It’s finally here- the star-studded conclusion to the most sequinned series on prime time TV. Three celebrities must battle it out in a samba smackdown and a freestyle showdance, but before that, they decided to revisit their favourite ballroom and Latin dances from the series, complete with clips to remind us of why their dancefloor antics ensure they deserve the crown.
- Memory Lane: I’ve already commented on these dances in their respective weeks, so I’ll just briefly recap them here. Brooke chose quickstep and paso doble; Lance picked his breakthrough tango and last week’s mambo whilst Warren opted for Viennese waltz and paso doble.
- Ballroom kids: I didn’t see their final round dancing (I think it was aired before last week’s results show), but Craig and Samantha won the audience vote and returned to collect a mini-glitterball and perform one last jive.
- Samba smackdown: This season’s answer to the cha cha face-off, the samba smackdown saw all three couples come out and dance a section to “Blame it on the Boogie” before performing together for the finale. Overall, Brooke probably put in the best celebrity performance, for whilst Lance and Lacey had a more dynamic routine, there were points where Lance stopped and let Lacey do all the work (probably not his fault). Warren finished up, but whilst he brought his customary sense of fun to the floor, his segment seemed short and not up to the standard of the other two.
- Brooke & Derek (freestyle): Brooke started out the freestyle round with a high energy swing routine to ‘You’re the One that I Want’. I would have preferred something a little more traditional, but I can’t fault the spectacular lifts and tricks and the sheer originality and sense of fun in this routine.
- Lance & Lacey (freestyle): Predictably, Lance and Lacey went for a hip hop routine, albeit one with a little bit of cha cha mixed in. It was fun and entertaining, but hip hop will never grab me as much as ballroom and Latin.
- Warren & Kym (freestyle): Technically, Warren couldn’t match the other two but his routine was still very enjoyable- they started off with a slow section and then whipped off their outer layers for some fast-paced Latin dancing. Great lifts, great fun- and possibly my favourite of the three as far as the actual routine goes.
- Alicia Keys was first to perform, with a song whose unimaginative lyrics (“I need you…I need you…I need you…so bad”) were quite amazing even by pop music standards. She even brought her own dancers for some standard gyrations- not that even our pros could have managed something good for this one.
- Eliminated couples return: As per usual, the eliminated contestants returned to the floor to perform their favourite dances. Jeffrey kicked things off with his quickstep, then Ted did a foxtrot and Kim completed the first group with a mambo. After a chat with Misty (now able to walk again), Rocco came out to mambo; then with Toni unable to dance due to recently having surgery (what is it with this season), she too had a brief talk before the inimitable Cloris came out to tango. Then it was over to Susan for a paso, followed by Maurice’s salsa and finally Cody’s jitterbug.
- Jeffrey Ross couldn’t dance, but he knows how to roast, and when let loose with our contestants, he had a whale of a time- very different to the usual American way of soaping it all up.
Next up was one last chance to snag points from the judges by re-performing one dance from the series.
- Warren & Kym (hustle): What an improvement- Warren will never be up there technically but this was a lot sharper and slicker than his first attempt. Whatever else, Warren will always be a fabulous entertainer.
- Lance & Lacey (jitterbug): This time, the shoe stayed on, and it was even better second time around- technique and performance were up there. It’s amazing how far these two have come, but after turning me off at the start, they really won me over in the end.
- Brooke & Derek (Viennese waltz): It was brave choice to pick the Viennese waltz over a flashy Latin routine, but Brooke carried it off well, with a poignant, beautiful and understated routine that couldn’t help but stand out amongst all the louder swing dances. Brooke has done so well this season, and this was a lovely way to conclude her journey.
- Mylee Cyrus performed ‘Fly on the Wall’, a mildly catchy song if nothing special in the grand scheme of things.
- …and the winner is: To my surprise, Lance & Lacey came in third, leaving it to dancing queen Brooke and crowd-pleaser Warren to battle it out for the title. After an eternity of faffing, the result was finally announced- the winners of season seven were Brooke & Derek. Congratulations on a well deserved win!