Strictly Come Dancing 8 – Final

No more showdances please.

Previously on Strictly : …some stuff happened. Mostly dancing. Shrug.


Squeaky squeaky

Still the most awkward opening shot ever yes? He’s come so far!

Out to the floor to start off with and

No Jim Carrey though, thank Jesus

this is giving me unfortunate Batman Forever flashbacks. That really is a very Joel Schumacher green isn’t it? All the pros (bar the ones still competing) are there, and the music to “Eye Of The Tiger” strikes up. Yes, we’re having a boxing themed pro-dance, and as usual when Brendan is asked to unrestrain his powerful masculinity


magic happens. Although that is as nothing compared to the


pulsating testosterone emanating from the other side of the stage. Good grief, Jared’s beard is back. Meanwhile, the female pros get to


play AT being ring-girls, which is surely every young woman’s dream. Would it have killed them to include a bit of Foxy Boxing? You can tell that Katya’s been spoiling to punch somebody in the face all series. And even this way, she still doesnt get to hold up the sign for her “pro partner” though. Natalie always has to dominate everything I guess. Jared would have made a pretty nice ring-girl for Aliona as well.

Once all the props are away, the routine is basically a crap-load of


kicking and punching and kneeing, but in a DANCE STYLE. It’s bloody stupid, and whoever’s singing sounds like he’s getting repeatedly poked in his eye by a tiger. Which I guess is appropriate enough. When all this is done, the three FIGHTERS emerge

Oh noes!

LOOK OUT DAVID HAYE! THEY’S COMING FOR YOU! The best part is how James mugs being the hard man so aggressively that he accidentally ends up popping himself in the face. Oh James… Anywho, Len gives the most anaemic


“LET’S GET READY TO RUMMMMMMBLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (/ROOMBAH!)” I’ve ever heard, and we are ready to begin.

Anybody at all

Just imagine literally anybody else in that seat. It’s a beautiful thought. If you’re imagining me, you can have an extra special Christmas Bonus Point for Sucking Up.


Hi Bruce!

and Tess

Hi Tess!

introductions now, not that Tess is getting herself over-excited at the thought of a Strictly Wedding or anything. YOU COULD WEAR THIS KARA, YOU TOTALLY COULD *gush gush*


Oh and look who’s in the audience, it’s last year’s champion

That's great TC!

Benny The Ball from Top Cat. Say what you will about this series, but they’ve certainly pulled in a better calibre of celeb than a has-been from a 1950s cartoon.

Bruce gushes over Tess’ dress (careful…) and the opening routine, calling it a fantastic start to the show. If you say so Brucie… He then thanks us all at home for voting so sensible, because without our input we might have ended up with a final that consisted of


any of these losers. BOO! Particularly the two old ones at the front! Boo! I know they were the joke contestants, but if we’re coming down to push and shove, I’d rather see Paul Daniels dance again than Peter Shilton. I love how Ann has come in her rumba gear as well. NO RUMBA FOR YOU ANN! Thank Christ… Bruce announces that the very thought makes his shirt go up and down his black like a pbbbbt


And people say that he’s lost it. You can see the cogs whirring in the head of

Clap clap clap

Toytown Minor’s Boyfriend, wondering how to shoehorn that killer line into the Inbetweeners Film. We’re then told that the judges are just going to be marking for “guidance” this evening : our votes alone are what decides the result. Poor Pamela. If we were working under Series 2/3 rules she probably would have come second… Tess then clues us in that the first hour of this grand finale, will feature one of the couples top scoring dances, the showdance, and a whole lot of filler, with the second hour featuring one of the couples favourite dances, a new dance, and a whole lot more filler.


We’ve got a timeslot to fill dont’cha know? Lines will open after the couples first dance. Which is happening now. Woo!

Matt Baker & Aliona Vilani dancing the samba


Bruce opens by saying that Matt Baker was talking to him earlier about taking his family away on holiday (DID HE? THAT’S NICE DEAR!) to somewhere where he can take his kids skiing, ice-skating and tobogganing. Yorkshire. Ho ho. We then get a very earnest “for everybody snowed in, I hope our little show can give you a brief two-hour respite”. BOO! Stupid anti-snow prejudice. Anyway, as we are getting our standard Final “Strictly Journey” VTs, you’re also getting your yearly dose of the Strictly Storybook. I know how you all look forward to it…

Once upon a time, in the land of Blupeter, there lived a noble Farmer, named Baker. If this wasn’t confusing enough for the peasants of the town, he lived on Imaginary Farm, which to the untrained eye looked an awful lot like a television set. But that is only to the non-agriculturally inclined.Those cameras? Incubation boxes for little chicks. Microphones? Unusual looking carrots. Julia Bradbury? Actually a sheepdog in disguise. So, whilst monied, and blessed with two golden haired children and a wife for Farmer Baker (nee Butcher, from a family of Candlestick Makers), Farmer Baker was mocked by the townsfolk as a fraud and a charlatan. How could Farmer Baker show his true worth to the townsfolk? Why, by entering the annual Strictly Dance Tourney of course! He was a handsome and physically fit young man, what could stop him?


On his quest to find a dance-partner, Farmer Baker trudged around the neighbouring kingdoms and found no succour. Lady Erin told him to bugger off. Mistress Ola refused to answer the door. Countess Katya told him she was washing, then dying, then washing, then dying, then washing and dying her hair again until the producers were satisfied with it. Confused as to why, Farmer Baker asked the wise old Wizard Gethin, who had just returned from an expedition to the frozen, blasted, infertile and inhospitable wastes of ITV why this was. And Wizard Gethin did tell him of the CURSE OF BLUPETER. Gethin had entered the tourney many years ago, with the Lady Camilla, and all was well, until a blight placed on the sons of Blupeter began to avail itself upon her. She slowly went mad, her hair falling out, her eyes bulging skywards, her voice become little more than a trickle of screams and curses and wibbles. Since then all professional dancers had avoided the stock of Blupeter, only bolstered by how the curse had visited itself on Mistress Huq, whose every word on X Factor was greeted by screaming and vomiting and eye-gouging from all who saw her there.

So Farmer Baker could see only one solution. He would not be stopped by the curse, he would merely go and visit the already insane Lady Camilla, and ask her to partner him. So he journeyed a month to the town surrounding the Tower where she was imprisoned for her own safety, to beg her assistance. Sadly she was unmoved. He backflipped. She ignored him. He cartwheeled. She ignored him. Even when he put on guyliner, she ignored him. She was happy. She had her glitterball, which she nursed and cooed to as though it were her own child. She had no need for another. So Farmer Baker stormed out (/went to get changed) in frustration, and there he ran into a mysterious, sad-faced young girl, her head shrouded in a shawl, who he had heard of from the people of the town surrounding the Tower. Every day the girl would deliver fresh flowers to Lady Camilla, grave, silent, unspeaking. In a fit of emotion, Farmer Baker demanded that she tell him who she was to get in his way whilst he was storming off (/rushing to get changed). Affronted, the grave child stared at him, wrinkled an eyebrow, slowly parted her lips and proclaimed…


Glory be! The child was the secret illegitimate offspring of the Lady Camilla! Born of a brief liaison with Master Ronald McDonald, jester at the King’s Court. Matt had found his dance partner! All of the Lady Camilla’s dance-talent, combined with her utter batshit madness, with added youthful energy. Surely together, they could not lose?!


