How did they get ahold of my Shirley Ballas Shrine?
I hope having Shirley Ballas on All That Glitters means Motsi Mabuse might show up on Sewing Bee for a custom gown.
For their final ever Bestseller Challenge, Jack, Emma and Piers were given the tricky task of creating an engagement ring that was practical enough to wear every day but stylised enough to have warranted them buying an oval sapphire and 18 carat gold for them make it out of, which looked a bit like if IKEA sold Diana’s engagement ring
and in order to make things even trickier, they had apparently flooded the entire workshop with helium
Emma was however the only affected because Jack, having spent so much time on the mountain tops is used to changes in air quality and Piers works with the cold, deadly silence of a crocodile.
When not running around the workshop sounding a little bit like Sesame Street’s Elmo, Emma was going for a very romantic engagement ring featuring ribbon-like tendrils and she was certainly putting the “gag” in “engagement”
and it seems like it was catching
without David to bake them cakes, the decision to order from a bakery with a suspicious 3 star rating on Just Eat really didn’t work out too well for them.
Luckily Emma’s ring and the workshop did manage to remain vomit-free
I had some concerns about how practical the ribboned detail would be on a ring you would have to wear every day but as Dinny pointed out, she had tapered them down the side very well, and the twists were so fine and elegant – the whole thing had a very fairytale feel to it, which doesn’t personally appeal to me but I can see many a person being very happy to slip it on.
Jack and Piers were both going with much more geometric styles for their rings – Piers invoking his favourite design period of the art deco era and jack building a oil rig of a ring in the name of gender neutrality – and I really liked Jack’s sentiment about wanting to create “an engagement ring for anyone, from anyone” – it was just a pity that the judges were struggling to see his ring as an engagement for just how large and statement-y it was, but good Lord was it shiny
and it is a little big but I would argue it’s only as much of an impracticality as Diana’s 14 diamond engagement ring, but they do at least give him his dues for the construction of the ring’s setting – and Jack very much won the competitive polishing tournament after Piers had to forfeit due to having lost one of his melee diamonds during the fight
said diamond was never recovered and some say there are still a pair of runners on their hands and knees desperately looking for it.
Piers did at least have a spare diamond just lying around, as you do, but having knocked the stone out with like 2 minutes to spare it was a rush job to set it and in the process he had scuffed the ring, not that it really showed under the studio lights
this was my personal favourite ring – the asymmetry makes it seem that little bit modern but you can still see the classic art deco influence – had he not had more issues with a diamond than your average socialite in an Agatha Christie novel, I think he might have had a shot at coming out on top, which I think he knew given the long stare he had when the judges lavished praise upon Emma
his ability to flick between being a complete cinnamon roll and a Bond villain level threat has been one of the highlights of the series.
An Official Engagement Ring Ranking
- Emma’s Fairytale Ring
- Piers’s Art Dec-OH NO Ring
- Jack’s Gender Neutral Oil Rig
Shirley You Jest
For their final big challenge, they were going all out with the jewellers being challenged to design a statement necklace for none other than Strictly’s Shirley Ballas
the only requirements being that it had to feature a garnet and match her jazzy devil jumpsuit that she was going to wearing for the quarterfinal results show of Strictly 2021
which does mean we’ve seen the winning necklace before but we’ll get to that in a bit…
And in order to make the tenseness of the challenge seem a little more jovial the whole cast were back to show their support
Sadly Emma was not featuring anymore of Barbie’s body parts in her design.
Emma seemed to be the biggest Strictly fan of the bunch – Jack may have been tongue tied when it came to meeting Shirley but I’m 80% sure it was because he was terrified she’d ask what his favourite Strictly performance is and the only one he’s ever watched is John Sergeant dragging Kristina across the stage like Paddington Bear taking the Quee[ARIADNE DO NOT MAKE THAT JOKE]
but Emma was able to pander to the Strictly of it all and was making a necklace inspired by the rumba because it’s Shirley’s favourite dance, with Shirley immediately using the opportunity to describe the rumba thusly
God I can’t wait for her to reach the point of Len Goodman and just not care and just let loose all of the filthy things she’s been desperate to say.
