Strictly Come Dancing 8 – Final Summary

I am choosing to take all the snow that fell this morning as an auspicious omen. I like snow.

The evening starts with a boxing themed pro-dance, which appears to have been choreographed mapped to the opening credits to Hong Kong Phooey, with a lot of flailing and chopping and punching and precious little dancing. Natalie, Ola and Erin are all ring-girls. That’s about as excited as I can get.

Round One is Repeated Dances. Matt’s samba is still good, but not as good as it was first time. Kara’s rumba is still good, but not as good as it was first time. Pamela’s Viennese Waltz is still good, but not as good as it was first time (apart from her staring into the middle distance for half an hour at the end, like she was in the last reel of Gone With The Wind. That, if anything, was even better this time around). All four dances get exactly the same score as they got first time. In terms of high drama, this is not the best start.

Round Two is Showdances, which is a bit odd, because normally they’re the showstoppers, but given that they’re all craptacular, I’m glad they didn’t go at the end of the show, because the last thing being done on this show, dance-wise, being Kara dinking a tiny bucket of glitter-confetti over herself, five seconds after the music ended, would have damn near killed me. Her showdance is crappy via over-ambition : too many lifts, too many steps, too frantic, and dangerous to the point that it practically break her arm. Pamela on the other hand underwhelms through lack of ambition. It’s tasteful, restrained, contains elements of many dances she’s done before, and quite frankly is enough to put you in a coma. At least in Rachel’s dull, soulless Showdance she fell on her face and pissed herself laughing at the end. Matt’s combines both errors, with lots of different dance types being thrown in there (including hip-hop (!)) all with what I like to call a “Shit, What Am I Supposed To Be Doing Next?” pause in-between each of them. Oh and he’s in a flat-cap. A glittery flat-cap. (*Miranda face to camera*)

After a brief break for panic-voting, we’re back in the room, where Pamela falls to an honourable bronze medal position. We shall never see her Argentine Tango, for shame.

Round Three is New Dances and a bit of a bust to be honest. Matt comes out the best probably with a decent, if very slightly over-acted paso doble that I am going to struggle to remember…well by the time I write the recap. Still better than Kara’s waltz, where she looks constantly lost, in pain, and awkward, and like her arms are about to dislocate in about five places at once. Still, it gets 10s, because if a waltz done after week 10 doesn’t score at least one 10, the Universe will officially collapse in on itself, taking the glitterball with it.

Round Four is Favourite Dances, where Matt irons out most of the technical faults from his Viennese Waltz, although not the bloody great swing, more’s the pity, and Kara pushes through the pain to nail her American Smooth to the wall, in what would actually be the perfect end dancing wise, if it wasn’t followed necessarily by Len kicking off again and giving it a 7. Which is a less uplifting end, but there we are.

All the eliminated dancers come back, and jig around to Paloma Faith in one of the more enjoyable group-dances that I remember in the show’s history. Michelle notably dances far better than she ever did on the show. Gav downs a pint, Jimi has a cocktail, there’s faff with newspapers, it’s all in good fun, but…it’s no Time Warp. I would have even let Paloma Faith sing in if it had been the Time Warp. Can you imagine? Amazing. There’s also an extended VT in which every single person in the nation is made to say just how amazing Widdy was (also the three actual finalists. A bit. In the middle of the Widdy love).

Once all this is done, and Kara is suitably dosed up on horse-tranquilisers and Michelle-glitter, we come to our winner. And it is…

Kara & Artem! Hooray! My “Two Series On-Two Series Off” pattern in terms of getting the winner I want continues. Matt is supremely gracious in defeat, and Artem cries like a great big girl. A very good ending, to a very good series I’d say. Jolly well done all round.


38 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 8 – Final Summary

  1. Verns

    Brilliant summary, Monkseal. Spot on, as usual (ie, I agree with you) and thanks for reminding me that a waltz done at this late stage just has to get a 10 – I’d forgotten that law.

    Despite all the dances being underwhelming, it was a memorable final and I am DELIGHTED that your prediction was so utterly wrong. 😀 :p

  2. Left Feet

    Great result but for me the final did not live up to the hype and only really Pammie danced to anywhere near her best in the first half of the show. James was the only pro who did a showdance with any real dancing in it, it was a bit corny but at least it was not a mess.

    2nd half the only great dance was Kara’s AS which I think won it for her because it it an impact dance more so then a VW and that AS was the dance of the series and in a way was like a second showdance for them. So while I don’t think that she danced her best in the final it was still the right result.

