So round by round.
Judges Choice So by turn either Alex was thrown under da bus because her American Smooth was boring, or Debbie was thrown under da bus by being given party latin, or Joe was thrown under da bus because his Viennese Waltz was boring, or Gemma was thrown under da bus with her paso because…I don’t know, curse of pink? Wasn’t that a thing at one point? Anyway, all four of them perform creditably in the round, with Alexandra possibly coming out ahead for me just because she put her foot down and got a nicer dress, tied with Andrea, of the singers, for getting the song right for Debbie this time. Of the others Debbie’s still a bit wobbly, Gemma is more about projecting strength than precision performance, and Joe’s not grown his moustache back, so can sod off quite frankly.
Showdance Round : Pretty much performed in descending order of quality. Alexandra does a great big defiant hoofer numbers to “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, pretty much embodying the “come back fighting, as gasping and loud as you possibly can” ethos she’s put out over the last few weeks. Debbie then does a very nice, quite safe, emotionally resonant liftfest which Darcey uses chiefly as an opportunity to remind her that she’ll NEVER be as good a ballerina as her. Gemma then does an endearingly sloppy burlesque mess, that gets away with a number of technical deficiences by being done at 100mph, with hair flinging wildly, and complete abandonment, and being such a blatant audition for Chicago she might as well have been handing out her business card to Alexandra’s friends in the front row. Then Joe is awful, in a showdance where he barely has to do anything, as Katya distracts with a dress change, a whole load of nonsense with a shoe, and a version of “You Make My Dreams” that’s initially far too slow, and then far too fast.
Couples Favourites : Nothing too unpredictable here – Alexandra did the jive that moved her so much last time, Debbie did her deeply and powerfully erotic Argentine Tango, Gemma did the only dance of hers to ever get 10s (before tonight, obviously, as Shirley and Bruno pay out nothing but, all evening) with her American Smooth, and Joe did the dance he got selected for him via a twitter poll a few weeks ago. Now that’s market research. Again, everyone performs creditably, making this really one of the better finals for PURITY OF DAHNCE, as nobody fell on their arse, broke their arm, lost control via nerves or was Mark Wright. When the worst you’re looking at is some wobbles, bad posture and terrible showdance choreography (and let’s face it, that’s a good 70% of all showdances over the years) you’re doing fine.
So who wins? Well, after last year’s shock winner, based on performance quality on the night…we’re back to business as usual, with the expected winner taking it home easily, with his betting odds barely changing all evening, despite being one of the weaker performers in the final itself. Joe is happy, Katya is happy, Debbie’s off round the back to make sure she’s got a PROPER allocation of tickets to friends and family for the tour, thank you very much, and the plans are surely in place for 2018 to be a YEAR OF THE WOMAN that’ll make 2013 look positively mild. Otherwise there’s the usual trappings of a finale – endless montages, a car-crash group dance, too much Ed Sheeran, and an opening group dance that just makes everyone remember that one time all the finalists came out as semi-nude gladiators in chariots.