It's finally here... Saturday night sees the grand final of Strictly Come Dancing. As Ashley Roberts, Faye Tozer, Joe Sugg and Stacey Dooley eye up the glitterball trophy, judge Craig Revel Horwood awards Strictly's Class of 2018 including the exit that STUNNED him the most
After weeks of waltzing, jiving – and more than a few controversies! – we’re about to find out who'll lift this year's glitterball trophy as Strictly Come Dancing reaches its grand final.
For the show's resident sharp-tongued judge, Craig Revel Horwood, 2018 has been a standout year for Strictly.
"I think this series has been absolutely fantastic," enthuses Craig. "I thought the line-up was really well-crafted; Joe Sugg for instance has eight million young subscribers on YouTube, which brought a whole new audience to Strictly, and I think that’s something to celebrate. I think all the celebrities this series have really delivered and been hugely entertaining."
On Saturday night, Craig and his fellow judges Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli will once again be giving their verdict on the performances – but it's the viewer votes alone that will decide which couple will be crowned Strictly Come Dancing champions 2018…
"No one know what’s going to happen as it’s the audience who votes and they can choose whoever they like," says Craig. "I just hope the final gives us some really great dancing!"
In preparation for final night, Strictly Come Dancing star Craig hands out some awards in honour of Strictly's 'Class of 2018'…
Shock Exit Danny and Amy
"For me, Danny John-Jules was the shock exit of this series. Whether it had anything to do with any negative press I have no idea but he was one of the competition’s better dancers; technically he could do double turns and much more difficult moves than many others. Yes, Danny made a mistake in the dance-off, but you have to way up the odds and, unfortunately, I was outnumbered by the other judges."
Most Jaw-Dropping Faye and Giovanni
"Faye and Giovanni's Grease-inspired quickstep in Movie Week was just brilliant. No one ever does that dance in a skin-tight catsuit like Faye did – normally the woman’s legs are hidden under a frock – so it was interesting to see how well it was done and how clean it was. And it was SO quick! It was fast and furious but really accurate."
Most Improved Joe and Dianne
"I'd say the most improved dancer is Joe Sugg. To begin with, he had a sticky-out bottom and he wasn’t particularly good, so I didn’t hold out much hope for him after the opening show. I remember thinking: 'Well, that’s gonna be a complete dance dis-ah-ster!' But every week he’s really knuckled down and focused on technically delivering the dances and showcasing his personality."
Surprise Package Graeme and Oti
"Graeme Swann has been the surprise package because he’s really thrown himself into Strictly. I thought he’d be like a ‘dad dancer’ but he’s actually surprised me with the amount of natural ability and rhythm he has in his body. He always manages to keep time and jam-pack his routines with lots and lots of difficult steps."
Entertainment Value Dr Ranj and Janette
"Dr Ranj really brought the entertainment factor. He was really smiley, got on with it and I thought him and Janette looked great together; they were a proper little power couple. It was a shame Ranj left the competition so early because I think we would have seen a lot more from him. And let’s not forget when he wasn’t dancing he was busy saving lives!"
Best Partnership Ashley and Pasha
"Ashley and Pasha just work really well together. I’ve loved the introduction of the ‘Couple’s Choice’ element this series, allowing the couples to perform street, jazz or contemporary dances that are new to Strictly and excel in them. And I love, love, LOVED Ashley’s contemporary routine, it was amazing. I think Ashley is an extraordinary dancer and she put absolutely everything into that dance!"
Dark Horse Stacey and Kevin
"That has to be Stacey Dooley. I don’t think anyone really expected her to do anything much really but she’s just been absolutely am-az-ing! She’s proved she’s a real fighter; Kevin’s choreography is extraordinary but it seems Stacey can pick up any sort of dance really quickly and fly with it. I think she could go all the way."
Craig’s Special Award Katie and Gorka
"Katie Piper definitely wins the courage and bravery award for just getting out there on the dancefloor, doing it and loving it! I think Strictly really changed her life in that way and gave her a new sense of self-confidence that she really needed."
Strictly Come Dancing: The Final can be seen on Saturday December 15 at 6.30pm on BBC1.
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