Just One Mistake

Well. What a complete muppetry thing to do! I should explain.

The three finalists in Strictly Come Dancing were Zoe Ball, Colin Jackson and Darren Gough. Of the three, the first two were definitely the superior dancers. Darren’s very good, but has consistently ranked lower with the judges. He has the advantage of being extremely likeable, however. Unlike the last couple of years, the winner was completely up for grabs – nobody wanted to risk a prediction.

The first part of the show had each couple performing two dances – one latin and one ballroom. As you may have gathered by my previous post, it was almost impossible to tell them apart. No judge scored less than a 9 at any point. I decided to wait until the freestyle in the second part. As it turned out, the couples were all to first perform a Viennese Waltz, then one couple would be eliminated from the competition based on viewer votes so far. The waltz was equally difficult to decide upon, but I phoned through my vote for Zoe in the end. There was hardly anything in it, but to me she seemed to have the most elegance.

Then, Zoe was eliminated from the competition. Damn. She and her partner performed their spectacular freestyle dance and left the floor. Colin and Darren remained. I decided to wait for their respective dances, although strongly suspected that I would have to go with Colin due to his superior technical skill. At this point, the presenter announced that there had been 3 million votes cast.

Then came the massive mistake. Colin and Erin’s freestyle routine was introduced, and they walked out onto the floor each attached to dummies. Lifesize dolls, dressed to look like a presenter and one of the judges, attached to their feet. They danced a dull routine with these dolls for 90 seconds, and it was stupid. After Zoe’s amazing routine, this was a complete letdown. The judges hated it, although they were no longer scoring. The idea, I imagine, was to show that Colin could dance without her help. This is probably very difficult, but I don’t think this was the time to prove it.

My vote was suddenly up for grabs again. At this level the dancing is as much about performance as technique, and Colin scored no points at all for the former. Then Darren and Lilia came out, and were stunning. With amazing lifts and extremely fast footwork it was one of the best dances I’d seen them do. There was no question. I voted three times!

After the final dance, the vote total was up to four million, and after the finale involving all the competitors, they announced a total of over five million. The judges gave their opinions, and they were split down the middle. Then came the announcement of the winner.

Darren and Lilia took it, and I punched the air. On tonight’s performances, they were without doubt the worthy winners.

I think it’s very likely that Colin’s freestyle lost the competition for him. Two million people voted between then and the lines closing, and I’d bet most of them were doing exactly the same thing as me. What were they thinking?

Incidentally, I saw Lilia and her husband Darren (a different one – he was Gloria Hunniford’s partner this series) perform live a few months ago. Last year he won SCD with Jill Halfpenny, and inbetween they were crowned the Latin World Champions in Blackpool. So they’ve had rather a good twelve months!

I really enjoyed that.