Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Grand Final recap

Read our spoiler-free recap of this year’s Grand Final as three remaining couples battle it out.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Emma Barton Anton Du Beke
Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

And then there were three.

After 13 weeks full of spectacular routines, shock eliminations and plenty of twists and turns – as well as bags of entertainment, Strictly Come Dancing 2019 has finally arrived at the Grand Final, with just three celebrities and their professional partners remaining.

Sadly Chris Ramsey wouldn’t be among them, after he and professional partner Karen Hauer lost the dance-off last week to Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden.

With each couple performing three dances, who would wow us one last time and be triumphant in their bid to lift the glitterball trophy?

Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman were on hand to guide the stars and viewers through proceedings, whilst judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Shirley Ballas offered their professional opinion – but the verdict on who would win came down to the viewers’ votes.

Read on for our spoiler-free recap of the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Grand Final…

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden – Judges’ Choice

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Karim Zeroual Amy Dowden

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

For their Judges’ Choice, Karim and Amy were given their Week 7 Quickstep to Mr Pinstripe Suit by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. In training, Karim spoke about fighting back after being in the dance-off and how much being in the final meant to him and Amy, as well as wanting to perfect the dance and get back into Quickstep mode.

The dance: This dance felt tailor-made for Karim, with plenty of sway, bags of personality and just oozing cool. He had lovely rise and fall, moved across the floor beautifully and a lovely playful sense of movement, as well as some lovely jazzy touches. I also felt he really commanded the dance and led Amy well, with good posture and distinctly less gapping than less time! Overall it was a smooth, classy, entertaining routine – the perfect way to open the show and a definite improvement from the last time he performed the dance.

The comments: Shirley said Karim definitely had the eye of the tiger, with ‘beautiful’ frame and great head position, and called him a star. Bruno praised Karim’s technique, attention to detail and musicality, calling it ‘pure perfection’ and saying he made it fresh and exciting. Craig thought Karim ‘minded the gap’, whilst Motsi said Karim had time to play around and show what he can do, and it was ‘electrifying’.

The scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40 out of 40

Emma Barton and Anton du Beke – Judges’ Choice

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Emma Barton Anton Du Beke

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Emma and Anton’s Judges’ Choice was their Charleston to Thoroughly Modern Millie, from the musical of the same name. In training Emma spoke about how much she enjoyed her dances in the semi-final and how thrilled she was to make the final, as well as wanting to enjoy the routine, whilst the judges wanted her to put a little more polish on the dance.

The dance: Emma had a great looseness in her legs throughout as well as excellent swivel action and a lovely sense of fun and lightness. I thought she really captured the character and light-hearted feel of the dance, coped well with the tricks, and had great energy and stamina throughout as well as hitting some fantastic lines and finishing her hands nicely. It was an utter joy to watch and a routine that shows why she and Anton thoroughly deserve their place in the final.

The comments: Bruno said Emma was his favourite flapper ever and played the part with such confidence – she totally sold it. Craig picked up on the sync issue but thought it was West End worthy. Motsi loved the detail and the amount of energy Emma put in, whilst Shirley said Emma’s confidence was off the chart and it was one of the most enjoyable Charlestons she’s ever watched.

The scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 out of 40

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse – Judges’ Choice

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Kelvin Fletcher Oti Mabuse

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

The judges chose Kelvin and Oti’s Rumba to Ain’t No Sunshine for their pick. In training, Kelvin spoke about the surreal feel of performing in the semi-final and scoring a perfect 40 points, as well as not expecting to get this far in the show. Meanwhile, the judges wanted him to pay more attention to the details, with continuous movement and showing the chemistry he had with Oti.

The dance: Wow! This was a smouldering, sensual Rumba, with Kelvin and Oti oozing chemistry. He had fantastic hip action throughout, was completely in control of the whole thing – particularly in the spins – had some lovely lines through his hands and legs, and overall produced one of the best Rumbas I’ve ever seen from a male celebrity on Strictly. If I had one tiny quibble it’s that I’d like to have seen more flow through his hands, but this was a fantastic routine and even more powerful than the first performance.

