Strictly Come Dancing 2022, THE FINAL: Horndog Test

At this point we’re just going to have to release a Strictly line at Schuh.

How much choice can a couple choose if a couple chooses couple’s choice.

We start and OH NO! Someone’s put the wrong tape in and we’re watching The Lighthouse starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in a downward spiral into sexual insanity

my mistake apparently we’re doing a dramatic black and white photo montage of how it all started as though they have all gone missing in an investigative true crime documentary

big fan of of the fact Helen and Hamza both got idyllic, beautiful locations and Molly got some abandoned music room

and Fleur got shown Vito’s finger

Hey, some people would pay good money to sniff that finger!

Once they’d all done their spiels about why they deserve to win or just to have a good time in the final because the general public have made it ABUNDANTLY clear that they’re not winning, as well as exposing Carlos’s emoji tattoo

babe, why are you making it this hard for me to love you?

We go to our big, sparkly opening number where the surviving pros are really struggling to spell out YMCA

Manchester Youth Super League?
The whole thing is to Pink’s “Never Gonna Not Dance Again” which you know… seems optimistic but I’m sure Hamza will bust out the occasional Salsa lift with his coat rack as he gets ready in the morning.
The finalists do of course also have to make their big, dramatic entrance which is getting wilder and wilder as the years go by, this time having them suspended in the air, in revolving platform which Helen, who has done a 66 metre high tightrope walk, was giving the full gay steel mill

sadly this would also be the only use of the harnesses we’ll get this episode because none of the finalists are unhinged enough to personify themself as the resurrected Christ figure

Molly and Fleur both could have, sadly they aren’t gunning for a role in Jesus Christ Superstar, so we’ll just have to be happy with the unhinged Halloween routine in which Nikita ascended to heaven in a complete misunderstanding of the myth of Icarus

shockingly somehow not a Gilkison routine.

I did enjoy that the wide shot of the finalists’ did make them look a bit like they were being held in a pillory cage awaiting trial

it all had a bit of the same energy as that long dead misfire of a gameshow “101 Ways To Leave A Gameshow” which was mostly just 34 Ways To Disguise A Dunk Tank – (shout out to whichever extremely dedicated Wikipedian logged every aspect of that show in great detail.)

And on with the main show and I know Tess has her own stylist, but the fact her choker matches the sparkly trim of her dress does genuinely give the whole look the feel of an Argentine Tango outfit that Vicky Gill called quits on because it wasn’t moving particularly well

but really the main talking point is CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN IS WEARING A CAPE, and in a great turn of delightfully bonkers Claudia Lore™ apparently she and her stylist have a theme for her wardrobe every year and this year was “Elvis” which thinking back to the amount of white, flares and rhinestoned animal prints makes total sense. Other themes in the past have apparently been Anita Dobson and… Harry Hill, which certainly explains that year of statement collars. I look forward to playing detective and trying to work out what theme she’s working with every year. Do we think Tess has a theme? Or do they just wheel out three cloth covered mannequins into her dressing room and she has to pick one at random?

As for the judges, Craig was reminding us to all buy wrapping paper before it’s too late and you have to make do with whatever the least birthdayish looking leftover paper is

Motsi was in a beautiful dress that was made out of that iridescent green beaded fabric that was really popular with drag queens 2 years ago (that was not a read)

and Shirley looked like Mary Queen of Scots attending her own execution in 1587

what do you mean you’re not obsessed with Mary, Queen of Scots (2018) in which Mary Stuart had an execution reveal that would put most Drag Race contestants to shame? Mary, Drag Queen of Scots, you might say.

The Judges’ Picks

We of course start with the dances that the judges most wanted to see performed again, with the four of them meeting up in their holodeck like the delegates of various Star Wars planets meeting up to discuss trade unions

Motsi obviously being the Sith spy ready to sabotage the whole thing

and she was going to do it by suggesting Helen and Gorka redance their Foxtrot from Halloween Week…

look, I love canine Gorka as much as the next person but absolutely nobody is clamouring to see sexy red riding hood ride again, maybe we all agree that the Foxtrot doesn’t work for Halloween, I know SOME PEOPLE might agree

Nikita knowing he got away with murder for that routine is absolutely my favourite moment from this series.