Out to the floor, and they’re doing their blessed samba again. This was one of my favourite dances of theirs the first time, so I’m glad they’ve chosen to do it again, and thankfully this time the band aren’t doing that bizarre mouthwash swilling noise they were doing last time. Matt and Aliona work the crowd to start and then the camerawork gets masterfully

Positively Fellini

subtle for the gyrations section. Have to say, it’s all a bit “stupid sexy Flanders” for me. Anywho, it’s all good, but I have the same issues as I had last time (it doesn’t travel enough) and his hips seem a little more slidey this time. Nice samba rolls though, and as an opener to a show with a dearth of Fast Latin in it, it’s good. Can’t help wishing they’d


tried to tack a fourth flick-flack on here though. Sure he probably would have wound up breaking his wrist and crashing into the judges table, forcing us to sit through a final with two crocked dancers but…go big or go home, that’s what I say.

It gets a Standing Ovation, including the


Bakerwife, who looks a lot happier with the Latin dances without implied blowjob hips in them thangyewveryMUCH Aliona. Oh and, as we’re in the Final and going all out, Matt shamelessly slams down the

Tweaky tweaky

Nipple Card. Yeah, try countering THAT ONE, Toytown. Sadly this nipple-action does not


sit well with some poor woman in the audience. Poor thing.

To the judges now, and Bruce informs us all that they’re all four of them glad the series is over, especially Bruno, as his medication is wearing off. I don’t know Bruce, since Michelle left I would imagine supplies of Bruno’s…medication are a lot less depleted backstage than they once were. Bruce then follows on to say that every time he sees Craig and Len together at this time of year, he wonders where Cinderella’s got to.

Hurr hurr

I don’t know Bruce, but the Wicked Stepmother’s on twitter, slagging on and on and on about Aliona’s choreography all evening. Bruce snorts that Alesha certainly can’t be Cinderella, because at midnight she’s only just going out


“clubbing it”. Oh Bruno…

Len starts for the judges


warning everyone that just because the couples are doing four dances this evening, doesn’t mean the judges are going to set their standards any lower. That’s right Pamela, you’re still going to have to move to get a 10. Sorry. They’re going to have to dance to the standard that got them to the final, and Matt did. Well done Matt. Alesha next, dressed for the evening as a

So rippley

raspberry ripple, praises him on recreating the spark and magic of Blackpool. Or at least, his bit of Blackpool. Not the bit of Blackpool that was Widdy rolling around on her arse, Patsy going full drag-queen, Scott jumping the shark, Felicity having a nice walk around… Alesha deems that to be the best samba of the series. Out of the…five sambas we’ve had. One of which was Widdy’s. Still


yay. Next Bruno, and as we established last year, Bruno’s comments in Finals are to be only represented in pictoral form.


There we go. And there’s more to come. Craig to close

Fabulous darling

says it was all good. Confident, torrid hip action, and much better than last time.

Up to the Tessanine they flip, and it’s


once again full of the Old Guard. Tess asks him how it feels to be dancing in the final. He says it’s brilliant, and he wanted it to be a celebration of everything he’s done thus far. Tess then asks if he’s pacing himself, what with the four dances he’ll be doing this evening, and he says that he’s just taking it all one step at a time. Probably. To be honest, I’m mostly distracted by his

Squeaky squeaky!

nipple constantly popping into shot and saying “hello!”. Obviously from a Gavin you expect it, but it’s slightly scaring me it has to be said. He’s asked if he’s looknig forward to the Showdance, and he says yes. He and Aliona have done quite a few firsts on Strictly, and he’s about to do another. On that note,


he’s just going to LACE HIS TRAINERS UP. Eh, Pamela already wore trainers Baker, in the swimathon. You’re so behind. Also, you know who else did a Strictly First in his showdance? Colin Jackson. Think on. Scores are in – 38

Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev dancing the rumba


Bruce reminds us all that last week Kara scored 44/45 on the Friday Show, and 39/40 on the Saturday Show. Apparently this prompted Bruce to sidle up to her and whisper


“do you know just how close you are to perfection?”. Apparently this prompted Kara to tell him to bugger off, the big-headed creep. I love the idea that it takes a comedy misunderstanding that he’s talking about himself to make Bruce sound creepy in that scenario. In the Ladies Dressing Room. With no clothes on.

The clock ticked on in the drab Ministry office where Kara spent her days as a steno. Stuck at her desk in this age of international espionage, she performed mundane filing, typing, and lingerie modelling duties whilst her contemporaries from Soap Academy travelled the world. Thwarting international terrorist outrages in Arabia, travelling on submarines deep under the Atlantic, desperately trying to patch up leaking holes in Minnie Driver’s face, doing reaction shots to Dennis Waterman. Even her ex-boyfriend and now nemesis from the Academy, the deceptively unhandsome Joseph Swash was currently somewhere in the jungles of Australia, trying to bring Anton Deck to justice. But somehow all the opportunities passed her by.

Until Artem. The hard-boiled Russian defector had arrived at the Ministry only this year, and already was making an impact, with his Slavic good-looks, mysterious tattoos, and hilarious accent. From the moment he arrived, he was the talk of the typing pool. Kara admired him from afar, but made no approach, fearing a stern rebuff would only break her heart. Until one day she found a note on her desk, telling her to meet him on the Fire Escape after work, and to come alone. Remembering the good old days back in the Academy, chasing Gary on a barge screaming like a dyspeptic duck, and longing for such adventure, she went without a second thought.

She met him there, and saw him. Hard-boiled, handsome, dashing, with a cigarette between his lips and another ready to be lit already in his hand. He took a gentle intake of breath, exhaled a perfect smoke ring and made a proposition. He and Kara should infiltrate the Strictly Corporation, under-cover, pretending to be lovers. Kara wrinkled an immaculate eyebrow, and said that she had already assumed, what with the funny hats, and the fact that he roomed with Robin Windsor (a notorious bugger), and how after an office-outing to see Marley & Me, Judy from Accounts had found him crying for half an hour solid in the toilets about that poor dog, and poor Jennifer Anniston, WHEN WILL SHE FIND A MAN THAT DESERVES HER, that he was a Friend Of Ian’s. Artem replied that he had only been pretending to be a Friend Of Ian’s, to prevent the enemy setting a Honeytrap on them, like the notorious Kristina Rihanoff (Codename : Octobooby) or Ola Jordan (Codename : Thunderpussy). Kara, desperate for adventure and excitement, and a series of her own on BBC 3 accepted.

But wondered in the back of her head, if they couldn’t after a while, pretend to be pretending to be lovers. And if Artem wasn’t also pretending to be Russian. Or pretending to be pretending to be gay, and pretending to pretend to pretend to pretend to be a Friend Of Ian. The confusion! The excitement! The intrigue! She hadn’t felt this alive since she appeared as “Concert Goer” in Lindsay Lohan’s Just My Luck. And even that was a slow day compared to this.

Out to the floor and


good grief, it’s the same old 100m dash to start then? At least her hair’s a bit better this time. Anyway, it’s the same rumba as last time, with marginally less dry-ice billowing everywhere, and just as with Matt’s samba, it’s still quite good, and I still


expect a thin stream of Golden Syrup to pour over her at this point. I guess the thin dribble of custard that Artem’s producing will have to do as a substitute. Naturally it’s slightly less atmospheric this time, and a bit of a repeat, given that we only saw it for the first time one week ago. Still, given the recappy nature of this entire final, I guess that’s only appropriate. Although

Gropey gropey!

my goodness those are some hands he’s got on him. (*saying nothing*)

When it’s over, it gets a Standing Ovation (SURPRISE!) so Bruce doesn’t have to scream at anyone like last week, and the pair of them Samba Pa’Ti over to the judges. Where Bruce announces that, after a whole series of memorable performances, and that instrumental number especially, it’s time to give an extra-special Thank You to the singers

Thanks singers!

and Davarch and The Man In The Hat as well.


Hooray to them all! Although I am missing the Max Martin-looking one. Where did he go? Was he thrown out for being too good, the jellus hatahs?