The comments: Craig was ‘hot under the collar’, calling it believable, masculine and tremendous. Motsi praised Kelvin’s body movement, whilst Shirley liked his synchronised body movement and foot placement and said his technique was ‘superb’. Bruno thought it had reached melting point – sensual and romantic with ‘sizzling’ chemistry, with Kelvin going from sculptural to fluid.

The scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 out of 40

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden – Showdance

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Karim Zeroual Amy Dowden

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

For their Showdance, Karim and Amy danced to Pink’s version of A Million Dreams, from the film The Greatest Showman. In training Karim spoke about the contemporary feel of the dance and its message of dreams coming true through hard work. They also received a visit from Tess and Claudia to tell about their plans for the routine.

The dance: This was a beautiful, emotional routine, with lovely synchronisation between Karim and Amy and gorgeous flow across the dancefloor. Karim hit some great lines and coped well with the tricks and glittery water effects, and there was a beautiful romantic quality to the dance that it was impossible not to get swept up in. I actually found myself welling up a bit towards the end! It was a great performance from them as always and one that showed why they thoroughly deserve to be here.

The comments: Motsi said it was the perfect dance for Karim, showcasing technique and feeling, and thanked him for making her heart happy. Shirley said it was so moving and loved Karim’s sense of expression and freedom. Bruno thought it looked and felt like a dream and Karim danced like an angel, giving everything he had, and telling him not to lose his passion. Craig felt Karim coped with a technically demanding routine but he and Amy were out of sync in the fountain, but loved the storytelling and emotion.

The scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 out of 40

Emma Barton and Anton du Beke – Showdance

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Emma Barton Anton Du Beke

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Emma and Anton’s Showdance was performed to the Irving Berlin classic Let Yourself Go. In training Emma talked about how privileged she felt to be performing a showdance, as well as finding the cane work and rhythms challenging. Tess and Claudia also came to visit them in the training room.

The dance: The dance began with Emma descending from the ceiling before getting into hold with Anton. I loved the classic Hollywood feel of it and the sense of lightness and fun about the routine. She hit some strong lines and had great synchronisation with Anton, and handled the cane work with aplomb as well as having some good transitions in and out of the lifts. I thought it was utterly fabulous and really showed off her strengths as a dancer as well as her personality and performance skills.

The comments: Shirley praised the ‘immaculate’ choreography and said she totally enjoyed it. Bruno thought Emma couldn’t go wrong with the classic Hollywood feel and glamour. Craig noted Emma’s hesitation coming down the steps but loved the style and flashy, all-out approach. Motsi thought there were a bit of nerves, but that it was classy and had glamour, glitz and glory.

The scores: 8, 10, 10, 10 – 38 out of 40

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse – Showdance

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Kelvin Fletcher Oti Mabuse

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Kelvin and Oti chose to perform their Showdance to Shout by the Isley Brothers. In training Kelvin spoke about treating the dance like a showreel and showing how far he’s come, as well as finding the transitions challenging. Meanwhile, Claudia and Tess stopped by the training room to pay them a visit.

The dance: This was a high-energy routine from the off, with a ton of different dance styles crammed in and showing just how adaptable Kelvin is – you really feel he could dance anything thrown at him! I loved the nod to his previous routines, like the flying press-ups from Blackpool, and the fact he was in complete control as well as looking like he was having the absolute time of his life performing the routine. In particular his kicks and flicks were sharp in the Jive sections and he had excellent drive in the Tango. Could we have just seen the routine that wins him Strictly Come Dancing 2019?

The comments: Bruno called it ‘exhilarating’ and ‘a tour de force’, praising the sheer amount of content in the routine. Craig loved every single minute, whilst Motsi was left speechless. Shirley thought Kelvin pushed the limits and said it was exciting, particularly Kelvin’s chemistry with Oti and body actions.

The scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40 out of 40

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden – Favourite Dance

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Karim Zeroual Amy Dowden

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Karim and Amy chose their Jive to You Can’t Stop The Beat for their final dance. In training Karim spoke about looking back on Strictly with incredibly fond memories and how much Amy has helped and supported him throughout the series. His highlights included the Contemporary routine and why he chose the Jive for its entertainment level, whilst we also heard from his mum and sister.

