This coming weekend is the final of Strictly Come Dancing’s 2016 competition, and it’s been an epic run to the finish. I used to write about this show all the time but haven’t shared my thoughts since 2012. It must be a good series this year to get me back behind the keyboard!
Rather than prattle on endlessly, I’ll just share five thoughts about the 2016 batch of amateur dancers:
- I loved Claudia and Aj as a partnership, the little pocket rockets, and she’s so tiny and Bristolian and cute that it’s impossible not to have cheered for her. I was disappointed she didn’t make the final, although it was so close between the top four, it had to be someone’s time to go. I’ve never really subscribed to the undermarked/overmarked/fix claims, but I do think some of Claudia’s dances deserved more. The Charleston was practically perfect in every way, it’s just a pity it happened so early in the series.
- The shame everyone feels about using the word ‘journey’ is getting old now, because it’s the perfect description of what we’re looking for in our Strictly contestants. Danny Mac is an incredible dancer, and he does a great job, but he’s been good since the very first dance, so where’s the interest in that?
- I was one of the people enjoying Ed Balls’ run through the competition, because although he wasn’t the best dancer out there, he really was trying, improving and actually could dance - unlike some of the previous competitors who have gone further than they should have for no explicable reason. And let’s be honest, Gangnam Style is ridiculously good, no matter how you feel about him.
- I’m loving the pros this year, and the choreography has been outstanding - perhaps because the standard the celebrities are able to achieve is so much greater. It can’t be a coincidence, though, that the three best choreographers are in the final. I would only add Jeanette into the mix, and it’s such a shame she was out so early. (Also Tameka and Gorka, they had so much more to give!)
- It’s super hard to make predictions about the final, because it all comes down to the show dance. The celebrities get to put their influence in these dances, and it shows off their personalities without the restrictions of each prescribed dance before it. Even so, I’ll put my name on the line and say I think Louise is going to win. She’s the only one who hasn’t been in the bottom two, if she can pull it out of the bag, she’ll impress the crowds, and I guess it’s time that Kevin finally got his hands on that glitter ball!
This year, I’ve also loved watching the companion show It Takes Two, and it’s only fair to congratulate Zoe Ball on doing a fabulous job helming three hours of live content across five days during each and every week of the competition. It must be incredibly hard work, but hey, getting all the backstage gossip as it happens must also be a lot of fun. Here’s to a great weekend and the culmination of a brilliant season of dancing!