Strictly Come Dancing 16 – Final (2)

Congratulations to our winners! Kevin and…erm…it’ll come to me a minute! She was there! She called him a gent and everything!

Back from our little break, and back in the day this is where we’d eliminate our fourth placers and they’d give a nice little speech, but I’m so glad that they didn’t do that so we can all see

Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev dancing the Charleston

Oh what lol no thanks.

Time for our last couples VT of the series now, the one where they

sit in front of light-up versions of their own initials, looking a bit like the logo for a bank, and talking about their Strictly journey and how much they love their partners. Ashley for her part says that she’s so glad that she became part of the Strictly family, even if the Strictly family did keep on trying to adopt her out there at the end. Every time they left her swaddled in a little blanket in the skip behind the hospital but she KEPT ON CRAWLIN’ BACK GEE GOSH HOWDY YOU BETCHA SHE DID THERE! She says that she’ll have SO many happy memories



mostly of spins, by the looks of it. She talks about her great bond with her Posh and the fact that so much of this VT is in slow-mo lets me revisit one of the greatest Pasha Acting Faces of all time

it looks like the entire bottom half of his face is landsliding in on itself, amazing. Pasha says that he loved being Ashley’s “strict dance teacher” (almost snorted milk out my nose at that one I’ll tell you now) but he enjoyed even more being her friend. Sat dishing about all her dates with Giovanni most likely, tell him ALL the gossip. Ashley says that she really has been through the highs and lows on Strictly – the highs being the high scores, and the lows being every time she was in the dance-off. Still, she’s had amazing friends to help her along the way.

Oh wait, sorry

there we go. Kimberly says that Ashley has poured everything into Strictly, and then I get my best Christmas present tonight so far

Ashley’s mum in this hat. What a rock chick. She says it’s been great watching her daughter blossom into a beautiful ballroom dancer over the course of the series. I mean…we won’t be seeing any of that tonight, as she won’t be doing any ballroom dances, and instead will be performing as some sort of Louis Smith tribute act (Dirty Dancing Salsa, Contemporary Showdance with a giant prop to roll around on top on, gurny Charleston, this show has LIMITED NEW IDEAS for sure) but lovely nonetheless. Ashley indeed reveals that they’ve chosen Charleston for their last dance, as it represents her fun goofy side, thus making Team Pashley the first couple ever to do a final where the pro didn’t choreograph any of the routines themselves. AMAZING PARTNERSHIP!

TO TROLL-LAND!

Incidentally this also makes Ashley the first celebrity ever to reprise two dances from theme weeks in the final FUN FACT. It does feel a bit unfortunate that in the charge to audition for West End auditions the second they leave the show, Faye has remained consistent from beginning to end, and Ashley seems to have got diverted here at the last minute into putting down a calling card to be a kids party entertainer called Betty Bongos. Maybe that’s more realistic given the size of her public vote, who knows. Anyway, this whole routine remains a deeply confusing romp through the world of magic spells vis a vis consent and I can’t help but think a lot of shippity tweens out there are disappointed that yes we got a climactic snog mid-dance tonight

and it was this one. It’s all danced very well, especially the lifts, but it does feel a little bit maybe like they picked this routine because they thought it’d be a laugh to go out dressed like gonks, rather than because it was the best one or their own personal favourite. And that’s not much of an ending, to be honest. Or maybe Ashley really enjoys listening to strangulated vocals being fed through a comedy autotune effect, from her days stood behind Nicole Scherzinger, who knows?

Not for me this one though, I’m afraid.

They pomp-stomp over to Tess and Ashley’s straight into

“LOOK AT ME! I’M A TROLL!” mode. Yeah, this feels more and more like some beautiful young actress doing a film where she falls over a lot and wearing a fat suit to SHOW OFF HER FUN SIDE. I’VE ALWAYS REALLY THOUGHT OF MYSELF MORE AS A COMEDIAN GRAHAM. Shirley starts for the judges, saying that that was one of her favourite routines of the series as well, and Ashley makes for a beautiful troll. She tells Ashley that “there’s nothing that you couldn’t do that will not set the world on fire”. Ooh, a TRIPLE negative, parse that one out. Bruno next

thanks Bruno.

Craig next, saying that he’s glad that they reprised that routine because he loved seeing Pasha in that belly again. Well there’s a last minute fetish reveal. He tells Ashley that she’s an inspiration, and he wishes he could dance like her. I mean…based on the judges intro every week, aim for Lee Ryan first off and work up from there. Darcey closes by saying that it was an inspired choice because she showed off lots of details in her dancing but also in her “divine face” (ie she gurned a lot). She then asks Ashley to confirm to her that she’ll never give up dancing, as long as she lives, but Ashley can’t answer because she’s choked up. When’s the last time that Darcey had a conversation with Ashley that didn’t up with Ashley in floods of tears? October?

