For the first time in 11 years, Anton Du Beke has reached the final of Strictly Come Dancing after he and Proms presenter Katie Derham won the semi-final dance-off against Countryfile’s Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko.
It was a slightly surprising decision, as the judges had put Katie and Anton bottom of the leaderboard with 56 points for their Charleston (25 points, with just 4 of them from Craig) and their Waltz (31 points).
Anita and Gleb were 8 points above them, scoring 32 points each for their Foxtrot and their Salsa.
It was Katie and Anton’s first time in the dance-off and they repeated their Waltz, which the judges had preferred but which was criticised for “balance issues” by Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.
It was Katie and Anton’s Waltz that got them through to the Strictly finals
“You’ve got to focus,” Len told Katie. “Don’t go wrong!”
Kylie Minogue then took to the dance floor to add some Christmas flavour to the show, singing “Warm This Winter”, and then came the dance-off.
Kylie danced with the Strictly pro males as she added a touch of Christmas
Anita and Gleb, also first-timers in the dance-off, chose to dance their Salsa again, which looked like a smart move, as Len and Craig hadn’t been keen on their Foxtrot and Bruno and Darcey Bussell had been very enthusiastic about their Salsa…
Anita and Gleb’s Salsa wasn’t hot enough for Len
“You were thrown into positions that, in any other circumstances, you could get arrested for,” Bruno told Anita on the Saturday night.
“It was phenomenal,” added Darcey.
“It was like watching the Olympics,” said Craig. “But, strangely, I enjoyed it.”
Anita and Gleb have a farewell twirl around the Strictly dance floor
“The final was within touching distance,” said Anita. But she couldn’t reach it.
Craig wanted “dramatic and dynamic” Anita and Gleb in the final, but Bruno and Darcey voted for Katie and Anton. So Len had the final vote: “Judged on this one dance, it wasn’t even close for me it was totally clear: Katie and Anton,” he said.
So, Strictly fans, your finalists for 2015 are: Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice, Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani, Katie and Anton and Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton (who is the only professional dancer to make the finals three years in a row).
Strictly Come Dancing – The Final, is on BBC1, Saturday, December 19, at 6.35pm – 8.00pm and 9.00pm – 10.10pm.