Or rather it was.
You may or may not have noticed I didn't get round to posting about last week's Strictly Show. This was partly due to lack of time, and partly because I thought the whole voting debacle was a pile of crap. It was so patently obvious that they wanted three couples in the last show. It was also patently obvious that the maths didn't add up to make Tom able to go through. Why they couldn't have just dispensed with last week altogether I don't know. None of the dances rocked my boat particularly, but I thought Tom deserved credit for attempting a jive when the girls played safe with ballroom. Yes, yes, yes, I'm sure technically they were much better, but hell Tom's jive was so much more fun.
Anyway. Onwards and upwards as they say.
I have to confess that despite thinking I had lost total interest in this year's competition since Austin went out, I thoroughly enjoyed last night's show.
Rachel's foxtrot was pretty flawless. Did it deserve forty points? Not sure. They seem to have given out tens likes smarties this series but when I watched the previous champions dancing together I thought not one of the finalists was a patch on any of them (except possibly Darren Gough).
Tom and Camilla's clearly wasn't as good technically (I still think it's harder for the bloke - if you're a crap dancer and being led by a professional, that has to be easier, doesn't it?), but I just loved his style. So I think the judges were a bit harsh myself.
Lisa and Brendan's was lovely to watch, but I found it strangely uninvolving. I know, I know, she made the best improvement overall, but I couldn't help feeling the judges were marking her ridiculously high to make up for the fact that the public were clearly voting for Tom Chambers.
Moving swiftly over the return of the previous contestants (who reminded us all why they went off so quickly), I did enjoy Rachel and Vincent's rumba, but I couldn't quite rave about it as much as the judges did. Tom's samba was a lot of fun - again - and Lisa's Cha Cha Cha may have been technically improved from last time, but didn't do anything for me.
I think losing Lisa at this point was the right call. I still can't understand why the judges saved her at the expense of Austin, who by rights should have won this. But hey nonny nonny no, the Great British Public do occasionally get it right...
I'd also like to point out here (in the absence of Marie as she is on holiday) that some weeks ago she pointed out the similarity of Rachel Stevens' brothers to the Mitchell boys - Tess, you're just too slow...
The second wave of returning dancers reminded us what we lost in terms of fun from Mark Foster (yes, we were right, he really was that bad), Heather Small (who was much better last night then on any of the shows. It must have been nerves), Cherie Lunghi (who was as good as I remember, but I am still irritated that she and James were such poor sports) and John Sergeant, who was just as much fun as I thought he was.
The third wave just made me a) wonder again why oh why did Christine last so long?, b) miss Jodie and c) wish I could have seen a final with Austin in it.
I thought it was very nice they gave Lisa an opportunity to do her show dance, but it confirmed for me that yes, she really should have been in third place.
Now all the way through this competition, I haven't really got Rachel. I think she dances beautifully, but she lacks emotion somehow. I have to say that in her show dance, for the first time I thought she really came alive and lit up the floor. It was wonderful to watch, and I was convinced she had it in the bag. The judges seemed to be so down on Tom, and technically he clearly can't compete with Rachel.
But then.... Oh then... Tom and Camilla produced the most hilarious witty, entertaining show dance. It was fantastic. The return of the penguin. And with so much style...Tom leapt and gurned his way around the stage, looking as if he was having a blast. I laughed the whole way through it. If there were people wavering, I think that dance won him the competition. It was fabulous.
While they filled in time we also got to see the returning champions's show dance, which was great fun, but also Kristina and alien faced Brian (as Marie calls him - and in Marie's absence I feel duty bound to keep the faith) did an amazing Cha Cha Cha to Duffy singing Mercy, which I can't unfortunately find on You Tube.
But here for your delectation and delight are firstly Rachel and Steven, who were fabulous too.
Just not a patch on Tom and Camilla. Worthy winners in the end...