Alesha starts, announcing that

A boo hoo hoo

she needs a tissue. This is at least up on Arlene Phillips, who often needed a whole roll of Bounty after some of Mark Ramprakash’s performance. See? There is an upside to Alesha as judge – we are comparatively saving the rainforests. Kara did a really great performance there, and Alesha was welling up before it even started. Kara has been on an incredible journey (*drink) and emotional rollercoaster (*DRINK*), conquered her nerves (*DRRRRRRIINK*) AND REALLY RAISED THE BAR FOR EVERYONE ELSE (*LIVER COLLAPSE*)


All in one sentence as well. Truly, this is the year that Alesha became a Strictly Judge. Bruno next


thanks Bruno.

Craig follows, saying that Bruno is absolutely right with that face he pulled just then, but, just as there was last time, there was an illegal lift in there


Oooh, Artem gonna GIT CHOO Craig. Craig then starts honking about how one foot has to be on the floor at all times, very much in the tone of a junior lifeguard gone mad with power. Bruce chimes in that Craig has obviously never had an illegal lift before.

Ask his surgeon darling. Len closes by saying that rumba was amazing, just like he is.



Up to the Tessanine they showmance/romance/whatever where Tess announces that she is


CONFUSED, because she couldn’t see an illegal lift. Well that settles it. There definitely was one then. Tess asks Kara how her muscle-memory is bearing up, having to remember three dances and all. Except she says “memory muscle”. I guess she could be talking about the brain, in slightly unfamiliar terms. You would expect her to be unfamiliar to be fair. Kara says that

That dance there

that dance was fine – it’s just the ones she’s never done before coming up that worry her. Tess then mixes up her script for Matt with Kara, and asks her if she’s pissed off that Craig hasn’t given her a 10 yet. So unprofessional. Kara says that a 10 from Craig would be the icing on the cake, but she’s not going to ask for one but *HINT BLOODY HINT* eh? Scores are in – 39

Pamela Stephenson & James Jordan dancing the Viennese Waltz


Bruce tells us all that Pamela has told him that she’s so pleased with what she’s learnt this series in terms of dance. (THAT’S NICE DEAR!) But she’s also glad that she’s shown that someone “in their advanced years” has shown that they can still be sexy and sensual, even if she does say so herself. Has Pamela actually tried to be sexy in any of her dances since the rumba? In Week 2? Wasn’t the rest of her Latin just her being an obnoxious Hanna Barbera cartoon devil/a stripping banker throwing money everywhere? I dunno. Anyway, Bruce says that he thinks he shows the same thing every week anyway, so the old biddy can cork it. Oh Bruce. Remember what happened last week when you tried getting “sensual” with Tess? I know I will. Forever.

Anyway, Bruce does a load of sexy poses, and in the audience, Pamela’s husband


Mayor McCheese wonders when the old coot is going to shut up so he can see his wife dance. Under these studio lights, his fat’s starting to run.

It was a frustrating day for Dr Pamela Stephenson-Connolly III Bsc Msc Phd Bsd, of the psychiatrists Stephenson,Connolly,Connolly,Connolly,Connolly,Connolly,Connolly and Connolly (there were only two of them but, you know, egos must…). Despite her many credentials from universities that were later bought by other universities that were subsequently absorbed by other Universities that were next door to universities that were accredited, she had next to no clients. The mentalists of New York were only interested in seeing her partner, because he was present at the birth of Psychiatry, 20 years ago, and was well-regarded then, and had lived off the diminishing returns ever since. Dr Pamela on the other hand had never been good, except when she pretended to be Janet Street Porter, and that tended to scare off clients/make them worse.

Times were truly dire. The only client she had booked in for today was that strange old man who kept on trying to convince her that he thought he was a baby and needed breast-feeding as therapy. And telling him that his chin made it an inconvenience was getting less and less tenable as an excuse. What she needed was a big name. An A-List client to tend to, and cure of their ailments. An actor. A dancer. A deubtante.. And where better to find one than the Strictly Ball – the annual celebrity ball for all the most unbearable neurotics? The only problem was…who to accompany her. She wasn’t noteworthy herself, so would need someone pretty special to get her entrance.

And so, happenstance smiled on her, and a young man of wolfish disposition came to her door, asking for assistance. A dancer no less! Every year he attended the Strictly Ball, but made an ass of himself, and was always asked to leave before halfway through. Was there something in his psychological make-up causing him to act this way? Please help him Dr Stephenson! And so they embarked on a series of deep, intensive, probing therapy. Every day he’d come to her with a new dream for her to analyse. First she was smothering him with her breasts (“a sign of our closeness as a client and therapist!”). The next she was tying him to a chair and grinding up against him (“a portent of your growing emotional consistency”). The next she was face-down in a paddling pool filled with gravy, being violated by her with a cucumber smeared with salad cream. (“erm…now we are…best friends!”). All nonsense of course, but she needed him, and she needed that invite. Once into the ball, who knew what the future held for her? Maybe an identity of her own!

Out to the floor and

Such a ham

oh Hamela. You will be missed. I do like that James has her

*waft waft*

waft her arms around a bit whilst he’s descending from Heaven, just so no-one can claim that she just spends the first 20 seconds or so of the routine on her arse. She’s on her arse, MAKING DANCE-SHAPES. Anywho, it’s yet another dance that’s exactly the same as it was last time, except this time she doesn’t stumble that I notice, although the Acting Faces are, if anything, even more out of control. And it ends yet again with Pamela


being overcome by the POWER OF DAHNCE. It’s such a force. Maybe she should write a paper.

Up in the Tessanine,


Ola applauds, Katya looks bemused, and Anton more so. Over to Bruce they loon, where he informs her that it looked like, halfway through, her life-partner

Hi Cher!

Carol Vorderman When She Appeared On Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes As Cher, was going to cut in at one point and dance with her. Where do you think this is Bruce? Israel. No lezzing-up dancing on this show.

Bruno starts for the judges,


thanks Bruno. Pamela, incidentally, still drifting in the realm between theatre and reality, hears an Italian accent and confuses Bruno

Molto bene papa!

for the Pope. Craig next, saying that it was simple and effective and that she played by the rules which he likes

Screw you Kara Tointon!

MENTIONING NO NAMES KARA TOINTON. Len follows, saying that he’s so glad that the three right people have made the final. From the Tessanine,


Natalie prepares to strike. He says that last time Pamela dances the Viennese Waltz it got a 10, and ooh, she’ll just have to wait to see if she’s maintained that level oooh oooh. Yeah…about a minute Len. THE SUSPENSE MAY WELL KILL HER! Alesha to finish, and she says it was beautiful and moving, and even more emotional than the first time. Eh…I think it could have done with her literally pounding the stairs at the end. Not quite melodramatic enough.

Up to the Tessanine her boobs bounce for the penultimate time, where Tess greets her by crowing that Pamela is


remarkable! No, no, no Tess. She is INSPIRATIONAL. Get the script right Daly. She then asks Pamela what it was like dancing the Viennese Waltz again. Pamela said that she liked it, because it was


SO EMOTIONAL, and also her husband, The Moon’s

Hello, the moon.

favourite dance. She’s so grateful to all her public for getting her this far. It is then rubbed in James’ face that this, after five series, is his first final. Big deal James, Camilla had to wait six series. And it drove her INSANE. Tess then asks him if he’d like to have a Strictly trophy to go along with his wife Ola’s, except originally it sounded to me likes Tess was asking him if he wanted a Strictly Trophy to go along with his wife Ola. Which…would not surprise me coming from Tess, I’ll be honest. Anyway, scores are in – 40.

Entirely Pointless Leaderboard anyone?



