

Oh right, the actual merits. For the (very, very few) bits where they’re actually performing the same choreography, they’re about the same, with Chris being slightly more fey, and Ricky being more masculine, although who knows with this bloody dance which of those you’re supposed to be. The bits that aren’t the same are clearly far simpler (choreographically speaking) for Chris, although he manages to get through them fairly cleanly, unlike Ricky, who does a nice series of lifts until Natalie damn near takes his head off with her knee, and they retreat into the shadows in an ungainly heap. Basically I’d say it’s a wash, leaning towards NEVER DARKEN MY DOOR WITH THIS NAZI HOGWASH EVER AGAIN!

EVERRRRRRRRRRRR AGAAAAAAAAAAIN

EVER AGAIN!

The important take home message is :

MOAR CUDDLES!

THESE PEOPLE DON’T HATE EACH OTHER! Take it with you. Please.

Craig starts for the judges (because yes, this is being marked and no, I don’t know why) by saying that the Lindy Hop is a dance for HOBBITS and not for TALL PEOPLE like what Ricky & Natalie are. Because of the length of bone apparently (I said stop giggling at the back!). Anyway, their timing was good, but it was a bit laboured. Darcey agrees with Craig – it was sharply executed, but there was a minor fluff in the lift (when Natalie almost decapitated Ricky) and that it suits SHORT PEOPLE more than it does TALL PEOPLE!

Len next, and he says that it was great having them both on the floor at the same time, because it gives you the chance to compare. Now do you remember how we compare children? Basically we look at the two people in front of us, and we look at how they’re dancing, and then we make a value judgment on whose dancing is better. This person is the better dancer. Then we look out again, just in case Craig has dragged Flavia out on the floor in a desperate attempt to prove he can do this better. If not, the other couple are the worse dancers. And this is how we do compare. Anyway Chris held his own (I would imagine that was probably part of the choreography at some point) but Ricky was sharper and more rhythmic.

Alesha says that both couples did really well, and that it was too close to call, and she wonders how their brains aren’t frazzled at this stage. Given that there’s about half an hour between each dance, they’ve probably whapped out the Dr Kawashimas in between dances. Bruce then says we all have to remember that these two are doing 4 dances tonight, to which Alesha replies “we had to do 5” very much in the manner of the cardboard box sketch from Monty Python. She had to hand-choreograph all those dances herself as well. In the rain. Bruno finishes :

MONKEY!

Thanks Bruno.

Everyone back to the Tesspit now, where Tess calls that whole dance a battle for “Soo-pree-muh-cee”, which is nowhere near how that word is supposed to be pronounced, not even close. Everyone high-fives and then Chris waffles about how that dance was so much fun, and that it was great dancing with Ricky & Natalie, whilst Rav…

Lookit lookit lookit!

oh just go away Rav. Natalie follows this by telling us that if she wasn’t a ballroom dancer she’d want to be a Lindy Hopper and… a boy could go off you Lowe. Very quickly. Scores are in – 43(/34) for Ricky, 44(/35) for Chris. Most brilliant is the moment that Chris & Ola realise they’ve outscored Ricky & Natalie, at which point they both do a Bill & Ted style :

Dude!

“woah!”

LOOK AT ME! YOU CAN TAKE IT ALL BECAUSE THIS FACE IS GURNING!

No seriously Rav.

Oh God, now it’s time for the worst filler of all :

Why couldn't Simon have used his X Factor power of veto to prevent THESE clowns appearing?

filler that involves Westlife. And didn’t Shane go to seed quickly? Happily this filler involves people other than Westlife as well, unfortunately those people are members of the general public, quacking on about who they want to win. And honestly, people debate at length about how much the showdance makes a difference in terms of the actual quality differential, and how long there is to vote, but really if Team Cola could withstand having these

Is it Rag Week yet?

tits (/perfectly lovely people for all I know, they might only have been doing a VT dressed like tits, for a bet or something) voice their support for them, nothing that actually happened on the night really mattered.

Ladies and gentlemen, we've broken filler.

Would we have got that in a three person final? All I’m saying. In terms of celebrity supporters, Ricky has Paul O Grady, and Chris has…some BBC news woman, I can’t really tell them apart. I’m going to guess Kate Silverton and be horribly embarassed. Then the parents come out again, and oddly enough, Chris sister does not declare herself to be Team Whittle in revenge for Chris shaving her Barbie at age 7. Might have made things a tad more interesting though.

When we come back, we get a brief reminder about the judges leaderboard, with Tess calling Ricky & Natalie the “judges favourites” for like the third week in a row now because they’re at the top, and we all know what Pavlovian reaction that causes in people. I would imagine some people just set up a campaign for Rage Against The Machine to stop Ricky winning. Lines open, everybody cheers, I briefly consider the void in Lisa Snowdon’s life that Strictly left and hope both these people will adapt a little…better when all this is over in a few hours time.

Recap of the dances done so far time. Creeping realisation that tonight is basically a clips show, containing clips from the clip show in it time.

MORE PAST WEEKS RECAPPING!

Week 6: It was MAGIC TIME for Ali, as she finally worked out how to get the little ball out from underneath the cup without anyone noticing! Zoe ascended to heaven!

Whee!

Len promised that if she were in the bottom 2 he’d do the lambada with Craig! SO SAD THAT NEVER HAPPENED! Jo was worried that Craig would call her a monkey! (ANIMAL IMAGERY!) AND THEN SHE WENT HOME!

