Strictly Come Dancing – The Final, Saturday 23 December 2006
Did we like it?
A glorious gala of delicious dancing, sumptuous samba and beautiful ballroom. Hurrah also for Brucie, still on the ball at almost 80 and the lovely, foxy lady Tess.
What was good about it?
• The dancing was a delight from start to finish; sometimes Mark Ramprakash and Karen moved like Siamese twins so hypnotic and rhythmic were their moves.
• Brucie, opening up with a catchphrase of “nice to see you…” he ruled the stage with his vim and vigour. Variety has existed in this country for ooh, about one hundred years and for much of that time the formidable Forsyth has been on the front line often administering the kiss of life when it was in danger of extinction.
• At about 10.15 on a Saturday night, we finally got the result we had all been hoping for when Mark was crowned king of Strictly Come Dancing. The loveable Bruno had earlier suggested we had two regal princes, but who would be king?
• We also had a fascinating look behind the scenes at the secrets of Matt Dawson’s comeback from his “heinous” cha-cha-cha to his valedictory, voluptuous Viennese Waltz.
• The final sound as we left the studio was one of happiness and festive joy as Mark and Karen tried to dance in celebration but she was already in floods of tears.
• Mark Ramprakash’s hips. He knows he can really swing but on the night he was so hot, hot, hot as sometimes the hips seemed to move in six different ways at once and he fully deserved to win.
• To the radiant Lilia and Karen, may we just say both how beautiful you are with your slinky shakes and risqué rumbas that really raised the blood. Our Saturdays will be the poorer without our dancing perfect girls.
• The show ended on a high with the sweet icing sugar on Mark’s result provided by Matt’s graciousness in defeat, conceding that “there was only one winner”.
• Three of the four judges were lovely and really got into the spirit of the final. Always one to push the boat out with a punt of hyperbole, Bruno was his usual vivacious self; Arlene had little doubt to whose mast her colours were firmly nailed; and the top judge Len was still a soft-touch, always handing out the highest score but always gave the highest accuracy in his comments.
What was bad about it?
• Boo! Boo! Craig still couldn’t find it in his cold heart to listen to the other voices in the judging panel and those in the audience to let slip his mask as a figurehead of snootiness and really let himself go. It was only right at the end that he deigned that Mark’s last dance “had to be the winning dance”.
• We felt that the short film that showed the gradual culling of the dancers down the final two was a little brief. Although sometimes we were drumming our fingers as seeing things like Peter Schmeichel’s sinking in quicksand steps was like a thousand hours of torture. While Nicholas Owen still looked like he was taking the proverbial walk in the park, and Spoony’s floundering over-enthusiasm sometimes made him look like a drowning man.
• It would be nice to think that something long term comes out of all this for both Mark and Matt but they’re both like to suffer the short term effect of starburst fame before having to look for other ways to occupy their time after retiring from sport.