Good evening, everybody, and welcome to the Strictly Come Dancing final. The BBC in their wisdom have decided to air both shows tonight, so by 10pm we'll know who the champion is - Alesha Dixon or Matt Di Angelo. [I couldn't have waited a whole day to find out anyway - my nerves were shot to pieces by about 7.00. - Steve] The SCB team have made a considered decision, and we're firmly Team Alesha, so there may be a hint of bias in our coverage, though we'll be valiantly trying to remain as impartial as possible. Though we may end up as impartial as Sharon Osbourne on The X-Factor.
Tonight! It's the Grand Final! Three months ago, 14 celebrities set out on an adventure they will NEVER FORGET! It's been the most exciting series of Strictly EVER! It comes down to TONIGHT! Who will win? TITLES!
We're live from London, kids, and here are Bruce and Tess. Surely the most eagerly anticipated sartorial choice of the week - and she doesn't let us down. It's a hideous mustard-gold satin concoction, with a nasty gold belt. [I keep expecting the credits to read "Tess Daly's wardrobe provided by Nestlé." - Steve] Thanks, Tess! Next year, get yourself a dresser who doesn't hate you.
Tonight, Bruce is going to sing for us. Billy Zane applauds. Bruce does a Ronnie Corbett impression. Head Judge Len applauds. Bored now, crack on with it.
And they do. Tonight, both couples will be performing five - count 'em, FIVE - dances! VOTE ALESHA - 0901 121 30 11! Matt and Flavia are out first, followed by Team Mattesha, who bop along to the intro music as usual. They are the cutest. Alesha looks like a Christmas fairy. Bruce can't believe that Kate and Anton didn't get to the final. Poor Kate, you'd think they'd have tired of teasing her by now. [Poor Kate. Kenny Logan was no better, why does he never get this much abuse? - Steve]
Matt and Flavia are up first. Bruce comments on Matt's hairy chest, and says the words "sexual frenzy" on BBC One BEFORE 6PM. What has the world come to? [OMG, you said "come" before the watershed! Dirty! - Steve] Matt VTs that he is hoping that Arlene will stop messing him around now that he's the only man left in the competition. Bloody hell, this VT is going on for ages, and I really don't find Matt and Flavia very enthralling.
Anyway, time for the dance - their American smooth to For Once In My Life, in which Flavia wears a horrible mint-green culotte-dress, and also possibly a hair-piece. The crowd go wild. Me? Not so much. Nice lifts, though. And good choice of music, because at least the singers knew the tune.
Bruce distributes Christmas gifts - a blindfold to Bruno, headphones to Head Judge Len, a gag for Arlene (because they are the WISE MONKEYS), and a sack over Craig's head. Harsh. Get on with the blinkin' scoring already.
Head Judge Len congratulates Matt on making it to the final, says many nice things, says he won't worry about the mistakes, a great start to the show. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Bruno says Matt had nerves here and there, but overall it was a good job. Bruce interjects that they have to do FIVE DANCES OMGZ?!!!!11. Craig makes a few light criticisms about footwork and gets booed for his trouble. Arlene says, "From the waist up, you were smoother than our own Head Judge Len Goodman", and from the waist down it wasn't all that. BOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Tess talks to Matt and Flavia. Burble burble. Scores - Craig 9, Arlene 9, Len 9, Bruno 9. Whoop whoop.
We're reminded to vote. Thanks, Tess.
Time for Alesha and Matthew's first dance of the evening. Rubbish gag from Bruce, so let's move on to a VT about Mattesha's story of the ballroom. We see their rehearsals, with Alesha's nans telling her off for not taking the foxtrot seriously. Hehehe. We also get a recap of Alesha's song about how much she loves the Viennese waltz, and Elaine Paige enthusing about being given the opportunity to hear her most famous song massacred by the Strictly singers.
They take to the floor, and despite the aural horror, and the stupid chiffony bits hanging off Alesha's wrists, it's still elegant. OH SERIOUSLY MY EARS, MY EARS! Craig admires the tidied-up footwork, and says he found it flawless. Arlene wheels out her first alliteration of the evening - "Alesha - absolutely amazing!" Head Judge Len slags Alesha off roundly. Tosspot. Scores - Craig 10, Arlene 10, Len 9, Bruno 10. Len SO wants Matt to win. [I'm not sure what happened to Len here. He's turned a blind eye to technical mistakes so often in the past, and he really was quite sharp in the way he told Alesha where she'd gone wrong. And I'm pissed now, because Alesha deserved 40/40 for that Waltz, dammit. - Steve]
Bruce sings a version of 12 Days of Christmas. It's shit. More filler, a week-by-week recap, but you know what happened, and if you don't, read the archive SCB posts. I'm going to have a rest.