Week 7 : Ricky was Strictly Come Dancing in Top Gear in his quickstep! (Much better than Top Gear in Strictly Come Dancing! Never ever ever let that happen!) Ali stubbed her toe! Zoe got embarassed and awkward when James told her to act sexy :

GRIND IT BABY!

Can’t think why! AND THEN SHE WENT HOME!

Week 8 : BLACK POOOOOOOOOL! Natalie had enough energy to keep the illuminations going for 2 more weeks! (But where would you insert the plug?) Ali’s enchanting dance was perfect for this magic venue! Even Bruno finally realised that all the magic references were starting to get boring! Craig thought that the waltz would finally be his dance but HE WENT HOME! And Flavia orgasmed even harder than Matt Di Angelo managed to make her do!

Quivver.

Week 9 : Bruce was dead! Long like the Bruce! Laila finally managed to find a way to make Anton’s Latin watchable :

WHEE!

Chris looked like a child having a tantrum! And was awful but Bruno liked it! For some reason the clips package focused on Phil’s injury even though it happened weeks before! AND THEN HE WENT HOME!

Week 10 (bleeding heck) :

OH ERIN!

AND THEN SHE WENT HOME!

First back onto the floor are Jo & Brendan, to inform us once again that he’s been shaved by a woman, as they dance their Viennese Waltz to Trouble. And she still looks a bit lost in general bless her, but it’s not too embarassing except for how it looks like :

At least use a sock or something.

Brendan went fun time on her dress before they came out and nobody bothered to clean it up. Next up are Zoe and James, reprising their American Smooth, minus those darned arm-hankies that messed it up last time. It is noticably a bit better this time, now she’d not not directly fresh from getting  her soul utterly crushed by being in the dance-off. Craig finishes this round of celebs off (Phil has the flu apparently) with his foxtrot, and he’s still a bit wooden and awful, but they at least let him do a lift. Tragically the lift is :

Yeah...nice try there.

this. Afterwards, Flavia pegs it off the dancefloor as fast as her legs will carry her.

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Bruce tells us all that the next couple on left the competition under “extreeeeeeeeeeeme circumstances”, making it sound like she was eliminated in a special dance-off on the side of a mountain, where the loser gets shoved off via bungee cord. EXTREEEEEEEEEEME! Actually that’d be rather fun. At any rate, it’s Jade & Ian who were “tipped as possible finallists”. Oooh, they possibly could have made the final. Don’t go overboard Bruce.

Their VT reminds us that Jade was an

I'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH!

amazing spice-pirate gypsy in tranny make-up come to save us all, who I loved a little too much and who saw this show as the tipping point on her journey into womanhood. I think that’s the first time any girl has said that Ian entered her into womanhood. I hope he didn’t take Jade’s SPECIAL FLOWER the cad (you know, the one she wore in her hair for this performance). Athough yes, this show helped me understand adulthood better, as Jade’s exit taught me that life is fundementally unfair and disappointing AND OH GOD WHY, WHY COULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN LAILA’S KNEE INSTEAD? (no offence Laila…)

We’re also reminded in her VT that Claudia called her “sweetiepie” when she was severely injured. Bless Claudia and all her raccoon-voiced works. But now! Jade is back! Looking :

See? Sometimes she gets it spot-on.

stunning, to do her tango!

!!!!!!!!!!

Fiercediculous.

Oh alright, she’s a little bit ginger, and her mouth is hanging open for no discernable reason a lot of the time, and no it’s not Zoe Ball or Alesha Dixon, or Rachel Stevens, or Denise Lewis or…any of the men who could tango (I’m blanking momentarily), but whatever, Jade is back, she’s doing alright, I’m happy and I gave it a standing ovation anyway.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Notably, she gets her own weight up off the floor this time.

Over to Tess they wander, who says that everyone’s so glad to see Jade up and tangoing, and Jade responds by saying tht she was really nervous, but glad to be back, and then she thanks everyone who supported her and Ian. THAT WAS ME! SHE JUST THANKED ME! DIRECTLY! Sigh. And other people as well obviously. BUT ALSO ME! I feel so gratified. Anyway, now that we know that Phil and Laila aren’t here, there’s time to see her paso right? RIGHT?!

Next up :

Should
Have
Been
Arlene.

Feels like one of them’s calling in a favour. Sad thing is, I can’t tell which one it is. Anyway, Alesha sounds nice, Bruce sounds…nicer than Andy Williams did, they sing “Something’s Gotta Give”, none of the pro dancers come on to pull focus so obviously these 2 just broke the Ego-Meter. So far as ways to close out the first half go…this is certainly one of them. Of course Bruce has to ruin them charting through those particular rocky waters by waggling his cock at her and (mis)paraphrasing her hit single her singing “the boy’s got something, the boy’s got something”. It it degenerative psychosyphilis?

We then get a VT of the finallists talking about their journeys. Normally I’d complain, but the last bit of the final that actually involved them was about half an hour ago. It’s nice to be reminded who they are (hint : none of them are Alesha Dixon’s Singing Career). Anyway all these people are quite nice, and they all want to win, a bit, not too much, just enough not to make you uncomfortable. SO MUCH NEW AND WORTHWHILE CONTENT TONIGHT!

Everyone meet back here in an hour ok?

*wibbly wobbly timey wimey effect*

Said hour over with, and we are back on the floor, with another run-through of the numbers (CHRIS’ IS ON SCREEN FOR .2 OF A SECOND LONGER THAN RICKY’S! FIX!) and also (oh good) a run through of all the “drama and tension” from earlier in the evening. Can we have the enjoyable bits rather than the tension and the (fakey) drama? No. Oh ok.