    I think that Aliona Vilani and this may be unfair has a lot to do with Matt Baker not winning, he was always going to get to the final with his fanbase but his lack of a standout dance cost him in the end and that was down to her. The judges were never happy with him mainly because they thought that he could have delivered more.

    Its great to see SCD back to its best and thats due I think mainly to having the best or one of the best dancers winning. The last two series were both out and out disasters not just becasue of the winners were B (Tom) or C (Chris) standard but the semi final farce in 2008 and the just sheer bad luck in 2009 with injuries and running over paps meant that there was a cloud hanging over the show. But this year the casting has been better, two of the three new pros have worked, the judges are a real tight unit who each have their role and the show has been back to its best. Well done Moria Ross!

    Look forward to your full report and your end of series awards!

  3. Left Feet

    Oh Forgot to say that my fave moment is when Brucie is about to give the trophy to K & A and Artem is standing with the singers clapping and Brucie snaps “Artem get over here” very funny.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Bruce did seem borderline obsessed with getting everyone on their mark at exactly the right time. I guess it’s the down side of him being much more into it and on the ball this year. I did enjoy when he appeared on It Takes Two and basically admitted that last series was crap and the cast were rubbish.

  4. Dee

    The best dancer won, which is nice for once.

    My favourite dance of the night was Artem and Kara’s AS. It was just beautiful. Len is a total tool for not giving it a 10 (though good on her for dancing it because she liked it even though she knew Len would be a whiny bitch about it). I bet if she were a SPORTSMAN! it wouldn’t matter how much she danced in hold. I do enjoy whenever Len gets booed so at least there was that.

    I found Aliona and Matt fairly unlikable throughout so I am really happy they didn’t sneak in with the “nice guy” vote.

  5. Kelly

    The standard of dancing on show for the final was disappointing – I didn’t like any of the showdances (and I’ve always wanted to see one to Don’t Stop Me Know) and the rest of it was a bit lacklustre. I was also surprised by the harshness of some of the judges’ comments, given they’re usually bigging up everything (see C Hollins, 2009) by this stage. I loved the group dance; ILU PATSY!

    I think Aliona’s choreography was poor throughout (which probably killed Matt’s chances) and i hope she’s not back next year; but I did want Kara to win so in the end it all worked out rather nicely for me. I just hope she wasn’t too doped up on painkillers to enjoy it!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think last year’s near-psychotic positivity makes this final seem harsher than it perhaps was. I’d everyone got more or less a fair hearing, outside of Kara’s Waltz getting overmarked (IMO), which was a sticky situation for the judges because…don’t want to discourage the girl, especially as they probably knew at that stage that she was winning.

  6. Ferny

    Love the summary, you seem as happy with the whole show and the result as I am. However, am gutted will not see Artem’s amazing constantly-crying face until next year ;-(
    And I thought the ex-contestant group dance was awesome. The end.

  7. Rah

    I think that was the most happy and relieved I’ve ever felt with the outcome of SCD. Justice was served! But ‘boo’ to Pamela not getting to do a loser’s dance, when in the entire history of the show all finalists have done all their dances, regardless of where they came, or the fact that it was Lisa and Brendan’s showdance. I’m sure she’d have smashed it, and however creepy and gurny and embarrassing and overmarked she’s been, her dancing is really enjoyable.

    Great series and brilliant recaps as always!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I must admit, not seeing Pamela’s Agrentine Tango is my biggest thumbs down for the whole finale. I’m sure it would have been spectacular in some sense, good or bad.

      1. Stormy

        I’m not so sure about that. I have this sinking feeling it might have been as unambitious and dull as their showdance was.

  8. Lucia

    Fab recap and I was really pleased that Kara won.Her AS should have been her showdance.I remembered it in Blackpool and it was still as stunning.

    I wish that Pamela and James could have done their AT but ce la vie. Maybe they will do it on the tour.

    Abfab group number do you know who did the choreography?

