Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Final Summary (2)

So after a fairly dull and rote first half…all hell breaks loose. And to think I thought my interest in the finale hung only on there being showdance trainwrecks.

First of all, Sophie finishes 4th. Meaning that after a whole series’ worth of waiting for her to perform her Charleston again and get 10s and be enshrined as the GREATEST CHARLESTON EVERERER…it doesn’t happen. Not even on tour. Sophie seems kind of at peace with finishing last. Brenda…less so. I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of listening to Foreigner and Europe in the Cole household this evening.

And so we move on to the contestants own favourite dances of the series, which features eccentric choices from Natalie and Abbey and a more obvious one from Susanna. She’s elected to reprise her paso, and whilst it doesn’t feel like it quite has the impact of its Blackpool iteration it’s still rapturously received, and feels like it’s clinched the series for her. Especially as Abbey reprises her all-but-forgotten quickstep, with only marginally less gapping than the first time she did it. Then…the madness breaks loose. Natalie does her American Smooth, in what feels a bit like a tepid retread of Kara’s baiting of Len with the same dance for the same reason in Series 8. But instead of just doing it again, Natalie goes ABSOLUTELY PIGPOO MENTAL, reclaiming the word “wafting” from all of us who have used it a slur over the course of the series by MUGGING HER FACE OFF. She winds up on the Tessanine babbling about how she feels like she has “touched the divine” and practically speaking in tongues. Len then gives her a 10, because he can’t not. It feels a bit like the one triumphant thing I wanted her to do before she lost, but more so.

Then the eliminated celebrities come back for their last dance, to “Last Dance” and it’s actually a triumph, unlike last year when all the celebs stood awkwardly at the back whilst the pros rampaged everywhere. All our eliminees get their moment of triumph, even the ones you’ve forgotten. THEN all of our previous winners come back and give a little interview about how much winning meant to them. EVEN ALESHA. THEY LET ALESHA BACK IN THE BUILDING. (Then Robbie Williams did a bit but let’s not talk about it).

It all feels a bit giddy and exciting and like the best final ever and then…………Abbey wins? Abbey who was in the bottom 2. Abbey who was in the bottom 2 from the top of the leaderboard, really early on. Abbey who is blonde and a model and a WAG and got a perfect score before the final, and who triumphed more through being consistent and solid then by doing a BLOCKBUSTER dance and coasting the rest of the series on it. Abbey who was favoured by the judges and Popular On The Internet and who didn’t really have much of a personality angle beyond me nyerrrrrrrrrrrves and giggling and had an…alright final, but not an amazing one. It feels kind of like all the laws of how this show even works just got upended, maybe for all time. And that’s my excuse for strutting around all series saying that anybody predicting anything other than a Susanna/Sophie win was insane and I am STICKING TO IT.

(Personally she fits into my overall winners list somewhere between Tom and Louis, which seems about right for this series and to be honest I don’t know how much higher or lower anybody else would have been anyway)


45 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 11 – Final Summary (2)

  1. Krumholtz

    The returning contestants’ dance was a triumph. I most enjoyed Ashley on his fricking carpet again. I roared with laughter. Amazing. Slightly disappointed that the red button coverage stopped after interviews with the finalists, I really wanted them to cover the wrap party. Can you imagine drunk auntie Debbie at the wrap party? ❤

  2. pootle

    Reasons the Bad Thing happened:
    1. Vote-splitting
    2. Revenge of the straight men
    3. Scouse bloc vote
    4. People obeying the judges
    5. I am not allowed nice things.

    Honestly, I’d prefer anyone else out of the top seven.
    Great final apart from that, mind. Although the top two/three thing is still annoying and shows that the producers don’t care about their geekier viewership.

  3. Monaogg

    The Mark 1 ℗ Dinosaur move was back. Beats Bruce & his Raptor (© Monkseal) moves into a cocked hat any day.

