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The finale of Strictly Come Dancing – a play-by-play recap.

Wow, what an intense ending. The performance was of a high caliber. It was gripping and full of tension, but I believe the correct result was achieved.

This evening’s liveblog has come to an end, but feel free to keep the conversation going in the comments section. Thank you for being so warm, humorous, and engaging throughout the entire series. It was a challenge to live up to Queen Heidi’s large, sparkling dancing shoes, but you all were incredibly welcoming.

I look forward to meeting you on Christmas Day for a festive ballroom gathering. In the meantime, you can find me on the social media site now called Twitter as @michaelhogan. Don’t hesitate to say hello and follow me. Every day, I share my top picks for TV shows and movies airing that evening, similar to the ones on this blog.

Thank you for joining me throughout this year. Wishing you a festive and dance-filled Christmas and a joyous New Year. And as always, for the last time this season: let’s continue dancing!

Vito Coppola, known as the Italian stallion, made his second appearance in the final after being a runner-up with Fleur East in his first season. He proved to be the perfect partner for Ellie Leach.

Vito not only instructed her in flawless technique, but also instilled a belief in herself. In return, Ellie transformed into an exemplary student. Together, they formed a dynamic, charming, and ultimately victorious duo. Ellie’s progress in both dancing skills and self-assurance is truly the ideal outcome.

Vito, who is known for his talkativeness and comparison of things to animals, deserves much of the recognition. Shall we celebrate with eggplant parmesan and prosecco on Sunday?

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola.

In previous years, Bobby Brazier from EastEnders may have been the winner. However, he was unlucky to be competing against two exceptionally talented dancers, Layton Williams and Ellie Leach.

Bobby entered the final as the lowest scorer overall, having survived two dance-offs and being considered the least likely to win by bookies. However, he proved to be a strong competitor, showing his true talent when it counted. Despite his relaxed demeanor, Bobby was determined to win and demonstrated this by earning a score of 38 for his quickstep in the final. He continued to impress with three consecutive 39-point dances. He even improved upon his previous performances during the final. His samba was entertaining and his Couple’s Choice routine was moving, but it was his showdance to “La La Land” that truly amazed the audience.

Bobby’s accomplishment should not be downplayed. In contrast to the other finalists, he had zero prior experience with dancing. He had not even watched Strictly before appearing on the show. As the youngest participant this year, he also became the youngest male finalist in the show’s history.

His near win of the glitterball trophy is evidence of his dedication and steady performance, maintaining a score above 30 since week three. He transformed from a novice into a shining success. This is just the beginning for him. It would not be unexpected if he achieves Hollywood stardom in real life as well.

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell’s showdance/

Layton Williams was the top performer in the competition, but some were skeptical of his abilities due to his extensive training in stage school and musical theatre. As the series went on, rumors of him being a “ringer” grew louder, which seemed unjust.

Layton chose not to participate in Strictly. He has not received formal training in ballroom, Latin, or partner dancing. He did not deserve the harsh criticism he received, particularly when it turned into hateful and discriminatory comments. He demonstrated impressive strength and dignity by remaining unaffected by it and maintaining his vibrant and confident demeanor.

Having Layton as a part of this series greatly improved it. He not only amazed viewers with his impressive dancing skills, but he also elevated the performance level of those around him. His partner Nikita Kuzmin was clearly motivated by him and stepped up his choreography. Ellie Leach also pushed herself to keep up with Layton. It seemed like the two of them were in a competition of their own, leaving the other dancers far behind.

He achieved a large number of maximum scores and was given the nickname “Lay-ten.” In total, he had 31 perfect scores, including four perfect 40s. He was at the top of the leaderboard for eight out of 12 weeks. Layton is among the top scorers in the history of Strictly, along with Alesha Dixon and Ashley Roberts. However, despite her early advantage, Ashley did not win due to a lack of viewer support.

Layton has the consolation of knowing that despite facing the possibility of elimination and dealing with criticism, he rightfully stayed in the entire season and stood out as the top performer in the finale. He has overcome challenges and achieved success, going from a Bury council estate to the West End and ultimately making it to the final of Strictly. He pushed boundaries, tried new things like switching lead roles, and made history as the first male celebrity on Strictly to dance in a dress. Although Strictly is still waiting for its first same-sex winners, Layton is a natural star and a talented entertainer.

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin’s showdance.

Wow, what a three months it’s been for Ellie Leach. She arrived in the contest as a largely unfancied contender, fresh from the Corrie cobbles. Under the smart tutelage of Italian pro Vito Coppola – with whom she formed a strong partnership (and rumoured showmance) – the 22-year-old has blossomed before her eyes.

The petite powerhouse now exudes self-assurance, both on the dance floor and in her personal life. Vito not only instilled a sense of self-confidence in her, but also taught her flawless technique, allowing her to excel in all aspects.

After initially being reserved, she blossomed into a skilled storyteller with a bold presence in Latin and graceful movements in ballroom. She fearlessly took on challenging choreography and lifts, solidifying her position as the top all-around dancer in the competition. Ellie’s proficiency in both ballroom and Latin styles remained consistently high, with no scores below 35 after week 4. This earned her the nickname “Miss Consistency” from Shirley Ballas.

