The final four

After a shock boot in the quarter-finals (Team Trixie – my favourites and if the show was based purely on dancing ability, the clear winners) and a slightly less shocking but still a surprise boot in the semi-finals for Jake & Janette, the finalists of Strictly Come Dancing 2014 have been chosen.

I thought the public vote might have pushed Jake through to the final but I am not too bothered about him leaving because at this stage he was the least technical/improved dancer left. However, I feel that we may have been deprived of a fun showdance of gurning, bumwiggling and seeing how high he can throw Janette.

Obviously as a Team Trixie supporter I would have loved Pixie & Trent to win but I have had to switch my allegiance to another couple.

Click continue reading to find out my thoughts on the final four.

  • Frankie and Kevin – She reminds me of Kimberley Walsh a little bit – pop star, dead cert for the finals but not quite winning, good dancer but her dances don’t interest me. I feel Frankie is stronger in the ballroom than her latin (which seems quite messy) but all her ballroom dances are a bit simplistic, sweet and bland for me. I am not sure if this is Kevin’s choreography or not. Interestingly, none of Kevin’s routines in the last two series have really made me think wow apart from both Susannah’s and Frankie’s paso dobles where we get a good theme and strong character. I quite like Frankie as a person as she comes across quite well. I think she may be a runner-up rather than a winner despite the fan base carrying her through to the final with no dance off appearances because there is no wow factor. That reason along with Kevin’s OTT behaviour grating on me this series is why I personally don’t think they should win. I liked Kevin last year though found Susannah annoying. This year it is the other way around: I like Frankie but Kevin is so annoying! As I said in my TeamTrixie blog post, to support a couple I need to like both the celeb and pro.
  • Mark and Karen – If the results had gone the way I had hoped Mark & Jake would have been knocked out in the quarter and semi finals respectively. I do agree with the fact that Mark had to be saved over Jake based on technical and dance ability although that contemporary barefoot “rumba” was not for me (though saying that I am not a fan of the rumba anyway). He is one of the most improved celebs in both the ballroom and the latin. As a personality though he annoys me! The speeches everytime he opens his mouth (which makes him seem like a rehearsed reality tv cliche trying to fit in as many buzzwords as possible), the milking of the “underdog” element in which he emphasises his lack of previous dance experience (although 10 years of classes at Sylvia Young School contradicts this) just grate on me! Even Karen who is similarly OTT and probably one of my least favourite female pros has seemed likeable at times compared to Mark especially in the last few weeks. In my opinion, I think they should be the first couple eliminated in the final.
  • Caroline and Pasha – Caroline is peaking at the right time – technique wise and popularity. She’s had some natural talent mixed with previous dance training so most of her dances have been competent if a little shaky for me. She has improved dramatically in the last few weeks though her latin is definitely stronger than her ballroom as the semi-finals proved. I liked both her Charleston and Argentine Tango – these dances showed Caroline step it up a level and prove herself as a serious contender. However, I feel they were both overmarked. Her charleston less so – the incredibly shaky final lift over the heads where I feared she would come crashing down would have stopped me giving a 10 if I were a judge but overall it was brilliant. Her argentine tango was definitely overmarked as for half of the dance Pasha was physically placing her into her positions which was backed up by her saying “I’m sorry” to him after the dance which the mics picked up. Her salsa this week was amazing though and proved her strength is in the latin dances (helped by suitable music). I think this may be Pasha’s turn to finally lift the Glitterball after being so close so many times as Caroline has improved at the best possible time. At this point, it looks like Caroline will win.
  • Simon and Kristina – My new favourites. Yes I realise that seems controversial given the quarter final dance off but I thought both Pixie and Simon shouldn’t have been in that position. At the beginning of the series I wasn’t sure about Simon as he seemed arrogant but he has mellowed as the series progressed (as has Kristina compared to previous series). He conducts himself better and has improved to be the best male celeb left in the competition. His latin is a bit ropey but he has excelled in the ballroom! It’s especially nice to see the proper technique and footwork and the training vids show Simon being interested in the moves and the dance. This, for me, sets him apart from the other dancers because I think he is more invested and understands the dances better because he takes time to learn the technique and why it is used rather than the others who seem to just learn a routine to music i.e. where to place something, when to move onto the next step rather than understanding the character of the dances. I think it is a good partnership between Simon and Kristina. I think it is also about time Kristina was in with a chance of winning – her dances this series have generally had less gimmicks and theming but have still engaged me. It is only her second final in seven years compared to Pasha’s third in four years which to me indicates that Pasha has been favoured by the producers in the standard of his celeb partners. However, I have a feeling that Caroline will win but it would be interesting for Simon, who has been in the dance off 3 times, to surge to victory. Here’s hoping!

Overall and favourites aside, a competent final four. The winner may rely on the showdances!

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