The moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here – the Strictly Come Dancing final!
On Saturday 19th December, the four remaining celebs in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up will take to the dance floor for one last time in a bid to be crowned this year’s winner and lift the Glitterball.
But will it be Maisie Smith, Bill Bailey, Jamie Laing, or HRVY? Your guess is as good as ours…
The contestants have a come a long way since the 18th series launched on September 24th. HRVY has found himself at the top of the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard on multiple occasions.
Similarly, Maisie and Jamie have also enjoyed time on the top spot – although both have found themselves in the dance-off a few times, too.
Bill on the other hand has performed pretty consistently throughout, alongside Oti Mabuse – one of the Strictly Come Dancing professionals.
So much so, former Strictly pro Ian Waite believes he could have a good chance at bagging the trophy.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Ian Waite revealed who he thinks will win Strictly Come Dancing 2020.
He said: “I think it’s between HRVY and Bill. As I said, I don’t want to jinx anybody!”
The Strictly Come Dancing songs and dances have been revealed for the final and the contestants will be performing not one, but three routines.
For the Judges’ Pick, HRVY will dust off his Week One jive which earned him an almost perfect nine and Maisie will be doing a Samba to to Gloria Estefan’s Samba (Conga).
Meanwhile, Bill will be doing the Quickstep to Bobby Darin’s Talk to the Animals and Jamie Laing will be doing the Charleston for one of his three dances.
There have been a lot of Strictly Come Dancing COVID changes to the 18th series, but nevertheless, the BBC have come through with a brilliant series.
So, when is the final? And what can viewers expect?
Here’s everything you need to know about the glitziest show on TV, Strictly Come Dancing, as we prepare to crown our series 18 winner.
What time is Strictly Come Dancing on?
Strictly Come Dancing final airs on BBC One at Saturday 19th December at 6pm.
It’s going to be one of heck of a show lasting 2 hours and 20 minutes, with a guest act and a performance from all of this year’s contestants, including Nicola Adams and Katya Jones who had to leave just before Week Four after the professional dancer tested positive for coronavirus.
As usual the Strictly Come Dancing judges will give their verdict as each contestant performs their Judges’ Pick dance, their favourite routine from the series and show dance.
But at the end of the day, it’ll be down to the public to decide who should win when they make their Strictly vote.
Once all the votes have been collated, hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will announce this year’s winner.
Strictly Come Dancing start date
The Strictly Come Dancing live shows kicked off on BBC One on Saturday October 24th.
The 2020 series missed its original start date due to the impact of the pandemic. It will continue until 19th December, the weekend before Christmas.
That means that Strictly 2020 will clock in at just nine weeks in length, a significant reduction from the usual 13.
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 contestants
There are fewer celebrities in the Strictly line-up this year due to the shorter run time.
Below is a list of the four finalists, as well as all the contestants who took part in the 18th series:
Former contestants in the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line-up
- Ranvir Singh – OUT Week Eight
- Jacqui Smith – OUT Week Two
- Jason Bell – OUT Week Three
- Nicola Adams – WITHDREW ahead of Week Four due to partner Katya’s positive coronavirus test
- Max George – OUT Week Four
- Caroline Quentin – OUT Week Five
- Clara Amfo – OUT Week Six
- JJ Chalmers – OUT Week Seven
All eyes were on Jamie Laing after he pulled out of the competition early last year. During the 2019 launch show, he injured himself and had to withdraw from the show.
Although his space was filled by Kelvin Fletcher, many suspected he’d be given another shot on the show.
The Made In Chelsea star is hoping to make this one a success!
Speaking of his Strictly signing, he said: “Here we go again, hopefully this time I can last long enough so my mum can see me dance.”
He added: “The reason I’m doing it, is to make my mum proud but all I did last year was make her even more disappointed. Let’s change that this year, can’t wait!!”
Former boxer Nicola Adams was part of the show’s first-ever same-sex pairing with her professional partner Katya Jones.
The 36-year-old confirmed the news, after she was announced as the sixth celeb to join the show.
She said: “I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”
Sadly, Nicola and Katya had to withdraw from Strictly in Week Four after the professional dancer tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking to press, including RadioTimes.com, Ranvir recently revealed the warning Susanna Reid has given her ahead of the dancing show.
She said: “Susanna keeps saying to me in like a really sensible tone, ‘Ranvir you have no idea what’s about to happen.’ She’s like, ‘You have no idea and it’s like a whirlwind’.”
Similarly, politician Jacqui Smith sought advice from a former contestant.
Jacqui Smith revealed the tips her pal and fellow politician Ed Balls gave her as she takes on the Glitterball.
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 pairings
Here are which professional dancers this year’s celebrities are paired up with:
- Jamie Laing is paired with Karen Hauer
- HRVY is paired with Janette Manrara
- Jacqui Smith is paired with Anton du Beke – OUT Week Two
- Maisie Smith is paired with Gorka Márquez
- JJ Chalmers is paired with Amy Dowden – OUT Week Seven
- Bill Bailey is paired with Oti Mabuse
- Nicola Adams is paired with Katya Jones – WITHDREW ahead of Week Four
- Clara Amfo is paired with Aljaž Škorjanec – OUT Week Six
- Ranvir Singh is paired with Ranvir Singh – OUT Week Eight
- Max George is paired with Dianne Buswell – OUT Week Four
- Jason Bell is paired with Luba Mushtuk – OUT Week Three
- Caroline Quentin is paired with Johannes Radebe – OUT Week Five
Who are the professionals returning for Strictly 2020?
