How many dances are the celebrities performing in the Strictly final?
Every couple will each perform three different routines in the Strictly Come Dancing final.
Each of the couples will dance a ‘Judges’ Pick’ – the performance from this series that the judges select – their own ‘Favourite Dance’ – the couple’s favourite routine from the series, and finally the ‘Showdance’.
Although the couples’ Favourite Dances won’t be revealed until Saturday night’s show, we do know all of the Judges’ Picks and also the songs each pair will perform their Showdance to.
Here are the Judges’ Picks for the Strictly 2017 finalists:
Joe McFadden and Katya Jones – Viennese Waltz to Somewhere My Love from Dr Zhivago
Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec – Paso Doble to Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez – American Smooth to Wouldn’t It Be Lovely from My Fair Lady
Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice – Salsa to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Boys Town Gang
The one big format change this year is that all four finalists will be performing their Showdance. In previous series of Strictly, one dancer has been eliminated from the final halfway through the show and missed out on this final performance. However, this time everyone will have an opportunity to perform their Showdance. Exciting!
These are the songs the celebrities will perform their Showdance to:
Joe McFadden and Katya Jones – You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates
Joe and Katya will use their Showdance to tell a beautiful, “Christmassy” story. “The comments we got from the judges, we’re good at storytelling and taking on characters,” Katya said at a Strictly press conference ahead of the grand final. “We’ve gone with a big story, and there’s slow dancing, there’s fast dancing, he’s got a solo. Lots of surprises!”
Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec – Show Me How You Burlesque by Christina Aguilera
Who knew Aljaz was a big Christina Aguilera fan? He and Gemma will perform their showdance to Show Me How You Burlesque, and the pro dancer revealed: “It’s a great track and I’ve been actually wanting to do it for a while, and to do it now for the Showdance – and it suits Gemma really well in rehearsals!” Explaining the concept, he added: “It’s basically paying tribute to our whole Strictly story really, how much Gemma has improved when it gets to the confidence and just her being a really strong woman from day one, but not being a strong woman while she’s dancing… I know it’s going to go incredible on the night.”
Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez – There’s No Business Like Showbusiness by Ethel Merman
For Alexandra and Gorka, There’s No Business Like Showbusiness. The two will perform their Showdance to the Ethel Merman classic, and as Gorka explained: “Ours is just based on Hollywood glamour, old school movie. And just trying to bring back our favourite moments of the show, and do something fun, quick, fast, and with a lot of tricks.” Alexandra is looking forward to it: “You literally have me leaping across the dance floor the whole time. I love it! I love it. I actually prefer the upbeat dances and stuff, and that’s what I’ve discovered.”
Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice – One Day I’ll Fly Away by Vaults
“We are going to do something more elegant and classy,” Giovanni revealed. “ We started with the story. We’re going to tell a story, basically, and this song is really beautiful.” The name of the song is One Day I’ll Fly Away, and Debbie will certainly be flying around the dance floor. “More lifts, just because we didn’t do a lot in the rest of the series,” Giovanni joked. “Just some more lifts, some more splits – why not. And a kick, absolutely.” Debbie added: “It’s very elegant but it also is very emotional and so I think as a last dance it’s a very nice swan-song.”
How is the Strictly winner decided?
Unlike the past 12 weeks of Strictly, this time it’s going to be all down to the viewers’ votes.
During the rest of the series, viewer votes would be combined with the judges’ scores to determine which celebrities placed where on the leaderboard.
Although judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli will still score all of the dances in the Strictly final, it will be for guidance only. In the final, who takes home that Glitterball trophy is solely down to viewers.
Right from the beginning, the bookies’ favourite was former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. However, one of their other favourites was Aston Merrygold, and we all know how that turned out…
Holby City actor Joe McFadden started his Strictly journey as something of a rank outsider with odds of 20/1, and it would be fair to say that before this year’s Strictly started, few people would have predicted Debbie McGee for the final. That is, until she pulled out that amazing Paso Doble in week one…
As a self-confessed non-dancer, Gemma Atkinson has certainly endured her fair share of ups and downs on the leaderboard, scoring everything from 2o to 38. However, up until the semi-finals she was the only celebrity of the remaining finalists not to have landed in the bottom two.
However, they aren’t gone for good just yet. As is Strictly tradition, the class of 2017 will be returning to the final for one last celebratory group performance.
Susan Calman already has her bags packed!
Morning all. Packing my big suitcase as I'm back to London tonight to rehearse for the Strictly final. Can't wait to see all my mates again and, excitingly, dance with the gorgeous @keviclifton. I've got my dancing shoes ready and I'm only slightly afraid of wearing them.