Anyway yeah, some stuff happened, you just read it. Re-read it if you want. Point out any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, write them down in a little notebook, and feel satisfaction. The recap is of course peppered with feel-good team moments like so :

SAVE US CAPTAIN PLANET!

Notice that Ola’s hand is on top. All I’m saying.

Once we’re back Tess recaps the scoreboard AGAIN, and says “judges favourite” in relation to Ricky & Natalie AGAIN and all the anti-authority people start mashing their dialling keypads with their faces. FUCK YOU BRUNO – WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME! Oh yeah, and having disposed of the last of Eric in the interim, Tess has reached her natural conclusion and :

Lob it in the skip afterwards, there's a good man.

donned a sparkly bin-liner. Brilliance.

But before we get on with the actual content, we follow up a recap of tonight, with a recap of the last month. Glee abundant and efulgent.

Week 11 : Tess’ time travelling necklack of evil! The celebrities did their first ever group dance that was compared (how does that work again?) and scored! Badly! Len had to be honest and admit that Natalie wasn’t that great! (took your time) Chris owned the Charleston! Somebody weaved in and out with good floor-craft (NOT BRIAN!) Natalie was going to die if Vincent didn’t come now! With a roly poly!

BUT I CAN'T!

AND THEN HE DIDN’T! AND SHE WENT HOME!

Quarter Finals : We were joined by one of the world’s leading ballerinas! Darcey Bussell! For all the difference she made! Alesha wasn’t (weren’t?) sure that Ali was born to be wild, but she still loved her tango! Ricky produced two fantastic dances! Natalie was :

EVEN MOAR CUDDLES!

quite pleased. A deflated balloon would have had more rhythm and tone than Laila. AND SHE WENT HOME!

Semi Final : Ali CAME AHT AND COCKED HER LEG UP GORN ALI GIRL!

See Lisa, THIS is how you do

Natalie went mental! Finally the semi-finals were under way (it’s never a semi until a pro shows signs of needing professional help!) Simple, elegent, gorgeous! Was something! Chris looked like an Argentine who had just lost the Falklands

SNAUSAGES!

/ a badger who had just lost his virginity! Len loved Ali’s American Smooth the first time he saw it, but this was better! If Ali was being honest she would admit there was some mild flirting! SEXY! AND THEN SHE WENT HOME!

So back to the floor come Ricky, Natalie and Ali. Hang on, isn’t that a bit of an unfair advantage/disadvantage? Why do they get to show us 5 dances/why don’t they get to rest up before their showdance? FIX FOR RICKY!/FIX FOR CHRIS! Oh no wait… they meant

The Groves One.

this one, doing his cha cha to Jump, presumably to show off his comedy skills, BECAUSE THAT PASO WAS NOT A COMEDY PASO, NO IT WASN’T! It’s alright, and given the paucity of Good Latin this series, I guess someone had had to draw the short straw. Oh and they also meant this one :

Crack it open to find the toy inside! Oh wait...

dressed up as a Farberge Egg again, doing her quickstep. Again I quite like it, and wonder quite why it went so downhill and so rapidly from here on out for her. Maybe she was denied the light-entertainment powers she sucks out of Bruce’s ring every week when he was ill, and so was drained. Finally Ali comes out and does her Viennese Waltz and once again it’s quite lovely, and he doesn’t try and jam his tongue anywhere at the end. Which is nice.

Oh yeah, unfortunately Laila can’t make it tonight, for reasons that aren’t explained. I like to imagine her sat with Phil, Jodie, and Jodie’s hot boyfriend all throwing twiglets at the screen in a viewing party for “celebs who couldn’t be arsed to turn up for the final”(/”had perfectly valid reasons for not attending the final that we shouldn’t joke about”)

Team Cola dancing the Charleston :

WHEEEEEEEEE!

She looks like she’s going down a log flume doesn’t she? Maybe she just saw the shit celeb she’s going to have next year in order to balance this victory out. Is it Chris Moyles?

The VTs for this round are… good God more “my Strictly journey” crap. I have officially run out of comedy ways to recap these, so I’m going to try to be straight. And we all know how well that worked when I was a teenager.

Apparently when Chris used to get into cabs, the driver would talk to him about the Arsenal defence, or some rubbish like that, but now they tell him that his Charleston really cheered them up. They then spend the next 15 minutes complaining about Ken Livingstone. Still. In my experience. In his day-to-day life he’s used to sitting behind a desk delivering the news (pfft, sports Chris. Sports is not news, any more than what happens on I’m A Celebrity is news.) and going to the Gimplympics, but now he can’t wait to get on the dance-floor every Saturday. Oh God, I feel like we’re skirting dangerously close to “the void that is my life after Strictly”. DODGE IT CHRIS, YOU’RE A JOURNALIST, YOU KNOW NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR THAT CRAP!

Phew, he’s talking about how he didn’t have much natural ability in week 1, which is a total lie, given that he finished like, 4th overall out of 16, but whatever, it’s not THE VOID, so I’m happy. He praises Ola in the highest for how patient she’s been as a teacher, followed by one of the clips where I always thought “if they weren’t playing Noah & The Whale over this, it might look like they were actualy rowing”. Fortunately it’s followed up by plenty of clips where she shows genuine affection and patience with him. So that’s nice. We’re reminded of their Cafe Of Routine Boredom (home of the Team Cola tuna panini! Buy it now and get a free Chris Hollins Wind-up Charleston toy!) and he finishes by saying that Ola wants to lift that glitterball more than anything, so he’s going to try to help her.

