The main series may now be over, but thankfully we still had the Christmas special to see 2017 out. And just like any other Christmas special, it was made up of memorable past contestants, although not necessarily for the right reasons.
This year we had Robbie Savage, Judy Murray, Colin Jackson, Jeremy Vine, Katie Derham and Kimberley Walsh. And if we’re honest, it went exactly as we imagined it would, the three finalists did brilliantly, and the three non-finalists less so.
But it wasn’t just dancing in this special. There was classic Claudia Winkleman jokes, including reading out what was Bruno’s Christmas letter to Santa – and no it wasn’t the hunky Matt Law – and a tea dance at Buckingham Palace with the Duchess of Cornwall. Come on, get her in for next series.
And as per Strictly’s usual Christmas tradition, the judges were at times ludicrously lenient with the routines. Luckily though, we’re not so lenient, and have some very choice opinions on some of the routines. Robbie actually did a very competent American smooth, and we felt for him having his dance receive the same score as Judy and Jeremy’s, as his was in a completely different league.
Moving onto Judy and Jeremy, Judy certainly moved better than she had when she competed in the main series, but there was one point when she was just standing still opposite of Neil, and she did struggle with picking him up on the final lift. As for Jeremy… oh dear. It’s the season of goodwill and all, but no amount of goodwill can make this a good dance. Sorry Darcey, as funny as it was to watch you bullhorn Craig into changing his 2 to a 7, the former was the mark it deserved. And another thing, when using All I Want for Christmas Is You, you use the original Mariah Carey version, not a cover.
Thankfully, the three finalists reminded us just why they were finalists with their dances.
Kimberley & Pasha – Jive
We were Team Kimberley all the way back in 2012, although Louis Smith was able to convince us at some points – honestly, forget the heating, just put his showdance on – and for this special, we were Team Kimberley all over again.
Watching her dance, it was like she had never stopped. All of her moves were on point, and she made the whole thing look effortless, especially when going into the flips. And we just adored the whole get-up from Santa Claus, to the costumes, to even the reindeer movements right at the very end. Plus, we missed Pasha a lot this series, it was lovely to see him back at his very best… and cutest.
Katie & Brendan – Viennese Waltz
Back when Katie competed in 2014, it was clear that she was the queen of ballroom, but when it came to the Latin dances she really was hopeless, thankfully she had a beautiful ballroom routine to dance this time round.
The routine was simply serene from start to finish, and it played to all of Katie’s strengths. She was beautiful in hold, managed to get into the lift cleanly, and her fleckerl was stupendous. And that beginning in the snowglobe was quite possibly the most magical moment of the whole evening.
Colin & Amy – Rumba
It’s been 12 years since Colin performed on Strictly, and most people will remember his time when his showdance cost him the show. Maybe if he’d performed this, he would have won…
It’s hard to imagine the sultry rumba working well at Christmas, but here it certainly does. Colin had great movements throughout his body, perfectly captured the essence of a rumba, and when he needed to he perfectly mirrored Amy. Honestly, we said it was like Kimberley was never away from the ballroom, but Colin looks just as good now as he did 12 years ago.
And after all the routines, Katie Derham was crowned the Christmas champion. And much like the main series, although Katie was definitely a deserving winner, we did feel that the result should have gone a different way.