    Loved the fact a shock exit was saved for this stage. 😀

  4. Breppo

    I was as surprised as when Baron Samedi’s love child won DWTS Oz.
    Abbey was the best of the rest – ringers don’t win, but still, she was in the bottom 2.
    Pity Sophie’s showdance was below par. Aren’t showdances supposed to show the strengths of the zlebs? It just showed her weaknesses. Why o why?
    Was sir B supposed to speak to the losers before the winners?
    It seemed a bit odd.
    Anyway as always I’m a bit sad that it’s all over now. Bring on the Christmas Special and FLAVIA!

  5. srsbsns

    I’m a bit shocked that Abbey won. I was rooting for Natalie and Susanna (because a) she amused me on ITT and b) the insane hate for her on DS turned me into a fan).

    Robbie Williams = Pepé Le Pew. His most unsettling incarnation to date.

  6. Lolly

    I just watched after recording it. Am FEWIM’. I run the sweepstake at work so would’ve felt obliged to donate most iof the money to charity if Susanna had won. You’ve robbed young carers of money GBP, THINK ON THAT. (My thoughts are still not coherent. HOW?)

  7. fembot

    That was just the weirdest result ever. If any of the other finalists had won, I would have understood, but this made no sense.

    Also, she got to do 2 ballrooms, her better genre, which was a bit weird, too. The judges should have made her do something she really needed to work on, like Jive or Cha Cha. Oh well.

    I would love to have gone to the aftershow party. I bet Sophie really has been reprising her Charleston, and Natalie will finally have performed her Jive. Such a loss.

  8. Ferny

    The funniest thing I’ve realised about the series is that I think (apart from Mark) Patrick was the person who performed the most dances I remember as being enjoyable to watch for me. Who’da thunk?! The Charleston and Natalie’s last 2 dances were probably the best of the series though I reckon.

    I voted for Sophie and Abbey in the first rounds, even though I was expecting to only vote for Sophie – but the showdance was a bit of a let-down sadly. Then in the 2nd round I voted for just Abbey, not really thinking she’d have much of a chance. Until a few weeks ago I thought there was no way Abbey was going to win but she managed to gain momentum at exactly the right time. Aljaz is cute too, which helps 🙂

  9. Chris

    I think there’s something about getting 39+39 in the semis – Kara did it, Harry did it, then Abbey. I reckon I’ve enjoyed way more 39 dances than I have 40s. When she got 40, I thought she was about to go full Snowdonia, but somehow they’ve swerved that. Congrats to Abbey, though I was gunning for Sophie and Susanna all the way, I’m chuffed for her 🙂

    Seriously though, that was the best final in a long time, and I reckon the best series in a few years too. A couple of inevitable 40 dances I loved to pieces (Abbey’s waltz, Natalie’s smooth), 2 showdances out of 4 were good (a high standard for this show), dances that actually improved from before, and Abbey’s winnah reaction was magnificent. Also Aljaz snuck in a cheeky safety sex face right at the end, which I hope won’t go unscreencapped.

    I’m miffed we didn’t get to see THAT Charleston again. If they’ll unleash Bacofoil on us after Lisa got eliminated, surely we deserve it as… I dunno, good karma or something? I guess though that if Sophie went through Natalie had to go, and then we wouldn’t have gotten the sobbing joyous epicness of that AS.

    A great series of recaps, Monkseal. Going to miss these.

  10. minxy

    I thought the right person won on the night.. I was torn between Abbey and Susanna but would have been mostly ok with a Nat win (still prefer her Charleston to the AS tho – I really really enjoyed it quite as much as Sophie’s) – would have been totally ok – DESPITE her ringah status IF the non-ringahs hadn’t at least matched her in both technique and performance – but they did. I did enjoy her acceptance of destined 4th and delight at getting through. Though without that showdance , and Sophie’s … not quite pulling it together 100% … I would have preferred S,S and A in the final 3. Just because ringah.

    And Brucie – nice to see ya to see ya nice. Even better to not see ya anymore – no need to shuffle off this mortal coil, just off my tv and especially off Strictly. Please take Anton with you too.