Right, time for some proper action again. The voted-off celebs and their partners are back. WHOOP! Brian and Karen with their Mafia dance, which is still rubbish [I think it was worse than I remembered - Steve]; Stephanie and Vincent with their quickstep; Willie and Erin, with a new light-brown hair colouring, with their waltz, which is still pretty good (holy fuck, the singers are SO BAD); jiving Gabby and James, who shout, "IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US" the whole way through their routine; Dom and Lilia cha-cha-chaing, with Lilia smiling through gritted teeth; and Penny and Ian's Sixties samba, despite BEING TALL.
Reality-TV-audience whore David Walliams is sitting next to Bruce. Gabby talks to Bruce about BEING HAPPY TO BE BACK TO WHERE SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE OMGZ IT WAS SO UNFAIR. [I really do want to like Gabby, but she always comes across as so entirely humourless when she "jokes" about how soon she went out, and it always makes her sound so bitter. She did go out too soon, yes, but nobody likes a sore loser. - Steve] Bruce asks La Beacham if she has been practising her dancing. She hasn't. Willie broke his foot in November, and is dosed up on drugs purely to dance with Erin. Bless.
Back to the competition, and it's the Latin round. Matt and Flavia are first again. And we have another bloody VT to sit through - the story of their Latin journey. He's made a lot of mistakes in his Latin routines, hasn't he? Anyway, they're performing their FAMOUS SALSA tonight, and I'm sure he'll be picking up top marks for this. Ooh, Flavia's heel just slipped when they were posing. Never mind. Matt's brothers jump up on their feet to cheer.
Craig admires the energy of the dance; Arlene wheels out "sensational shimmy", and then gets tongue-tied, possibly through vodka; Len says, "That was just a gnat's scrotum better than the last time"; Bruno enthuses in incoherent fashion. Scores - Craig 9, Arlene 10, Len 10, Bruno 10.
Tess urges us to vote. AGAIN. Alesha - 0901 121 30 11.
Alesha and Matt do their Latin journey VT. Matt says that Alesha found raunch easy. Heh. We see the week when Alesha was sad, and Matt was very cute at looking after her. We see their paso rehearsals, with Alesha shouting, "COME TO ME - NOW!" in an acting fashion, and then their entirely improvised live performance.
Anyway, they're doing their cha-cha to Crazy In Love, and they're both pulling their awesome dance-acting faces, and I bloody love this routine. Alesha's flinging her head around, and her curls are bouncing. Arlene is lost for words, which is ACE AS! She tells Alesha that there were a couple of places where she didn't straighten her knees. Len says that Alesha is the best female celebrity they have ever had on Strictly, even better than Jill Halfpenny. Bruno says, "If this cha-cha was a West End show, it would run forever, because I want to watch it OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN." Hmm, whatever. Craig tells Alesha she is fierce. Ha. Scores - Craig 9, Arlene 9, Len 10, Bruno 10.
More recaps of the celebs who got knocked out, and the couples who left in the later stages come on to dance. Kate and Anton's godawful paso looks marginally better now that Kate isn't in screeching agony, but they do a lift at the end, and Kate goes much too far over Anton's shoulder - fortunately for her, Anton is a god amongst men, and she stays upright [but we did all see her knickers - Steve]; John and Nicole's BEST DANCE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER; Kelly and Brendan's waltz to Delilah, complete with marvellous story-telling; Kenny and Ola's shite SCOTTISH paso with good caping; the magnificent Letitia and Darren's foxtrot; and Gethin and Camilla's salsa. He is so funny - clearly intensely into the dance and desperate to prove he WUZ ROBBED, and high-fiving his colleagues mid-routine.
Kate says of her lift, "It was like a butcher lifting a slab of meat", and tells us it was much much worse in rehearsal. She then starts shouting at the camera, "VOTE FOR ME!" and Kenny has to restrain her. Ha! [For Gabby's reference, that is how a good loser behaves. I have nothing but respect for Kate, because despite clearly not being a good dancer in any way, she handled herself with class throughout the competition and even after she'd left. Bravo, Kate. - Steve]
Now both finalists have to dance to the same piece of music, chosen by the judges. A dramatic VT about how everyone wants to win and blah blah blah. Flavia talks about how much pressure is on her. Craig says, "Flavia is fierce." Matthew says, "Flavia who?" Bruno says that Matthew has more awards than Helen Mirren. Heh.