Matt Baker & Aliona Vilani dancing the Showdance

No preview picture of the couple before the dance starts. Shame. Bruce explains that the only rule in the showdance is that there are no rules. As usual when people say “there are no rules”, there are obviously rules. No tits out for a start. Probably. Probably can’t last…say…24 hours, complete with mid-point existential crisis in a Very Special Tribute to “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”. No flamethrowers either. Bastards.

Training VT now, and Aliona tells us all eagerly that

So important!

showdance is the most important dance of the night. Oh dear… They’re going to mix together loads of different dance-styles together in a virtuoso mixture of rhythms, requiring Matt to push himself to his physical and mental limits. I love that every year the pros go on and on like this and don’t realise that the public’s favourite Showdance ever basically consists of someone titting around pulling funny faces and a bit of tap. The VT then sadly spoils Matt’s GROUNDBREAKING MODERNIST SURPRISE by showing him doing rolling around on his arse


(/street-dance). Matt closes by saying that he wants to go out there and give it his all, because it might be his last dance with Aliona EVER. EVER!


Out to the floor now and

*sparkle sparkle*

ooh…glittery hay-bales. The music strikes up and…oh God it’s “I Like The Way You Move”. Which is my least favourite song of all time. Frankly, it makes me feel icky. “I’m in a bar, and someone starts talking to me like this, and then I look at my drink, and think better of it, and go and buy another one” style icky. It’s just the combination of the gross pervy lyrics “I love your eyes and your arse and the way you get the words wrong hurr hurr hurr”, the “heavy breather phone call” vocal style, and the fact that when we get to the “MOST OF ALL, YEEEEEEEEEEEEAH, MOST OF ALLL!” I’m already fumbling for an invisible door-handle behind me that doesn’t exist. I tried to get over it by laughing at how it sounds like the guy is singing “I Like The Way You Moo”, but even that didn’t work in the end. Hate it, hate it, need to take a shower after hearing it HATE IT.

So obviously…not going into this dance with the most unbiased mindset. Anyway, Matt and Aliona


hop up onto the glittery hay-bales dressed as sexy farmers and do a bit of disco. Then they kind of…roll off and do some truly amateur street-dance interspersed with


impressive gymnastics, and a whole lot of pauses in between. There’s a few lifts as well, although they’re quite static and

Nowhere NEAR

Flavia herself will tell you where this one went wrong. That hand is nowhere NEAR her vagina Matt. Screw the Bakerwife, this is FOR THE WIN! They’re not helped by the

At least make it fit!

wardrobing department either. Good Lord Aliona, there are two bona-fido homosexuals on the panel (at least), and if there’s one thing that’s bound to induce flashbacks in any gay, it’s being advanced on by someone in a too-small waistcoat, that rides up to show off their belly, in a way they probably think is sexy. TRUST ME. There’s a bit of basic Latin,


some frankly Widdy levels of just…standing there, him recreating the “please give me a blowie” moves from his salsa but

Come on ribs, don't fail me now!

bizarrely enough on himself this time, some more


Gymnastics Fun, and then it’s over.


Thankfully. One down…two to go. Up in the Tessanine…

Let me at it. Let me at it!

you can tell Erin is raring for another go at this Showdance thing. She’d be good at it this time. Promise. Over to the judges they moo, and Bruce asks Len if that, that there, was everything that Len was looking for in a Showdance.


…quite. Len says that for a showdance you want something that makes you feel good, music that inspires you, and for the celeb to CAMM AHT, have fun, and entertain everyone. And on the whole, Len thinks that applied to that showdance. Oh Lord, the idea of Len being “inspired” by I Like The Way You Move makes it even creepier to me. Poor Mrs Len. The England Rugby Jersey’s coming out of the wardrobe tonight. It was full on and exciting, but there were


too many stunts and tricks for Len’s liking. And not enough dancing. Alesha follows


beaming away, saying that she liked the tricks, the cool street-dancing, the breakdancing, and that he showed off his gymnastic background. Bruno next :


thanks Bruno! Craig follows saying that

Oh poo...

he didn’t like it. Too static, and the concept didn’t come together on the floor. Oh well.

Up to the Tessanine they gambol, as Tess grins to Aliona that she threw everything but the kitchen sink in that then. I…don’t think that’s normally said as a compliment Tess, but ok. Matt replies that he didn’t want to hold back for the dance. All his cards needed to go down on the table, so everyone could see what he was all about. Tess then goes all mingey on him, sighing that he IS a trained gymnast, so obviously that routine was playing to his strength. Good grief Daly, you didn’t bring up Tom’s creepy near-obsessive recreation of Fred Astaire routine on Youtube after his showdance. Matt points out that he stopped doing gymnastics almost 20 years ago thank you very much, DALY. Tess then gushes that his wife is in the audience and must be so proud. Bakerwife is all


what do they want me to do>? Thumbs up to the camera or something? Sheesh… Scores are in –



Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev dancing the showdance

No preview for them either, apart from Bruce


leering and wondering what sort of tricks Kara’s got up her sleeve. Wouldn’t get your hopes up Bruce…

In her training VT, Kara


grimaces the grimace of fun, and then interviews that she and Artem are about to do a dance like they’ve never done before!


Yes Kara, a crap one. Artem gushes that there’s going to be SO MANY LIFTS and SO MANY TRICKS, whilst Kara nerves that this is going to be her last chance to impress the audience. Well…fortunately not. She says that it’ll either all go well and people will love it, or it’ll all go wrong and she’ll end up in ambulance. Fate tosses a coin, and it ends poorly.

Out to the floor now, and


I quite like this as a starting pose, I’ll give them that. I do notice that she’s wearing a white jumpsuit, whereas in Fashion Corner on It Takes Two it was salmon pink. Making that segment even more of a waste of time than usual. Unless some smart cookie in Wardrobe anticipated that she’d end the dance with it drenched in her blood. They weren’t far off either. They’re dancing to “Don’t Stop Me Now” and ooh


look at the lifts. I actually have a lot of affection for this song choice, if only for the night I was drunk in a crappy Coventry wine-bar at 3am, this came on the jukebox, and one late-30s office-girls-night out ringleader stormed the dancefloor and did an entire routine to the whole song all on her own. It was magical. And yes, better than this. The start at least is alright, quite slow in tempo and graceful, but as soon as the pace picks up, and she does a cartwheel into backflip it all goes a bit


tits up. From there she’s a bit lost and awkward and pained and it has sub-par jive and my God


air-guitar, make the air-guitar stop for the LOVE OF KAREN HARDY. Anyway, her arm is screwed, which is entirely the fault of the over-ambitious choreography, although the worst comes at the end, when she


runs off in completely the wrong direction for their big finish, then it turns out that said big finish, which is no occurring LONG after the music has stopped is


her dinking a tiny little bucket of glitter over herself. Which, if this is a romance, and if they haven’t actually shagged yet, I hope for her sake isn’t symbolic. Ah well, at least she has the good sense to


laugh it off afterwards.

Over to the judges they skitter, where Craig starts


groaning about how sad it was that she missed a lift over there. Oh my Craig, there was more going wrong than that. Oh and the timing at the end was off (/non-existent) but he admires her courage. Len says that it had the potential to be a great routine, but in the end it was all a bit too much for her with the speed and all the tricks and gimmicks and stuff, but you know


nice try. Alesha next, saying it was a great combination of dances, which really demonstrated Kara’s “danceability”. Yeah, ok Alesha. She liked that Kara showed she was capable away from Artem, and also that she has the stamina of an athlete. Bruno next

nip nip nip

Thanks Bruno.