They’re reprising their Charleston to Fat Sam’s Grand Slam and it’s still the same Charleston before. It’s a little looser (probably because he knows people will love it and so is less nervous) and more relaxed, and a little bit less technically sharp. And I still don’t think it’s worth more than 8, at a push, and also that Ali’s was better, but the crowd go mental for it, so what do I know?

Quite.

Precisely Chris. Although at this point the man in the band looks how I feel. The fact that this :

I COULD DO THAT!

is officially the best loved bit of any routine still makes me a bit sad though. HE’S JUST SCOOTING HIS BUM ALONG THE FLOOR! Then again, my favourite bit of any routine this series was Jade sticking her finger in the air/stamping on Ian, so I’m kind of a hypocrite.

Over to the judges they go, and once the typhoon of cheers dies down, Bruno starts for the judges :

Oh Bruno
No.

Thanks Bruno. (He said Chris was riding Ola around the dance-floor and transporting her to a realm of ecstacy). This my friends, is Why We Keep Bruno Around. Craig calls it “quirky, animated, and wonderful” basically in a tone less gushing than he used for when he gave Natalie Cassidy a 7. Darcey tells him that he transported her to the Golden Era of The Movies, and I don’t know if she means the 70s or the 20s. Needless to say that Darcey doesn’t seem transported, so much as “mildly shifted”, as she always does. Anyway, Chris and Ola were made for both each other and that performance.

Len next, and he calls this “the best final ever” (A HA HA HA HA HA! No.) because it’s “the dancer vs the entertainer” (/that cold dead-eyed cold technically perfect cold joyless cold bastardy cold cold COLD COLD COLD (Word Of The Series – Official) one vs that gurning little HOBBIT who can’t even DANCE and only won because he DOES THE BREAKFAST NEWS IT IS RIGGED STUPID BLOODY PUBLIC) and that was perfect entertainment.

In the Tesspit, Tess tells them that this is the dance they’ve become known for and Chris wises back that some people would say it’s the only dance they can do (the world’s tiniest violin actually worked by the way. Who’d have thought it?) but it was a really good giggle and they totally enjoyed it. Tess asks him what it’s going to be like going back into THE VOID that is BBC Breakfast News and he’s all “boring, but I’ll be on News At Ten in about a week and hanging out with Huw Stevens, so I’ll be fine”. Scores are in :

...

And I’ll try to phrase this better than I did on Saturday night, when my argument against it was “FUCKKITY FUCK FUCK WHAT?! NO!” but, whilst I don’t care that it was better performed technically first go round (see : Jill’s jive where the same thing happened), I don’t think a routine should be getting a perfect score if :

  1. I can imagine someone else from a past or future series doing a significantly better routine within the genre
  2. I can imagine someone else from THIS series doing a significantly better routine within the genre
  3. I can imagine THIS couple from this series doing a significantly better routine within the genre
  4. The routine was of such a level technically that Joe Calzaghe could have managed the steps at the time he left
  5. It involved scooting around on your arse whilst someone did swimming faces

On the other hand

  1. Lisa Snowdon’s cha cha.

So…yeah. I’m still kind of with Kristina on this one :

Nyet.

Also :

LOOOOOOOOOOOOK ATTTTTTTTTTT MEEEEEEEEEEEE!

FOR GOD’S SAKE RAV STICK SOME BOTOX IN IT!

They’re pleased anyway.

Ricky Nipple & Natalie Lowe dancing the cha-cha :

Oh good, more journeys.

Ricky talks about how special it felt last week to get a standing ovation for their Argentine Tango. Of course this was last week, when standing ovations actually meant something. Arlene would have had no trouble getting that standing ovation going for Alesha this series, is what I’m saying.Ricky says that it was really special to see his dad’s face after his dance, and he’ll file it away forever.

So proud

It’ll go some way to counter-balance the one he had when Ricky told him he was going to jack in law school to become a male model.

He now feels really close to Natalie, because he’s seen her at her best and at her worst, like that time she pissed in Len’s teapot when he criticised her choreography. Just like she’s seen him at his worst. And the Hollyoaks FlashForward Special had just been aired at this point so… there’s a good chance she had as well. They’re going to remain friends forever. At least until Natalie gets a new celeb who is her best friend forever next year. That’s the life of a pro baby, don’t judge it, they’re a law unto themselves.

Brendan doesn’t even give Lisa a call on Sundays any more. Although she’s sure the fact that he changed his locks was just a coincidence. And barring his windows. And blocking up his chimney. And the restraining order. THAT COULD BE AGAINST ANY LISA SNOWDON!

Anyway, when this is all over, he hopes he and Natalie can catch up and have a cheeky Argetnine Tango (/shag) for old time’s sake. And then…Oh great, he tumbles into THE VOID, saying that not dancing with Natalie is going to be hard. And yet somehow, the rest of us manage.

They’re reprising their cha cha and…if I were them, I wouldn’t care that this is the routine their fans wanted. There’s only about 7 of us anyway. It might have been an idea, public vote wise, not to reprise the dance where either she’s playing a conceited bitch or he’s playing a deluded meathead. And in which she

Seriously, what's with all the shoving?

shoves him at the end. When Chris shoves Ola it’s CUTE! When Natalie shoves Ricky, it’s NOT! They did wonders reprising a waltz from week 1 in the semis, why not do a reprise of say, a rumba, and try to persuade the viewers you have a soul? Also, I wouldn’t reprise a cha cha, but that’s just me. Even with the fresh hell that is the Lindy Hop in my life I still don’t like cha-cha. He stalks, he wriggles, she vamps, she snarls, it’s all quite sexy and exciting, but…this is just reminds me why I don’t like reprises. SIN IT BEFORE!

