Our Strictly Come Dancing Champions of 2013 are Abjaz!
Bubbling over with happiness, Abbey and partner Aljaz lifted the Strictly crown following an emotionally charged waltz, a dynamic and powerful showdance (Sweet Child of Mine) and a joy-filled quickstep.
Brenphie were sadly knocked out first, which meant we didn't get to see that brilliant charleston again, although we were treated to the improved My Favourite Things Viennese Waltz. The showdance had some fabulous lifts which, with hindsight, maybe should have been incorporated into a charleston-esque routine as as opposed to a Latin one.
Kevanna began with their Good Morning quickstep, a surefire vote winner for me, along with Abjaz's waltz in the first section. Bright and lively - and no mistakes, hurrah! Compared to the others, their showdance felt slightly muted but was lovely nonetheless, with a 'wow' pivoting swingy-around lift (Your Song). There's probably a correct technical term for it. They finished with their rousing Paso Doble - having had a taster of Spanish dance recently, I now appreciate how much harder that is than it looks.
Showdance of the night was Artalie but it wasn't enough to give them the title, although deservedly got them though to the final three. Channelling Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, it was a riot of musicality and panache (Stepping Out). The cha cha was the judges choice and delivered competently as usual, while the American Smooth was emotive and well acted.
From a shaky start and an appearance in the bottom two early on in the series, we saw the effervescent Abbey grow in confidence as she fell in love with dance. Allied to gorgeous choreography courtesy of Strictly debutante Aljaz, her hard work and natural exuberance shone through which - for someone with no formal training - culminated in Len telling her she had the best top line of any celebrity ever, here or in the USA series. Excitable and nervous, yet demonstrably full of what the show is all about, Abjaz are deserving champions.
Just the Christmas Special and then it's all over for another nine months! 5pm, BBC One, Christmas Day. TTFN x