Up to the Tessanine they gambol, with Kara clutching her bad arm the whole way, and once up there Tess says that she’s on record as wanting to do a Strictly Showdance, so how was it? Kara said that she loved the idea of doing one…but the reality was somewhat different. She hadn’t done a backflip perfectly since she was 11, and she’s thinking it was a bad idea to try one then. Well…quite. She looks at her arm in a concerned fashion so naturally


Tess makes a grab for it. Thanks Dr Tess! Kara and Artem have a good joke about how he let her choreograph 2 seconds of the routine (was it the bucket?) and then scores are in –



Pamela Stephenson & James Jordan dancing the showdance

Bruce tells us that this showdance will test all of Pamela and James’ skills. I’d say it tests about two, and one of them is breathing.

The training VT starts with James having to remind her that this is a very grand, explosive dance, and she just has to be more showy.

Oh alright, if I must...

I love that we’re expected to believe any scene that has James telling Pamela to be MORE of a Giant Grasping Ham. James says that he has to push Pamela RIGHT TO THE EDGE, but not over it, no matter how much he might want to, just to show how fabulous she can be. James says that, when you think about it, and even when you don’t, and it would be a blessed miracle with this show to be allowed not to, Pamela is as old as Matt and Kara combined. James says the dance needs to have the wow factor, and Pamela declares it THE MOST IMPORTANT DANCE IN THE FINAL, and MAKE OR BREAK! Such aggressive and excited tones over…this dance.

Out to the floor now where


Pamela is already twirling her skirt around like a 6 year old at a wedding disco after too much Vimto. Their dance is to “Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing, which I have no particular emotional attachment to, except that it’s sometimes fun to sing along to with funny voices. Hooray! James comes out, Swayzes on a bit around her,


then she does the Wrist-Lift O’Bliss like James’ love is making her FLOAT, and then…nothing much happens after that. Nice basic Latin jigging around, a lift, a spin on the floor, and then it ends with her


swinging through his legs


knickers to the world. Bless her. James then slides into her, and gives her a little nudge, like they’re curling stones. That was the dullest showdance since Rachbot.

To the judges now, where Alesha starts by saying that she just loved the song choice and that it just summed up Pamela perfectly


stuck in the 80s, overdone, tragically kitsch? Help us out here Alesha! She sparkled just as she has every week, and Alesha liked that the routine was tailored to her – with dance content over lifts and tricks. Bruno?


Thanks Bruno.

Craig follows, saying that there was a big old stumble heading into the lift, which


James cops to, all “no, really, I know every other time a pro says something is their fault it’s a load of old parp, BUT I REALLY MEAN IT GUYS!”. But that’s alright, says Craig, because she’s an extremely natural dancer and just so watchable. Len closes by saying he’s glad there was no bloody disco or hippity hop or any of that crap in there SO THERE ALIONA. I love the theme of “using your praise for one dancer to back-handedly knock another down” this evening. So in keeping with a final. Anyway, Pamela kept it simple, well done. Bruce finishes by offering his unbidden opinion – ” a medley of lovely thing” as Pamela

Yeah, thanks Broos.

looks like she appreciates his input.

Up to the Tessanine they spirit, where they are greeted by Tess, who says that they put the showbiz into showdance. Presumably making it a showbizdance. Of sorts. Tess then remonstrates with James for stumbling in the routine, but says that she won’t hold it against him. Well that’s big of her. Pamela in response naturally just


cackles like Biggins. Tess then makes up for her earlier departure from the script by correctly identifying Pamela as an inspiration to women everywhere – even ones that don’t watch the show. I’m sure there’s a Polynesian tribe erecting a statue to her as we speak. She then asks Pamela if this has, in fact, as per the title of the song she just danced to, HAD THE TIME OF HER LIFE?! Pamela replies that she has. James then closes by making the obvious “nobody puts Granny in the corner” joke. Hooray! Score are in – 37

Another pointless leaderboard?



A recap. And then an hour passes, in Casualty. How ironic for Kara. When we return


Tess is clearly WELL UP FOR ANOTHER HOUR! WOO! LET’S GO! Bruce informs us all that someone is about to go home in third place, there will be two more dances from the remaining finalists, and also we’ll see the contestants finishing 4th to 14th do a group dance, but before ALL THAT…it’s time for a recap of what just happened. But obviously you don’t need one of those right? If you want extra information, Matt is super-hyped up, Kara done hurty on her arm, and Pamela is really looking forward to doing the Argentine Tango. Ah well…

Because leaving in third place is

Bye Pam...

her very self. Making it four years out of eight the person top with the judges has fallen first in a final. Poor things. About five people in the audience lustily boo. Pamela and James give the other finalists a big hug whilst Bruce stands by the judges screaming “PAMELA! JAMES! PAMELA! JAMES!” at increasing volume until they finally give in to the old coot and wander over for their goodbye speech. From the audience, Pamela Stephenson’s husband


Pamela Stephenson looks on proudly. Once they’ve arrived, Bruce tells them that he can’t say how sorry he is to see her go. Pamela’s all

Bugger orf

haha Bruce, find someone your own age. Bruce asks if there’s something she wants to say to James, preferably not something gynecological. And of course the drama doesn’t stop here as Pamela gazes up at James


adoringly, and says, haltingly, that he’s incredible, and made this the best experience of her life, and she tried to ring his mobile yesterday but she got someone else? And she tried to get into his house using the key she had cut, but it didn’t work now for some reason, so she had to break in through the downstairs lav window. But she’s sure they’ll be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER! Anyway, they get some best bits, and she is sent up

Into the sunset

to join the rest of the losers. Bye Pam!

Matt Baker & Aliona Vilani dancing the paso doble


Bruce informs us that the two remaining couples now have two dances remaining before they collapse over the finish line. A dance they’ve never done before (…on this show) and the dance they think is their strongest. Originally that was “their favourite”, but there’s no room for emotions now, only what can MAKE YOU WIN. SCREW FUN! IT’S BUSINESS TIME!

VT time now (again) and this time it’s an opportunity for the celebrities and pros to eulogize one another, because Lord knows the car-crash final five minutes aren’t going to allow the opportunity for anything meaningful to be said. Also, I’ve praised the Music Elves many times but they’re soundtracking this with “This Is The Last Time” by Keane, which I’m fairly sure is about constantly resolving to end an emotionally abusive relationship but never quite summoning up the resolve. Unless they know something I don’t.

Ahem. Anyway, Matt says that he was miss Aliona’s drive, her patience, her methods, her bottom-smacking,

Spanky spanky!

her shouting, and her swearing,


of course. Aliona says she’ll miss


having to dye her hair this stupid colour, can’t you tell? She really appreciated that Matt loved the intensity of their training as much as she did. Such kindred spirits. Matt says that he’s loved every minute of the whole show and then says


goodbye to the training room one last time. Oh don’t try and win my vote with a Fierce Scarf at this stage Baker. T’int happening. Nice coat there though Aliona.

Out to the floor now and


oooh, dramatic. They’re dancing to a Spanish guitar version of “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by The Animals, which tragically I mistook on first listen for the in-game music to Golden Axe. Maybe video-game music could be something for Aliona to consider moving forwards in her Adventures In Choreography. Maybe she can do a foxtrot next year to the Super Mario Music dressed as Princess Peach. As for the paso, he gives it a decent try, but he’s not really aggressive or passionate or commanding enough for my liking and beyond the first 30 seconds or so


he’s not exactly radiating the bull-fight. It’s a little bit femme, his bum’s sticking out a bit


no idea what that’s about

Flibbidy flib

or this (hands were never his greatest strength were they? And a lot of the routine does seem to consist of the sort of wrist exercises physios tell you to when your arm-cast is removed), but you know, for a dance that nobody cares about because they’re all too busy multi-dialling their bottoms off, it’s nice enough filler.