Up to Claud 9 they parp, where Ashley talks about how she really wanted to go out on a dance that was just a good fun time, says “rollercoaster” 50 more times, and then tells Pasha that he’s “such a good human”, calls him her Mr Miyagi and closes off with one last “namaste, I love ya!”.

So Hollywood. Scores are in

40. SHE SWEPT!

Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton dancing the paso doble

Yup, for the third time out of five finals, Kevin’s closing on a paso doble. If at first you don’t succeed, set the studio on fire again again again.

Now time for Stacey sat in front of a giant

SAK. Stacey and Kevin both agree that they’ve really surprised themselves with how far she’s come and how well she’s done. Kevin in particular tries to sell the exact same deep-thought abstracted

“wow, she’s actually become a really really good dancer I never expected this to happen” thing he’s done for five out of his six series now (briefly taking a detour in Series 14 for “wow, I can’t believe I gave Louise the self-confidence via my life coaching to ditch her boring-arse husband and live it up in a lesbian love shack with Daisy Lowe”). We move very quickly on to their choice of the paso doble, which Stacey refers to again as the “Paso Dooley”. This would be cuter if we hadn’t actually had someone called Charles actually doing a Charleston already this year. We then move on to the sad fact that

Stacey’s mum isn’t actually called “Di Dooley”. Obviously it’s absolutely her choice what she does with her own surname. It was just a fun name, is all. Fortunately

her boyfriend has a much better name, so we’re all square again. Although have you seen the trousers they’ve been putting Kevin in Sam, it’s hard for him not to. Stacey tells us that she rates everything about Kevin, and thinks he’s such a gent (ie he never once tried to slide it up her) and Kevin says that he’s had a tough year and he never wants this series of Strictly to end

he never ever ever wants to stop dancing with Stacey, not ever, he wants to hold on to this amazing partnership for as long as possible, for every last possible dance, tonight, and on the to…oh wait they’ve offered me a role in the West End? Fuck that, get my taxi. Aljaz you’ll do her on the tour right, your one didn’t get very far this year did she mate? No, no, I mean by my standards.

TO THE BULLRING!

Was this routine enough to get me to vote for her after that Mod Mess and the godawful showdance? No. Is it still Stacey Dooley marching around with a big feck-off fan and giving it the full drama? Absolutely yes. Of her post-Blackpool “OH NO, I GOT A 7 FROM CRAIG I BETTER STEP MY GAME UP BY FROWIN’ TECHNIQUE IN THE BIN IN FAVOUR OF AM-DRAM” lunge for the crown run of three crowdpleasers in a row, it’s still behind their American Smooth and their Charleston for me just because the capacity of this show to produce camp-as-tits melodrama paso dobles that blow my lungs out has diminished over the years via overuse but


I will always appreciate a good “TALK TO THE FAN!”/”TALK TO THE HAND!” double-header, how impeccably Stacey, and the surf guitar rendering of Malaguena gives it at least a little Tarantino flavour

that makes it stand out of its overcrowded genre field a little? Maybe? She’s almost inarguably ending on her strongest dance of the night anyway, which is something.

And no I’m not doing a screencap of the bit when she skirt-swished with beige knickers on and a blatant camel-toe so everyone watching thought they’d seen her Val Gina, I have my limits. (It should also be noted that, unlike Joe, Stacey does not hold this endpose for more than 0.005 seconds before collapsing huffing and puffing on Kevin breathing “WE CAN’T DO MACH EWSE!”. That’s our Stacey!)

She wanders over to Tess, and calls Kevin a complete gent again, and says she’s had the best time. Bruno then starts for the judges

thanks Bruno. Craig follows by getting into Kevin’s head and totally convincing him that he’s going to give him that 10, for sure. He agrees with Bruno yes he does. Powerful, driven, amazing release, beautiful slow walks, so good, such an amazing final performance, get ready for that big fat 10 Kevin (*wink*)

Darcey’s next, and telling Stacey that for such a small lady she’s so fierce. Darcey’s relentless underestimating and underpraising of every woman under 5ft 5 is one of my favourite running gags on this show, she’ll never learn. She goes on to imply that Stacey must have a bit of latin in her and good grief don’t get the tabloids started, the showmance map of this series is already one of those massive pinboards covered with 50 pieces of red string. Shirley closes by saying that Kevin has done such an amazing job with Stacey and that she’s come from being a complete novice to being able to leave the show and be a professional dancer if she likes.

Darcey’s thinking “not in my bloody ballet company thank you very much. NO SHRIMPIES! EVAH!”

Up to Claud 9 they stomp, where Stacey tells Claudia that she’s delighted that that was her last dance, because it was a real highlight for her, and that the whole show has been great and everyone’s a lovely crowd and the hosts are nice and the backstage people are really helpful and it’s been A DREAM! I’m mostly distracted by Kevin weeping from here til

the end of the final and Anton glowering. “How is Kevin going to become Future-Anton if he actually WINS something? This is fucking up the timelines! CALL THE SLIDERS!!!”. Scores are in

39. Stacey actually factually going “IT DOESN’T MATTER!” to Kevin as Craig confirms she’s ending the series without any 10s from him (joining Natasha, Darren, Tom and Jay of the winners circle), and then Kevin full on face-storming Craig down the camera-lens? This final in a nutshell.