Despite the mandatory garnet, the centrepiece of Emma’s rumba necklace was a silver moulded heart, her moulding process going absolutely perfectly, then having cast it in silver, she was dipping it in red dipping rubber, which worked better than the last attempts at using it because she was actually dipping it and not trying to paint using it
and her final necklace was certainly eye-catching
much like Shaun, it’s just really not my taste and I do think the garnet comes across as a bit of afterthought with the heart taking so much focus, and I almost wish she had used the garnet as the heart to make it a little less literal – but on a technical level, she has to be commended, and in true Emma style had inscripted the back with the quote “Though she be but little she is fierce” from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
and much like Hermia, who the quote is about, I do believe Shirley probably has a nasty right hook.
Piers was continuing with his art deco influence and producing the smallest necklace of the lot, which he was a little bit worried about because he once watched a single episode of Strictly but found it a little too overwhelming, but Shirley reassured him that she loves classic and simple things, which delighted him in that moment and utterly mystified him later when she would pick the least classic looking necklace
his necklace involved a lot of different gem setting techniques as well as creating the structure of the pendant by carefully and intricately twisting a continuous loop of gold, which he pulled off wonderfully
I REALLY love this one, I do agree with Dinny that it looked better hanging higher up on the clavicle, mostly because that’s how I would picture an opera-going vampire wearing it
but alas “opera-going vampire” isn’t really the Shirley Ballas aesthetic, except for maybe on Halloween Week
She’s undead Madonna, duh.
While Piers went small and simple, Jack was being Jack and making a complicated 100-piece chainmail bib, of which I had a few concerns, namely the complexity of getting it done, but also his design sketch looked worryingly like a novelty thong you might get from AdamAndEve.com
and with it being so intricate and stringy, polishing it was a nightmare with the whole thing getting caught up in the brush and making a bigger mess than me trying to eat spaghetti like a sophisticated adult
which did almost give Kathryn a heart attack
thankfully it hadn’t broken, although the same couldn’t be said for one of his small garnets which shattered as he was fitting, much to the balcony of onlookers’ horror
but he managed to get a replacement diamond in and got a fully finished necklace onto the plinth
it’s really beautiful, and thankfully significantly less thong-like than anticipated. The fact it’s all hanging so evenly is the most impressive thing about it, nothing feels like it’s tugging awkwardly to one side and it’s really just thoroughly stunning, but it doesn’t feel like the garnet is playing as big a role as it could, which is a bit of a shame.
An Unofficial Statement Necklace Ranking
- Piers’s Opera Appreciating Vampirewear
- Jack’s Non-effective Armour For a Female RPG Character
- Emma Watched Kelvin and Oti’s Rumba Too Many Times
Shirley had a big decision to be made because the winning necklace would go on to be seen by about 10 million people, and thus she chose Emma’s
and because she wore it in last year’s quarterfinal, it has featured on this blog before when I wrote… this
at least I noticed it?
It was a late surge for the win from Emma, and while she can claim a cleansweep for the final episode’s challenges, it wasn’t enough to clinch the overall win for her and instead the winner of the second series of All That Glitters is Piers!
I’m so happy for him, I’ve coveted just about everything he’s made and he’s been a very endearing contestant, I’ve loved writing about him and his pieces.
And of course a hearty (heh) congratulations to our runners up, Emma and Jack
both of them are equally talented and charming – and I hope they go on to do great things after this!
And thank you to everyone who has been reading the recaps but before I get to my favourite thing about these recaps, The Alternative Montage, if you would like to support the blog, you can drop a small donation over at my Ko-fi account HERE – it really does help keep the blog up and running, and me well caffeinated.
IT’S A MONTAGE, BABY!
And that was that! And one last big congratulations to Piers on the win!
TOP: Bonnie, David, Emma, Jack
BOT: Nyanda, PIERS, Steve, Tianne
And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of the All That Glitters Final and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.