  11. Laura

    A cynic would say it was rigged for Susanna, who was the only one allowed to do a dance she stuffed up for her ‘judges’ choice’, but personally I think she blew it in the Tessanine after the paso where she just looked like she wanted to go to sleep on Kevin’s shoulder and totally not interested any more. Abbey managed to win by being the only one who stayed smiley and bouncy, like the Scouse version of Tigger (not necessarily a bad thing like), and doing her ‘nice young lady’ thing as opposed to Natalie’s seemingly constantly ‘I want it so much’ crying – which, again, a cynic would say was to try and swing it in her favour. Had Sophie, who hit the ‘this is actually fun!’ stage at the right point, stayed in I reckon she might have just snatched it. In fact I wish she had, if only because Brenda’s reaction alone would probably have been worth a year of licence fee.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Surely they must have known that Susanna’s dance wouldn’t have been that much more spectacular not stuffed up?

  12. Monaogg

    Odd thing was, in trying to show someone Sophie was not the most popular, I trawled round all the polls I could find and Abbey was well clear as winner in front of Sophie in second place. Who was in turn only just in front of Natalie & Susanna who were pretty much neck & neck.

  13. Marcela

    If Natalie had won, I’d be happy.
    If Sophie had won, I’d be happy.
    If Susanna had won, I wouldn’t be that happy but it’d have made sense and I’d have understood.
    Abbey winning it’s something I didn’t understand, made no sense and made me REALLY unhappy. It really has left a bitter taste in my mouth after all these weeks.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think the unexpectedness of it was…its own unique identifying factor? Maybe truly you DO have to be presented as a strong dancer to win as a woman.

  14. Huriye

    Monkseal, what did you think of Aljaz’s performance in the Final? I thought he was both impressive/showed his youth, lack of experience, and I couldn’t take my eyes off Abbey, who really performed well on the night. No-one seems to have mentioned the Lift in the Showdance which stopped at just above head level, when I’m sure in practice Aljaz took it further up and extended his arms with Abbey lying horizontally straight. The dismount looked a bit improvised too, not as planned, and certainly Abbey’s quiet reaction at the end of the Showdance alluded to their being a mistake with that Lift. Plus, ofcourse, in the Quickstep, she still jetéd towards the end, and he didn’t, so that was 2 little mistakes by Aljaz. But I only mention as a matter of note, I was very pleased with the result, and would’ve been happy with either Abbey or Natalie winning, and started off the evening feeling I’d be happy if Sophie won aswell. I just wanted to see a great show with some fantastic dancing, and that’s what we got! 🙂

    Your blog mentioned last week that Natalie’s Jive would’ve been the missing link in her ‘journey’ and you were quite right!
    Artem’s choreographic juices were definitely flowing with that wonderful Showdance! I liked her dress! I liked the poles! It had alot of Dance styles, it had Show, it had Theatre, what more could you ask for? Anyone who thinks that Showdance didn’t propel them into the top 3 ahead of Sophie must be bonkers! I disagree with people who say ‘the Freestyle/Showdance doesn’t matter in voting who wins’. Tell that to Erin Boag and Colin Jackson! :0
    Even I had tears in my eyes during Natalie’s Smooth, and I loathed that dance in Musicals week, but the amount of sheer emotion and charisma she put into it this time was off the scale! I just thought, why couldn’t you have done that weeks ago? All these internet comments about ‘we know who the best dancer really is’ are missing the point. Technically better in alot of areas – not in Ballroom top line though – and eclipsed by others in attack and charm and charisma and partnership for several weeks during this series. But I’m glad we saw the best of Nartem in the end and she looked happy and satisfied to have progressed to perform the final dance.

    I’m glad Wardrobe gave Sophie a different dress and unplaited her hair for her Viennese Waltz, but they were hampered by that as the Judge’s Choice. That doesn’t seem entirely fair, when they too could’ve dance the Waltz from week 1 or their lovely Foxtrot, both of which they could’ve improved. I knew Bruce was a regular reader of your blog, which slipped out when he referred to “Brenda”. Yes, it was nice to see Sophie had loosened up and was freer in the Latin Showdance, but how or why did he think that was a good idea when we’ve all been swooning over Sophie’s beauty, elegance and long lines in the Ballroom? In dancing shoes she looks about 6ft, the same height as Brenda, so why imagine that endless leg splitting above the head Lifting would bring out the best of Sophie? I really admired her pluck though. And what a lovely, gracious, level headed lady she is. 🙂 It was good to see Brenda back slagging off the judges (CRH and Darcey – “she’s only been in the business a couple of years, what does she know?” (about Ballroom & Latin NOT Ballet presumably Brenda? 😉 ) – whilst chatting to Zoe after it was all over.