They finish by the judges so…

Oh hai audience

there’s not really much walking over to Brucie to do. Which is efficiency for you I guess. Bruce reminds us again that the judges comments are just for our guidance. They can’t hurt us now. Which is a good job cause


Len’s pulling faces again! He liked it, but it was crap. Funny shaping in the arms, too jerky, little to no shaping in his body, his chin kept on disappearing into his neck


no use being like that now Matt, the dance is over! Alesha follows, saying that she thinks the dance was MADE FOR MATT! She prefers him in the passionate dances like the tango and the paso (ie, the last two weeks), and she liked the purpose and drive he gave to it. She also admires his inner drive and competitive spirit.



Thanks Bruno.

Craig to finish and he

Lollity pops!

rather liked it.


Strong and passionate lines, although his hands are still a bit of an issue. Tum ti tum.

Up to the Tessanine they charge, and if you were wondering just how out of things to say Tess is going to be by this point in the evening, don’t worry she opens immediately by just asking Matt if he thinks the judges comments were fair.


His response : “yeah, whatever”. That should so be the response to every question Tess asks. He then follows by saying that being put through the elimination spotlights and then immediately thrown into a new dance has left him a bit discombobulated. It was good fun though, and he’s enjoying dancing with Aliona for the last time. Tess informs him that everyone is super-shocked that Pamela has left and asks him if he is SUPER-SHOCKED too. He agrees that he is, but everyone is great, so it’d be a shame to lose anyone blah blah blah and so on. Scores are in – 35

Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev dancing the waltz


I hope those aren’t black eyes. Would hate to think she’s injured herself some more in the interim.

Last Day Together VT now, and gosh, I wonder what these two think of one another eh? Hmm…

Anyway, Kara says that she’s going to really miss being in the Strictly Bubble, and that she’s glad that she’s getting to do the one dance she hasn’t done all series – the waltz. The samba being a non-dance so far as Kara is concerned. She SPIT on da waltz. So what will Kara miss about Artem? The nagging, the tricks and the lifts, the coffee breaks, and the lunches together


mostly. Ah, that BBC canteen food. It may have a bad reputation, but it’s crack-moreish. Artem sighs that he’s going to miss how Kara constantly changed her hair style and what she’s wearing every five minutes


just like a typical woman ho ho. Also how she’s constantly demanding rests every five minutes.


Sure you find that endearing NOW Artem, but it might be less exciting in the very near future. Anyway it turns out that Kara has bought Artem a very special goodbye present.

please let it be pony!

Is it a bra? No, sadly it is a


comedy toy loudhailer, and it turns out Kara just bought it so she could play with it herself. As is the case with so many Christmas presents. We close with Kara saying she’ll always be grateful to Artem for making her a bit of a dancer and then we close on a super slo-mo shot of



Or not…

Out to the floor now and

How stalky!

we get to watch Kara stumble around looned up on painkillers, and call it a waltz! Huzzah! It’s to Simply Red (/Howard Melvin & The Blue Notes, but anything ever sung by Mick Hucknell is stained with his musk forever) as well, as if this wasn’t fun enough already! Anyway, it’s pretty inept by Kara’s usually high standards (don’t get me wrong, if, say, Patsy Kensit came out and danced to this standard it’d be an effing miracle), with really weird arms and a complete lack of focus but then…her arms are screwed and she’s been dosed up on Michelle-glitter to get her through the damned thing. So I feel bad judging. You know, more so than usual anyway. I mean


this isn’t even from the end of the dance. She’s just out of it. Anyway, when it’s over she apologises to Artem, and he pulls woobie face and goes to examine her arm. Good lord.

Over to the judges they hobble where Alesha calls it a

So understated...

“very understated(/doped up) waltz”. She was constantly pushing herself, and is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. Alesha is so relaxed and at ease watching the pair of them dance, that she’d just love to sit and watch Kara dance all night. Kara’s face in reply is all


yeah…maybe not ALL night… Heck, him from Inbetweeners looks like


he can manage about another 15 minutes, then he’s off to the bar. Bruno next


Thanks Bruno.

Craig next, saying that it was wobbly, spiky, she missed pretty much all of her heel leads, and she was constantly looking at the floor. But she’s still UH-MAY-ZING. Hooray. Len closes by saying that Kara has such musicality when she dances. I believe that is officially our Word Of The Series. By Strictly 2012 we will be as fed up with it as we are of “journey” and “rollercoaster”. There were a few problems as Craig said, but it was still dead good.

Grabby grabby

Feeling left out of the Inappropriateness Action by Tess, Bruce takes this as an excuse for him to start, grabbing and prodding and generally manhandling Kara’s arm, before sending them on up to the Tessanine. Where Tess gushes at them about how she only has two chances left for a 10 off Craig. COULD THIS BE THE ONE? Were you listening to his comments Tess? I’m guessing probably not. Kara ignores this, thanks all the people at home for keeping her in, and then starts muttering about how she

Oh no, my arm!

can’t straighten her arm, whilst Artem’s woobie face goes NUCLEAR. I guess, as a way to distract your lover from his still-burning feelings for an Italian dance-judge, breaking your arm is…slightly more healthy than deliberately accidentally getting yourself pregnant? A bit. Kudos to Kara anyway. Tess blunders on regardless, asking Artem what dance they’re doing next, and he says American Smooth, because it’s very special to them. At this Natalie, and Natalie alone


claps her hands and whoops and smiles. And then when no-one else joins her, she unblinkingly and unnervingly stares right down the camera for the next twelve seconds or so.


Bless her crazy ass. Scores are in – 38.

Now, while Kara and Matt get ready for their favourite dances of the series, it’s time for an amazing fillerific VT, where we run through every single eliminated contestant in order. Really I’m only discussing it because, as Tess is introducing it


Michelle is twitching around like a loon behind her. Can we keep Michelle for all Tess’ links in future please?

Once the VT is through, we’re back in the Tessanine, with all the


losers, sore and otherwise. Tess starts with Jimi, asking if it’s good to be back amidst the smell of the hairspray and the roar of the sequins. He says that it is, thanks Tess. Felicity is asked if she’s missed doing the splits and she brays


that she does a splits every day darling. Chopping onions, walking the dog


down she goes. In this weather frankly I think many of us are close to the same predicament. Ann is asked what would have happened in her showdance. She says that she and Anton would have flown in on wires from two different directions and then do some danci…oh well if you’re just going to lie Ann, I shan’t transcribe you.

Tess then swivels on the spot to turn to the Gavbot, asking him if he’s shown his team-mates some of his moves and he replies


no. But he’s glad to be back playing rugby. He misses Strictly, but rugby’s definitely where his heart lies. That and getting his bollocks zapped with electricity on Bravo, appearing in 71 Degrees North 2 : Revenge In Hawaii, and let’s face it, probably I’m A Celebrity next year. But mostly rugby. Michelle is then asked if she’s been keeping up with the show from America. She honks that


she sure has. Wasn’t Pamela’s samba amazing?! And Musicals Week! That was such a blast Tess! Patsy’s then asked if she’s kept up the dancing. She says she has, in her kitchen, and she is still



To finish, Tess asks everyone who they think will win, resulting in a cacophony of “MATT!”s and “KARA!”s I can’t really make out, apart from the fact that Ann is very enthusiastic about Matt winning. So if you want to know why he lost… Oh and Michelle squeaks “ANN!” at the end. Nobody laughs. I would have Michelle, I swear.

