Christmas Day means only one thing – the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, and this year’s line-up is filled with actresses, comedians, actors and politicians plus another chance to see Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev, Strictly Champions, along with others from the main show.
Tess and Bruce introduce the show for the final time this year.
The show opens with the Strictly show dancers sleeping next to giant presents. Pajama dancing ! Who could be inside the presents ? The Strictly Christmas Special contestants of course ! June Brown, Ronni Ancona, John Barrowman, Fern Britten & Vince Cable.
Now, I’m going to say right off, isn’t that line-up slightly unbalanced in a way that wouldn’t be allowed on the main show ? John Barrowman, up against the others ? Well, we’ll see. He’s partnered with Kristina and first up.
Brucie’s jokes are a little better – a little ! – as he introduces John’s training. John says he was put on this planet to entertain. And he’s not short of experience. He is dancing the quickstep, which he’s finding crazy.
He’s in it to win it and I’d say he has quite an advantage already. Musical theatre anyone ? Kristina is in her trademark red and together they slash and burn across the floor. He’s a good partner and makes certain to connect with Kristina as they end up sat at her dressing table. Of course, it’s good. What will the judges make of this ? Len says that John jingled his bells; it was full on and a fabulous dance and a great start to the evening. Alesha agreed, particularly with the lifts which were good. Bruno said it was a cracker with “a huge, huge bang.” Craig said he lost body contact in hold and he stumbled once, but he loved the homage to Bruce at the start. They score 37 – a 10 from Bruno.
Ronni & Anton are next. Ronni, as you can see from these photographs, is dressed in a beautiful white dress with a lace bodice coloured in red. They are dancing “a Viennese whirl”, according to Ronni. It could be.
They start together at the top of the stage, launching into a big frilly lift. Ronni’s not a natural turner, but she’s better in hold and giving it a good go. Her feet are better, more secure, and there is a lot of whirling. Alesha said it was a very good effort, with some really nice moments. Bruno said it was a bit unsteady, but nice in hold. Craig said that Ronni had a major balance problem throughout and Len thought, in hold, Ronni was an absolute Christmas cracker. A bit like a duck on ice ! They score 28.
Vince Cable is partnered with Erin Boag. He says he loves dancing.
They are dancing the foxtrot.
Erin has her work cut out because Vince isn’t a singer, actor or performer. And he’s serious.
Erin is strict and they hope to do a great job.
They begin gracefully, with sleigh bells ringing, and head off into a spin which is pretty good. I wouldn’t say Vince was leading but he’s holding his own. He manages quite well with the lifts (this is a foxtrot – are lifts allowed ?) and they continue the winter wonderland theme, glistening across the floor elegantly.
He gets a standing ovation.
Bruno thought it was charming; Craig said had beautiful rise and fall, and joked that Vince had a tendency to lean to the right ! Len thought it was great. Technically it was sound, though his posture needs a bit of work. Alesha loved it, and she’s danced with Vince before. They score a 10 from Len, and 36 overall.
The audience vote will be combined with the judges score, as usual.
Fern Britten is dancing the jive. She is partnered with Matthew Cutler. Training looks like fun but it’s one of the fastest dances.
Dressed in turquoise, they make a good start. Fern is sassy and sure of herself, if not the steps. Timing is a little enthusiastic. They look like they are having fun and try some tricks.
Fern’s husband is in the audience. Craig says the kicks and flicks were a little lame but he thought she coped very well with all the changes of rhythm. Len loved it; Alesha thought it was cheeky and flirty, and it could have been sharper but was full of personality. Bruno thought it was lively and vivacious and Fern has a great musicality. They score 30.
The judges have christmas tree paddles for this show.
The class of 2010 will be dancing later !
June Brown, actress from EastEnders who is in her 80’s, is partnered with Vincent Simone.
June is incredible, and I’m delighted to see her on the show.
She is delighted to have Vincent as her dance partner.
They have the Tango – of course !
June wants castanets !
She has fun in training.
What will the dance be like ?
Dressed in purple and standing on her own, June has a fan and sits next to a ‘Strictly Square’ signpost !
They are quite funny together !
They pretend to rub noses Eskimo fashion in accordance with the words of the song.
June dances well, and the lifts are great.
Elegant and graceful, it’s the perfect fun dance for the pair of them.
Another standing ovation !
Len loves the story of the Italian waiter trying to persuade June to sample his bolognaise. Alesha loved the drama of the dance.
June is an inspiration, according to Alesha.
Bruno said she played hard to get, and enjoyed it.
Craig said there wasn’t a lot of dance to judge, but what she did was danced with passion and commitment.
Bruce loved it !
June does a solo twirl on the way to Tess’s area.
June & Vincent score 28.
On the judges leaderboard, John and Kristina lead the five Christmas gifts.
A reminder of the festive five follows.
The audience will vote, and those scores will be added to the judges to find the winner.
In the meantime, while the votes are counted, the winners of Last Choir Standing, Only Men Aloud, take to the floor.
They sing Silent Night.
Robin & Kristina accompany them.
Kristina is dressed in a long golden robe with a white fur stole.
It’s the moment of truth.
The results are in.
Tess & Bruce recount the judges comments.
The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas champions are John and Kristina.
Well done to them, but I can’t say I expected any other result.
John has considerably more dancing experience than any of the others.
And now … the class of 2010 take to the floor in festive high-spirits to end the show.