Strictly Come Blogging

Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Service: Week 12 - The Final

Last night's final has to be one of the closest we've seen. Here are my thoughts...


Matt & Flavia opted to perform their American smooth. This was a shrewd choice, since the lifts make it the most spectacular of the ballroom dances. They performed it well, and it was enjoyable to watch.

There was no doubt that Alesha & Matthew had to go for the waltz, because of the amazing comments and scores. Like the first time around, their performance was excellent. I would have liked to have seen them give their tango another go, but it just wasn't going to be worth the risk in the final.


I think that over the course of the competition, both of these couples turned in better ballroom than latin. Matt's latin was a bit hit and miss throughout the competition, but the salsa was a knockout, so again it was a no-brainer which dance he and Flavia would perform again. This performance rivaled the first and was an absolute joy to watch.

Alesha loved the cha cha and they were right to choose that for the final. I still think Alesha's technique could have improved further. She still had bent knees in places, which made her look a bit less elegant. But she and Matthew turned in another excellent performance.

Judges' Choice

The judges' choice returned this year. Both professionals were given We Like To Boogie by T-Rex to choreograph a routine to.

Flavia went for a quickstep. I loved Matt's tap dance opening. He must have done some tap training in the past, because no-one could do such nice wings cold. It was bouncy and energetic.

Matthew chose the jive. Alesha's footwork could have been neater. I find she lacks control at times. But her timing and musicality is great.

Group Viennese Waltz

There's really not much anyone can say about the Viennese waltz, other than they were both excellent.


Once again, the whole competition was resting on the showdance. This was the closest final since Darren and Colin. The showdance could have been the make or break of the night.

Both couples went for a hi-energy song that would get the crowd onside. Matt & Flavia danced a cha cha-based routine to Are You Gonna Go My Way?. Flavia's choreography was fantastic, an absolute joy to watch. Matt looked to be enjoying his last dance and gave it bags of performance. The one handed lift was fantastic. It was one of Matt's best performances of the competition.

Alesha gave her best performance of the night on the showdance. Holding Out For A Hero is one of those songs dancers line up to dance to. It's an exciting, epic, dramatic track, and the routine was all of those things. Alesha must have been at an advantage, as Matthew is capable of more lifts than Matt, leading to a more 'spectacular' showdance. I loved the elements of paso toward the end.

The Result

I think most people believed that it would be Alesha's night, but Matt held his own and it really could have gone either way. The final was close, much closer than Mark and Matt last year.

I actually preferred Matt all the way through the final. I like his performances. I find Alesha can be a little untidy, and for some reason I just don't see what the judges see. Alesha is excellent, but not perfect. For me she plateaued a few weeks ago, and the imperfections just did not improve. But they could have done. Her performances never wowed me as much as I thought they would.

Of course, Matt had had hiccups throughout the competition, and perhaps he shouldn't have even been in the final. Stumbles, mistakes, memory blocks. But he continued to improve week after week.

Over the course of 12 weeks, I have to admit that Alesha is the better dancer. But last night, Matt was strong, and I enjoyed his routines and performances more.

It was the right result, but my vote went to Matt. Probably the first time ever in the final that I have not voted for the obviously stronger dancer.

In my opinion, Alesha was the better dancer but Matt was the better performer. Performance is something you can't teach. Nor is it something you can describe. You just feel it when you dance and know it when you see it.

There concludes Series 5. I can't believe another series is over. Thanks for reading my thoughts. But it doesn't end here. I shall be continuing to blog about all things and people Strictly. This is a year-round service. And with the tour only around the corner, there will be heaps more coming up.

Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep reading. And Dancing!

Final videos

Matt & Flavia - American Smooth

Alesha & Matthew - Waltz

Matt & Flavia - Salsa

Alesha & Matthew - Cha Cha

Judges' choice

Viennese Waltz

Matt & Flavia - Showdance

Alesha & Matthew - Showdance

The moment of truth...


  • At 12:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you wanted matt to win all along so no matter how good alesha danced you would still have been biased. How can alesha be perfect ?? shes not a professional dancer!!. where's your objectivity???

  • At 9:13 am, Blogger Loulabelle44 said…

    I did not want Matt to win all along. I thought Alesha was great from the beginning. But for me she stopped improving.

    I don't expect her to be perfect. But I would like to have seen steady improvement.

    Every week I was waiting to be wowed by Alesha, but only the tango got me really excited.

    She just doesn't do it for me. Different strokes for different folks.

    I'm sorry if that offends you.

    She won anyway, and deservedly so. It probably would have been the wrong result if Matt had won.

  • At 1:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alesha is a better dancer while Matt is a better performer?!
    Total rubbish!
    I must admit that his salsa was not bad FOR HIM, as was the opening (tap dance) of his quickstep. Yet, as somebody said correctly, Matt moves like a drunken uncle at the wedding. And true performers do not quit - like he did in his foxtrot - or make faces like he did during his final dances.
    I agree that Alesha didn't look her best in the final. Being the top of the pack all the time, being constantly held up to the professional standards is not easy. You could see how exhausted she was, and unfortunately her fatigue affected her technique.
    Matt's performance looked cleaner, as he didn't have the burden of expectations on his shoulders and Flavia's clever choreography emphasized his few strengths and distracted from his many weaknesses (take that red waltz dress that obstructed the view of Matt's feet in the semi-final or the spectacular lifts that ANY male celebrity would be able to do, considering Flavia's feather weight).
    I love Flavia to bits and I enjoyed Matt's behind-the-scene banter, but to call Matt a better performer?.. One must be delusional...

  • At 8:56 am, Blogger Loulabelle44 said…

    One is entitled to one's own opinion on one's own blog.

    That is my opinion of how it looked to me on the final night. I watched the showdances again the other day and I still stand by what I have said.

    I take your very good point about there being no expectations on Matt, though.

    Funny how barely anyone posts a comment all series, and the minute I say something that goes against popular opinion, everyone has something to say...

  • At 3:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Perhaps it is happening because a lot of more interesting forums that were open during the series are now closed.
    You may find consolation in the fact that your opinion is "original" - if that's your goal.

  • At 7:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wonder if loulabelle44 is one of those SCD fans for whom a prerequisite for getting excited is a pair of pants, a see-through shirt and a cute stubbly face (a clean-shaven face may work wonders, too).
    But a pretty female face and a fit body that also moves gracefully are an abomination, aren't they, loulabelle44?

  • At 9:27 am, Blogger Loulabelle44 said…

    Have you people not heard of opinion? So mine isn't the same as yours. So what? I didn't write this to be devil's advocate. I wrote what I think.

    No, I am not a chest-loving freak. If you have read any of the other pages of this site, you would see that both technique and performance are important to me.

    Alesha had ample time to improve her technique, since picking up steps came quite naturally. But she still had bent knees all over the place, she didn't always close her feet properly and her work was 'untidy' to my mind.

    Was she good? Of course. Was she the second coming of Jill Halfpenny? Not even close.


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