So that’s another Strictly year over, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read and shared this blog, but particularly those of you who have rocked up every week and been entirely hilarious and brilliant in the comment box. It makes this blog an absolutely joy to write, and I really can’t thank you enough.
My liveblogging duties aren’t quite finished for the year – I’ll be wrapping up The Apprentice tomorrow night at 9pm, so hopefully I’ll see some of you there. If not you can find me on Twitter @heidistephens, so do come and say hello.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy 2017 – see you same time next year? Keeeeeep dancing! Hx
That said, I’m gutted for Danny and Louise. Both of them worked incredibly hard, and it was a brilliant final.
The winners of 2017’s Strictly Come Dancing are…ORE AND JOANNE! His mum and dad are going ballistic, and there is SO much crying
I know some of you won’t be happy about that, but I’m delighted for him. I think he really deserved it.
Time for one final montage, because god knows we haven’t had nearly enough yet. The Strictly teat is INFLAMED from all this milking.
So who will be this year’s winner? Really can’t call this one, which is very exciting.
The Christmas Special looks fun – I won’t be liveblogging, but I can get an open thread set up for you again if you like?
It’s a Rick Astley/Spice Girls/S Club 7 group dance! Melvin is on the decks, Tameka is on a throne, Naga’s got her legs in the air, Leslie’s at the café table, Anastacia’s doing the splits, Laura’s wrapped around Giovanni, Daisy is riding a pretend bicycle, Greg’s throwing Natalie around, Ed is riding his Katya pony, Rinder is lying on the floor and Claudia is doing multiple somersaults, just because she can.
Pure cheese. I loved it.
Right, let’s lighten the mood. Time to bring back all the celebs we’ve forgotten about and throw together a final Group Dance. But first, a montage. So many montages.
No mention of Will Young, however. It’s like he never happened.
Well this is a delightful showcase of proper spinny ballroom, and it’s dreamy and beautiful. We don’t see nearly enough of this, more please.
Why isn’t Len crying? I’m in bits.
Yes, it’s a Len Tribute Dance! DRINK!
A standing ovation for Len, but he’s not crying, the miserable sod. The engine on his Uber is already running, isn’t it?
Bit dusty in here.
We only need Len crying and a Len tribute dance, and that’s a Full House for tonight’s bingo. COME ON.
Get your drinking trousers on, it’s time for a Len tribute! DRINK DRINK DRINK!
Time for a musical interlude, courtesy of Emilie Sande in a satin peignoir. She has a great voice, but I’m still not over 2012 Olympics Sande overload.
Katya grinding on Giovanni in a wet-look pantsuit is a yes from me, however.
So much montage going on right now. It’s been a brilliant series this year, I’m starting to feel a bit emotional. Although that may be wine.
Can we have a 20 minute Ed Balls/Judge Rinder montage please?
I don’t think Louise and Kevin are going to win, incidentally. Poor Kevin, it’s his fourth final. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride.
Good lord, it’s only 8.15pm, we’ve got another 40 minutes to go. What the hell are they going to fill that with?
So Ore’s was my favourite Judges’ Pick, Louise’s was my favourite Showdance, and Danny’s was my favourite Couple Pick. I no longer care who wins, they’ve all delivered a top notch final.
Daughter has voted 3 for Ore, 2 for Danny and 1 for Louise.
Scores: 10,10,10 (DRINK), 10 – another perfect 40 for Danny and Oti. Are you all drunk yet? The Len montages haven’t even started.
So Ore and Joanne are at the top of the pretend leaderboard, with Louise and Kevin and Danny and Oti in joint second.
But it doesn’t matter, because you get to decide!
“I hate crying on TV” says Danny. “Talk To Ore”, suggests Claudia. I love her.
Len thought it was even more perfect than last time, which I’m not sure is a thing. Bruno thought Danny was like a caged animal, and they were sex on legs. Craig thought it was FAB.U.LUSS. Darcey thought it was an unforgettable Samba, and Oti is weeping.