She and Vito made an energetic duo with fantastic chemistry, and their love for dancing was contagious. Throughout the 12 weeks of the competition, they ranked second place overall, taking the top spot on the leaderboard four times. Although she was overshadowed by the male contestants in the final, it was mostly due to a failed showdance lift. However, she did finally receive a perfect score of 40.

I believe we have found the deserving winner of the glitterball. The cherry on top. The tip of the iceberg. The most spectacular among the tentaculous. Well done.

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola’s American smooth.

In the end, shazza2704 expressed excitement for the winner, stating that they were their favorite and also shared their joy over Olly’s announcement of participating in Eurovision next year. It feels like Christmas has come early for them.

RoniOh praises Ellie’s ability to use a unique phrase, “the cherry on the cake and the iceberg,” that Strictlyites can understand. Congratulations on a job well done.

Emily’scatnaps expressed her excitement for Ellie and Vito’s success, and appreciated the support of the other finalists. She congratulated everyone involved and shared her love for them all.

MikeMoonlight comments on our latest champion: “At last, the British public has figured out this ‘voting’ thing. Let’s hope it continues until next year.”

I am unsure, but I believe he hopes for Sir Keir Starmer to be the winner of Strictly 2024. You heard it here first.

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola.

At the Class of 2023 reunion dance, avenueman shared, “I always enjoy the last celebrity dance at the end. It’s a nostalgic reminder of past celebrity successes (Krishnan!) and someone always gets lowered from the ceiling to hide their lack of dance skills. Hello Les!”

Somersetlass expressed her excitement for Olly Alexander being announced as a surprise Eurovision candidate. She even scared her cat with her enthusiastic cheering. She believes he is the perfect choice.

Briggybum has stated that they have booked time off during Eurovision week and expressed excitement with a “woop woop!”

On tonight’s musical guest, avenueman says: “I love Cher. She’s been around so long, she’s like a national monument. Like the Statue of Liberty but with less facial movement.

NHSfan: “I thought it was Stephen Hawking’s speech synthesizer, not Cher.”

Bigted1980 comments: “Cher is embodying the essence of a Speak ‘n’ Spell.”

Cher performing on Strictly Come Dancing.

Regarding Layton Williams, a talented dancer who could easily make the “lost winners list,” TeeDubyaBee states: “Layton and Nikita are now perfectly in sync. It used to feel like a professional dance battle, but not anymore.”

According to jagadox, Layton and Nikita’s partnership has set an example for what a same-sex couple is capable of, regardless of whether they win or if there are any suspicions about their skills. Their performance has been remarkable.

Acanthe praises Layton’s quickstep, stating that it is one of the best dances of this series and possibly all series. They express gratitude towards the judges for choosing it.

Owbeck commented, “Nikita’s performance towards the end was lacking, haha. Layton provided a lot of entertainment, as expected. However, I believe those devoted to tradition may favor Bobby’s showdance out of the three.”

Great job on the showdance, Layton definitely deserves the title of best dancer of the night, even if he doesn’t take home the trophy.

Lidoswimmer commented, “This Arentine tango was definitely the standout dance of the series.”

RoniOh expresses their joy in witnessing the growth of Layton and Nikita’s friendship on the show. While the focus is on dance, the dynamics and chemistry between them are also captivating. Nikita has flourished in his partnership with Layton, resulting in a surge of creativity. Layton has brought out a side of Nikita that was previously unseen.

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin.

The upcoming event to mark in our calendars is the highly-anticipated Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, airing on BBC1 at 4:40pm on Christmas Day. Due to personal commitments, a liveblog will not be available.

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Some of your comments on Bobby Brazier now. Lidoswimmer says: “Enjoying the change in Bobby who started out so laidback, he was almost horizontal – not unusual for a guy of his age – but now he’s just gone full into the Strictly experience, shaking his welly and loving the blow dry.”

“NanaNootka declares, ‘Bobby samba has sealed the deal for me. There’s something to be said about watching a dance and grinning from ear to ear! They are the duo I anticipate the most. Fantastic! What a charmer!”

Gardener_Maidhc says: “Bobby and Dianne’s showdance, old Hollywood musical style, is easily his best dance of the show.”

JoMK73 commented: “Bobby’s showdance was enjoyable and not overly reliant on acrobatics and lifts. The music and theme of LaLaLand were well-suited and light, which I believe will appeal to many viewers. Great job, Dianne!”

Somersetlass expresses that both Bobby and Diane were in tears throughout their Couple’s Choice routine. She believes that being able to convey such emotion through dance is a true talent.

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell.

Put on your shiniest dress or snug pants. Audiences can switch to BBC2 for Disco Night, watch Bradley Walsh: My Comedy Heroes on Channel 5, or stay tuned to BBC1 for the Survivor finale.

At 9pm, there are multiple movie options such as Saving Private Ryan on Channel 4, Working Girl on ITVBe, Love Actually on Sky Showcase, or Dirty Dancing on 5Star. The iconic line “nobody puts Baby in the corner” applies to both the character and dancer Dianne Buswell.

Source: theguardian.com