Faye From Steps & Giovanni Pernice dancing jazz

No, I will not find a consistent way of referring to the couples choice/theatre/jazz/street/commercial/contemporary schmozz, and you can’t make me.

VT time now, and can I just say that considering the people who make up a large part of this show’s audience, and almost certainly an even larger portion of this show’s audience that ended up voting for Faye

this sign feels like a mistake. Did nobody think what that might look like? Anyway, Faye says that she’s never been the most confident person (I feel like spending a lot of time around H and Lisa Scott Lee might…warp someone’s perceptions on that score vis a vis what is a reasonable and healthy level of confidence) and Strictly has really helped her on that score. Do you know who else helped her on that score? No, not Giovanni. It was of course the legend that is

FAYEZUULA. Faye says it was a great honour to be the first contestant ever to channel a Sumatran Death Goddess live on Strictly (and also do theatre-jazz Couples Choice) and she feels like it made her and Giovanni a better bonded team. Faye’s husband

in particular was surprised when she came home that night still wearing the make-up but long story short, he’s not complaining. Maybe a bit about the hair-whip, he couldn’t sit down for the next two weeks. We then get a sublime piece of accidental ESL comedy, as Faye weeps through the entirety of the rest of her VT about how this was all such a dream and her family know how much it means to her and it’s been so fulfilling and great and Giovanni then pops up to say

“Faye has probably been the most hard work celebrity I have ever had on the show”.

I know right. She pays tribute to Giovanni as a hard taskmaster who pushed her to the limit only because he knew that it would get the best out of her. Also, lets face it, a little bit because it was funny. Faye on edge has been a comedy highlight throughout the series, particularly in this second half. Anyway, they then try and build some jeopardy around…whatever bollocks it was about her sunglasses being skewiff last time they did the routine, let’s not.

TO THE PIT!

Was Mars in ascendance last time they did this routine? Why not, the more pretentious the better, bring it on baby. I went a bit barking with the pictures for this one last time, so let’s just say that it’s all a little less impactful without the full make-up job, but still my favourite dance of the round here. Strictly’s always a little bit dicey when it decides to genuinely try to be a bit cool, different, dark and sexy, and please bear in mind they’re trying this here with a member of Steps so there’s an added degree of difficulty, give it a 3.0x multiplier,, but I think they just about managed to pull this one off.

All hail Fayezuula!

And best of all?

MORE 10S FOR DAD! Once they’re over at the judges, Craig starts by droning “LOVE LOVE LOVE”, and is swiftly followed up by Darcey calling it one of her favourite dances of the series, and thanking Faye for just getting better and better. 39 first time to 40 in the final, it’s a hell of a ride! Shirley is next, telling Faye that she has “blossomed, bloomed, and grown”. Wrong order there I think Shirley, but hey, you’re not a botanist. Bruno closes

thanks Bruno.

Up to Claud 9 they scuttle, where Claudia tells Faye that that dance must have been special for her, because it was the first one that received 10s. Indeed it was, and she’s had one for every routine since, the longest run of uninterrupted 10 routines in Strictly history. Once Fayezuula popped, she just didn’t stop. Claudia tries to interview her, but it’s mostly just incoherent squeaking. Ah Faye, you died as you lived. Scores are in

40. SHE ALSO SWEPT! A DOUBLE SWEEP!

Joe Sugg & Dianne Buswell dancing the Charleston

Mmm, Pippi Longstocking twinsies realness.

Last last VT time and

is anyone else getting Young Angus Tozer here? Let’s call ancestry.com! Both Joe and Dianne talk about how they’ll have nothing but good memories of their time on Strictly, and they’ve both made it easy for one another and had so much fun.

What proportion of “fun” involves rolling around on the floor do you think in this show’s eyes? % wise? It seems quite a lot. Dianne pays tribute to Joe’s commitment and work ethic and then

oops here’s Zootopia. Being on the show has made Joe so much more confident you guys, she knows him so well cuz he’s her little brother, if you want this one-of-a-kind toucan sculpture it can be yours for £219.99 if you like and subscribe! £10 discount if you show video evidence of you voting for Joe 100 times or more! Joe goes on to say that the only opinion that matters to him is Dianne’s and as long as she’s proud that’s all that matters.