This Samba is SO good – I love the slow bit at the beginning, and then suddenly it all goes off and it’s total Samba mayhem. Oti is absolutely banging, Danny absolutely brings it, and I will never get bored of watching this.
Is there any chance we could give the glitterball to Ore and Oti? I know it’s unconventional, but it’s what I want.
And FINALLY, it’s Danny and Oti! Their favourite dance is the Samba to “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes from Week 10. As the first perfect 40 every scored by a Strictly couple for a Samba, you can hardly blame them for wanting to do it again.
Incidentally, I think this might be my favourite dance of the whole series.
Scores: 10,10,10,10 – a perfect 40 for Louise and Kevin. Ah, they’ve all had one now.
All the celebs look proper knackered, don’t they? Darcey thought it was a special Argentine Tango – Louise is a beautiful lady of the night (um, OK). Len thought Louise has been his most consistent dancer, and Bruno loved the musicality. Craig thought it was superlative, and he’s glad he doesn’t have to decide.
Right, I really want to love this. Come on, Louise. Hooray, the lamppost is back!
Well I’m definitely enjoying this much more this time round – I think Louise’s footwork is sharper and it has more intensity. Good chair work too.
Next up is Louise and Kevin! Their favourite dance will be the Argentine Tango to “Tanguera” by Sexteto Mayor. I know lots of people loved this, but it didn’t tickle my pickle at all, in fact none of this year’s Argentines have. I miss Vincent and Flavia.
Ore is trying not to cry, presumably because it annoys the public.
Scores: 10,10,10,(DRINK) 10 – a pretty solid night for Ore, all told.
Craig has nothing to complain about – it was virtuosic. Darcey is even more impressed than she was in Week 3, it was sharp and clean. It’s people like Ore (no dance experience) who give Len so much pleasure – Ore is the spirit of Strictly. Bruno thought Ore’s star was shining brighter than ever – sheer perfection.
I loved this Jive in Week 3, and I still love it now. A class act from start to finish, with incredible footwork from Ore, and kicks and flicks the likes of which we haven’t seen in any other Jive this year. Jo is a superb choreographer, she does a brilliant job of making Ore shine.
And finally, it’s favourite dance time! Ore and Joanne are up first, dancing their Week 4 Jive to “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars. No surprise they’ve chosen this, it was Ore’s finest moment, and of course we all want to see it again.
Just for info, I am currently watching TV, writing a liveblog, drinking wine AND eating pizza. Do I win a prize?
Scores: 10,10,10 (DRINK),10 – a perfect 40 for Danny and Oti’s Showdance. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t agree with me.
Bruno loved the intensity and drive, and Danny’s commitment to telling a story – it was stunning. Craig thought it was totally brilliant, and Darcey thought there were sparks coming off the dancefloor – the perfect Showdance. Len thought it was full of dance and full of show, and there were moments of magic.
Danny is looking moodily at Oti in a pretend mirror, and it’s all gone quite interpretive. Oti is barefoot, and the Argentine sections are a bit weak, in my opinion. The lifts feel a bit clunky too. Nice finish, but that felt a bit under-rehearsed to me. Sorry, but I had higher hopes.
Is anyone else really wishing Claudia and AJ were doing a Showdance? It would have been INCREDIBLE.
And finally it’s Danny and Oti! They’re dancing their a Showdance to “Set Fire To The Rain” by Adele, and I fully expect this to be a showstopper in every sense. The problem will being Danny right now is that the bar is ridiculously high, anything less than dancing on hot coals with a tray of champagne flutes on his head is going to be a bit disappointing.
Scores: 9, 9, 10 (DRINK), 10 – a total of 38 for Louise and Kevin. Len doesn’t care any more, Bruno never did.
Len thought it was full of style and confidence – a knockout performance. Bruno thought it was expressive and touching, with fluidity and joy. Craig thought it was expressive and emotive and he loved the contemporary feel, but it went wrong at the end. Darcey loved how lyrical and fluid it was.