This year the judges’ picks came in three different flavours: early routines to show marked improvement, sorry we should have given you 10s and an opportunity to rectify a tiny mistake. Hamza’s salsa kind of fitted both into the Early Routine and the Should Have Been A 40 category, but because it was Week 4 Craig couldn’t get his 10 out just yet. And it turns out he still couldn’t

and Gorka looking slightly smug post-39ing has NOTHING to do with that

and he was promptly banished from the balcony for most of the rest of the evening because he could not be trusted with hiding his emotions behind the shiny gleeful veneer needed for a Strictly finale despite having done this for 7 years.
I’m glad we got to see Hamza’s salsa again, I did want to see his foxtrot again but I guess that was too similar to his Fred and Ginger Showdance, however what Fred and Ginger couldn’t give us was Hamza orca spotting while he and Jowita argue about who gets to be called Ishmael

WHERE HAMZA? Where are you possibly rowing in your tiny little row boat that you can see orcas? THE RIVER CAM?

He didn’t manage to get the apologetic 10 from Craig, and there was a little bit of hesitation in his free arm through quite a lot of the routine

but his free arm was also very much bandaged and I’m sure that was affecting it somewhat

but we still got the amazing stunt where he lifts Jowita like she was a tiny little garden bird

sorry, we still got the amazing stunt where he lifts Jowita like she was a tiny little garden bird

which is quite honestly one of the most iconic moves in the show’s history – it’s just an immaculate display of strength and trust between the two.

Molly and Carlos were revisiting the earliest routine of the bunch, throwing it all the way back to Week 2 with their Beyonce / Taylor Swift fusion of a Quickstep. Apparently me and Craig are more on the same wavelength than I care to admit, because I too would have liked to see her doing the tango again

mostly because apparently Molly came into this final deciding she wanted to be a little bit sexy and burn Nova Jones to the ground – which is fair, like you do you girl, get those old pre-Killing Eve Jodie Comer roles. But the judges confined her to her pastel coloured cobbled street, where at least the umbrella trick went better than last time

I really do love this routine, and it was nice to revisit at least one ballroom routine amongst the party latin extravaganza and couple’s choice-a-thon. And they had to keep it a little light because Carlos’s mother had flown in from China for the event

shout out to the camera operator for perfectly framing both women because they clearly didn’t know which one was Carlos’s mother. You’re doing great, sweetie.

Fleur however did manage to get the apologetic 10 from Craig for her Samba, and at least this time her Christmas prolapse of a dress felt more seasonally appropriate

if that dress doesn’t show up on the 2023 Christmas special while Charles Hanson from Bargain Hunt, dressed as an antique Nutcracker, dances around Luba to Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, I will gladly eat the whole dress.
This was the first perfect score of the whole night, and it thoroughly deserved it – Fleur was living her absolute best life, I imagine it’s slightly easier coming in to the final knowing you’re probably not going to win but the fact she danced just about the whole thing while making eye contact with Craig was delicious

and they had taken the time to tweek the routine slightly, mostly by making sure the thrust was bigger and better than ever before

I can assure you, it was not THAT powerful in the first rendition, I know because I would have had a pre-existing gif of it on file

such is the power of being dressed as a sentient Italian flag, I suppose she we should just be glad they decided to break up the monotonous green of the routine a little bit. But Fleur getting a 40 for her Samba does make her only the second person to ever manage the feat after Danny Mac.
I did love how tense Vito looked before Craig gave his score

and then just rocketed himself into the stratosphere when that 10 paddle came out

I hope we can keep Vito and the Italian Dancing With The Stars doesn’t pull him away from us. HE’S OURS, You can have…. Neil? That’s definitely a fair and equivalent exchange.