It still gets a standing ovation. Naturally.

They wander over to the judges, both gurning :

Would have been better if he'd been wearing a pastie

about how Ricky had a “Janet Jackson moment” because his shirt came open more than it was supposed to, revealing his abs. I’M SURE THAT WAS JUST AS UNINTENTIONAL AS JANET’S WAS AS WELL! Although it reminded me that he’s got an outie (blech) so it had the opposite effect on me than was probably intended.

Alesha starts by saying that Ricky & Natalie are “such a sexy couple to watch dance”. Hands above the table where I can see them Alesha. Alesha calls it one of the best cha cha cha’s she’s ever seen on Strictly Come Dancing as a judge (REALLY? BETTER THAN LYNDA’S?!) and in fact one of the best dances on Strictly ever. Oh God, the floodgates have opened- everything’s officially the best everything ever. Well, at least it took a little longer this year than it did last time. Bruno? :

OH YEAH, TWO AT A TIME!

Thanks Bruno.

Darcey says that she was “taken aback” and she so looks it.

So very taken aback.

If you were taken aback Darcey, jump up and down, waggle your bum, scream, and use Chas & Dave lyrics. They’re the only language this show understands. She then says she’d like to cha-cha with Ricky one day and Natalie’s all “take him, I’m bored now, I’ve done all I can with this one, WHERE’S THE FRESH MEAT?!” Craig finishes by basically it was just as good as it was last time. When it landed him in the dance-off from the top of the leaderboard. Bodes well.

In the Tesspit, Tess basically says “hot” a gazillion times and says every woman in the nation now wants to cha-cha (sex) with Ricky Whittle. The heteronormative BITCH! Tess reminds us that this cha-cha got 10s from the girls last time, even without the benefit of Arlene’s panty-poofing, but the boys remained stoic, like, even the gay ones despite it being so sexy. Scores are in : 48 (/38), with Bruno being the only man to cave. This causes Tess to say that “Bruno got his 10 out”, and Natalie and Ricky crease up laughing

LOYKE HIS PEE-NUS!

and she mutters “THIT’S A BIT RUDE!”. See, she DOES GET BRITISH HUMOUR!

Team Cola dancing freestyle :

We’re right into the showdances this time, with no emotional VTs, like the one that caused Alesha to have a nervous breakdown 5 seconds before she took to the floor and I love that Ola is :

Fighting Style : Car-Park Kung-Fu

going to have to pick up the glitterball whilst dressed as a kung-fu cowgirl out of Dead or Alive. Their showdance is to “Do You Love Me?” featuring some brilliant literal choreography at the beginning when Ola BREAKS Chris’ heart (shoves him – seriously, enough with the shoving already) when he FAILS TO BE ABLE TO DANCE, but then he COMES BACK AND WANTS HER TO KNOW THAT HE CAN REALLY MOVE! etc etc. And if you in any way find Chris attractive :

Note to wardrobe : less tight trousers next year please.

Merry Christmas. Anyway, they break into the usual male celebrity lift-fest, including the :

Yes, it's still there.

VAGINA DISPLAY! and the

Hang on, I think I left my watch in there.

ONE ARM CROTCH GRAB!

There’s also a decent amount of Latin basic mixed in there amongst the lifts, although the best moment is when Chris does a handstand and

EVERYBODY KNOWS, OLA LOVES

OLA SCREAMS “MASHED POTATO!” through his flailing legs. If that bit’s not used in every “Strictly Through The Years” montage from now until the show ceases to be profitable, then I don’t know what the editors are on. It’s all good clean fun and it ends like :

It's just like Coyote Ugly!

this. Jesus Christ, if Len claims to have pooed his pants again…

It gets a standing ovation, complete with floor stamping, which I really hope does not set a precedent. We’re not at a U2 concert people. Thank God. This recap would be about 3 words long (Fuck Off Bono), although some people might see that as a blessing.

Bruce calls it a showing off dance, and informs Chris that the Chippendales are still going, and ask if he wants to join them. I think he probably would make a good Rescue Ranger.

Darcey starts for the judges by saying plainly that that was a great dance, and the partnering and timing were perfect. For God’s sake Darcey call it “THE BEST THING HUMANITY HAS EVER ACHEIVED” and twirl your knickers round your head with your tongue. IT’S A FINAL FOR GOD’S SAKE. Len next and he says he was a bit tense because he saw a split in Chris trousers when he lept up on the table. For God’s sake Len, he wasn’t going to tea-bag you. Len moves on to say that “they talk about journeys on this show” (yes. yes they do) but Chris’ journey has been tougher than others, but he’s always come out of full of energy and enthusiasm, and this was no exception.

Alesha says that she loved that it was full of “Classic Chris Moments” and that her answer to the song’s question of “Do You Love Me?” is “yes”. I KNEW IT! IT WAS CHRIS THAT SHE LOVED ALL ALONG! NOT RICKY! THE TRIPLE WEDDING IS BACK ON! Bruce at this point thanks the two female judges for controlling themselves and not molesting Chris when he jumped up onto the table. Arlene’s gone Bruce. It’s fine now. Of course Alesha has to shout “I WAS TEMPTED TO HAVE A FEEL!” whilst Darcey looks like she’d rather douche with Lucozade.

Bruno next :

EHHHHH!

Thanks Bruno.