Anyway, here we go. Matt and Flavia are quickstepping, Alesha and Matthew are jiving, and it's all to We Love To Boogie by T-Rex. Flavia's choreographed a bit of showboating in for Matt at the start, but it feels a bit slow for a quickstep, and Matt has his tongue in his cheek throughout, in a really irritating way. Alesha and Matthew take to the floor, and I love those little tasselly dresses. If I were thinner, I'd wear one ALL THE TIME.
Len says that Matt is up against one of the best female celebs ever (wasn't she the best one about half an hour ago?) but he is holding his own, and they all did well, hooray; Bruno says nice things; Craig says nice things and mentions Matt's improvement and similarity to Bruce's dancing; Arlene says nice things about the "quirky quickstep" and tells Matt to perform more, and srsly, what's the point of the judges? Scores for Matt - Craig 9, Arlene 8, Len 9, Bruno 9; scores for Alesha - Craig 9, Arlene 8, Len 9, Bruno 9. Oh, what a surprise, the same marks. What a waste of time that was.
So on points, Alesha and Matthew are two ahead of Matt and Flavia. In case we've not been paying attention, we get a recap, and URGED TO VOTE.
NOW IT IS TIME FOR BRUCE TO SING. Tess introduces him as "Sir Bruce Forsyth", which: no. Bruce is obviously delighted to get his chance to sing Cheek to Cheek, accompanied by the celebrity lady dancers, plus Lilia and Karen. Kate is given the important job of walking in a straight line; Penny looks like an Amazon. Bruce does a little tap-break in the middle. Oh, and then everyone else crashes on to the floor, and Bruce completely loses the thread of the tune and chooses just to talk, a la Rex Harrison.
That's it for two hours. Join me in a bit for the results!
Back to the ballroom! Earlier tonight, our two couples danced three routines, and now they have to do two more. Credits! Clapping! Matt and Flavia take to the floor, followed by Mattesha, wiggling away to the music as usual, and then Bruce and Tess. Tess has chosen to remain in the monstrosity she wore earlier. They remind us that we should VOTE - 0901 121 30 11 for Alesha and Matthew.
Recap of what happened behind the scenes - Alesha shouting, "Happy last show to everyone!", Matt thinks being half-naked makes for good television [he's not wrong - Steve], Mattesha whoop-whoop their ten from Craig, Matt thinks he can totally win. Blah de blah. The judges don't score the remaining two dances - it's all down to US. That sounds like a cue for a recap. Oh, what a shock.
Next, our finalists perform a Viennese waltz AT THE SAME TIME, all for our votes. It doesn't matter what the judges think. Ew, they're dancing to This Year's Love. The Viennese waltz is really not a very interesting dance, is it? Flavia's dress has too many sashy bits across the middle. Alesha's bodice is PINK AND SPARKLY YAAAAAAAAAAY. The ladies curtsey, the gents bow, and then everyone hugs.
Bruce thanks the judges for their input, despite it being nonsensical about 50% of the time. Bruno tells them they are shining examples to young people, and they are what young people should be about. Right. Craig says there is such electricity in the room, and that's due to their dancing. Aw, Alesha and Matt are holding hands. Arlene tells Matt that leading the Viennese waltz is VERY DIFFICULT, and he did it like a champion. Head Judge Len steals the ball of alliteration from Arlene, and says it is a classic confrontation, telling Matt that he deserves to be in the final, and Alesha that she is a complete package. Arlene adds that Alesha rides the waltz like she is on the crest of a wave, and she is riding high tonight. Bruce's granddaughter thinks Father Christmas will win.
Voxpops of people who think Matt should win. Voxpops of people who think Alesha should win. OH, and a choir of people singing that Alesha should win! And the Bootleg Beatles think Alesha should win! And a lady feeding a giraffe thinks Alesha should win! Matt's friends send VT messages to him. Alesha's nans send VT messages to her - Clem says, "If you win this competition tonight, I will be the proudest nanny in the world!" I love Clem's syntax. [I'm going to miss Clem so much. More Clem! Give Clem her own show! - Steve] More VT messages. All very cute.