    Susanna and Kev’s Quickstep somehow didn’t have the same pizazz as it did first time round without the spare extras joining in as happened in Musicals week. It had much more of a joyous ensemble feel then, inspite of Susanna mashing up the footwork so badly. It was good to see her actually get the footwork done this time, but it was surprisingly lacking sparkle to my eyes. Good dance though, but a 9 not a 10 IMO. Did Len/Bruno give almost every dance a 10?
    Sorry Susanna, but your hideous hunched shoulders and therefore ugly arm waving in your Showdance really spoiled the look of your dance. I know you have much shorter limbs and it’s unfair to compare with the other 3 ladies who are all 5ft 9 plus, but it IS possible to dance elegantly in a shorter body, you just couldn’t manage it. Highlight was KFG being affronted by Darcey’s “No wow factor” remark – how dare she?!! – when talking to Zoe on the Red Button (that add on was all too brief, and they took an age to actually start – if ITV can manage it, why can’t the Beeb?) Even their Paso didn’t have quite the same impact as at Blackpool, but I thought Susanna actually danced it better and kept up with her Toreador this time. I dunno, maybe it’s because I didn’t think Susanna deserved to win as much as the other ladies as to why I couldn’t see their sparkle as much as other viewers………

    Onto the Winner Abbey. I let out 2 gasps last night, once when Sophie was knocked out without seeing her glorious Charleston – why couldn’t Bruce not walk about aimlessly as much, or tell so many interminably inane stories, then we would’ve had plenty of time to allow lovely flapper Soph to dance her swansong? 🙂 – and the other gasp when Abbey was declared the winner, as I thought it might’ve been a Suzanne Shaw usurps Chris Fountain in DOI type situation with Natalie, but no! I was happy, and think it is deserved, and am cheezed off with some of the griping (mainly from people who didn’t watch the whole series, er, probably). I thought she won the first round with her languid, emotional, beautiful Waltz. Have 2 people ever had more of a connection when they’re not actually having sex? Un-be-liev-able! Having been meh about the Showdance music choice, and cross with Aljaz for bloody choosing it, thinking he’d made a boo boo, Abbey came out and stormed it! I had to eat my words, as I really loved it, the choreography, the musical interpretation, but mostly her stunning attack and gorgeous shaping, and the seamless way they went from Paso to Tango, and the Lifts were so much less laboured than Sophies, even though Abbey in dancing shoes, and Aljaz are a similar height too. I was impressed all round, apart from the bloody smoke that was way over the top BBC effects department! And when the singing changed from high pitched to low pitched. That was a bit strange, but I don’t know that type of music anyway. Nartem’s music choice is more my thing.
    The Hairdresser must’ve been taken ill for Abbey’s Quickstep, as her hair was all over the place, flying around, and she made a point of flicking her head to get her hair over the other side…. when the choreo called for it ofcourse. Her Nerrrrrhhhhves were clearly absent last night, and Aljaz was the slightly jittery one it seems, but they were only 2 small errors, and why should the celeb pay….but Len made her anyway. I didn’t see as much gapping as others have said, certainly not like Blackpool, and if you compare Abbey’s level of performance in the last few weeks with her Cabaret Charleston, it’s on a completely different level, and shows how far she’s come, both technically and artistically.