Down to the Tesspit, where everyone’s on their feet cheering, and Tess marvels at Chris’ strength in being able to do those lifts and really, he’s been fine with lifts up until now, he’s still young, he’s a very experienced sportsman, he’s in good shape…I don’t understand all this rather patronising fuss about him somehow being able to carry out those lifts. I suspect it’s to do with his height, which annoys me quite a lot, although at least nobody claimed he had a Napoleon Complex at any point. Or at least not that I saw. Tess asks if he thinks that was enough to win, and he of course ignores that in favour of talking about what a marvellous time he’s had and what a marvellous couple Natalie & Ricky are. I’ve always suspected that ignoring Tess’ stupid-ass questions is the first step on the ladder to Strictly victory.

Scores are in…wait what? Scores? For a showdance? Oh for God’s sake. I bet they even score the week 1 group dances next year (Shirley Ballas’ Crazy Mambo : 4) – 46 (/36). Oh and Alesha’s been taking lessons in obnoxiousness from Len :

I IS THE PEOPLE'S JUDGE NOW!

sit DOWN Alesha.

Should He Win ? : I think we all knew that my opinion on this was always going to be “no”, so let’s move on shall we?

Ricky Nipple and Natalie Lowe dancing freestyle :

As Team Cola wander off, Natalie & Ricky enter, and Chris says “Good Luck Fellas” which is a rather unfortunate choice of words, especially given as how :

Pass the duct tape!

Natalie is dressed in such a manner so as to prove that, barring the greatest tuck know to drag-queen, she’s definitely a woman. Although Chris’ choice of words aren’t quite as unfortunate as the outfit itself.

Out they go, ready to dance their show-dance to “Last Dance”, because it is the LAST DANCE! Inspired music choice.

WHEE!

It starts off nice and soft and lyrical on the stage, with really graceful, elegant slow lifts. Whilst I can see how it might bore people who likes their dancing FRANTIC AND EXCITING, I’m kind of in awe at just how smoothly he’s pulling some of these lifts off. Then of course the beat kicks in and it goes

IN YOUR FACE ANTON, THIS IS HOW YOU DISCO LATIN!

DISCO-LATIN CRAZY! This is how much I like this routine – I am not complaining about it being DISCO LATIN. Ponder on that. His hips are going crazy, albeit on in that slight exaggerated off-putting way from his earlier Latin dances and it’s just really upbeat and fun.

And then :

Shiny.

HE BLOODY WELL LIFTS HER WITHOUT USING HIS ARMS! AMAZING SCENES BRUCE! That better go in the montage as well. All I’m saying. He goes crazy at the end, trying to pull off about 3 different lifts one after the other, and he almost manages it, although things get a bit wobbly at the end (albeit no more so than in Cola’s lifts). EPIC!

CUDDLES!

I think I enjoyed those two showdances more than any of the ones last series. YES, INCLUDING TOM’S THAT APPARENTLY CURED CANCER.

Over to the judges they go, with another standing ovation (albeit without foot stomping), and Natalie and Ricky both thank the audience profusely, as one woman shouts “RICK-AY!” which Ricky humourously responds to with “wrong show”. This goes right over Natalie’s head, as you would expect.

Len starts for the judges, and reminds us that in wk 1 he said Ricky was the one to beat, and now in wk 14 he’s still the one to beat (why the heck did we even have the rest of the series then? It’s like how it was Tom vs Austin in week 1, and it turned into Tom vs Austin for the series at the end. This show is SO BLOODY PREDICTABLE) and let’s face it, he will get beat tonight, but Len wants him to take away that he was fantastic the whole time. Mercifully, he does not start screaming about JUSTICE AND TRUTH AND HONESTY!

Alesha says that she would have liked to have seen more dance styles worked in there, but that’s not a criticism (wtf? Yes it is?) and she loved it, especially all those lifts, and also that he’s been a joy to watch these past 3.5 months (/centuries, however long this series has gone on for). Ricky gets one last crawil in to Alesha by telling her that she’s been amazing as well. Eh, not really. Bruno? :

meh

Thanks Bruno. But of a mild one to end on to be honest. I expected better. Natalie cheers me up by closing out her judges panel experience like this :

Now that's what I'm talking about.

after Craig calls the whole routine “Lift-Tastic”. It was also incredible and jaw-dropping apparently.

To the Tesspit, where Flavia

One heart attack, one hamster face, and one DELUDANOID! And then this bint comes and takes the plum deal first go.

tries to look pleased for them, but you can just tell she’s thinking “should have been mine, bitch. Should have been mine” Natalie crows “that was really good!” bless her, and Tess asks them how it feels to have danced their last dance, and to have Len tell them they’re the best dancers. Natalie’s all “sad” for the first one, and Ricky’s all “really good” about the second. Great questioning as ever Tess. Ricky closes by saying how everyone on the show’s had a fantastic time, and Natalie says she’s going to miss “her soulmate”. Good grief I’d retired the sick-bucket after the showmance left last week. That was apparently a mistake. Scores are in (*shakes head*) – 49 (/39)

Should He Win ? : Yes, yes he should. Ah well, this now means I’ve ended up rooting for more runner-ups than winners. I’M SUCH A REBEL!

Now that all the dancing is over for another year, Tess pulls out the final leaderboard

One of these is the phone number for Tess' house in South Korea.

and…two points really :

a) Even with retardo final mark inflation I would have scored Ricky at 35 overall, and Chris at 31. I would be the most popular judge ever clearly.

b) I never ever want to see anyone score ONE-HUNDRED-AND-NINETY POINTS in one night on this show ever, EVER again.

c) FOR GOD’S SAKE TESS STOP CALLING RICKY & NATALIE THE JUDGES FAVOURITES.