Helen got the classic “rectify this one mistake and we’ll give you a perfect score” storyline that Rose got, which is why we had her Frozen Musicals Week Quickstep inflicted upon us for a second time – I AM STILL MAD ABOUT IT, THANKS FOR ASKING. At least Helen’s routine was her jive, and I had forgotten about the hesitation in front of Craig because I mostly just remember her losing her hat, which had apparently upset Gorka most of all. Thankfully Helen didn’t get too wild with her hands again and the fedora stayed firmly on her head

so it was up to Craig to break Gorka’s heart

“It needed a little more retraction.”
*Ironside Siren begins playing*

And so after that, our leaderboard looks… well, it’s mostly a tie which is unsurprising because we’re marking on the Finale Curve

and it would remain like that unless someone fluffed their showdance and everyone had to get a little more critical in the finale than anyone would like.. OH NO.

SHOWDANCE MANIA

Hamza Yassin & Jowita Przystal
Showdance / Let’s Face The Music & Dance – Irving Berlin

So Hamza and Jowita got the big Old Hollywood, Fred And Ginger Showdance of the series which struck me as weird for a number of reasons – I don’t really associate Hamza’s success on the series with ballroom – especially complex ballroom – the thing (for me) that stood out about his Foxtrot was the simplicity of it. The Ar(c)tic Explorer Quickstep? The Blackpool American Smooth? The Horrors of Time Tango? There’s a waltz in here somewhere too – all much less effective. And… Let’s Face The Music & Dance is not a happy song, which is probably why they were dancing to the instrumental only but even then, it’s VERY sombre. I could have seen Molly and Carlos doing a routine to it as a sort of acceptance of the fact they weren’t going to win, but alas, Molly was extremely dedicated to being Bad Sandy’d – YOU CAN TAKE YOUR GINGER AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ARSE!

ROGERS! GINGER ROGERS!

On to the Showdance proper, and the staging was everything you could hope for from a very classic, Foxtrot on steroids – there’s a streetlamp, a bench, some trees, a medium-sized pavilion

The whole thing did give me a bit of a Pygmalion vibe, with Jowita starting off like a statue in an alcove

and Hamza, in the role of Pygmalion, sort of bringing her to life for a dance – again, an unusual narrative that would ordinarily I feel be used for a female celeb (unless you’re Nadiya who found herself through the medium of Dan Walker’s awkwardness) who was overcoming some personal issues and feels like she had found herself during the course of the competition thus being brought back to life…

but maybe I’m projecting this narrative onto the routine – I can’t help it, I’ll always be The Greek Mythology Kid at heart.

It all started very well though, it was smooth and dainty, he and Jowita were all smiles and legs

and then there was a momentary disaster in which Hamza lost hold of Jowita’s hand and he really, really began to panic you can just about here him profusely apologising for that whole 5 seconds while Jowita is basically hissing for him to stop it and just dance the damned dance, THIS IS HER MOMENT! SHE’S GETTING THE DUFFERIEST DUFFER NEXT YEAR! SHE’S GETTING A NOVELTY ONESIE! PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!

luckily it didn’t derail the entire dance, but the 10 seconds or so of Hamza’s blind panic and anxiety sweat were unfortunately quite noticeable – but there was still much to love about the routine, I will always appreciate a dramatic jump off of a very low structure

and for someone who was clearly suffering from sweaty palms, the final lift thankfully worked a dream

given the momentary hiccup, I think it perfectly demonstrates the trust in one another and overall strength of the partnership that it still went ahead – I would have hit the emergency exit and just wasted the last 10 seconds slowly walking off into the middle distance – that classic Foxtrot move.

The judges couldn’t really overlook the mistake and the impact it had on a fair bit of the routine which their scores did very much reflect and would set the unfortunate ball rolling for the judges having to apply genuine critique to the Showdances instead of just lobbing 10s at them like confetti

Not So Fun Fact: 34 is the lowest score for a routine in the final since 2015 when Katie and Anton scored 31 for both their Quickstep AND their Showdance because for some reason, having reached the final for the first time since the Mesozoic Era, Anton decided he and Katie would do a big Paso Showdance and he very nearly dropped Katie during their big stunt

never has a man so extremely overestimated his own strength. So it could have been worse Hamza, it really could have been SO MUCH worse.