Matt Baker & Aliona Vilani dancing the Viennese Waltz

No pre-dance VT this time, thank Christ. Just the


Return Of The Swing (yes it is). I quite like this the first time, and on the second run it’s even better. Probably because I am now more or less over the bizarro song choice. Certainly it seems smoother across the floor and more elegant, although they do still clip the swing at the beginning. DAMN YOU SWING! Not to put too fine a point on it but, showdances aside, this swing is the only prop used in the entire final, not that I want to make any sort of points about how how props have and have not enhanced the dances this series.

Their time on the show ends with Matt pushing Aliona on the giant swing.


I hope the losing finalist next year gets a see-saw.

Over to the judges they murder one another with rocks, where Bruno starts


Thanks Bruno. Craig follows, saying that he agrees with Bruno’s face, and also wants to thank Matt for sorting out his thumbs from last time, because this time round they were gorgeous.


Yes yes Aliona. Yours are nice too. Although on the other hand, his head-placement in hold was too close to centre. Yeah…erm…I was thinking that as well. Definitely. Len next

dancing dancing DANCER DANCE!

saying that Matt is an EXCELLENT BALLROOM DANCER, AN EXCELLENT DANCER, AND AN EXCELLENT BALLROOM DANCER. Len’s input as valuable as ever then. Lovely frame, great movement, but a bit of a crappy fleckerl. Which as we all know, is the move that Len just made up himself for his own amusement, and so doesn’t count. Alesha closes by saying that that was a beautiful performance and Matt has been impressive right from the very beginning.

Up to the Tessanine they go, for the very last time, where Tess asks them how that performance of the Viennese Waltz compared to their first one. He replies that it was a lovely dreamy way for their run to end, and he thanks Aliona effusively for such a lovely exit, and they have a bit of a cuddle. This is mildly under-cut by Scott rolling his eyes throughout and Goldie

*twitch twitch*

giving Gavin bunny-ears in the background. Oh, boys. Matt is asked if he is sad that this will be his last dance on Strictly with Aliona. He says he is. Scores are in



Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev dancing the American Smooth

Again, we start right on the floor and

Swishity swirl!

I hope Artem makes as much liberal use of the smoke machine next year when he’s partnered with Moira Stewart. Anyway it’s the American Smooth, which I’m a bit annoyed about them repeating again, solely for the fact that it’s not one of her Tangos of Epicness, but given the sheer grit she puts into the performance, I can’t quite begrudge it. She’s clearly really having to force her arm to do what it wants, her brain to keep her legs moving, and her face to not grimace the whole way through. It’s not quite a virtuoso performance, but as her last one before the one, it’s a great finish, and an appropriate one, as Artem will be quite lidderally crying a river for the rest of the evening.



Over to the judges they cry, well

Oh Artem...

Kara does, Artem sprints off, up the Tessanine, out the back of the studio, to Euston, then by train to the mini roundabout just outside the off-licence near the house where I grew up, which he stands in the middle of to give Kara her customary standing ovation from him. Bruce then


tries to cop a ride, so naturally Artem is RIGHT BACK IN THERE.

Craig starts for the judges, saying that he would kill to dance like that. Don’t doubt him either. What do you think happened to Lilia? He killed her, tried to steal her life-essence, then got bored, baked her into a pie, and fed her to Darren. LOOK OUT KARA! Len then decides to be a douche, not for not liking the routine, which, fair enough, he didn’t like it last time, and she knew that, so tough on her for choosing it, but in fact by pretending he’s going to like it this time

Grr, a lift, grrr

and then not, and whinging about the hold stuff again. What a tease Len. You’ll get yourself a reputation. Kara whinnies that she WANTED to put some in-hold stuff in there for Len, but at the end of the day she


couldn’t be arsed. Forgive her? *bat eyelids*

Alesha next, saying that she’s

Boo hoo

so, so sad that that’s the last time she’s going to see them dance. Oh, that’s right, she’s not going on the tour is she? Instead it’s Judge Kelly Brook.

*laughs forever*

Bruno to finish judges comments for the series?


Thanks Bruno.

Up to the Tessanine they cry, particularly Artem, natch, where Tess asks them why they did the American Smooth, given that last time Len gave them a 6? Surely that makes it a risky move? Probably not Tess, as the judges scores count for even less than they usually do at this point. Kara just says that it was her favourite dance, so she decided to do it again. *shrug* Tess asks if THIS dance might finally yield a 10 from Craig (…seems more likely that the last time you said it Daly), and then how sad Kara feels about this being her last dance with Artem? She says that she’s glad that she got through it without her arm dropping off, and thanks Artem for “making her a dancer”. Tess snorts that on the upside that Artem has promised to take her out on a date tomorrow (…to the gift shop at the hospital), and Kara drones back “yeah…exactly” then mutters “…so sickly” under her breath. I’d love to believe that was a burn on Tess, but it was probably just the drugs talking. Scores are in –



ANOTHER entirely pointless leaderboard


sure, why not?

Right. All the dancing is done. How are we going to fill in the 15 minutes to go til the results? Shall we get Drunk Lisa Snowdon out again to slop around the dance-floor? Sadly no. First bit of filler? Take a guess….it’s a recap of everything that’s happened so far! Hooray!

Once that’s over we get another VT, this time, asking the general public what their most stand-out moments of the series were. The positive ones obviously. There’s no 14 year old girl with mascara running down her face screaming “WHERE’S BRIAN FORTUNA?!” for instance.


This chap tells us what he’ll remember most are the amazing new dancers and the fabulous line-up of celebrities. Already, one person in, and you can just smell the stink of “reading off a list of approved opinions given to him by a researcher” can’t you? I blog this thing and I have to concentrate really super-hard to remember that Robin exists. All of these people’s most memorable moment is

History's Greatest Monster!
Get off!
You're shit!
*thumbs down*
*raspberry noise*

something to do with Ann. Judge them. Shun them. Drive them from their towns. Except possibly the child.

This woman however, has taste


and says that her most fondly remembered moment was the Bruno and Gavin snog. Some girls in a sea-life centre say that Gavin getting his tits out was their most memorable moment. Sadly they do not narrow this down to any particular one of the seventeen times it happened. This woman however stands up for the sex appeal of Scott Maslen,


saying that she’d run her fingers through his chest-hair any day.

Some drag-queen then runs us through his favourite


face that Patsy did when she was saved. Not really. It’s Bruno going Scoooooooooootttttttttt. Some other woman said that her most memorable moment was Scott “blagging it” in his American Smooth. Oh goodness, that was not “blagging it”, Natalie was dragging him around by his NECK.

Some child says she finds Bruno funny, someone else says they loved the Hallowe’en Special, some people thought it was a shame when Tina left, some other people thought it was a shame when Jimi left, some other people thought it was mean of Craig to call Patsy a chav, some people like the Kartem romance, some people like Matt doing a backflip off his unicycle or whatever, this woman

me love james!

liked when James fired the glitterball out his arse…Just step away quietly people. She has a knife…

We also revisit


Pamela almost falling over (again),


Goldie being the mummy


and Ann being thoroughly rude to Jared on Day One. What a missed partnership that was.

Here, for your education, are my Top Ten Most Memorable Moments Of The Series :

2. Katya’s hat
3. Erin & The Machine
4. “Watch the screen! Stop on the right note at the right time and gaaaaaaaain points! Stop on the wrong note at the wrong time and lose points! MUSIC MAESTROOOOOO!” (<3)
5. Alesha & The Nibbles
6. Erin makes it 8 glorious series of elimination related sartorial disasters
7. I read the spoiler that Widdy is eliminated and run around my flat giggling for 5 minutes at least
8. Patsy won’t stop auditioning for Chicago EVER
10. Katya loses her virginity to Satan.

