Last night, Kara Tointon and her professional dancer partner Artem Chigvintsev were victorious, and the Glitterball belongs to them. Kara & Artem were humble and gracious; mostly they looked shell shocked, and this video shows their reaction to winning the competition.
What I’ve loved about Kara from the start was her willingness to embrace everything about the show – even the parts that made her feel uncomfortable or pushed her out of her comfort zone. When you are well known & successful in your own right it’s hard to step into another genre with no experience, in front of millions of people.
Throughout the show Kara has unquestioningly accepted whatever Artem has thrown at her, even when he has found the routines more difficult than he’d imagined. You only have to watch the last It Takes Two to see that !
They danced a difficut rumba and would have been awarded top marks were it not for the fact that Craig spotted an unintentional lift and marked them down.
These images are from the live show; yesterday I wrote about the show itself, which was in two parts and included photographs from the dress run. The first part of the final included the rumba and the showdance, and the second part contained the Waltz and the American Smooth.
The showdance was Queen-inspired, and was fast with many difficult elements which, by and large, they pulled off.
I wasn’t keen on the footwear – I think Kara needed heels to elongate her lines – but undoubtedly the costume matched the theme of the dance and they weren’t alone in swapping conventional footwear – Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani also wore flat shoes for their showdance.
When I interviewed Artem a fortnight before the final, he had spoken of his ideas for a Flashdance-inspired showdance, so I’ll have to ask him what happened to it !
After these two dances, Kara & Artem faced the first round of elemination at the start of the second live show.
Fortunately they were through, which meant another two dances to win public votes and to hopefully lift that trophy.
They danced a new style of dance – the Waltz, with Kara in a beautiful purple and gold dress. Kara had injured her wrist during the showdance and found it hard to dance the Waltz as well as she had been.
And so Kara & Artem are worthy winners – really showcasing dance without any of the tricks and gimmicks that have begun to creep into the show in a bid to keep viewers engaged with the show.
And just to update you all on Kara’s injury :
(UKPA) – 19 minutes ago
Strictly winner Kara Tointon danced through the pain of an arm injury to take the coveted glitterball trophy – only to find herself celebrating her triumph in A&E.
The former EastEnder, who damaged her wrist during training, said going on to perform an acrobatic show dance was “the most painful thing I’ve ever done”.
The elated champion has had to be whisked to hospital where medics revealed she had torn ligaments in her lower arm.
The 27-year-old, who is recovering at home with her arm in a sling, said she was now looking forward to spending time with dance partner Artem Chigvintsev – and hinted at a developing romance between the two.
The actress, who has previously remained tight-lipped about the nature of their relationship, said she would be having dinner with the Russian-born dancer at her parents’ home in north London.
“I think we are going to literally not go anywhere today. It’ll be quite nice,” she said. “He’s going to cook for me in my mum and dad’s kitchen. They’ve met him and they all get on so well.”
Asked whether the pair were now officially an item, she said: “Fingers crossed. We will see what happens.”
During the live final, Tointon dazzled judges with a series of “first class” routines and received the highest number of public votes, pipping Countryfile’s Matt Baker to the title.
This came after psychologist Pamela Stephenson was eliminated from the BBC1 show.
Accepting her title, Tointon fought back tears and said: “It’s just the most special thing that I’ve ever achieved.”