Jeez, alright Hugh Grant. Are you just a boy, standing in front a of a giant JAD, asking a girl to love him? To this Dianne

breaks down crying about how proud she is, and seeing Dianne cry is just so weird? I feel like it’s because she’s so new and hasn’t yet experienced many of the many many sides of Strictly, so all we’ve really see is perky and Australian. I can’t wait to see if losing to Stacey is the little tap on the eggshell she needs to blossom fully into pro-mania, and we’ll see her in the run up to next year’s final screechingly denouncing the judges and calling all the female celebs stage-school ringahs who need NOT TO GET IN THE WAY OF HER BOY, I do hope so, I do like Dianne but she’s still not the most interesting of pros. Joe tells us that for their final choice is the Charleston, and the first words out of his mouth in the training footage are “we shouldn’t have chosen this should we?”. Nope.

TO THE COTTAGE!

Admittedly, I’m not sure what better options there were to pick, because all of Joe’s best dances either involved him being flanked by masses of backing dancers who presumably aren’t available for use, or were, like, Dianne doing nicely mundane shows of traditional old-fashioned ballroom prowess mid-series to demonstrate the improvement in his technique and neither of those really scream “BIG FINAL PERFORMANCE NUMBER!” to me. Personally I think if your angle for about three weeks on the show was “I’d like to go to waltz parties with Dianne after the series is over” then…maybe that would have been the best choice? Could Strictly close these days with a waltz, it might have been worth trying it. This on the other hand is just a bit of a mess. A lot of freeform flailing and running about, which is a genre that’s already been done tonight, repeatedly, and better, including by Joe himself. I have to say, that this is the one dance tonight where, even more than Stacey’s showdance, if you’d shown me a clip as a lay-person and told me this person had won Strictly I’d be saying “weak year was it?”

Although that might just have been the Cotton Eye Joe of it all.

Over to the judges they go, where Darcey starts by saying that Joe is the biggest surprise of this series, he’s just got stronger and stronger, and it’s extraordinary the amount of work he’s put in. He is a star on the dancefloor! Love it when the judges give up even pretending their comments are specific to the dances any more. Shirley’s next and tells Joe that he is on the floor what he is off the floor – a kind gentleman who has given 100% to Dianne with his amazing work ethic. That one too.

Bruno next,

thanks Bruno, for another series, thanks for everything, and we close with Craig saying that the swivel on Joe’s left foot was a little bit slow but he loved the dance anyway. Well an underwhelming final comment for an underwhelming final dance I guess, you get what you give.

Up to Claud 9, where Claudia praises Joe for his boldness in picking a dance from Week 2 to reprise. Joe says that he hopes that the risk paid off, because that dance meant a lot to him “because of the whole roof-thatching thing” (lol what). Dianne then calls him one of her greatest students, and a best friend for life. AND THE REST, AM I RIGHT, WOOP WOOP! Scores are in

38

FINAL LEADERBOARD?!

So in the final analysis, Bruno gave everything a 10, Shirley gave everything other than Stacey’s showdance a 10, Darcey gave everything other than Stacey’s showdance and Joe’s Charleston a 10, and Craig gave everything Faye and Ashley did a 10, and everything that Stacey and Joe did a 9, except Stacey’s showdance, which was apparently THE VERY LIMIT and for that he busted her down to a measly 8. The era of austerity truly is over!

NOW LET’S GET RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREADY TO MONTAGE!

After a montage of all of tonight’s performances, Claudia tells us that tonight there were officially more 10s than in any other Strictly final before ever ever ever ever ever. There’s so little room left for them to keep saying things like this without cramming five bastarding contestants in is concerning me. Anyway, in the montage interim, Tess has popped up

see? She’s here to tell us that this year, the amazing cast (…) and their fabulous dancing (……) have really had the nation talking. Yup, that’s what everyone was talking about this year. The dancing. Here are some PROLES to tell you some of their favourite routines!


This man was SO AMAZED AND SURPRISED when Anton emerged from Susannah Constantine’s dress in her. By association, this man also isn’t allowed to go into a bank or vote without the supervision of a parent or guardian.

These two just loved Bruno’s hilarious sense of humour! (Nobody tell them that there’s a sign behind them that looks like a couple of willies, you’ll have to pick them up off the floor)



All of the people in these three pictures wanna bang Charles Venn, yes, all of them, including Charles Venn

This guy would like you to know that, whilst it was undoubtedly an iconic moment there wasn’t actually an awful lot of dancing in Seann’s paso doble and frankly, get this guy on a Friday Panel stat, if not the judging panel

These two would like Nancy Dell’olio to know that they’re still looking for whoever sabotaged her feather boa, they’ve never given up, the government have just released an extra £250,000 in funding to continue the hunt, we’re doing everything we can Nancy, the bastard will be brought to justice

This woman thought that Kate’s Jessica Rabbit “stylin it out” moment was iconic and sassy. This woman is correct.

This goat really enjoyed seeing her good friend Yodellyna in a VT and would like Yodellyna to be a contestant in Strictly 17 if possible.