Please note, these are just the first ten things to come to mind. But surely you’d rather see me babbling about any of them than someone saying “oooh, wasn’t Widdy funny?” about seventeen times. Oh and


Back from this interlude, it’s time to one last group dance, and

And nothing else

kudos to Paloma Faith for being one of the few guest stars lacking in ego enough to let other people dance to one of her songs, rather than, say setting the entire studio on fire just to keep them away from her. We start with Paul/Ola and Tina/Jared out on the floor, with Tina doing her level best to do my favourite “Return Of The Losers” thing


stomp around over-dancing trying to prove why we were all wrong to fail to recognise her genius. Far better this than, say, Martina, who last series had three months of very well-meaning earnest people saying she was cut too soon, and then came back and fell about all over the place. We then scoot to a game of


Guess That Booty.

It turns out to be Michelle’s, and she is powdering her nose (*says nothing*), with Felicity and Erin by the mirrors.


(*says even more nothing*). Their respective boys (Brendan, Vincent and Peter) pick them up and take them to the floor, whilst Patsy, Katya, Natalie and Flavia do the same for their boys at the bar


relieving them of their tankards of heterosexual beer of fruity drinks respectively (MISSED YOUR CUE AGAIN EH MASLEN?). These four pairings then jive around a bit to the chorus of whatever slab of retro tosh Paloma is currently fog-horning (if I’m going to pick out someone who clearly has completely lost any sort of sense of dance whatsoever I’m picking Patsy, before

*read read read*

some of the boys come on and read the newspaper for a bit. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to trust any more to Shilts than that to be honest. Their parnters join them and faff for a bit, before we cut through this retro tosh to


Gavbot getting his tits out! YAY! All the ladies chase after him leaving space for Widdy to


fall over all over again. Then everyone rushes the floor, Gavbot and Scott hurtle directly into one another, everyone does a big group number synchro-spot,


before it all devolves into a big, glorious, sloppy mess, in I think the first moment of the whole series to actually justify the FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN! mantra they’ve been spouting. Everyone just looks like they’re actually enjoying themselves! Hooray!

Oh no...

Except Felicity’s now dead. Ah well. Small price to pay.

Lines are now closed, and we get final fillerific journey VTs but really, who the hell cares eh? It’s time this turkey-shoot got a winner.

And that winner is…



Matt and Aliona both rush her to say well done as quickly as possible, whilst Artem freaks out and cries all over the place. Tess ushers over Matt & Aliona to talk to her (worst runner-up prize EVAH!) and says that Matt should feel very proud of himself for getting this far. Matt says that he agrees (oops), and that it’s been a fabulous experience. He calls Kara a worthy winner, and says that if he’d been at home, he’d have been voting for her as well. One of Pamela’s shoes whistles past his ear at this point. Also…it’d be a bit late voting for her now Matt, lines closed about six minutes ago. You vote would not have counted, and you may still have been charged.

Bruce meanwhile is chatting to Kara, who says that being the champion is the most special thing she can think of, and Artem is amazing, and Matt did great considering his ridiculous work commitments and she’s made friends for life whilst Artem…continues to cry all over the place.

Wah wah wah

He says Kara is amazing, and then Kara starts to try to thank even more people, but Bruce cuts her off to give her her glitterball and tell her to sod off. Artem wanders off to do that doofy clapping thing again, and Bruce tells him to come over here and stop being a douche – this thing’s heavy and her arms monged, you great Russian tit.



Voting for the Monkies opens soon, and I’ll have my round-up of the series some time just after the results are revealed. Until then


Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep waving a glitterball around a crying like a girl!


28 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 8 – Final

  1. Verns

    Brilliant, Monkseal. Thank you in particular for your uncannily accurate accounts of the finalists’ back stories, and for faithfully reproducing Bruno’s ‘mots justes’ – I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a word.

  2. Left Feet

    Poor old Artem its often the pros who are more of a wreck then the celebs when the winners is chosen. (although in the US show I bet Derek Hough is pretty blase about it now)
    If I was going to rank the champs it would be thus

    A Jill, Alesha, Kara

    A- Ramps

    B Tom, Natasha

    B- Goughie

    C Chris

    I think the three girls are the three best dancers the show has had for differient reasons and all deserved to win. Have to mark Ramps down on his ballroom but he is the best of all the male winners.

    1. monkseal Post author

      It’s always been the women who’ve melted down in recent memory (Karen, Alesha, Camilla, Ola) so it’s nice to see Artem striking a blow for equality at least. I’d broadly agree with the ranking given, but I’d drop Kerplunk down a notch, maybe two. I wasn’t Tom’s biggest fan, but I’d say he was definitely a better dancer than she was (although admittedly, this is Series One, so I can barely remember anything anyway)

      1. Left Feet

        Yeah maybe B+ for Tom I looked at his showdance again and despite disliking him thoughout that series it was very good and Camila got it spot on with that dance.

  3. Ferny

    A very worthy winning couple ❤ Probably my favourite ever actually. Although Tom's showdance still beats this years ones (sorry!)

    I'm glad you recognise the greatness of the giant piano game jingle, and it has occurred to me right now that that would be an awesome mobile ringtone no?

    Loved the group dance, the series was fab, and I already miss it 😦 DOI just doesn't even come close.

    Did anyone find out what happened to Kara's arm btw?

  4. Miss Scarlet

    The best thing about a final of mediocre dancing has to be that it gave you more opportunity to exercise your acerbic wit. More power to your elbow Monkseal!

  5. mermaid

    You are just brilliant Monseal! Thank you so much for this – I was weeping with laughter by the time I got to the end of it all! {still howling with laughter}

    What a lovely start to my day earlier – I have just re-read it all as I ran out of time first thing this morning. Thank you again and I am going to check out your other pages. I have already sent the url to a few people I know will appreciate it! {smile}

  6. lpf20


    I thought it was Gavbot spreading his legs too wide which stopped Scott fully turning round.

    Gavin is hugely entertaining, but I can’t imagine he’s got many male friends.

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention Strictly Come Dancing 8 – Final « The mighty mighty Monk Seal --

  8. Dee

    Great Recap.

    Yay! Kara indeed. I thought she was the best dancer all series and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her and Artem sob at every available opportunity. Good fun.

    I am really really hoping that next year they retire Bruce, move Tess to his part and give Claudia the task of interviewing the couples after they’ve danced. At least when she pimps the “showmances” it’ll actually be funny. Or she’ll spend the time asking them what they had for lunch and ignore the fauxcouple BS altogether. It’s win/win for everyone.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I don’t know if I can deal with Tess as the main host. I know everyone else thought she did a good job for the one episode she did last series, but I…didn’t. And I got about the same amount of cringes out of her 5 minutes per week of doing hosting on the Results Show as I did with Bruce throughout the entire series.

  9. Jenny

    Kara’s showdance was the definition of a hot mess – she looked hot, the dancing was a mess.

    Thank you Monkseal for the 100s of hours you have put in to these recaps (and the unpleasant tasks of re-viewing Len’s comments and Ann’s dances to get the screengrabs) – you make watching Strictly 1000x more enjoyable.

    And at Christmas – let’s raise a glass to the man in the hat, I miss him already

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’m just glad that the jumpsuit wasn’t cerise. She looked enough like a reject from bad British sci-fi as it was.

  10. Megan

    ahaha You’ve nailed The Kartem Showmance. (She actually called it a showmance on Norton tonight. lol) Not the two I would have guessed were at it *cough*

    Lovely series of recaps which I thoroughly enjoyed 🙂

  11. Carina

    TOTALLY Loved every recap, it’s made the series for me! Will you be doing one of the Christmas special???? *looks hopeful*

    1. monkseal Post author

      I decided against it in the end. It didn’t really have any connection to the main show (bit like how I didn’t recap the Children In Need Special) and also the general tone of a recap where I could not stand 80% of the participants wouldn’t be terribly…festive.


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