Monday, December 21, 2009

Strictly Come Dancing: Chris Hollins beats Ricky Whittle

Strictly Come Dancing reached its climax last night as Chris Hollins beat favourite Ricky Whittle. The Telegraph's fashion director Hilary Alexander gives her verdict on the showdown.

It was billed as The Hunk v. The Hobbit, the David and Goliath ballroom battle which would decide the winner of the Strictly Come Dancing title for 2009.

In the end, the result was biblical.

The Glitter Ball trophy went to team "C-Ola", as the perky BBC presenter, Chris Hollins, and his partner Ola Jordan, have become known.

The couple won over the viewers with their combination of crowd-pleasing cheekiness, fun, enthusiasm and good old-fashioned entertainment.

In the first half of the show, Hollins had prophetically quipped: "We might be the underdogs, but every dog has its day."

He and Ola may not have had the sensual polish, the finesse and the fitness of close rivals, Ricky Whittle, the Hollyoaks star, and his partner, Natalie Lowe.

But by the rip-roaring, "sexy swimming" finale to their Charleston, Team C-Ola had the studio audience – and, obviously, the viewers at home – eating out of their hands.

The judges heaped adjective upon superlative to praise the four dances each couple performed. Bruno Tonioli called Chris and Ola's Charleston "a Strictly Come Dancing classic".

Len Goodman pronounced Ricky and Natalie's quickstep "Strictly history". Craig Revel Horwood coined the word "lift-tastic" to describe Ricky's spectacular series of one-arm and two-arm flying lifts in the couple's "show dance".

I had started off this series – 14 weeks, 654 hours of training per couple and 17 dances ago – hoping Ricky would win. But by last night's final, I discovered I really didn't mind who got to grasp the "Glitter Ball". Both couples were fantastic. It's we, the viewers, who are the real winners in this show.

But what a week! Losing 'Wake Up to Wogan' was bad enough. We now have to face up to nine months of Saturday nights without a 'Strictly' fix.

The only thing we, perhaps, have to look forward to, is Ricky's promise to wear a thong if he got into the final.

Could that happen in a Strictly Christmas special? Now that just might make Ola and Natalie's costumes look a little over-dressed.

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