This woman thinks Stacey as a FEMALE Dr Who and Kevin Clifton as a PROBABLY GAY CYBERMAN was PC Gone Mad and you can put that on your tv show there’s no wonder there’s all these transfluids about these days it’s ridiculous

Ironically these five paramedics were here captured talking about great it was having an NHS staff member on the show, at the very second an out-of-control ambulance careened into them and killed them all RIP.

This man won America’s Got Talent, and yet here he is anyway

This woman really loved the Couples Choice, all of them, they were all amazing, they’re the best change the show’s ever had, more than introducing Argentine Tango, more than introducing Charleston, more than letting everyone do two dances before anyone’s eliminated, more than Blackpool, more than sacking Jared Murillo, more than that one time they made Pasha pretend to be a spaceman with a shirt off, more than all of them, she loves it more than Christmas, can she have her £10 now (oh except Lauren’s, that one was shit, lol)

This woman is probably all of Anton’s fanbase consolidated into one person, she thinks this series sucked, where even was he?

These two loved the three new pro dances this year. Gorka, Joanna, and…Jeff?

This woman thinks that Tess and Claudia always look amazing and…sorry…I can’t…give me a minute

This man is just waiting for her to start yelling “ADULTERER!” you can tell, look at the anticipation on his face

This man would JUST LIKE FLASH GORDON TO KNOW, THAT PRINCESS AURA IS BEING HELD IN A DEATH CHAMBER ON ANDROMEDA-12 AND HE WILL NEVER REACH HER IN TIME! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

This man is quite fit, and that cigarette chuffing-nana walknig past is iconic, so he can join in here too, why not?

Back in the studio, and that somehow only shaved five minutes off the ten minute voting window, so here’s

Michael Buble to cover the other five. Nobody’s really mic’d him up properly, sadly, so the sensation of a lot of his performance is as if it’s being played at from a procession of car windows driving slowly past you. He’s singing the Elvis Presley song “Such A Night”, and for those of you unfamiliar with the song “Such A Night”, what happened on this such a night was that he got a snog. And then goes on about it. A lot. At length. In detail. In uncomfortable detail. Like “I only got to first base but I’m gonna act like I spent the whole night hitting home runs” length. Like when you go to the most notorious gay bar in town for the first time and the next day all your friends want the details and you’re all “certainly, I have to say, by far, I definitely got kissed once, but let me tell you, it was certainly QUITE the kiss”. Like, at some point it’s quite clear that Michael Buble has nothing to say other than that he certainly got one kiss and nothing else that

Aljaz and Janette come out and jive a bit to spare his blushes. They weren’t even booked to dance tonight. They just felt bad for the guy.

Michael Buble everyone. Will I ever forgive him for cheating on Emily Blunt, surely it will happen one day.

Back up to Claud 9 and GUESS WHAT?

We’re so nearly there guys, it’s nearly over. We next get my favourite bit when, despite the fact that they’re all stood there and available for interview, even the…six or seven of them you thought might not turn up, we’re going to get our eliminated celebs Strictly reminiscences via montage instead because MONTAGE!

It does at least

manage to open on a shot of Danny John-Jules smiling, which I’m not sure we’ve seen since. Anyway, this montage is just a load of interview snippets from all of our eliminated, and about the only truly individual thing said in it is Dr Ranj saying that it’s even tougher than working in A & E. Which…as the receptionist? And even then. Anyway, everyone had a marvellous time and has a new skill and learnt a lot about themselves, and they’re so grateful to the judges for their constructive criticism, especially Lauren, Vick loved quickstep, Chucky loved the street dance, Katie loved the jive, Lee loved everything apart from the cha cha, I loved a period of my life that wasn’t taken up quite so much with utterly pointless montages, let’s move on. It didn’t even have Graeme in his pants one last time, IT WASN’T EVEN A COMPLETE REPRESENTATION OF STRICTLY 2018!

This is, of course, a protracted intro for a perennial finale night favourite, the car-crash closing group number, touching on all of our cut celebs most memorable moments from this series. Certainly

the opening of Vick’s jive was memorable for me, as it’s when my pre-series prediction list went from “Probably Stacey, but maybe Joe or Vick” to “Probably Stacey, but maybe Joe”. Vick in fact gets a double highlight, as we also remember

when she and Graziano sailed off in the Love Boat together. I can’t read lips here, I think she’s shouting “HE NO SPEAK-A-DA ENGLISH HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!”. The whole routine is set to a mash-up of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, The Boy Does Nothing, and Dance With Me Tonight and…I’m not really seeing a connective tissue there, but The Boy Does Nothing remains an absolute cast-iron banger, so I’m fine. Other highlights through the haze include

well not this, that’s for damn sure. How long would it have taken to get him back into that Spiderman outfit? It can’t take that long to tuck it back can it? We also cover

the gay rumours about Neil,

everyone piling underneath Susannah’s skirt,

a lengthy segment of Danny doing the jive on the wings of a plane again, presumably just to prove Craig right about it having been a dance for the final, more hankie waving to replicate Charles’ street-commercial (or used-tissue waving to capture the judges response to his samba, who can say) than a picture can adequately cover and of course

Kate’s LEG emerging as Jessica Rabbit. Not the most entertaining iteration of this routine I’ve ever seen (Lauren made the semi-final, did 13 dances, and the most memorable moment you can find for her is a leapfrog? NO) but hey

it filled some time, and Seann was somehow closer to the beat after two months off than he was after a couple of months of rigorous training so…the POWER OF STRICTLY.

