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)