Our Strictly Verdict

Ballroom and Latin American dance tutors Nick Breakspear and Hanna Sierzputowska give their verdict on the finale of Strictly Come Dancing. 

Katie and Anton

The judges’ choice for Katie and Anton was the quickstep. Following criticism by the judges that their previous routine had been light on content Anton and his choreographic team produced high-risk work that, however difficult, tends to leave the audience pondering what the celebrity dancer can’t do rather than what she has achieved. Although unsynchronized in places Katie was devil-may-care and recovered where, on the previous showing, she’d continue to struggle. The showdance might be the theatrical apotheosis of Strictly and contained one of the two most breathtaking moments of the final. It was, though, not best suited to Katie’s style and music of that size is bound to make most dancing appear small.

As Craig made explicit when he was unnecessarily provoked by a peevish Anton, Katie was the least competent of the finalists; she duly left before the final section.

Georgia and Giovanni

The judges’ choice for this couple was the rumba. This routine had been criticised by Len for lacking rumba content. Giovanni’s team re-worked it for the final and it included many figures that learners at Morley will have recognised. Georgia lacked movement on the non-step-beat though and for that reason appeared discontinuous; she was overmarked by the judges, we thought. The showdance was enchanting. The blindfolded section worked so well it might have been extended and the routine included the other most breathtaking moment of the final. The dancers’ choice was the Charleston. This style suits Georgia perfectly, although, unlike her previous performance of the routine, she pushed it and that detracted from the subtlety.

Kellie and Kevin

The judges’ choice was the tango. This routine was a perfect realisation of the style in a 60s setting with appropriate music and varied, tight, choreography executed without fault. It was an exemplar of a Strictly routine and earned full mark from the judges. The showdance was a lindy hop – a style not attempted before by Kellie. It was fast and funny and she just about got away with it. The dancers’ choice was a comedy Charleston. We felt that this was a poor selection given that it followed Georgia’s predictably excellent Charleston, was relatively similar to the couple’s own showdance, and they left their eye-catching American smooth in the practice room.

Jay and Aliona

The judges’ choice was the quickstep. This routine was full of runs, hops, skips, and pivots. Despite the fact that it wasn’t his style and the musical choice didn’t help, Jay played a bad hand well. The showdance was a technically impressive yet underwhelming medley of excerpts from routines already seen. The dancers’ choice was their previously high-scoring paso doble – clean and fully assured, if a little lacking in attack.

So why did Jay win the popular vote? Did ability win over the looks of Georgia and the strength of personality and apparent hard work of Kellie? Perhaps Jay played the masterstroke in trusting that the best dancer usually wins, deciding not to take any risks, and believing that the memory of his Pulp Fiction jive in week three would persist and the experience never be exceeded.


Ballroom and Latin American dance tutors Nick Breakspear and Hanna Sierzputowska give their verdict on the finale of Strictly Come Dancing.

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