Strictly Come Blogging

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Tuesday Chatter: Week 13 - The Final

It was such a shame that AJ had to pull out of the final. It has been such a great series, with three very talented, worthy finalists, and it was so unfortunate that it became a two-hander. Get better soon, AJ!

It felt odd to only have two couples in the final. It was the first time since 2009 that had been the case, and it's definitely not something I'd hope to see again. A direct head-to-head just wasn't enjoyable.

Thankfully, the dancing was enjoyable.

Round one: Judges' choice

Rose & Giovanni were asked to reprise their Frozen-themed quickstep. It's not the dance I would have chosen myself, as I was hoping to see their Viennese waltz. But there was an error in the quickstep the first time around so they did get to improve on it. It was as cute and fun as last time.

John & Johannes did their rumba again, and I think this was a good choice, as it showcased a tender side to their dancing, balancing their own pick which came later. It was moody, quiet and technically clean.

Round two: Favourite dance

It was interesting that the producers decided to switch around the showdances and favourite dances this year. It does avoid the couples ending the series dressed as toy soldiers, but I think for the couples, ending with the favourite is more relaxing and more fun. They get to enjoy the moment in the comfort of a dance they are familiar with, instead of the pressure of something new.

Rose & Giovanni decided to do their couple's choice again. The routine will go down in Strictly history and will be talked about for years to come. I wondered if it would have the same impact a second time around, knowing what would happen, but it totally did. I really enjoyed seeing it again, and remembering how it felt the first time we saw it.

John & Johannes chose the paso doble. I don't think there was anything else they could have chosen. It was a dance we all remembered and kept talking about, even when it was performed so early on in the series. And it was as good as we remembered.

Round Three: Showdances

So for the first time in a long while, the showdances were saved until the end. Yet, three days later, I am struggling to remember the content of either of them. For showstopping, no holes barred, anything goes numbers, they were a bit vanilla. Both couples excelled in their couple's choice routines, and both of those numbers did what the showdance should be attempting to do. The hand of Gilkison was evident in both of them, and while it must be nice for the pros to have less pressure on them, it means they lack personality.

Rose & Giovanni's routine was very balletic. It mostly consisted of lifts, which was a shame when Rose's ballroom is so strong. It would have been nice to see something requiring a bit more technique than a lot of waft. The spinning Dirry Dancing lift was very good, mind. The storytelling and romance was strong. But it left me cold where their couple's choice did the opposite.

No Gilkison routine is complete without lots of silk. It's usually in the hands of dancers running across the floor, presumably to give the impression of movement. This time, it was a massive curtain, which was dropped and spirited away with a musical crescendo. But John & Johannes' routine definitely had more to offer viewers than Rose & Giovanni's. It had light and shade and included lots of side-by-side steps which we know they are fantastic at. Maybe it was adrenalin, but it looked a tad under-rehearsed. There were a few little bits which just didn't looked polished.

I can't help wondering what AJ & Kai's showdance would have been like. Perhaps it would have been a nice counterpoint to these. I felt robbed of a big Hollywood showstopper.

I think the right couple won - Rose had been the star throughout the series, and I don't think either John or AJ was likely to pass her. I loved all three finalists, and I'm so glad they made it.

It's been a fantastic series, and the pairings were spot on. I cannot wait for next year!


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