I’d forgotten the superfluous umbrellas and how insufferably CHEERFUL this dance is. But blimey, she’s good. Hard to believe this was a Week 2 performance – it was great then, but considerably more polished now. Nice work, Molly.
Their Judges’ Pick is the Quickstep to ‘Love On Top’ by Beyoncé. This scored 34 points way back in Week 2, and I vaguely remember it for the dreadful Jazz Beyonce and super-fast footwork. I can only imagine that the judges have chosen it because otherwise there will be no standard Ballroom performances at all this evening.
Scores: 9,10,10,10 – a total of 39 for Hamza and Jowita. Remember the scores from the judges mean NOTHING this evening – the votes are all down to you. But not yet.
Shirley thought Hamza improved it even more – the lifts went higher and the turns were spot on. Anton loved the freedom of Hamza’s Salsa – he is joyous. Craig wanted a better free arm, but otherwise brilliant. Motsi loved it more than the first time – Hamza has definitely improved. Does she have an 11 paddle?
That veil is giving Shirley evil Disney villain vibes. Love it.
I’ve watched this dance on YouTube at least twice a week since Week 4, so I feel like I know every move. The lifts are spectacular, and that one at the end is a MOMENT.
Their Judges’ Pick is the Salsa to ‘Ecuador’ by Sash! featuring Rodriguez, which scored 39 in Week 4 and pushed Hamza straight into the contender zone.
I have no idea why the judges have chosen it because there’s ZERO room for improvement, but I’m also absolutely thrilled because it’s one of my fave dances of the season.
Out come the stars! They’re dressed for their first dance, which is Judges’ Pick – a Samba for Fleur and Vito, a Jive for Helen and Gorka, a Quickstep for Molly & Carlos and a Salsa for Hamza and Jowita.
I’d forgotten about Fleur’s ghastly Christmas tree dress. At least it feels more seasonal now.
Right, first round of dancing. Is everyone ready? We’re going in.
Out come the judges! Shirley has gone full Disney Princess ballgown, and I kind of love it.
TESS AND CLAUDIA DRESS WATCH – GRAND FINAL EDITION
Tess in a set of sparkly black shelves paired with a dog collar, Claudia in a white pantsuit with matching cape. Like Vegas Elvis without the cheeseburgers.
Time for our final opening pro dance, which involves scaffolding and ankle fog in some kind of geodesic dome, like they’re dancing at Centerparcs.
The fireworks start, and our finalists appear on revolving plinths. It’s all splendidly joyful and I love them all. Those tinsel outfits looks really itchy, though. The CHAFING.
We’re off and it’s our first recap of the night! None of the couples want Strictly to end, and only three dances stand between them and the glitterball trophy. EXCITING.
It’s nearly time! Are we all ready?
Watching the Weakest Link, and they’re all dreadful. I went on a TV gameshow once, and can confirm it’s hard to answer general knowledge questions under pressure. But I still beat 48 other contestants and won two weeks at Disney World in Florida, so I’m not having it. Do more pub quizzes, Strictly alumni.
So my annual not-very-scientific Strictly Twitter poll thinks Hamza is going to win by a country mile this evening, but I’m not discounting Helen just yet. Twitter was right in four out of the past six years, and this one feels like a pretty confident vote. What do you think?
Time for this year’s FINAL Strictly Come Bingo – have a sip of something fizzy for any occurrence of the following:
I strongly recommend you pace yourselves – it’s going to be a VERY long night.
Evening all, and welcome to this year’s Strictly Grand Final liveblog! Let’s face it, it’s the only Final happening this weekend that really matters.
Tonight our final four couples battle it out for the glitterball with three final dances, and the general consensus seems to be that it’s between Hamza (for being a national treasure) and Helen (for the revenge journey). Dance-off history suggests Fleur and Molly don’t have the same level of public support, even though they are arguably the better dancers. But you never know what surprises the Grand Final might bring, so let’s not count our glitterchickens.
Tonight’s running order is as follows: all four couples will dance three routines back-to-back – judges’ pick, an anything-goes Showdance, and then finally each couple’s favourite dance of the series. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour MARATHON of a show, padded out with recaps, montages, musical interludes and pro dances, so stock up on supplies for a long but joyful night ahead.
Keeping me company on the liveblog sofa this evening is Mabel the Labrador, because my partner has gone to an 80th birthday party (rave on, neighbours). But luckily I’ve got all you lot down below to be my emotional support crew, so get stuck in. Kick off is at 7.05pm – see you then!