SCORES
Craig: 8
Motsi: 9
Shirley: 8
Anton: 9
TOTAL: 34

Bad Molly & Carlos Gu
Show Dance / A Prince MegaMix

Having gone through the motions of cute and peppy at the behest of the judges, Molly was unleashing the side of her that Strictly has been hiding under a bushel this whole time, welcome to the stage, Bad Molly

who has apparently taken ownership of Nancy’s Sexy Occult Emporium

I’m just glad that they got their money’s worth out of those red latex gloves – they couldn’t have been cheap but at least they’re easy to clean.

There was something a little Vegas magician about the whole thing, like if Molly had at one point clambered into a box and disappeared from the venue, I wouldn’t have been overly surprised

but the only way Molly was going to be disappearing this evening was behind her own high ponytail

I have a newfound respect for Ariana Grande – this never happens to her and she’s at least 60% high pony and 30% lipgloss.

Despite Molly’s best effort to Bring The Sex™, Craig still thought the whole thing was “too cutesy” as though there wasn’t an extensive sequence of bumping and grinding on the floor

which had seemingly scandalised and confused one of the nans in the audience who I’m sure thought she was in for another Werther’s Original of a routine

and just to deepen her dip into her new ~Bad Girl~ Era, when Craig gave her an 8 she let out a very sarcastic “thank you!” while Carlos pretended to cry

they’re going to be graffiti tagging the medium-sized shop front in a bit. Truly this has been the pissiest final we’ve had in a long time – Hamza letting go of Jowita’s hand was like Pandora opening the glittery box.

Shirley’s issue however was the fact there was a bit in the middle that was out of sync, which wasn’t all that surprising given that Molly had temporarily turned into Cousin Itt and couldn’t see for love nor styling mousse. But Motsi (and Anton trying his best to praise a mildly erotic routine without sounding too weird) was out to defend her and the fact she’d shown how much she matured through the competition – which is quite funny because she literally turned 22. SPEAKING OF WHICH, she was dancing to 1999 by Prince….

MOLLY RAINFORD, YOU WEREN’T EVEN CONCEIVED IN 1999. And a little part of me thinks they pre-bought the rights to the notoriously expensive Prince catalogue and there’s an alternative universe out there where Will and Nancy did this exact routine and it was a little bit too much.

But one of my favourite moments of the night was Molly’s look of pure delight at the end of the routine

in the words of the acclaimed philosopher Jasmine Kennedy, “THIS IS YOUR MOMENT! HAVE IT!”

SCORES
Craig: 8
Motsi: 10
Shirley: 9
Anton: 10
TOTAL: 37

Fleur East & Vito Coppola
Showdance / Find Me – Sigma ft. Birdy

When I saw the lineup of dances and song choices, I was convinced that they were going to do a piece of contemporary ballroom that was a little bit schmaltzy and dedicated to Fleur’s Family and it wasn’t *not* that but it also very much WASN’T THAT

instead it was an Argentine Tango Paso fusion which is great, I’m grateful we had at least one of them on the menu for the evening but I do kind of wish they had just done their original Argentine Tango again because, while this was VERY good, I feel like the song choice was an odd one? Nothing about it particularly struck me as Tangoish or Pasoish, I mean, the music video featured 12 year old Millie Bobby Brown running around in a hoodie with a GoPro in her face

and no matter how much percussion Dave Arch was forcing in there or Mount Doom levels of fiery displays they had going on was going to change that

Fleur is the Frodo, Vito is the Samwise. This is not a debate but it is erotic AU fanfiction.

But on a pure, dancing level – God there was some good stuff in here! The moment Vito whips Fleur around and she absolutely nails the landing without a wobble and goes into some extremely impressive… kicking cartwheely things (a technical term)

genuinely magical and definitely a highlight amongst the showdances. I do think the Tango elements were much stronger than the Paso – the side by side bit in the middle I don’t think quite worked and seemed weird to lean into that after it was what she was heavily critiqued for last week, but I think it was by far and away my favourite Showdance of the evening and it certainly passed the Tess Daly Horndog Test

she just needed to take a moment for herself.

SCORES
Craig: 9
Motsi: 10
Shirley: 10
Anton: 10
TOTAL: 39

Helen Skelton & Gorka Marquez
Showdance / Shine – Emeli Sandé

Given that there was a veto on extra dancers, thus rendering their quickstep completely pointless without being able to have Gorka kiss Cameron again, they were using their Showdance to harken back to it – as in genre-wise, Gorka sadly wasn’t kissing anyone and I know he would have made out with that Kylie Minogue lip seat given half the chance

you might as well get your money’s worth out of it, or does Kylie charge per routine?

