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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Service: Week 13 - The Final

Despite what those on screen tried to make out, this final was pretty much a one-horse race. I found the whole thing quite dull, and that's why it has taken me over a week to actually write a blog about the final. Take nothing away from Caroline, she's a fantastic dancer, but it was such a foregone conclusion she would win that it almost wasn't worth watching the programme.

Round One: Judges' Choice

The judges chose the samba for Frankie & Kevin to perform again, first performed in Week 7. I was convinced when they performed the routine originally that there was a mistake and they had missed some samba rolls, but watching it in the final I realised that that wasn't the case. It was a good job.

Mark & Karen were given the cha cha to reprise. This was a good choice, as it was originally performed in Week 5, coming the week after they had been in the bottom two. The routine was fun, and probably better performed better than it was originally. It did see the return of Mark's slightly camp side, which was so prominent in earlier weeks. But it was still a great performance.

Caroline & Pasha were also given their cha cha to do again, from Week 1. It's great when couples get to perform dances again from so early in the series, and even someone of Caroline's standard was able to improve from the beginning of the competition. They nailed it.

Simon & Kristina had to re-perform their Charleston from Week 4. I though it was under-marked the first time it was performed, so it was nice to see them do it again. 

Round Two - Showdances

Let's be honest. The showdances are really the only reason we watch the final. Strictly titles can be won or lost on the basis of the showdance. Just ask Colin Jackson. Everyone wants to see what the couples have to offer. Of course, this can lead to disappointment as they are also they most hyped part of the series.

Frankie & Kevin opted for a touch of old Hollywood with lots of quickstep content, side-by-side work and lifts. The execution was brilliant, and the dance was glamourous. It was perfect for Frankie, who was always more comfortable with the more formal dances.

Mark & Karen incorporated all their best moves from the series into their showdance, a smart move. The routine was very them. It was fun and upbeat, and it was clear their main aim was just to have fun. It was great.

Caroline & Pasha took a risk by opting for a slow, lyrical, rumba-based showdance. Usually showdances are upbeat, so they had to pull it off. And they did. It had dramatic lifts, lovely light and shade and Caroline danced from her insides. It was moving and she couldn't have done it better.

Like Mark & Karen, Simon & Kristina incorporated elements from some of their best dances into their showdance. It was slick, with some great lifts. It had salsa, quickstep, Charleston and even some bodypopping. A good effort.

I don't think anyone was surprised that Mark & Karen were the couple eliminated at the start of the second programme. Mark worked incredibly hard, and while he totally earned his place in the final and deserved to be there, he wasn't quite up to the same standard of the other couples.

Round Three - Favourite Dance

Frankie & Kevin opted to perform their paso again, which earned the first (Donny) ten of the series in Week 3. It was a good routine for Frankie, and she nailed the timing. It was a lovely performance, and a fiery side of Frankie I wish we had seen more of during the series.

It was no surprise to anyone that Caroline & Pasha would opt to perform the Charleston again, but with no backing dancers this time it was a bit different. I would say that the only good thing the backing dancers added to the whole series was their assistance with the final lift in the Charleston, and for me the performance wasn't the same with the altered ending. However, I loved that I could concentrate on their dance without all the other stuff going on in the background. I loved it.

It was also no surprise that Simon & Kristina decided to perform the Argentine tango from Blackpool again. And it was performed equally well. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that they were performed in different rooms, I'm not sure you would be able to tell the difference between the two performances.

It was no shock to anyone that Caroline was the winner. Of the four finalists, Frankie was the only one that I was less keen to lift the glitterball. I found her to be a little one-dimensional, with the paso being the only dance where she displayed any real fire. Even the rumba was 'safe' in my opinion. Both Mark and Simon progressed from mid-series onwards, and I thrilled in watching their progression. Pixie was the only one who could've challenged Caroline, so with her eliminated, there was only one way the result was going to go. I agreed with the judges that she should get 40s across the board for her routines, too. Brilliant performances and a worthy winner.

Here are the videos...

Frankie & Kevin - samba

Mark & Karen - cha cha

Caroline & Pasha - cha cha

Simon & Kristina - Charleston

Frankie & Kevin - showdance

Caroline & Pasha - showdance

Simon & Kristina - showdance

Caroline & Pasha - Charleston

Simon & Kristina - Argentine tango

The moment of truth...


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