This done, it’s time for a plug for this year’s Christmas Special and do you know

I absolutely can wait. Although apparently Gorka is dressed up as the Grinch, so that should be quite something.

Back AGAIN to Claud 9 now where

we arrive mid-speech from Charles Venn. I think they probably started him going midway through Joe’s Charleston so he’d be done in time for the show to go off air before midnight. It’s been an amazing experience, he can’t believe he got to be part of it, he’s so blessed Claudia, it’s great, thanks to everyone at home who voted for him (“one” being the operative syllable there). Next, in an amazing moment Claudia tells the assembled eliminated celebs that they’ve all been missed and

probably shouldn’t have had Danny’s face be one of the ones one camera at this exact moment. Claudia next talks to Kate, who says her kids are glad to have her home, and as Strictly is so all-consuming, Christmas for her officially starts tomorrow. Kate, you were eliminated A MONTH AGO. I’m envisioning Mr Kate asking if she’s ordered the turkey yet and her sighing “No Mr Kate, it’s still too raw! Now I’ve made a list, can you run out to John Lewis, this is what we’re getting for my parents”. Dr Ranj is next, and we cover again how he loves dancing, and found out he was a “Latin boy” via doing Strictly (I’m not sure how he’d know given that, and if you’ll excuse the metaphor, Janette avoided getting him into hold with all the energy of a closeted gay man in a lavendar marriage putting off having to do cunnilingus). Lauren says she’s glad to be here with the pressure off and

her tights ripped to buggery, Katie says she’s so proud of everyone, and Graeme reveals that his alarm clock at home is now just a soundfile of Oti screaming at him. I’m sure all of her other partners can say the same.

One last montage of the judges talking about their favourite routine from each couple (Ashley – Jive ; Faye – Charleston ; Joe – Quickstep ; Stacey – Paso Doble), only one of which we saw tonight, scrape the last bits of fluff into your conspiracy theories there and then, FINALLY, its time to announce our winner.

Are you ready?



Wow, turns out announcing Kevin as winner actually has the same effect as chucking a bucket of water over the Wicked Witch of The West who knew? For those of you keeping track, both Pasha and Giovanni are doing the patented “yes yes I know it’s not us, get it over with” head-bobbing throughout the tension-milking pause. Whilst Kevin rolls around on the floor in a pool of his own spermy gunk, Joe, Dianne, and Ashley all rush over to give Stacey a hug, and presumably stabilise her so she doesn’t skid over in it. I think my favourite moment of the winner reveal is

Stacey’s boyfriend getting so excited in the audience that he bashes his arse right into an old man’s face. They’re a rowdy bunch the Dooley-Tucknotts. Di Not-Dooley also runs on for a hug, and there’s no Bruce-With-A-Broom to stop her. Kevin and Stacey get very huggy-wuggy and Claudia has to give them repeated “I KNOW, BUT THERE’S THREE MINUTES OF AIRTIME LEFT” to get them out of the scrum.

Once everyone’s plied off one another, Kevin gets very excited and starts

fellating the trophy? I know the enthusiasm gap between pro and celeb about the victory is usually marked at this point, but this is quite possibly a new peak. Tess asks Stacey how she’s feeling and she clearly doesn’t have a clue what to say, so Claudia does a quick soundbite trot through all our runner-ups (“it’s been amazing”, “yeah, it’s been great”, “LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE, LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE!”) to give her time to gather her thoughts. Ultimately, once collected, her thoughts are entirely about Kevin – about what a gent he is, about how patient he is, about how he’s made the final so many times because he’s so talented (and then lost because none of his partners were as amazing as what she is) and his choreography is so good. She tells him that he really deserves this win, and then he tries to get out that she deserves it too/as well/more but he’s so choked up he sounds like the dog on the advert saying “sausages”

and then collapses weeping onto Claudia. This is amazing. Maybe he should have asked Joanne to do his winners speech for him as well? After some prompting, and gathering of himself, he too then pays tribute to Stacey, before Claudia screeches that he is NOW NO LONGER THE BRIDESMAID, HE IS THE BRIDE (certainly he’s been the groom more than enough times for one lifetime as well…). Speaking of which, Karen runs on screaming “YOU DID IT! YOU DID IT!” in Kevin’s face (aw) at this point and then

all the pros hold him aloft woot woot well done KEVVVVIIIIINNNNNN (and girl). Yeah this did feel a bit like she became like…remember when Steve Redgrave won his fifth Olympic Gold Medal and everyone was glad for everyone else who was in the coxless four but, yeah. That. Actually it reminds me visually on when Artem got hoiked up alone, although that was admittedly because Kara was being rolled into the back of an ambulance at that point.