The dance: This was such a great note for Karim to end his Strictly journey on. For me it summed up everything I love about watching him dance – the sheer sense of fun and abandon, high energy throughout, his skills with trick moves, great hip action, lovely synchronisation with Amy and brilliant technique alongside excellent performance levels. He has a fantastic natural dance ability that has absolutely shone throughout this series of Strictly Come Dancing and would be a thoroughly worthy winner.

The comments: Craig said Karim reminded him of himself and called it ‘a-ma-zing’. Motsi thought Karim couldn’t have done anything better and was just the best. Shirley praised Karim’s work ethic and willingness to come back fighting and said he was totally inspiring, particularly to the young generation. Bruno called it the best Jive ever and said it was as good as the professional dancers.

The scores: 10, 10, 10, 10 – 40 out of 40

Emma Barton and Anton du Beke – Favourite Dance

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Emma Barton Anton Du Beke

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

Emma and Anton’s favourite dance was their Viennese Waltz to Send In The Clowns. In training Emma said she’s loved every single second of her time on Strictly, picking out Blackpool as her highlight as well as feeling lucky she got to dance with Anton and hoping everyone would see the difference in her Viennese Waltz since Week Four. We also heard from her parents who’ve supported her throughout the whole series.

The dance: This was an absolutely beautiful routine, full of emotion and storytelling and with beautiful flow across the floor. Emma’s posture and top line were great throughout and she had some lovely footwork, but what really carried it for me was how well she acted it as well as the gorgeous lines through her hands and body. She really has improved so much since she began her Strictly Come Dancing journey and I’d love to see her and Anton holding the glitterball aloft later tonight.

The comments: Motsi said it was ‘absolutely stunning’, singling out Emma’s acting skills. Shirley thought it was beautifully poised and presented and loved the femininity Emma brought to the character as well as the softness. Bruno highlighted the storytelling and detail, and said the dancing was as good as the acting, particularly Emma’s musicality and phrasing. Craig noticed Emma missed a couple of heels on her pivot turns but agreed with the others – it was ‘class beyond class’ and ‘gorgeous’.

The scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 out of 40

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse – Favourite Dance

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Kelvin Fletcher Oti Mabuse

Credit: BBC/Guy Levy

For their favourite dance Kelvi and Oti chose their Week 2 Samba. In training Kelvin spoke about how much he’d loved the Strictly experience, particularly coming in at the last minute, as well as the support Oti has given him and how much he’ll miss dancing with her.

The dance: I love everything about this routine. From the incredible armography at the start to Kelvin’s outstanding hip action, drive across the floor, the lines in his arms and the excellent bounce motion he has going on, it showed what an incredible dancer he is as well as highlighting how far he’s come in the last 13 weeks. The ambitious routine’s tricks and sense of playfulness were fully to the fore, and I felt Kelvin’s skills acting the dance have come on leaps and bounds to. A great end to the series and one that shows why he’s been the frontrunner to lift the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball from day one.

The comments: Shirley had no words – Kelvin left her speechless! Bruno called Kelvin the ‘Samba King’ and said his hips were mesmerising, as well as praising his extraordinary achievement. Craig had a problem with the bounce action but said Kelvin ‘smashed it’, whilst Motsi thought it was the highest level of Samba she’d seen and Kelvin put his heart and soul into the dance.

The scores: 9, 10, 10, 10 – 39 out of 40

The leaderboard for the evening was:

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden – 40 + 39 + 40 = 119
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse – 39 + 40 + 39 = 119
Emma Barton and Anton du Beke – 39 + 38 + 39 = 116

Strictly Come Dancing will return for a Christmas Special on 25th December 2019 on BBC One.


You May Also Like

Games & Tech

See how we got on with the game ahead of its November cross-gen release.

Copyright © 2020 Entertainment Focus

Entertainment Focus is a trading name of Piñata Media Limited (Reg no: 08435639)

Entertainment Focus uses affiliate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you