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Strictly Come Dancing 2014 grand final recap part 1

Find out all the action from tonight’s first live show.

Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly Come Dancing 2014 comes to a close tonight with its two-part live final.

Mark Wright, Caroline Flack, Frankie Bridge and Simon Webbe battled it out to take home the Glitterball Trophy. One of the couples will leave at the start of tonight’s second live show but before that all of the couples had to dance twice to secure the public vote.

We can’t quite believe how quickly the time has gone and it could be any of the four couples that takes the title.

Keep reading to find out how everyone got on…

Round 1

Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton

Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

During the semi-final Frankie Bridge and her partner Kevin Clifton had a tough time of it. The judges were split over their Rumba but they loved their Argentine Tango. They do have the added advantage tonight that they’ve never been in the bottom two. They kicked off their evening by dancing the Samba which was picked by the judges.

The dance: Frankie definitely coped better with that routine tonight but we didn’t think it was perfect. A cruel dance for the judges to have picked but at least it shows she has improved over the weeks.

The comments: Len said it was a fantastic start to the show and told Frankie she had quantity and quality. Bruno said that the atmosphere in the studio is electrifying and told Frankie she was saucy tonight. Craig said that Frankie has redeemed herself and shown so much improvement. Darcey said that Frankie has perfected her hip action and told her she loved it.

The score: 39 out of 40

Mark Wright & Karen Hauer

Mark Wright and Karen Hauer

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Mark Wright only just secured his place in the final after ending up in the bottom two with his partner Karen Hauer. Len Goodman chose to save him and he was in complete shock. He’s definitely improved the most out of all the contestants. The judges picked the Cha Cha for Mark and Karen.

The dance: The improvement for Mark is pretty incredible. We loved this routine in Week 1 but the judges criticised Mark’s inability to control his energy. We think he danced it much better tonight.

The comments: Bruno said that Mark is a cheeky chappy with a load of cha and told him he did a fantastic job tonight. Craig said he thought the walks were a little bit stuff but told Mark his confidence is extraordinary. Darcey said that Mark’s assuredness and timing was much improved and told him the presentation was fabulous. Len said that Mark gets better with time and told Mark he has made terrific improvement.

The score: 35 out of 40

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Caroline Flack has really led the pack the last few weeks with her partner Pasha Kovalev. Their Salsa last week was the first 40 of the series and Caroline is a firm favourite to win. Kicking off tonight’s show Caroline and Pasha were told by the judges that they would be performing their Cha Cha Cha.

The dance: We remember seeing this the first time round and thinking that Caroline was going to be one to watch this series. Tonight she showed a lot of improvement and she moved effortlessly around the floor. Great first dance!

The comments: Craig simply clapped. Darcey said that the phrasing and dynamics were fantastic and also clapped. Len said he could feel the excitement of the performance and told Caroline the performance was 24 carat. Bruno called Caroline his ‘golden, sexy goddess’ and told her it worked for him.

The score: 40 out of 40

Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff

Simon Webbe & Kristina RIhanoff

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Simon Webbe looked set to crash out of the competition last week after messing up his Samba. Despite that rather huge error, he made it through to the final on the public vote with his partner Kristina Rihanoff. The judges selected the Charleston for Simon and Kristina to round out the first set of dances.

The dance: We’re so glad that the judges picked this routine for Simon and Kristina. Their Charleston is so much fun and packed with energy. We think they did a great job tonight and as with the other three celebs Simon has really improved since the first time he did the dance.

The comments: Darcey said that Simon is finding so many more details and accents in the music. Len said ‘it was a treat for me mince pies and put a smile on me po face’. Bruno said he loves how Simon has blossomed into a versatile and confident person and performer. Craig said this was Simon’s breakthrough dance and told him it was tight, clean and full of swivel.

The score: 39 out of 40

The leaderboard for round 1 was:

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 40
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 39
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 39
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 35

Round 2

Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton

Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Showdance time! According to Frankie there is the potential for it to go really wrong in certain places and the dance will be a mix of American Smooth and Foxtrot as well as other flourishes. Kevin and Frankie thanked each other in their VT and it’s clear they have a great bond.

The dance: That was a showdance based around technique rather than wow factor. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it really highlights what a great dancer Frankie has turned into. Was it enough to get them in the final 3?

The comments: Len said it played to his tastes and he told Frankie she was fantastic. Bruno said he loves Hollywood and the Quickstep calling it a fitting tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Craig said he wasn’t completely taken with the bench part of the dance but said he loved the jazz inserts. Darcey said that Frankie has grown into a stylish and sophisticated dancer and told her the side-to-side parts were brilliant.

The score: 38 out of 40

Mark Wright & Karen Hauer

Mark Wright and Karen Hauer

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Mark said that he couldn’t wait to do his showdance because he gets to have fun and just enjoy himself. Karen revealed that she’s pushing Mark to his limit to make sure that they make an impression with their showdance. Was it Mark’s finest moment yet?

The dance: Boy did they use every inch of that ballroom for that performance. It was loaded with tricks and full of energy. Will it get him into the Top 3? We hope so!! The people’s champion!

The comments: Bruno asked Mark how many coffees he’d had and said it was full of energy and fun. Craig said he felt for a moment like he was in a Jane Fonda aerobic class but told Mark the energy was brilliant. Darcey said Mark gave it everything and told him he kept his rhythm and dynamics going all the way through. Len said Mark flew around like ‘Harry Potter on Nimbus 2000’ and told him he’s turned into a dancing Prince.

The score: 35 out of 40

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Caroline Flack has a lot riding on this showdance. Whilst we’ve not doubt she’ll make it to the final three, this could be the dance that gets her that Glitterball Trophy later tonight. For their showdance Pasha told Caroline that he was taking the slower Rumba style route packed with emotion rather than spectacle.

The dance: WOW! Just WOW! That was packed with so much emotion and feeling. Incredible.

The comments: Craig said that Pasha took lots of risks and told them he loved the theatricality and the lifts. Darcey said there are so many sides to Caroline and told her she was really touched and that Caroline could be in her ballet company any day. Len said he thought it was wonderful and told them it was quiet and understated. Bruno said he was in dance heaven and loved the contemporary elements.

The score: 40 out of 40

Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff

Simon Webbe & Kristina RIhanoff

Credit: BBC / Guy Levy

Simon Webbe closed out the first live show of the evening and he had to deliver on his showdance to secure that place in the final. He’s had a rough journey and it’s been tough but he’s come out fighting and really found his confidence. For their showdance Simon and Kristina promised to keep it uptempo and really showcase their Strictly journey.

The dance: That was packed with so many elements of so many routines. Kudos to Simon for making it through that without any mistakes. Impressive!

The comments: Darcey said she knew they would do something good and said it was something she’d never forget. Len said it was a trip down memory lane and told Simon he wouldn’t be leaving the building. Bruno said there was plenty of action and total satisfaction. Craig said that Simon has been taught brilliantly by Kristina and he told him he couldn’t believe it was the same person who was at the start of the competition.

The score: 39 out of 40

The leaderboard for round 2 was:

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 40
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 39
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 38
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 35

The leaderboard for the first live show was:

Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev – 80
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff – 78
Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton – 77
Mark Wright & Karen Hauer – 70

Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continues at 8.50pm tonight. See all of the action from tonight’s first live show in our gallery below:

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