SO! I’m sure we all know I have many thoughts about Kevin winning (probably more positive than most of yours judging from the comments section) but as the show made it all about him, right at the end there, I’ll make my little end-of the finale preamble entirely about Stacey. I think she is a…good winner for the show? It’s frankly past time that we had a female winner that won more on the journey/personality than on dancing technique to balance out some of the men over the years, and let’s face it, she’s still better than Kerplunk could ever hope to be. I loved her energy, I loved a good number of her dances, particularly that harum-scarum run from Blackpool to the final (if…not the finale itself) and I personally made the journey from finding her personality irritating to finding it the sort of endearingly irritating I could make harmless jokes about without having to grit my teeth when I rewound to get the pictures. Which is all I ask from any Strictly contestant at the end of the day.

HOORAY FOR STACEY DOOLEY! THEY GOT YOU UP THERE EVENTUALLY! YET ANOTHER WINNER I’LL SAFELY SNUGGLE INTO THE MIDDLE OF MY WINNER RANKINGS BEFORE MOVING ON TO NEXT SERIES! LET’S HAVE A WOMAN WHO’S MAYBE OLDER THAN HER EARLY 30S NEXT!

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25 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 16 – Final (2)

  1. Pasta

    I thought I’d get in quick before the Kev-bashing (I love him as much… within waving distance of as much as you love Pasha) to congratulate you on yet another awesome series review. Some of the screenshots especially were inspired (in this post Gorka looking out at us from behind Ashley and Pasha, apparently in on the joke, was an amazing catch. I also though your shot of weepy Kevin, just after the Paso, made him look incredible handsome – which he is, obviously). While the first half of the series was a bit miserable, I really did enjoy the end run (though DS is getting ever more ridiculous and thanks for popping up there occasionally to factually correct some of the utter lunacy and spite).

    Reply
  2. Pam

    Glad that Babs McGee retained her title for ‘Best celeb’s mother’s name’ .

    Ever since Kevin arrived as a pro, I’ve felt there was an expectation from the show that he should win it. I think this is why I found him a bit unappealing, plus the way that Cliftons seemed to be multiplying in the cast when Jo joined and then Karen started using her married name.

    It’s not been my favourite series, but this blog has definitely made it worth watching. Without you, I might never have realised that Stacey’s bloke was called Tucknott.

    Reply
  3. Matthew

    Great recap, thanks for managing to make this series more enjoyable (it’s been my least favourite after watching properly since 9), although saying that I am going to the tour as my friend’s husband bought her two tickets for Christmas and really doesn’t want to go. So hopefully it will be fun. At least there’ll be no Mancunian hoovering up the vote’s so my favourites don’t get to win again (GEMMA)

    Reply
  4. BeyonceCastle

    Thank you for blogging the series so damned well Chris and thanks to Steve and Donald for their ITT bits. Warmest wishes to you all and have a well deserved rest pre DOI-TGD (I will read whichever you do). Happy Chrismas and a good slide into the New Year xxx ❤

    Reply
  5. Name

    I think, to be fair to Dianne, she’s got every right to cry with happiness that she got to the final. Not only has she got to the final in her second year, but she’s done so *with Joe as her partner*. She *must* have been thinking she’d get 5 weeks at best. There’s no *way* she could have thought she was going to beat Danny & Charles. Probably not even Lauren, Kate, or Ranj.

    Reply
    1. thespb01

      I doubt it, given that she got someone young and relatively fit with a extensive devoted fanbase. Joe was always a shoe-in for Blackpool at the very least.

      Reply
  6. Marcela

    Like I said to you before somewhere, thank God for you and your blog, it was what got me through this horrid, rancid series with Twitter and DS being all round horrible to fit the bill. The last few weeks felt a bit redemptive and I’m glad for that because from the very beginning there was a bit of an ill feeling going on. Susanna not being mentally there, Lee being as popular as piles, Vick badmouthing her pro, Shatya, Danny completely not getting what the show was about and bullying sweet innocent Amy…I mean, the negatives outnumbered the positives but at least the last few weeks were fun.

    Too many highlights but Fayezulla the Sex Demon is always going to be up there together with the very important philosophical question of our times, “Who Is Faye Tozer?”. You know, for someone who I thought blander than porridge in the beginning she was the gift that kept giving. I’ve never connected with her dancing, it was always too “Here’s my showreel, Mr Mackintosh”, but outside the dancefloor she gave us some pretty great gems.