Love Louise’s dress, she looks beautiful. It’s all quite balletic, with lots of great lifts and spins, and some lovely armography. It feels like Kevin is chucking Louise around a bit, but no doubt it’s a lovely Showdance and Louise is giving it both barrels. Great work.
Next up it’s Louise and Kevin! For their Showdance, they’re dancing to “One Moment in Time” by Whitney Houston, telling the story of Louise’s journey on Strictly. I smell three minutes of Clifton contempo-wafting.
Scores: 10,10,10 (DRINK),10 – a perfect score for Ore and Joanne’s showdance.
Darcey gives it a round of applause – it was fun, fast and showcased all the highlights of Ore’s best dances. Len couldn’t ask for anything more, and gives Ore a standing ovation. Bruno thought it exceeded all expectations, and mixed all the best of classic Hollywood. Craig thought it was like an advanced aerobic step class, and it was brilliant.
So Ore is looking splendid in tails, and I’m already loving this. Fabulous footwork from Ore, and nice use of giant drums, albeit he goes a bit pigeon-toed in the tap section. Great Quickstep section, bit of a fleckerl, big finish. LOVED that.
Hooray, it’s Showdance time! First up it’s Ore and Joanne, who are dancing their Showdance to “I Got Rhythm” by George and Ira Gershwin – it’s a jazz classic, so hopefully this will be packed with lots of Charleston and plenty of swing.
Len is opening the vote! This wasn’t on my bingo, but DRINK anyway.
So Ore and Joanne are at the top of the faux leaderboard, and Danny and Oti are at the bottom. All this means is that Danny’s fans are going to vote like mad.
Scores: 9,9,9,9 – a total of 36 for Danny and Oti. I love how everyone is pretending that the judges’ scores matter.
Craig thought the timing was out at the beginning, and the promenade at the end went awry. Darcey thought the mistake was a shame, but he’s still a superb dancer. Len though Danny has set the bar for everyone else, and he’s really disappointed that it went wrong. Bruno wants Danny to put it behind him – Danny is a showman with spotless technique.
So off we go with the quickest of Quicksteps. It looks like Danny has a couple of timing issues at the beginning, but otherwise this is pretty impressive. Lovely coverage of the floor, bags of class, and plenty of Sinatra style. Goes wrong at the end, but nice.
And finally for Judges’ Pick, it’s Danny and Oti! They’re dancing their Quickstep from Week 4 - I can’t really remember anything about this, other than Danny was a conductor and it quite quick even by Quickstep standards.
Scores: 9,9,10 (DRINK), 10 – a total of 38 for Louise and Kevin.
Bruno thought it was a saucy 80s flashback, and the Cha Cha Cha was clean and well-executed. Craig thought the hip action has come on noticeably – it was much better. Darcey thought it as a joy to watch, and the energy and confidence was all there. Len thought it was a red hot Cha Cha from a red hot Redknapp.
Just me then. Not for the first time.
The start is a bit wobbly, and there’s no doubt Louise’s hip action shows improvement, but it’s still a bit stiff and lacks abandon. All a bit tentative, which is a real shame.
Next up for Judges’ Choice, it’s Louise and Kevin! They’re dancing their Flashdance Cha Cha Cha, another dance from Week’s 3’s Movie Week. I think this is the first time we saw Louise come out of her shell and look comfortable on the dancefloor, so very happy to watch this again.
Scores: 9,10,10 (DRINK), 10 – a total of 39 for Ore and Joanne.
Len was screaming the whole way through – Ore has taken great to an even greater place. Bruno thought it was a perfectly crafted tribute to Gene Kelly – spot on. Craig thought Ore’s frame was vastly improved, but he missed some foot pointing. But it was stylish and polished, and Ore is a miracle. Darcey thought it was heaven to watch, and they pulled it off again.
There were many umbrellas in this dance, and the Strictly lamppost. It’s still a fabulous performance from Ore, with loads of character and style. His posture has improved since Week 4, and this is still a classy dance. Lovely.