Tess speaks to Mark Ramprakash. He is happy he is not competing because everyone is so good, and burbles lots of platitudes to Tess's inane questions. Bruce speaks to David Walliams, who is a fan of Strictly because of Bruce and because it's a brilliant show and this has been the best series ever. Oh, bloody Vernon Kay is there too. David Walliams wants Alesha to win! Hooray! Vernon Kay interrupts so it doesn't look biased to say, "Go Matt!" [Hee! You can say what you like about Vernon, but he's a pro. - Steve]
Alesha says she is nervous, and also speechless. Matthew is worried because he is not used to it. Ew, Matt is wearing a vest. [A sparkly vest! It looks a bit like he's got a leotard on. - Steve] Flavia is wearing a dress whose top half wouldn't look out of place on Tess. [And whose bottom half is...not there. - Steve]
And now there's more bloody filler.
Oh, here we go. Matt and Flavia are doing their showdance to Are You Gonna Go My Way. Flavia is prancing about and being thrown around, including a weird spin where his fist is in her crotch and she rotates. Not sure how much dancing Matt really did there, but the acrobatics were pretty good, if weird. [I thought this was amazing, and wondered if Matt might have just won the competition. The bit where he supported Flavia by putting one hand in her vag sure was impressive. - Steve]
Len explains the concept of the showdance, and praises Matt and Flavia's choice of the cha-cha with modern music. Bruno tells them they delivered way above anyone's expectations, and promptly gets out of his seat to flail around. Craig says it was fearless and admires their trust in each other. Arlene alliterates. Yawn, yawn. Matt and Flavia talk about how much they want to win. Tess invites us to vote.
Matthew praises Matt and Flavia's showdance, and says they are going to go out there and do their best. First, though, we must see their Journey. Drink! Matthew says that Alesha makes him come out of his shell, they both compliment each other, and I'm kind of worried they'll both cry before they go out on the floor.
Here we go, then, the last dance - and it's to Holding Out For A Hero, which is one of the best songs in the history of forever. Alesha is kind of caping with her skirt, which is cool, and they go into a very modern and shiny paso. The lifts aren't as spectacular as Matt and Flavia's, but they make much more sense in the context of the routine. Srsly, this is awesome! [I was really worried about Alesha's dress - I was convinced she was going to trip over it. It was a brilliant dress, but not practical in the slightest. - Steve]
Bruce reminds us they have done five dances. Arlene gives Alesha a standing ovation! HA HA HA Len. Head Judge Len says there are no losers tonight. Except, y'know, there are. Bruno screams, "This was more than a dance, it was a stunning, epic performance!" Craig says it was fantastic. Which it was. Alesha and Matthew thank everyone for supporting them, including people on the forums. Do they mean us? They're quietly understated, partly through emotion, and partly through being knackered. [Alesha, bless her, has looked exhausted all evening. Part of me wishes they hadn't had to dance so many times, and instead we could have had two or three perfect routines from each couple. - Steve]
Recap. Tess reminds us that the phone lines are closing in ONE MINUTE, then talks to Matt's boring brothers. She moves on to talk to Alesha's mum and nan Maureen. This is FILLER. GET ON WITH IT.
THE PHONE LINES HAVE NOW CLOSED.
Bruce introduces the Spice Girls with a "really really want" joke, and they sing 2 Become 1. Mel C is wearing a top hat and looks like Alice Cooper. Mel B's boobs look odd. Emma looks like a grieving Mafia widow, with a horrible hat and veil, but fortunately she has recovered from the sprained ankle that forced her into a wheelchair last week. A likely tale. Geri is too thin. Victoria is a very strange colour indeed. Camilla and Ian, Darren and Lilia and James and Ola take to the floor in the second verse. It's all very lovely. Let's get to the results.
Here we go.
The winners of Strictly Come Dancing 2007 are...
ALESHA AND MATTHEW!!!!!!!
I have actually just started crying. [Oh, I was weeping like a bitch about five minutes before we even got here. - Steve]
I am so pleased for Mattesha. They are awesome, they are the best, and thoroughly deserved to win.
Matt and Flavia are gracious in defeat; Alesha is crying. Bruce tells her she could be the biggest female star in the UK. She tells him he is funny. Well, that's the first time this series. Bruce tells her that he hopes that her managers look after her properly. Matthew tells her she is a star. Alesha says, "I love you", and they embrace.
Bruce presents them with the trophy, and they bound around everywhere while lifting the mirrorball. Alesha's mum and nans invade the floor, while all the pros and celebrities hug and kiss each other.
Bruce and Tess implore us all to keep dancing, Matt stomps off to see his brothers who look thoroughly pissed off, and that's it for another year. For all this series' flaws, this has been the right result. Queen Alesha has triumphed with her consort Matthew, and she is a worthy champion. Thanks for reading. We'll see you next year!