Strictly Come Blogging

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Musings: Week 13

Our first all-girl Strictly final was an absolute treat. It was so close, and you really didn't know who would win. I really liked all four finalists, and would have been happy for any of them to win. For most of last week, I couldn't even decide who I wasted to win.

Round one: Judges' Choice

It was nice that Susanna & Kevin got the chance to nail their quickstep after a few issues the first time around. And nail it, they did. There were no mistakes, and it was well danced. It was great to see them get the sofa trick right, too.

Abbey & Aljaž revisited their waltz, and it was gorgeous. Probably the best waltz on Strictly since Alesha & Matthew. It was elegant, composed and romantic, and it was even better than the first time around.

Natalie & Artem's cha cha was flawless. Everything about it was wonderful. Natalie is such a lovely dancer.

Sophie really took the judges comments on board, and her Viennese waltz with Brendan was better this time around. Her neck position was improved, although still not perfect. Her balance looked a bit odd on the fleckerl too.

Round two: Showdances

The showdances have a lot of hype to live up to, and often don't deliver. When they do, they can be the difference between winning and losing. Just ask Darren Gough and Colin Jackson! 

Susanna & Kevin's routine was filled with emotion. There were some lovely lifts, which were well-executed. It had a lovely Hollywood romance about it, and it was lovely to watch. It was the perfect dance for Susanna, playing to her ballroom strengths, and was very dreamy, although wasn't really a show-stopper.

Abbey & Aljaž's showdance was strong and powerful, but with only a couple of lifts, didn't quite live up to expectations. I liked it, but it didn't blow me away. It was beautifully danced, and had great attack, but I think it could have been better. Paso and tango are a great combination, but this routine just lacked the wow factor for me.

I loved Natalie & Artem's routine. It was great for Artem to be able to show off his choreographic skills without the rules. I loved the changes of rhythm throughout. It was like something from a Gene Kelly movie, incorporating so many different styles. Natalie did everything perfectly, and it was a joy to watch. Certainly one to remember, the most show-stopping of the four in my opinion.

I enjoyed Sophie & Brendan's showdance. Sophie looked like she was having a blast. The lifts were excellent, and Sophie attacked them with such fearlessness. Brendan choreographed to Sophie's strengths, and I think the routine showed off her good points, and didn't draw attention to weaker areas.

Someone had to leave the competition at this stage. Were Sophie & Brendan the right couple to leave? Probably. Sophie was probably the weakest dancer technically. It was a big shame that we didn't get to see her Charleston again.

Round three: Couples' favourite

I wasn't at all surprised when Kevin told me they had chosen to do the paso as their favourite. They performed it just as well as the first time, although it didn't have the Blackpool atmosphere to make it come alive. The paso was the only latin dance that Susanna really owned, and she nailed it again second time around.

Abbey & Aljaž also chose their Blackpool routine to reprise - the quickstep. I think they were right to choose a ballroom dance, as it was always Abbey's strong suit. Although the salsa got a perfect 40, it didn't seem to go down quite as well with the public as with the judges (on Twitter, at least). Abbey looked relaxed and confident throughout the dance, and some of the gapping issued had improved, though not all. It was a lovely performance.

Natalie & Artem were right to choose the American smooth to perform again. It was almost like doing a second showdance! Now, despite the fact that I worship this programme, I'm not one of these people who gets emotional about Strictly. It's not often I shed a tear. But I was blubbing all the way though Natalie & Artem's performance. It was stunning. She really danced it like it meant everything to her. The final lift was gorgeous and the way she ran into Artem's arms at the end was just magical.

I couldn't make my mind up during the week who I wanted to win. I was leaning toward Abbey for most of the week, but Natalie pipped her for me on Saturday night. I loved Natalie's showdance and American smooth. She totally smashed it, and, probably for the first time, I thought she should have won. However, I wouldn't take anything away from Abbey. Abbey is a gorgeous dancer and totally deserves to win, although for me her showdance was the least interesting. I would honestly have been happy for any of the finalists to win, and Abbey was a worthy winner.

Here are the videos...

Susanna & Kevin - quickstep

Abbey & Aljaž - waltz

Natalie & Artem - cha cha

Sophie & Brendan - Viennese waltz

Susanna & Kevin - showdance

Abbey & Aljaž - showdance

Natalie & Artem - showdance

Sophie & Brendan - showdance

Susanna & Kevin - paso doble

Abbey & Aljaž - quickstep

Natalie & Artem - American smooth

The moment of truth...

Abbey & Aljaž's first reaction


Post a Comment

<< Home