The general theme of it was summing up the fact that Helen feels as though the entire experience has made her remember who she was, which is incredibly sweet and lovely to hear but also incredibly funny to have this VT about Helen feeling insecure after Jayde went off on one over on Twitter because Joanne Clifton had written an article about her starting the competition a little hesitantly

and then had the audacity to stand on the balcony being all verklempt about the whole thing

and she has since picked a fight with the Amy Dowden Stan Army over a truly bizarre email in the wake of Amy bringing more fire and passion to The Weakest Link than I’ve ever seen her bring to Strictly

yes that email is unhinged and a weird thing to send someone because they tried to vote off your favourite banking menace but “she is a maths genius and maths is the hardest thing in the world.” is absolutely my new favourite piece of Amy Dowden Lore.

Anyway, sorry that this briefly became the Jayde Adams Drama Corner, but if you’ve forgotten where you are or who you are, the stage directors had a very helpful hint

the only negative thing I have to say about the personalised manor gates is the fact the whole routine didn’t end with Helen walking through them as the screen fogged over as she walked through the metaphorical gates of her own identity, instead we just had her and Gorka atomising into the atmosphere

which is a very relatable mood.

As far as getting across the story that Helen wanted to tell and joy of that, the dance was a great success and definitely a big hit of serotonin – especially the first lift

the dress moved beautifully, but it was also a little bit Quickstep: In SPAAAAAAAAAAACE!

Hey, I would rather fall on the Galactic Empress side of the Silver Outfit Spectrum than the Christmas Turkey end…

I HAD TO MENTION IT SOMEWHERE.

Speaking of the lifts, the judges’ main issue was the fact that getting in and out of them was a bit of a struggle, which I only noticed the one time when she had a moment where she just stopped doing anything and kind of just buffered for a moment

and Shirley pointing this out did earn her one, solitary boo from an audience member who it looked like she was ready to fight in the middle of that ballroom

clearly we awakened a beast last week.

SCORES
Craig: 8
Motsi: 10
Shirley: 9
Anton: 10
TOTAL: 37

Couple’s Choice 2: Choosing To Boogaloo

I’m going to demand a complete outlawing of doing Couple’s Choice routines again next year, just use your Showdance to put it on steroids or something. I get that it gives us more genre diversity but ultimately the big decision comes down to which outfit you want to wear when you win. Or if You’re Molly whichever routine looks best in your showreel for BBC2’s next sexy domestic drama. My ideal lineup for the evening would have been:

HAMZA: Foxtrot & Salsa
MOLLY: Tango & Rumba
FLEUR: Samba & Argentine Tango
HELEN: American Smooth & Jive

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter because those dances are all still on YouTube for me to watch endlessly and they were going to be scored 40 anyway. Well, mostly

why are they doing this to her? JUST GIVE HER A 40, IT’S ALL SHE WANTS! It’s all any theatre kid wants! Her showreel is incomplete, this is going to gnaw away at her soul until she throws in the towel and becomes *shudders* a day time TV presenter

I’m so sorry Rhys, you deserved better than… pretending to read books on Morning Live.

And I’m not sure all three of the Couple’s Choice Couple’s Choices being scored full marks is going to dissuade anyone from choosing them in the future, especially if you can potentially be scored 132/40

she owed Fleur an extra 92 points for being prepared to completely bus her out of the competition in Movie Week when she was dancing against The Horrible, Terrible, No Good Meerkat Costume that was slowly possessing Richie Anderson

I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN SHIRLEY.

It was kind of a risky move doing your big 40 scoring routine, because there is the potential of the hype slightly wearing off, especially in something like a Couple’s Choice that was riding high on the fumes of Blackpool when you first did it, Motsi however was not going to let the hype die

and even threatened to throw her shoes at her (complimentary)

sadly not featured was the amount of time taken to unstrap and restrap the shoes before and afterwards. And if you’re wondering where they’re from, they’re from EGO and are currently only £12. You may thank me for my investigative journalism.