However, Gorka Marquez is now back in the main cast, having been left without a celebrity partner last year. He’s been paired up with EastEnders star Maisie Smith.
This year, the professionals are as follows:
- Aljaž Škorjanec
- Anton Du Beke
- Giovanni Pernice
- Graziano Di Prima
- Gorka Marquez
- Johannes Radebe
- Amy Dowden
- Dianne Buswell
- Janette Manrara
- Karen Hauer
- Katya Jones
- Luba Mushtuk
- Nadiya Bychkova
- Nancy Xu
- Oti Mabuse
- Neil Jones
The Strictly Come Dancing professionals started rehearsals in July for their group performances – to make this happen, they had to isolate in one big bubble for two weeks.
After that, there was further isolation with the professionals and the celebrities in order to create more isolation bubbles.
As a result of this, acts are able to have close contact routines, meaning no dances will be off-limits – hooray!
Is Bruno leaving Strictly Come Dancing?
Why isn’t Bruno on Strictly? Is a question many have been asking since the 18th series aired.
During the first live shows, Bruno was noticeably absent from the panel as Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas sat at the socially distanced desks.
Well, Bruno hasn’t left Strictly. However, he won’t physically be in the studio for this year’s show.
Earlier this year, it was revealed Bruno Tonioli wouldn’t be taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing in the same way he usually does.
Bruno Tonioli is be absent from the Strictly panel, however, he will still play a part in the show.
While the US-based star is not judging the live shows (for now, at least) due to travel restrictions, he shares his thoughts on the routines via video link after all the contestants have performed on Saturday nights.
How is the show different this year?
Lots of tweaks have been made to Strictly Come Dancing in order to ensure the show goes ahead safely.
There is a much smaller audience in the studio at the moment, all of whom are wearing masks and seated in socially distanced manner.
Dave Arch’s Band
A fab-u-lous stalwart of Strictly Come Dancing’s many years, the Dave Arch’s Band are appearing in this year’s show. However, there are fewer musicians in the studio than previously.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Strictly executive producer Sarah James said: “There will of course be some differences. We aren’t able to fit the whole band in the pit, so some of them will record during the week. But Dave will be there, the singers will be there, and a few other key members will be there.”
Strictly fans may have noticed that rather than waltzing onto the TV schedules in September, this year’s competition started a month later. That’s because the 2020 contest features fewer celebrities.
While the 2019 series saw 15 celebrities battle for the glitterball trophy, this series (the show’s 18th) features only 12 contestants.
The post-dance interviews
Remember how after facing the judges’ critiques contestants would swan up the stairs to be greeted by their fellow celebs in the ‘Clauditorium’? That isn’t happening this year.
Due to social distancing requirements, only one couple at a time are permitted in this area to be interviewed by Claudia Winkleman.
Contestants could be eliminated if they test positive for coronavirus
In previous years, contestants who fall ill haven’t necessarily been forced to pull out of the contest. For instance, after Coronation Street actress Tina O’Brien was unable to perform after coming down with chickenpox in 2010, she was given a bye into the next week.
However, any contestant that tests positive for coronavirus during the 2020 contest will be automatically eliminated from the contest.
“Unfortunately if you receive a positive test, that means you wouldn’t be able to continue in the competition,” executive producer Sarah James previously told RadioTimes.com.
“Obviously with government guidelines, if you receive a positive test you have to isolate for two weeks and that would unfortunately rule them out of the show.”
Read more about the Strictly Come Dancing COVID changes.
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 judges
The Strictly Come Dancing 2020 judges panel from 2019 is back, albeit without Bruno Tonioli.
Long-running host Tess Daly and co-host Claudia Winkleman back at the forefront to host the show for series 18, while Zoe Ball and Rylan Clark-Neal have also returned to present spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two.
Where is Strictly Come Dancing 2020 filmed?
Since 2013, the Strictly Come Dancing filming location has remained the same, in Elstree Studios, following the closure of BBC Television Centre.
There’s one week every year we all look forward to – Blackpool – where the cast and crew pack their bags and head north to the seaside town for a glitter-filled special.
Sadly, however, Blackpool Week has had to be dropped this year due to the pandemic, meaning we won’t be seeing the line-up take to the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom floor.
Who won Strictly Come Dancing last year?
There has been a whopping 17 Strictly Come Dancing winners, and every year we get more and more surprised by the talented celebrities.
Last year was no different, as Kelvin Fletcher stormed to victory with professional partner, Motsi Mabuse. The former Emmerdale star had to replace Jamie Laing last minute and impressed the judges and viewers alike.
Read more about Strictly Come Dancing
- Every single series of Strictly Come Dancing: ranked
- What could Strictly Come Dancing look like in 2020?
- Should Strictly Come Dancing be cancelled in 2020 if it can’t go ahead as normal?
Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC one on Saturday at 6pm. To find out what else is on in the meantime, check out our TV Guide.