    I really hope they learned from their mistakes and that they make some wiser casting decisions next year, but I wouldn’t hold my breath with new producer being an offspring of BGT and XFactor. It does feel like we reached a point of no return dance wise, even the pro routines don’t feature ballroom anymore. I’m not going to say that this is wrong as the ratings have been consistent and I know very well it’s impossible to return to how things were, let’s say, when they had to do their best Ballroom and best Latin on the final, not this bollocks Judges’ Choice but sometimes less is more. Less new inventions (bin this couple’s choice for the love of Jeovah) and less of the whole 658 pros at the same time in the pros’ routines are just a few things I’d like to see happening (I can but dream, sue me).

    Moving on, I just wanted to wish you and Steve a Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year.
    Thanks again for the laffs and see you on Twitter. Xx

    Reply
  7. Sine_M

    Many thanks for your sterling efforts; it wasn’t a vintage Strictly year, but this blog has been epic. Years ago, Clive James said it was the mark of a genius to spot the comic potential of a single word which turns a sentence from funny into hilarious. My favourite one-liners this year which beautifully illustrate that were a) Pasha – ‘once he’s done full on A Star Is Born-ing her about the paddock’ and b) James Jordan – ‘that flickering switch of self righteousness’. (Paddock and flickering being the genius choices IMO).

    But for sheer comic genius, I don’t think you can beat the inspired flights of lunacy you’ve produced this year. The sustained inventiveness of the commentary has been entertaining me ever since then – often at inappropriate moments. My nominations for these are:

    3: Stacy and Les Mis: the full ham – pure chorizo – absolute primo grade Prosciutto di Parma – pulling Kevin’s pork. ‘ I have not seen this level of Strictly Charcuterie since .. BB1 Saturday night teatime game show ham. ..
    2: Faye’s Lonely Goatherd: To the 4th Circle of Hell – everything just came together – the music, the choreography, the goats, the twin moons of Mars, the opening of a portal to a hell dimension… The Silence of the Goats. (Why have we never had a Buffy the Vampire Slayer dance at Halloween btw? Can you imagine what Brendan would have done with Sarah Michelle Geller? Or Aliona with the guy who played Spike?)
    1: Faye’s AT: To the Tasteful Lounge of Suburban Middle Class Despair! – Ashley’s dead body slumped on the other side of the table – the orgasmic owl hooting in the audience – Faye’s response to the judges’ nightmare of genetic engineering.

    Oh, and a special mention to your guest blogger (Donald??) who spotted AJ’s astonishing likeness to St Sebastian being pierced with arrows.

    This blog is the safety blanket that gets me through Strictly with my psyche pretty well intact. Thank you again.

    Reply
  8. Kim

    Blossom, bloom, grow: Shirley was channeling The Sound of Music there (Edelweiss “Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow for ever”).

    Not sure where to go with that – end of season pedantry for your reading pleasure.

    Reply
  9. alliea_2

    thanks, monkseal.

    (How many of this year’s musical selections were retreds? I know it saves on DaveArch’s arranging capabilities, but a good piece of new-to-strictly music might make up for a lot of the other deficiencies that have been so on display this year.).

    Reply
  10. Jane

    Fab, as usual (your recaps of course; the show itself… not so much). I did wonder whether part of the reason for the lukewarm reception of Stacey’s showdance might have been because a good chunk of the audience couldn’t see a bloody thing through those stupid walls, but then again they didn’t miss much. 😁

    Thanks so much for your wonderful write-ups; they are an essential part of the Strictly experience for me and I enjoy them as much as, if not more than, the show itself. Thanks also to your lovely assistants, Steve and Donald. I hope you all have a great Christmas, and I look forward to seeing whatever you decide to write in the New Year.

    Reply
  11. Gusty Gusset

    Thank you for the wunnerful write ups again this year – fab-yoo-luss as always.

    I gave all my votes to FFS in the final but to no avail. I reckon if someone does a ‘propah’ show dance they probably ought to win – ringer or not. Also the focus on Kevin over Stacey had the effect of putting me right off them by the end of the series. (Who am I trying to kid, I just think Giovanni is incredibly handsome).

    Anyway thank you for all your efforts, they are much appreciated xxx

    Reply
  12. Fraulein Maria

    Thank you Chris for making this Autumn fly by. The actual competition has been pretty meh, however I actually feel bereft that there is nothing for me to read every night. My highlights include the amazing Johannes being in absolutely everything, your (largely) sympathetic treatment of poor Ashley (gee, she’s just so jolly nice) trying not to unravel in the face of the Great British Public’s dislike of (American) ringahs, and especially your marvellous explications of a new-to-me genre of dance: not the (generally awful) couple’s choice, but magic pixie dancing.

    Oti is still a queen, but Dianne and Amy are surely now princesses at the very least. Roll on 2019, and who do we have to petition to get partners for Johannes and Neil next year?

    Reply
      1. Fraulein Maria

        That is a good point. However, if he had a partner, he wouldn’t be doing stupid filler segments on ITT. Although, it bodes ill for ‘comedy’ routines to beat even Anton’s. I am now in two minds…

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