Oh alright, it was 3 points. When we come back, Natalie is bent over like this :

Whoopsie

and has to be corrected, before

Doodle

looking mortified. STICK IT IN THE MONTAGE! Also include Tess being mildly panicked that something interesting might be happening whilst she’s talking, as even the most mundane of other details really would be enough to get 95% of the viewers to stop listening to her. Tess then reveals that the couples have done 654 hours of training between them, and Ricky & Chris are all “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT MUCH!”, “I KNOW, WE CAME IN ON WEDNESDAY!” and everything from this point onwards is just waiting for the result really.

ANOTHER RECAP! HOORAY!

Bruce now, seguing into another segment by saying that he doesn’t know who’s going to win. Thus answering the question “who is so slow that they don’t realise that Chris has this in the bag?”

My friends say I should act my age. What's my age again? What's my age again?

Damn bippy he is. Anyway, he’s seguing into a brief VT of notable celebrities of seasons past saying what their defining memory was. They are as follows :

Tom : When we got the papers signed for Camilla so the nice nurses would let her out unaccompanied during the day! We still had to take the laces out of her shoes though! (Quickstep)

Kelly : WHEN WE CHEATED! WHEN WE WERE SO AWESOMELY CHEATY! (American Smooth)

Mark : 3 weeks after the series ended, when Karen’s screams of victory finally stopped ringing in my ears (Argentine Tango)

Austin : Getting my tits out and shouting “OLE!” (Paso Doble)

Alesha : When they detached the last of Arlene’s acrylic nails from my cheek (Cha Cha Cha)

Chris : When Ola spread my legs and shouted “MASHED POTATOES!” (Oh no wait…that’s this segment next year)

Next up, it’s time for the last pure pro-dance of the series ie the “James & Ola Moment of We’ve Got Nothing Else To Do, No Filler Left To Fill, We Might As Well Just Do A Pro-Dance”. It’s to “Just Dance”, it’s a bit Latiny,

Mmm, prawny.

raw seafood appears to have exploded out of Kristina’s rear-end, it’s quite nice, nobody really cares, except those of us wondering why this song is suddenly within the band’s remit when we were assured weeks ago that it wasn’t.

SHAPE OF A CAR-WRECK!

WONDER TWINS UNITE! And for god’s sake lower your hem-line Kristina.

Now it’s the time for the part of the show that everyone enjoys – Tess is let loose amongst the audience. She asks Chris’ mum if she’s impressed with her son, the answer is “no”. Ricky’s dad then says that if he loses, he’s out of the family. Oh alright, not really, Chris’ mum says she’s very proud, and Ricky’s dad( looking incredibly uncomfortable to be on camera) says he’s proud as well, and he and Tess have a bit of a sympathetic moment about, no really, his name is Richard.

What makes it weird is that he calls himself Harry. Which is a contraction. Anyway, bless Ricky’s dad.

Next up, Bruce waffles about how the tension (and the Joe Calzaghe) is currently mounting in the studio, so what better way to defuse that tension than with a good belly-laugh? That’s right, once you’re part of the Strictly Family, you never really leave it (apart from if you’re Emma Bunton, in which case everyone’s agreed that we don’t really talk about that any more), so here are Rachel Stevens and Lisa Snowdon, with the professional dancers. Oh this, should be gooooooooood. In both senses that I use that word.

They’re dancing a tango-cha to “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves”, although mercifully the pros take up a good minute or so warming up the floor for them. But then, after a lot of combinations and faffing about, ISSS MAGIC TIME :

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease, but down on the floor, she flops at the knees

She’s sloppy, she’s out of time, she keeps messing with her belt, she’s heavy on her feet, she can’t control her spins, and she ends by just shaking her tits at the camera and stumbling off. IT’S AMAZING! I could watch those 10-15 seconds forever. God bless you Lisa Snowdon, for your complete lack of shame. Can she do this every series?

Of course Rachel then makes it even better by coming out and being sharp and commanding and totally on-point. If anything, better than she was at the tango in her actual series. Way to show her up with your scary clinical awesomeness RACHBOT! Then they dance at the same time and :

Well, if you look at the dancers on the floor and you see that one of them is better than the other, then that's....

I don’t think even LEN would take more than 1 second performing the ancient art of comparison on these two.

They finish, and then Lisa gets even better, hurtling over to Bruce screeching “WE MISSED YOU BRUCIE!” and doing random shit like :

ATTACK, ATTACK!

this. I love it when Lisa’s drunk. Or just sober and weird. Oh and the

IT'S LIKE RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

height contrast makes up for me never seeing Jade and Ronnie Corbett in the same shot. Bruce interviews them for a bit, with Rachel being normal (although there is an amazing moment when she says that watching Vincent dancing with Natalie was a bit like watching him cheating on her, and Bruce says “I always thought he was a bit of a cheat” and the ENTIRE AUDIENCE PULLS THE SAME FACE AT THE SAME TIME) , and Lisa screeching about how much she’s missed it AND PLEASE DON’T MAKE HER GO BACK INTO THE VOID WHY HAVE YOU NOT INVITED HER BACK FOR THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, SHE DID A PERFECT CHA CHA!” Oh and then she waggles her fingers at all the judges and yells “MISSED YOU!” and Alesha just looks at her like “whatever drunky”.

Back to Tess in the audience, and another highlight as she goes “Oooh look, it’s last series champion Tom Chambers” and he totally expects her to talk to him, but she turns her back on him IMMEDIATELY in favour of some boxer, who is rooting for Ricky, because he liked his no arms lift. Then she talks to Chris Moyles, who is rooting for Chris Hollins, because he is the Everyman. Whatever Moyles, you’re rooting for him because you’re a shameless populist and we all know he’s winning. FINALLY Tess talks to Tom, who clearly has been bursting to speak this whole time, only for him to make the lame “Oooh I don’t know, but Cola has the magic ingredient” bollocks that Austin came out with last week. JUST SAY WHO YOU WANT TO WIN!

