Whilst revisiting my Winning Formula post I realised there are four key points to a winning showdance:
1 - Play to your partner's strengths
2 - Choose a good song
3 - Get a good outfit
4 - Don't use puppets
I think every couple that have won have touched on all the points, from Brendan's very clever Dirty Dancing number in Series 1 to Camila giving us the Broadway showstopper last year.
Playing to your partner's strengths is key, as Camila saw that Tom loved a bit of showmanship and Matthew played on Alesha's inner diva to great effect. Karen knew that that salsa was the best dance for Ramps, so she gave him a salsa with some amazing crowd-pleasing lifts.
With songs, don't try and be clever, just get something well-known, camp and spangly. It's what the audience wants and will feel distinctly underwhelmed without. Also if you can somehow connect it to dancing, such as Dirty Dancing, Fame, Flashdance or I Wanna Dance With Somebody - this is Strictly, our cheese tolerance is rather high!
Turning to outfits, for god's sake this is your last chance to spangle so spangle as if your life depends on it! OK so spangles couldn't even save Christopher Parker but Hanna really got into the whole thing. Karen and Lilia have also provided the extra spangle we all require and Lisa Snowdown went for the glittery swimming costume. However, one showdance outfit that disappointed me was Matt DiAngelo's; I understand men don't want to sparkle too much but he appeared to be wearing a Primark vest with a bit of glitter!
As an aside, has anyone else noticed that the showdances we get in the final bear no resemblance to the ones the world champions always come on and do? Maybe because it's more like gymnastics rather than dancing and is kinda boring for the audience. Brendan and Lisa had a fairly good stab at it but they wouldn't have stood a chance against Tom and Camila.
Also, a showdance does not have to win to still be great. Take the Cinderella of the showdance Mr Ian Waite...He's come third and second but did two really underrated showdances! With Zoe he picked a genius West Side Story theme and got so excited he fell over! Turning to Denise, he chose a great song and she even managed to overcome wearing a very unfortunate hat to give a memorable performance.
However, there are the odd showdances that were a little...dare I say it?....dull. I am looking at Rachel and Vincent and Matt and Lilia here. Although in Lilia's case Matt wasn't so good at latin and if that's the case you're kinda stumped with a showdance. I often ponder how Anton would tackle it, probably not with puppets...he's not as stupid as he looks....
And speaking of puppets, we draw this to an end with the classic moment brought to us by the one and only Miss Whiplash. Let us go back and remember that build up, the excitement, Zoe and Ian had just brought the house down, we wait to see what fantabulous display Colin and Erin will give us...and then they come out with PUPPETS! I distinctly remember watching this at home and thinking "is this as toe-curlingly awful as I think it is?" and then when they went over to the stony-faced judges and we had a full-on tumbleweed moment and I burst out laughing! Ah, thanks for the memories you guys!
So here we are at the end of Series Sev-ern and what will the showdances bring us? My thought is Ola will go for the musicality and fun and frolicks style showdance whereas Natalie will probably go for fancy footwork and gymnastics. But as we know, it's all to play for...