Sunday, 15 December 2019

Floti-ing Through The Final!

It's been a funny ol' year, but here we are at the final all of a sudden! Lots of people have commented that it has come round quick this year and we'd agree it only feels like last week poor Jamie Biscuits fell over. We're back to over two hours in the show with more padding than a DFS sale, so grab your Strictly Snacks as we do this for one last time in 2019...

As ever, we're not going to make a meal of dances we've already seen for the final. Karim delightfully darted around in that quickstep like the poppet he is. Emma's Charleston was just as enjoyable and I think I liked it more because you could actually see Anton this time so it felt more like a Strictly dance. Kelvin brought us THAT rumba with extra hips on top, anyone who can make a rumba my favourite dance of the series certainly deserves a 40, so just get out of here Craig.

But now here's the showdances, where the real peril is because anything can happen!

Karim and Amy
We knew this was going to be contempo from the ITT footage, which now just seems to be a stalwart of the final, plus their outfits even looked the same as last time. This didn't have the wow factor for me that I want in a showdance, but I did feel it suddenly came alive when they started throwing the glitter around and it became quite joyful. It seems odd for them to choose this style when they were in the bottom 2 doing it for Couple's Choice, but if they just went for something they wanted to do, I'm fine with that.
When a celeb has prior dance (or other) training the showdance can just become a vehicle for their pre-existing talents *cough Tom Chambers* ... *cough Louis Smith*. For Karim too, this was the case. I'm no fan of contempo-waft. But this was never going to be anything else. He's a cracking dancer though and well deserved his place in the ginal.

Emma and Anton
Another couple playing to their strengths, with Anton bringing all the razz and matazz and Emma looked stunning in that frock. It was nicer than I was expecting and quite a coherent routine, where some showdances can be a right old mess, but it didn't really wow me. I can see why the cane section was in there for an added final element, but Emma looked terrified behind the eyes while she was doing it. I'm sure their fans loved it though and that's what it's all about.
And as much as Karim's was always going to be contempo-waft, Emma's was always going to be glitz and glam. That was as much to do with having Anton as a partner as anything else. I didn't hate it but it didn't blow me away. Whilst Karim and Kelvin stood out,  Emma was one of a number of celebs who could have made the final this year. It was tentative in parts and lacked synchronicity, both of which made the whole thing fall a little flat. Adore the dress though.

Kelvin and Oti
Now that is what a showdance should look like! Yes, people have done the 'all the elements from different dances' thing before, but this came together as a really fun dance. I whooped on many occasions, which is basically how I measure whether a showdance is worthy. The breaks in the music were perfectly used and the lifts were epic. 
This is what a showdance should be all about. All the bits Kelvin learned throughout the series in a fast-paced, energetic routine. These kind of showdances run the risk of being disjointed but this was not. Oti is a supremely talented choreographer and teacher and that deserves as much praise as Kelvin's extraordinary natural talent. 

So how do you follow Kelvin and Oti bringing the house down? Karim had a pretty good stab at it with that rip-roaring jive, I will say. Emma and Anton brought quite the change of gear with a VW but it was a welcome moment of calm and well-executed. The final word was left to Kelvin and Oti rocking that samba just as hard as in week 1 when he brought those hips into our lives, hurrah! 

The compulsory returnee group dance was once again a delight this year with so many fun moments. Highlights included James walking followed by Anneka walking and swaying, Chris popping up like a happy child, Will being included despite not being able to dance, Johannes and Catherine giving it full Beyonce, Michelle acting like she'd won anyway, Karen's hair - it was all there! 

But finally the final moment of the final came our way, cue lights and music and thumping hearts. Our winners are.....KELVIN AND OTI! Rightly so, it was the proper way to end this series. Thanks to everyone for coming along for the ride with us once again!

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