Finally ANOTHER SODDING JOURNEY VT! Does anybody care? No. Good. To the RESULTSMOBILE ROBIN!

And the Winners are  (sorry just thought I’d cut the rebop) :

HIDE YOUR SHAME!

Do we think they cottoned on about the sex faces? And who’s on first to pull camera time during the victory? Sprinting at the same speed asLisa is currently pursuing Brendan acorss the car-park screeching “BRENDAN, COME BACK! I WANT TO CHARLESTON! WE NEVER GOT TO CHARLESTON! OR LINDY HOP! I WANNA LINDY BRENDY, I WANT TO LINDY”? Why its Ravioli.

It’s alright Aliona, they’re clearly going to bring you back next year. I’ve given up on expecting better from Rav. Everyone else crowds on in their wake, whilst Ola just clutches her face and cries with joy. Bless her. Ricky thanks everyone, Natalie looks serene in defeat, and we move on to Chris & Ola’s victory speech. Thankfully he does not scream “YOU’RE POLISH! I LIKE YOUR SAUSAGE!” as he does so. Chris thanks everyone involved, his family and friends, and in particular Ricky & Natalie for making it an amazing final, at which Ola says “YOU WERE AMAZING! YOU AMAZING!” at them, in a manner that would make even Brian go “wow, that girl’s earnest”. I love how winning always, ALWAYS breaks the pro’s brain, and the celebrity never really seems that fussed :

Eh whatever.

Finally, Chris thanks Ola for always believing in him, and she gazes intensely into his eyes and tells him that that was a fantastic experience. Aw, anyway, money shot?

Yet another thing they've stolen from X-Factor, fireworks raining down. Tut tut.

Money shot.

So…Chris Hollins then. Our oldest winner, probably our shortest, and even after that final, the one with the lowest average score (if we ignore Darcey, and I’ve a feeling the show is going to try to). Bit of a rum old deal, and if I’m honest there are a good 4 or 5 people I would have seen win over him, which is more than ever before (even with Gough the series wasn’t exactly swimming with other options). Still, after the Sergeant business last series, this sort of “pure public” winner was always on the cards, and the show seemed fine with it, so I can only be a little bit disappointed. And Ola was in rare form this evening, so good for her.

Until next year then or The Apprentice, or So You Think You Can Dance (no, I could never stay away from recapping Arlene, not ever) or probably that Find Me A Dorothy show, or even the little bits and pieces I do for Big Brother and American Idol and Dancing With The Stars (should you be so inclined), goodbye, thank you for reading, and please stick around for the Christmas Special recap and the Fictional Awards Ceremony. And remember – BENNETT DOMINATION IN 2010! Make it happen people. YES WE CAN!

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13 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 7 – Final

  1. missfrankiecat

    BTW, Jodie broke up with her hottie b/f a couple of weeks back – do you not read Hello(for research purposes only)? – so there’ll be no spurning the final parties on that sofa. Enjoyed the blog as much as ever. You’re a lovely writer.

    Reply
  2. Mustique

    Best Chistmas pressie evah;) Wellnot really but just what I need before starting on the cooking so ta and have a fab Christmas and a brilliant New Year.

    Jan 2 and we will have Arlene screencaps! Mycup runneth over.

    Reply
  3. Lady Noir

    As soon as I saw The Man In The Hat, I spent much of the evening wondering what you would say about it. Deathly boring final, no Phil and Katya (boo), and was a bit underwhelmed by Ricky’s showdance, I have to say. But yes HE WAS ROBBED! Ahem.

    Imagine a Ricky/Ali/Jade final though. Try to hold onto it. Nope, it’s gone.

    If it helps, your recap was way more entertaining than the actual final. Although you could take that as a compliment, or damning with faint praise…

    Reply
  4. Wahwah

    I want BENNETT and FLAVIA DOMINATION for next series….

    You’ve made quite a dull final enjoyable Monkseal…tthank you.

    And yes….what is the deal with Rav?

    Reply
  5. monkseal Post author

    missfrankiecat – So this means he’s available? Just for light moving work around the house you understand…

    Mazylou – Special will be up soon.

    callmepitstop – Thank you

    Left Feet – I guess they felt that, having already done one group Vienese Waltz, nobody needed to see another. The scoring of EVERYTHING though, was fairly inexplicable except to fill time.

    Mustique – No screencaps – there will be an announcement in due time.

    Chris – What, MORE ENTERTAINING THAN THE LINDY HOP?!

    Lady Noir – WHAT, MORE ENTERTAINING THAN A MONTAGE OF THE PUBLIC JUST SAYING THE NAMES OF THE FINALISTS?!

    AWench – Ohter isotonic Sports Drinks are available.

    Wahwah – I’ll make the badges a bit bigger to allow write-ins. But only one per person.

    Reply
  6. Velma

    Marvellous! I have had a great giggle at your recap of a foregone conlusion.

    I live in hope that someone will YouTube CHollins signature move complete with Ross Geller audio on loop, “Pivot! Pivot!” ending with Chandler of course, “Shut up! Shut uuuppp!”

    Reply
    1. Angela

      … oh and don’t forget Joey.. “How you doin’?”…. hahahaha

      Monkseal that was another fantastic one!! Luckily the man in the hat was back, had missed him. Now off to read the Christmas Special!

      Reply

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