    Waits around for the screencapped version. 😉

  9. kat

    Possibly I was in a bad mood already because the snow stopped my parents being able to make it over to ours to babysit and we missed out on seeing a show that was expensive and booked a year and a half in advance as a result. But I think that the final was like something cooked from the finest ingredients by a really bad chef. I agree totally about the showdances and the new dances we did see and am really hacked off about the one we didn’t. I mean it had been cheorographed, rehersed and she was even standing her in the frock would it have killed them to have cut into a minute and a half of innane public comments and/or other obvious filler to have let Pamela have had a proper last dance rather than ‘here’s a clip of time and get ye to the tesspit’. Aside from the issues of having one couple knackering themselves out rehersing two dances they didn’t get to do and everyone not having danced one of the show’s dances at all. Badly done Moira badly done 😦

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think this year is a good counter-argument to the stream of thought that says three couple finals are inherently better than two-person ones. Last series was rubbish, but the final got the best out of both contestants and had some fun filler (…alright, Lisa Snowdon turning up drunk and flaling all over the dancefloor) because there was more time to breathe. This year there was too much to cram in. Even without the fillerific VTs there wouldn’t have been enough time for everything to go smoothly.

      1. durnovarian

        But wasn’t that more a factor of up to 4 dances each rather than three couples? Personally I’d have ditched two dances or started two weeks earlier so that everyone did all the dances, so the final could be the best latin/best ballroom/showdance format. That way, too, they’d have been learning one new dance rather than two, so maybe the showdances would have been a little less… underwhelming.

      2. monkseal Post author

        I think a lot of peoples schedules (particularly Matt and Scott) and demands (ie Widdy) pre-empted them from going to two dances earlier this year. No way to tell for sure. Ideally, if there are three couples I’d have them just do two dances of their choosing, no restriction, and say “sod it” to the showdances. I’m so over them by this point.

  10. JonGTFC

    My “Two Series On-Two Series Off” pattern in terms of getting the winner I want continues.

    You wanted Tom Chambers to win?

    1. monkseal Post author

      As we all know, Series 1 never happened. It’s not as though anybody can remember anything that happened in it…

      1. durnovarian

        I never watched it, but I know Kerplunk won it, Christopher Parker was rubbish but got to the final, and Lesley Garrett was completely yuk about Anton. Isn’t that all I need to know?!

  11. Neio

    Your mention of Miranda made me think she’d be great as the comedy contestant next series! (And would surely be a lot more gracious than Widdecombe) I hear she’s a Strictly fan, so who knows?

    1. JonGTFC

      Has been on ITT a few times (including in the last week building up to the final). Would surely also mean a return for Ian too (although some of the execs will push for her to partner Vincent i’m sure).

    2. monkseal Post author

      Beyond Julian (and Sue Perkins on Maestro, although she’s really more of a presenter than a comedienne nowadays), I can’t think of a comedian who’s really come out of a reality show well. They always seem to have a weight of expectation on them to be a “character” rather than a person and they crack quite quickly. Miranda has already done Celebrity Fame Academy for instance, and I thought she was pretty awful.

  12. PadsterMo

    Yessssssss! I suggested Kara would win as far back as the launch show (possibly under a different name…….), so I’m glad to be proven right!

    Overall, it was a good final, but nothing can beat the series 5 final for me (Matt holding Flav by her vag! Alesha in a dress that is also a cape! And flying! And being a blubbering wreck approximately 0.0056744787 seconds before she did her showdance! Arlene’s one-woman standing ovation!). However, whilst generally a decent finale (better than the love-in from last year – I blame Darcy) I thought the whole thing was a bit lacklustre.

    It was kind of like a SCD best-bits final – Aliona was clearly drunk when choreographing the showdance just like Erin a few years ago; Kara tried to break herself in tribute to Ian breaking Jade last year; Don’t Stop Me Now got another run, as did Time Of My Life; James couldn’t be bothered choreographing a showdance so just recycled all his previous routines this series; Widdy and Anton recreated the Kristina and John S swirly-lift-thing fron their series 6 paso; Bruce was a bit doddery; Tess was inappropriate; Len was a d*ck; etc etc etc.

    Despite that, I can’t wait until next series! Monkseal, what am I going to do without your recaps, especially with The Apprentice being completely off schedule? I love you man (in an I-want-to-watch-TV-with-you-preferably-whilst-drunk-because-that-makes-bitching-about-it-more-fun kinda-way). Plus Victoria Coren tweets you (well, once or twice). That’s awesome!

    1. monkseal Post author

      Victoria Coren never tweets me any more. She’s changed man.

      If we were having bits that have already been done, I’m very disappointed that we didn’t have Lisa turn up to slop around the floor. I was hoping for it to be a Finals Night tradition. That and the TIME WARP obviously. Sod Paloma Faith.

      1. PadsterMo

        Drunk Lisa doing the TIME WARP maybe? That would be a thing of beauty.

        Shame about Victoria. Now that she’s moved on you seem ……… I dunno ………. slightly more normal / slightly less godly than you did before I knew that.

        Still awesome though.

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