    This must be the only show on telly where excited viewers and studio audience alike reach fever pitch at the opening credits in anticipation for what’s to come, only for Bruce to kill it stone dead with his pondering missing of the mark as to what the show’s all about. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU BRUCE!! No, really, someone should’ve told you that by now. But instead we had to endure his opinions on everything whilst the Judges are talking, and CRH was even missed out completely after Sophie’s Showdance. I loved Graham Norton’s hosting of Strictly Dance Fever, and would welcome him as replacement host (with Claudia), or just promote Tess Tess and Claude permanently, and get rid of the old codger, PLEASE! He takes all the oxygen out of the show. There were far too many VTs last night too, before every single performance, not necessary, and it broke up the flow of excitement. I liked the Group Dance with the returnees, and thank gawd we had an appropriate guest performance in “Putting on The Ritz” and not Peter bloody Andre or somebody else tragically naff!
    I could’ve done without Bruce’s teacherly address to the A Team that, “if you just wait a moment, now we shall talk to the Runners Up,” as they squealed their excitement. Sorry Bruce, forgot you’ve got to get your oar in at the point of victory at every single Final since they began! 😦

    Enjoyed the Final very much, still not my fave series overall though, too many dud weeks with crap music, costumes and dances. And not enough dazzling Pro dances, am bored silly with cheezy ensemble that looks like Young Generation in the era of Nasty Nigel circa 1974.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Aljaz is so inscrutable that I genuinely don’t know what was going through his head at any point of the show. Hopefully when he comes back next year we get a bit more insight into the man behind the arse. Or in front of the arse. Or whatever.

  15. Kate

    I am happily surprised that Abbey won. I was on the edge of my seat, ears clenched, willing not to hear “Susanna and Kevin” when the final result was announced, and nearly fell off my chair with astonishment when Abbey was announced as winner. Having never been a Nat fan, her performance in the final actually changed my mind, and once Sophie had gone out after a rather lacklustre show dance (what was Brenda thinking NOT doing ballroom for their show dance??), I would have been happy for Nat to win, as she finally managed to bring some emotional intensity, albeit slightly manic, to her performances. I thought Abbey walked the first round with her waltz, Nat the second round with her pole dancing, and Nat again in the third round with that sob fest of an AS. I was quite underwhelmed with Abbey’s Quickstep, still gappy, and much of it the pair of them simply running round the ballroom in hold, and still slightly sloppy. More than surprised, and dare I say it, slightly meanly pleased and relieved that, gurning, heavy footedness and bottom of the leader board status still intact, Susanna did not rise from the ashes to claim an undeserved victory. So youth and beauty triumphed again, though given her ballroom performances throughout the series, I am slightly pleased that Abbey won. Poor Aljaz looked poleaxed. Where to go from here?

    1. monkseal Post author

      To the YEAR OF THE MAN and Natalie finally raising that glitterball (/another bloody CLIFTON swooping and snatching out from under her nose).

  16. Stormy

    I was a little baffled at the unmitigated OMGRAEG at Abbey winning, like it was some outrage equivalent of the idea of Hairy Dave winning the whole thing. Well, it was baffling to start with, and then it was amusing. Honestly, I was okay with either her or Natalie winning. I just have to shake my head at the GBP voting Susanna into the final three, but then again I do kind of have a bias against any dancer the house fraus decide is “that nice lady off the telly”, and thus will vote for no matter how much she clumps through her routines. Because that could be them one day! Blech. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t, because Sophie still had that problem of dancing like she was terrified her arms and legs were going to snap off and fly away if she wasn’t super delicate with them.

    So yeah, Abbey or Natalie were my picks. AND YOU SAID I WAS INSANE! HA! VICTORYYYY! (That…didn’t exactly make my case for NOT being insane, did it? Ahem…)

  17. Missfrankiecat

    Frankly, after watching some of the interviews I think they should introduce mandatory doping testing in future. And I’m not talking Natalie’s painkillers.

  18. Neio

    I was a little disappointed in the returning celebs’ Last Dance – I preferred it when they’d come back and actually dance, like when Austin came back and showed just how much he WUZ ROBBED, rather than Vanessa Feltz walking down a couple of stairs doing goggle eyes. Still, it was funny seeing Ashley having to endure the magic carpet again anyway.

  19. Kate

    I am happy that Abbey won. The right result for me. I was enchanted when she said she wanted Aliaz to win, I know it’s the old cliche but I felt she was genuine and that bouncy zest for life just swung it. Sure Natalie was technically the best dancer and I’d like to see her dancing again, maybe she’ll go down the West End show route.
    Bruce plumbed new lows, going on and on about having to go up steps. Should he draw further attention to his decrepitude?
    But I liked Tess’s frock.


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