Honestly, the most thought I’ve ever had to put into chiselling down my list of least favourite routines of the series, get ready.
You know that Moira Stuart won the Terms & Condition competition right? This thing is going to be long enough without having to make a full announcement for that foregone conclusion. All hail Moira!
Congratulations to our winners! Kevin and…erm…it’ll come to me a minute! She was there! She called him a gent and everything!
Featuring the most heart-stopping, jaw-dropping, pant-wetting, knee-knocking, lung-blowing, eye-popping stunt ever in the history of Strictly Come Dancing EVER!
A wall moves a bit.
So let’s do this one couple at a time :
Ashley & Pasha : Has a good final doing things I mostly have no interest in watching her doing. Maybe if she’d reprised her foxtrot, or her jive, or something that represented her marrying her RINGER STRENGTH to ballroom & latin (you know, the stuff she’s not trained in) I would have felt more bothered, but instead it’s the show’s 50th ever Dirty Dancing routine, more contemporary where the choreography verges on the funky chicken at points, and that bloody Charleston again. Does she represent herself well? Absolutely. Does she touch the divine? Absolutely not.
Faye & Giovanni : Faye meanwhile doesn’t exactly stray far from her strengths either, with three very West End audition routines one after the other with her Viennese Waltz, Lullaby Of Broadway Showdance and Fosse themed Couples Choice. The difference is that where Team Pashley have gone for fun, cheekiness, flirtiness and…I don’t know, I think she said “empowerment” about 50 times, Faye and Giovanni repeatedly headbutt raw melodrama and intensity until everyone at home needs a sit-down. By the time Faye reprises Fayezuula, but without the make-up, having absorbed her dark energy whole? Not quite touching the divine either, more like touching the demonic. If we talk about any set of finale performances in years to come (and let’s face it, we won’t, we never do), it’ll probably be hers.
Joe & Dianne : Probably have the most fun of all the couples tonight, taking the final as a night of their lives that lasted for 150 minutes (bloody hell) that they had to experience all of, rather than which just served as a variously traumatising purgatory leading up to them winning or losing. The paso is stronger (apart from him almost completely missing her for the final swing through the legs, which the judges mostly ignore), the showdance is a full on charge around romp, as is the Charleston. You do feel that perhaps, halfway through the Charleston, which is…not great, on any level, the show having another middling male winner who can be easily dismissed as just having been brought to victory on a palanquin of multivoting 12 year olds wouldn’t have suited either him or them, so this is maybe the best ending he could have had as well.
Stacey & Kevin : Have a pretty terrible finale and then win anyway lol? I guess not everyone has the extreme aversion to 60s mod Kevin that I do, but even if you wave their foxtrot through there’s no excusing their showdance, which is basically Susan’s paso all over again in terms of not meeting inflated expectations. After a whole week of hype the MOST DANGEROUS, SPLIT-SECOND TIMING, HIGHWIRE, DARING, RISK TAKING STUNT IN THE HISTORY OF STRICTLY is…some stage hands moving some walls around vaguely near them, and even for it just being that Stacey nearly stacks it over a fairly standard chair. AND it’s all superseded by Joe trampolining 10 feet in the air on a podium a few minutes later. Their paso is a triumph but it feels like the story of tonight might be that Kevin blew it via bad choreographical choice and creating a bad atmosphere by needling Craig all evening but as I said…they win anyway lol? Stacey immediately gets lost in a stampede of everyone and their ex-wives marauding towards Kevin, and then Stacey gives a winners speech that’s entirely about Kevin, and Kevin gets held aloft and…hooray for Kevin I guess? It feels like we just got our fourth celebrity male winner in a row by mistake oops. It’ll be interesting to see the next step in his Strictly story anyway.
Oh and Bruno yells tits. Always a highlight.
Spoilers : the Leaving Dance is a waltz