First up tonight is Judges’ Pick, and it’s Ore and Joanne dancing first. The judges have chosen their Singin’ In The Rain American Smooth from Week 3, which was the night we all realised that Ore was a contender. I’m so glad they’ve picked this dance, it was gorgeous.
Out come the stars! Looks like Louise’s Flashdance Cha Cha is on the cards again, and Ore’s American Smooth. Hooray!
For the last time this year, TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH: Tess in a black number with weird mesh sleeves and a Ryanair belt, Claudia looking glorious in a silver prom dress. 6/10.
Time for an opening group dance, to ‘When Love Takes Over’ by David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, which is a solid gold dancefloor banger.
The finalists are in the bottom of a well, talking to the glitterball. Out come the pros for a sparkly Cha Cha, then Danny, Ore and Louise descend from the heavens and bust a few moves they haven’t really had time to practise. Louise is rocking the 80s spiral perm again.
Enjoy the opening credits, it’s the last time you’ll see them this year. SOB.
Right, let’s get this show on the road with our first montage of the night. There will be approximately 716 more, so brace yourselves.
Final plug of the evening – I was on the BBC Breakfast sofa this morning wanging on about Strictly. You can find me on iPlayer at 0725 and 0955, and I even gave the comment box a shout-out in the first slot. You’re welcome.
Ooh, It’s time for our FINAL Strictly Come Bingo of the season! In a bingo-based homage to the lovely Len Goodman, I’ve renamed it Strictly Len Bingo for one week only. Take a slug of booze or a pickled walnut for any occurrence of the following:
- A Len-based montage
- Len pickling his walnuts
- A ten from Len
- Len crying
- A Len tribute dance
Also, I wrote a thing about Len.
So it feels like there’s been quite a bit of tension around this year’s Strictly - everyone has a favourite, and we don’t all agree about what constitutes a Strictly winner. Personally I root for the improvers and am a massive sucker for a Journey. So my final line-up would probably have been Rinder, Claudia and Ore. Lots of people would find that point of view appalling, but I can live with that. I also voted Remain and for Bulgaria to win Eurovision, so being outvoted is par for the course.
My plan for this evening is to enjoy it for the glittery entertainment it is - Danny will probably win, which is fine - he’s a great dancer and Oti is a total goddess. 2016 has been a colossal binfire so far, but this blog has always been a happy place, and it would be nice to keep it that way to the very end.
Evening all, and welcome to the 2016 Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final liveblog! After three months, 15 celebrity couples and enough dancing to keep your toes tapping well into the New Year, it all comes down to three dances from our three final couples – Danny and Oti, Louise and Kevin, and Ore and Joanne.
So here’s the plan for tonight’s show - pay attention, as its a bit different from last year. Everything kicks off at 6.40pm with all three couples dancing a judges’ favourite routine of the series, their own favourite routine and their Showdance (I have no idea what order these will be in).
Unlike previous years, there’s no break in the show where one couple gets eliminated, because there’s only three couples in the final rather than the usual four. So instead of giving the tired liveblogger a nice break in the middle to eat, drink, stretch and go to the loo, it’s a non-stop Strictly express train right through until 8.55pm. THANKS WILL YOUNG.
It’s reasonable to assume this 145 minutes will be stuffed full of recaps, montages, Len montages, more recaps, musical interludes, group dances, Len dances and a good deal of filler. Bring all the food and booze you can find.
The general consensus is that Danny and Oti will take home the glitterball tonight, but Louise and Kevin have never been in the dance-off, and Ore and Joanne have arguably been on the greatest Journey. I did a highly unscientific poll on Twitter last week and the results were fairly conclusive, but with no judges to sway the vote, it might all come down to the Showdance. EXCITING.
Whatever the outcome, it’s lining up to be a festive cracker of a final, made all the more amazing by you lovely people spreading a little glitter and sparkle in the comment box down below. Shall we get this party started?