I find Motsi’s support of Fleur to be incredibly endearing and while I’m sure many people would read it as favouritism, I’ve always seen it as solidarity because Motsi, more than most, can probably recognise the struggle that black women specifically face on this show, and out of all of Fleur’s dances, this coupe’s choice flies boldest in the face of it, so I can see why they chose to re-dance it.

Fleur’s Couple’s Choice at least didn’t suffer from the veto on additional dancers because the lighting was still quite dynamic and showy, whereas I think Helen’s Cabaret Diss Track did kind of feel slightly less spectacular without their burlesque tableau

and they did say they were going to alter the routine slightly because of this and I had hoped one of the changes might be an obscene closeup of the moment Helen licks her finger during the “turn the vinegar to jam” part, but alas, it’s still a family friendly wide-shot

they couldn’t however stop Gorka from getting on all fours, wheels or none

it’s less of a kinkmobile and just sort of… kink at this point, but at least Gemma doesn’t have to buy a new ottoman anytime soon.
It’s still a great routine, Helen’s having the time of her life, Gorka’s in a corset and there’s some fun choreo. What more could you want? Aside from some ballroom dancing, don’t be greedy.

Like Helen’s, Hamza’s Couple’s Choice had the angle of it clearly being a dance that the judges wanted to give the full 40 to, but there was that unignorable error at the end of it last time

and thankfully this time they did much better, and I’m so glad he and Jowita could finish on this dance rather than the Showdance both because it was danced better but it also encapsulates Hamza as a dancer and person much more. I do think the lifts looked a little less clean this time, which is understandable because he had danced two other routines before this which had quite physically demanding lifts – just thank God he had three dances to sit and catch his breath and he wasn’t having to speedrun a finale like John and Rose last year. And it was nice to see him finally get a 40

and I’m sure he was going through it having come into the finale as the obvious favourite to win, and then by the end of the night was sitting at the bottom of the leaderboard

I mean, there is only 6 points between 1st and 4th, but if the results were calculated like any other week, you would kind of know that your chance was gone.

The Great Big Group Number

I assume nobody minds if I just sweep right on over the Florence And The Machine performance and so it’s straight on with the group number of the series, in which everyone gets to relive their biggest and best moments, such as getting a free leather jacket

but we of course start with Kaye Adams, looking as though she was about to be murdered in the dressing room

Michelle and Lauren however are only the lackeys, truly Luba is the main hitwoman in this situation if her hair flick is anything to go by

and it turns out walking and having her coat taken off of her by Giovanni was the best Kaye would do as she kind of does half the Charleston steps she could remember and then T-posed like a default 3D character model

before Kai appeared to spin her around like the Wheel of Misfortune

and then it was on Richie who mainly showed up to prove that he had spent the last 10 weeks practicing doing a Cartwheel in the Radio2 breakroom because it’s the only space big enough to practice

and of course he wasn’t in the Meerkat onesie because it’s currently 6 feet deep somewhere in the Nevada Desert in an unmarked grave. WHERE IT BELONGS.

Matt Goss was just pleased to be wearing a hat but I’m sure was a little gutted about the white trousers apparently no longer being around or the lack of a CGI fighter jet careening through the ballroom

I’m still working on a way to get him to do a routine while dressed as Skimbleshanks.

Jayde got to live out the local community theatre version of her big Movie Week closer because she burnt the Victoria Wood wig along with every bridge

and somehow despite feeling like he stuck around for 10 weeks too many, apparently James Bye was the 6th contestant to leave the show and oh boy were they trying to remind him about the truly awful Charleston he went out muddling his way through

genuinely a little surprised that there were so many references to the Charleston given the fact there were only 2 weeks this year in which the Dance Off didn’t involve some combination of itself, Fleur or Molly – the most deadly trio of our time.

