Strictly Come Dancing is the original celebrity Ballroom dancing competition. Its name is a mashup of Strictly Ballroom and Come Dancing, which are two films about Ballroom dancing. It has been going for 14 years and, even as the judges and professional dancers have changed, it has remained the most popular Saturday night TV show. Since season 2, Strictly has gotten an average of between 9 and 11.5 million viewers for each season. It is one of the only shows on British TV that has two female hosts: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman. I will be ranking the four final couples from least likely to win to most likely to win.
4. Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev
Ashley is an American singer who was in the girl group, The Pussycat Dolls, from 2003-2010. She is one of the most technically proficient dancers Strictly has ever seen, but she still has been in the last three “dance-offs” (the two couples with the least public votes dance their routines again then the four judges each save the couple they think danced best second-time around). There are a few reasons for this, one being the fact that she is American. Many Strictly fans feel that Strictly is a quintessentially British thing and do not want an American to win it.
The main reason is the fact that she’d had quite a lot of dance training before starting Strictly. Although Ballroom dancing is completely different from the style Ashley had training in, it does mean she can pick up choreography quickly and already has good musicality and rhythm. This means she has been very good from week 1. The British public likes to see celebrities improving from week to week, but Ashley has just remained very good throughout the competition, which, in turn, is less interesting to watch.
The shock on Ashley’s face when she thought the head judge, Shirley Ballas, had said that her and Pasha had come last in the Lindyhop-a-thon made a lot of people think that Ashley felt there was no way she could come last because she knew she was technically better than most of the other celebrities. They actually came first, but that was the first week that Ashley and Pasha were in the dance off.
Pasha is one of the best male professionals; he has now been in the final four times and had even won it with Caroline Flack (host of Love Island) in 2014.
My favourite dance by Team Pashley is their contemporary routine that they did in week 8 because you could tell the emotion was real and it was danced from a good place.
3. Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice
Faye is a British singer who was in the mixed-gender group, Steps, from 1997-2001. Like Ashley, she is a technically outstanding dancer. However, unlike Ashley, she has not been in one dance-off. This is mostly because she was in a home-grown group so the British public like her better. I know that it’s a sad state of affairs. Faye has also mastered the art of looking incredibly surprised when she and Giovanni receive good scores. Giovanni is one of the more entertaining pros, which could be helping them get more votes than Ashley and Pasha.
However, Faye’s background in dance has meant that she has been good from the start. This has meant she has had no journey. This means that although she has more supporters than Ashley, she still has nowhere near the amount of supporters that Stacey and Kevin and Joe and Dianne have.
A major calamity would have to happen to both Stacey and Joe for Faye to win.
My favourite Faye and Giovanni dance is their Quickstep from Movie Week. They danced to “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease, which is such a great song. The Quickstep is one of my favourite dances when it’s done well; this one was so slick and Faye embraced Bad Sandy so well.
2. Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton
Stacey is a British investigative journalist for the BBC, who brings light onto issues that are often brushed over such as child labour and abortion. She is such an incredible, brave lady as for many of her documentaries, she travels to some very scary places such as Iraq and Cambodia. Her job is one of the reasons why she is so popular: people like seeing this other side of her.
Stacey had no dance experience before starting Strictly. She was not the best dancer at the start of the competition but she has gradually improved as the competition has gone on — topped the leaderboard twice and is definitely a worthy finalist.
Another reason why this couple is so popular with the British public is Kevin Clifton. Nearly all Strictly fans have loved Kevin ever since the late great Sir Bruce Forsyth (former Strictly presenter) introduced him as ‘Kevin from Grimsby’. There were quite a few new professionals the year that Kevin joined Strictly; many of them were from Eastern Europe with difficult-to-pronounce names so Brucie was very pleased when he got to Kevin. Stacey and Kevin clearly have a great friendship and get on very well. Kevin has been in a runner-up in the final four times and he may just miss out again. However, it will be very close between Stacey and Kevin and Joe and Dianne.
The only thing that puts Stacey at a slight disadvantage to Joe is the fact that the producers appear to be pushing for her to win because she is a BBC girl. In the last few weeks, the judges have been accused of over-marking Stacey and Kevin because the producers think this encourages viewers to vote for them, but in actual fact, it has made some people vote for other couples.
My favourite Stacey and Kevin dance is their Doctor Who themed Tango from Halloween Week. Stacey played Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor brilliantly and I loved how Kevin gave Stacey some male steps to represent how Jodie has taken on a male role. Also, Kevin being dressed as a cyberman was iconic.
1. Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell
Joe is a hugely successful British YouTuber and social media, his main channel, ThatcherJoe, has 8.2 million subscribers. He is known for doing prank videos and being amazing at impressions. He was asked to come on Strictly because Tess and Claudia’s children watch his videos. When it was announced on Radio 1 that Joe was going on the show, there was some pushback from some older Strictly fans. They said that the producers were just trying to get a younger audience, but I didn’t see what was wrong with that.
Like Stacey, Joe had no dance experience prior to Strictly, in fact, in his YouTube video announcing that he was going on Strictly, he said that he’d never danced sober! But every week, he continues to surprise and impress both the judges and the audience with how much effort he puts into training and how good of a dancer he is. He is definitely a Ballroom boy though. His confidence has also improved so much during the series.
Some people have said that Joe has an unfair advantage due to his large number of supporters, but I disagree with this for two reasons: Firstly, many of his fans don’t live in the UK so they can’t vote, and secondly, there is always at least one celebrity who has more fans than the other celebrities. For example, Harry Judd (a former winner) was in the popular British band, McFly. This meant he already had a large number of fans.
Joe and Dianne have such a great partnership. They get on so well and have great chemistry when they are dancing. Dating rumours are always flying around Strictly couples, especially the young ones. Joe and Dianne are no exception. The rumours started after Dianne broke up with her boyfriend Anthony Quinlan. However, in a since deleted YouTube video, they slammed the press for making up stories with no evidence. Many of Joe’s fans ship them because Joe has often said that he wants to find a girl that gets his sense of humour. The rumour mills started up again a few weeks ago because Joe and Dianne were seen holding hands during a results show (the Sunday show, which announces which couples are in the dance-off. Last week, they went on This Morning to discuss all things Strictly; Philip Schoefield grilled them about their rumoured relationship and they didn’t deny the rumours…
Joe’s videos on his main channel have slowed down considerably, but the videos on his vlog channel have more than made up for it. When Joe and Dianne go somewhere interesting for their VT, they make a vlog of it. They also do weekly reviews of their dances in which they look at the training footage to see how much the dance improved in the week.
Joe has shown the public that all YouTubers are not as controversial as the Paul brothersand many people who had no idea who Joe was at the start of the competition are now big fans.
My favourite dance by Team Joanne is the Quickstep they performed in Blackpool. This was the week that Joe really wanted to get to because his Nan had danced there when she was young. The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is the best place to do a Quickstep because of the large sprung floor. Joe did so well and got his first “tens”. His Nan looked so proud.
All of the finalists would be worthy winners, but I would really like either Joe or Stacey to win.
Featured Image Via the BBC