Well that was a bit of a rum do.
After an opening pro-celeb group number that mostly involves everyone running around backstage to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (again, some more, because we cannot get through one series without one person at least doing a dance to that song) we’re right into *shudder* Judges Redemption Arc Choices. Jay has quickstep (because they made a mess of it), Georgia has rumba (because Len had a strop about the choreography) Katie has quickstep (because she made a mess of it) and Kellie has tango (because *shrug*). They’re all about the same degree of slightly better than they were last time, but apparently for Kellie alone that’s worth a perfect score because…well, it’s that sort of evening.
But let’s face it, we’re here for the Showdances. Always the only interesting things to happen in the first half of the finale these days, mostly for the trainwreck factor. Katie’s is the Overwhelming Trainwreck, as Anton throws everything and the kitchen sink at a tango/paso mash-up to O Fortuna, complete with flamethrowers, the band screaming like they’ve just spotted aliens flying over the studio, and Katie vamping it up to 11. It’s…not very good, but it is high drama, turned up to 11. Jay’s is the Underwhelming Trainwreck, as after the undeniably arresting sight of him starting the dance actually upside-down and dangling from the ceiling like Spiderman, it then just devolves into a lot of in-the-club moves combined with bits of rumba and Charleston and tiny specks of jive flecked throughout. It’s kind of dull, making Aliona now 3 for 3 with disappointing showdances. Georgia’s is the Pretentious Trainwreck, with her dancing to Fix You by Coldplay complete with a storyline in which Giovanni LITERALLY CURES HER OF BLINDNESS, WITH HIS LOVE OF DAHNCE(/penis). It’s less contempowafty in content than you might expect from the song but exactly as contepowafty in spirit. Which just leaves Kevin alone to, for the third year in the row, actually aim his Showdance directly at the target audience, with a Lindy Hop to Ding Dong Diddy Daddies or something like that. It’s not worked before, and to be honest Kellie’s dancing of it is leaden as anything, but compared to the other messes tonight it stands out as at least delivering what the tin says, even if the tin says something as underwhelming as “Strictly Showdance”.
The upshot of this? As we go into the second half the final looks like it’s turned into a two horse race between Kellie and Jay where before it looked to be the biggest one pony canter in Strictly history. I bet Aliona’s maybe regretting that whole “our jive is too perfect to be sullied be a Strictly Final” line now…