Even Ellie had to reference her Charleston by being lowered down from the ceiling in a hoop of drying noodles

Why that? Why not the insane dental salsa?

they could have had the whole Strictly medical industry on the ballroom considering doctors Ellie and Johannes had apparently got their medical licenses renewed and were this time assisted by Nikita in full Dr. Ramoray mode

somehow they elevated the whole thing from Johannes dramatically shouting “Doctor! How are we going to save this fake mannequin’s life!?” by having the hospital bed following them around like Nikita’s discarded shirt in his Dance Off Samba

but the bed was not empty, because apparently the only way to get Kym to come back on the show was to promise her that she’d get to spend 90% of her time on camera entirely horizontally

and Tony was contractually obligated to stand behind a desk

not that his knobbly knees could be contained quite so easily – LEGAL TEAM BE DAMNED!

and then Tyler’s role in the grand scheme of things was mostly On Set Tony Censorship

and to do that incredibly messy between the legs move that I think everyone should probably stop doing because it never looks particularly good

and then lastly Will… was just Will going at this routine a mile a minute

apparently there were no watermelons to be found anywhere for Nancy to carry around again, did you see how empty Hamza’s fruit cart was?

You just can’t get a decent smoothie in this economy.

And then this is it! TessBot finished her exhaustive voting tabulations and was ready to announce the winner and for the first time in a long while, it genuinely felt a little bit tense, but ultimately Hamza did win and I think this is the only time he gave us anything remotely akin to a Safety Sex Face

based on the series, it’s not a surprise, based on the night… maybe a little…

ok, let’s have a quick Pissy Gorka Sidebar. There has been a bit of a furore about Gorka’s reaction (which I admittedly was part of because I posted the screenshot on Twitter because I thought it was a little bit funny.) However, I do not think Gorka was “furious” about the loss, disappointed? Yeah, and I think he’s allowed to be because he was really close to the trophy – had this week operated like any other week with the judges’ score and the televote counting, he and Helen probably would have won with 6 votes to Hamza’s 5. If anything, it would have been a closer race between Helen and Fleur – with Fleur imaginably getting the third highest televote based on how crowd pleasing and audience friendly her routines were. But at the same time, this is his 7th year at the rodeo and third time as a finalist, that’s enough time to learn that you better slap a smile on give them something more than a polite golf clap or you will become the talking point.

But back to the important matter at hand, Hamza and Jowita were, at the end of the day, I think very deserving winners and I hope we get to see a lot more of both him and her in the future

I for one cannot wait for his complete overthrowing of Chris Packham.

And that’s it for another year! Thank you so much to anyone and everyone who has read the blog and especially those that have shared it around as well as everyone who as dropped a tip (small or large) over on my Ko-fi, it’s both incredibly validating and genuinely helps keep the blog going.
As for what’s next, recapping will commence in the New Year with Pottery Throwdown and The Apprentice, I won’t be doing any festive recaps because I need some downtime, as you may have noticed from the slight blips in the publish schedule every now and again, it’s been a bit of a rough time lately, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed wiritng the recaps.

And so, once again Congratulations to Hamza and Jowita – and the entire class of 2022, you’ve been pretty damn fabulous

TOP: Tyler, Fleur, Helen, Will, Kym
MID: Richie, Matt, HAMZA, Ellie S, Jayde
BOT: James, Ellie T, Kaye, Molly, Tony

And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of The Apprentice and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.

3 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 2022, THE FINAL: Horndog Test

  1. Harriet

    Thank you so much for your brilliant recaps Ariadne! They are so entertaining and just capture the madness that is Strictly in such a funny and affectionate way. Charles Hanson for a Christmas special is an excellent shout. I am already looking forward to next year!

  2. Judith

    Thank you so much for your recaps, I’ve looked forward to them every week. Enjoy your break and I look forward to your words of wisdom on the Pottery Thowdown.

  3. S

    Thank you for your very entertaining reviews. I was amused by your comment on one of the other reviews about Carlos never lifting anything more than 5 kg. https://weibo.com/n/%E5%8F%A4%E5%A0%83%E7%8E%84CARLOS?tabtype=feed&layerid=4571286896124792
    This is a link to his weibo account that I found while googling (Chinese version of facebook), and the video at the bottom was to a dance competition called (depending on how you translate it) Dance Storm/Dance Smash, where he was competing with his professional partner and some friends. The clip features 4 mini dances: Carlos/competitor, rinse and repeat. Both of his dances feature quite interesting lifts…

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