The grand final kicks off with the Strictly Professionals dancing to Eye of the Tiger, with the ladies holding placards aloft with the finalists names on.
The finalists are welcomed onto the set, wearing boxing gear. Bruce & Tess eventually make an appearance, Tess dressed in white and silver.
Matt & Aliona are the first couple to take to the floor with their samba. Will it be as good as Blackpool ? Some timing issues to start with and Matt is still very light on the floor. The samba rolls are excellent though, and they look like they are loving it. The three backflips at the end set the audience alight, just as they did last time.
Len says that the judges are expecting the finalists to dance all four dances at a very high standard – and Matt did that. Alesha said the magic and spark in the air from Blackpool are still there.
Bruno picked up on the excellent samba rolls and Craig said it was “all good, I’m afraid.” Much more confident this time. They score 38.
Kara & Artem dance the rumba. Their tape beforehand is very emotional with Kara in tears as she describes meeting Artem.
Dressed in white this time, Kara is much more confident, sharper. It’s a beautiful dance and the audience are on their feet and rightly so. Artem claps Kara, what a gent !
Alesha found it touching and said that Kara had raised the bar even more from last week. Bruno was hypnotised by the beauty of the rumba.
Stunning, unique and beautiful, is how Bruno summed it up. Craig agreed; but said that there was a lift again and Len said that her rumba routine gets better every time you see it. They score 39 (Craig marks them down because of the lift).
Pamela & James dance their Viennese Waltz, to the music from the film Ghost.
Pamela says that Strictly is the best fat camp in the universe. She has loved the show and working with James, and she says that Strictly has re-ignited something in her that she thought had been lost.
Their dance begins with heightened emotion, both dressed in white. Is Pamela wearing lover heels tonight ? She looks a little stiff and tired tonight.
Bruno said Pamela’s acting was beautiful, focused and simply brilliant.
Craig found it simple and effective, playing by the rules which is something he adores. Len enjoyed it and Alesha found the dance elegant and emotional.
They score 40.
So now we have the showdances.
Who is going to blast through in this crucial dance ?
Top of the leaderboard are Pamela and James after one dance.
There are no rules in the showdance, and Bruce introduces Matt & Aliona. In training, they are wearing trainers…..
Strength and energy are the key here. It’s testing but Matt is gymnastic. Two golden, glittering haystacks are on the floor, both dancers are wearing tweed. Lots of backflips and the tricks we’ve seen before. Not sure this is his best dance…..
Len says that the showdance should have a routine that makes you feel good with music that inspires you. He thought there were a few too many stunts and tricks, and would have preferred a little more dancing, but it was fun. Alesha liked the street dancing and the entertainment factor. Bruno thought it was a gymnastic extravaganza but there was so much in it that the linking steps weren’t as good as they could have been and Craig commented on the flow that wasn’t really there – he didn’t like the idea and concept.
They score a 7 from Craig, and overall 34.
Kara & Artem’s showdance training has been tricky – fast and furious. Will everyone love it, or will someone be calling an ambulance by the end ? Queen inspired – Craig noticed a missed lift, and the timing looked to be off at the end – but he said that Kara had immense courage to do a routine like that becuase it was difficult.
Len said that the speed of the music might have caused a few incidences, and Alesha loved the contemporary steps in the middle. Bruno loved it but the incidences have stopped it being the blockbuster that it had the potential to be.
They score 36.
Pamela & James have a showdance to test their skill and their teamwork.
To the music of Dirty Dancing, dressed in blue, it’s a smooth routine. Alesha loved the song choice, and though the dance was spot on. Bruno loved it, uplifting and perfectly pitched by James.
Craig noticed James stumble, but loved the natural dancing and found Pamela watchable. Len loved the flavour of the freestyle routine and thought it was charming.
They score 37.