Strictly 2022 – The Final

Strictly Come Dancing reaches the conclusion to the 2022 series – but who will raise the Strictly Glitterball?

While it has been lovely to have Strictly looking more like its old self (no social distancing, audience back, Blackpool back, inconsistent Judges’ scoring back…as if that had ever been gone), to be honest 2022 hasn’t been the vintage year we were hoping for. 

While there have been several enjoyable contestants gracing the Strictly dancefloor, no one has consistently had the WOW factor. For the first time in quite a few years, many viewers have found it hard to find a single contestant to earn their unblinking loyalty. 

With that disclaimer, The Recs reckons that this year’s four Finalists all deserve their place in here without a doubt.

All images by BBC/Guy Levy

The Recs Rates The Final Four (Before The Final)

Molly (whisper it) has a claim to be the best dancer of the four technically but she’s been in and out, in and out, in and out of the dance-offs like an organ stop for one reason: she lacks feeling. There’s a hefty whiff of stage school training overwhelming a feel for the music or expressing herself in a natural way.

Fleur is another (I’m a) Survivor from the dance-offs. What Fleur does well is that high-impact, music-video dance that is all power. When she gets it right, she is an irresistible force. What Fleur doesn’t do well is neat and contained. There’s a Tina Turner bow-leggedness that simply doesn’t lend itself to the more polite Strictly dances. What Fleur has to her advantage tonight is that the three dances will showcase her skills and not her weaknesses. Wouldn’t entirely rule out a Fleur win – it is still possible.

Helen has this Blue-Peter-task-focussed quality about her approach to Strictly. None of the waffle about “the journey” or dead Nanas – Helen has just got on with it. A good dancer, her performances have hit or missed based more around her confidence. Mid-season when she had to dance solo away from Gorka, we’d get rabbit-in-the-headlights. But Sally Bowles changed that. A popular contestant – who the professional dancers noticeably cheer in the Clauditorium more than others – Helen could take the trophy. It will be all about the dance on the night for her. We’d love Helen to win. 

Hamza has been the default frontrunner of this series. Likeable and self-deprecating, he impressed by being so light on his feet for a man of his (increasingly-reducing) size. His ability to do lifts have been nothing short of gobsmacking. Jowita has been sent orbital without any fear that the “untrained” celeb might drop her. There’s a man used to carrying expensive camera equipment through rough terrain. But, and for us it’s a big but, his footwork is frequently poor and he regularly doesn’t finish his arm moves. Also as the only man in the final, that must be an advantage. Will this matter? Probably not. There seems to be enough Strictly viewers for whom Hamza is locked in to the notion of Hamza lifting the Glitterball Trophy this year. For us, he’s a worthy-but-overmarked runner-up whose dances (not lifts) were never the ones we were looking forward to. With the last-minute show dance to Let’s Face The Music And Dance by Irving Berlin. A proper Strictly dance (hopefully).

One last grumble: no way should three out of four couples be allowed to perform a Couple’s Choice (aka another show-dance, aka any-old-toot) in the final. If it were down to us, they would perform one Latin, one Ballroom and a Showdance – but then we are aficionados of proper dancing.

The Final

Oooh black and white flashback aesthetic – always classy! It’s probably not in keeping with the excitement of the Strictly Final for us to note quite how threadbare the glitterball trophy is looking…

Fleur looking the most confident at being dangled in the Strictly finalists elevator.

Quite the outfits – has Shirley just come from the funeral of a love rival! Never change!

Hamza & Jowita

Judges’ Pick: Salsa to Ecuador 

Nerves and mistakes and several flubbed lifts. Unusual for Hamza, behind the beat. And yet as it’s the final, only Craig noticed a poor spare arm.

Molly & Carlos

Judges’ Pick: Quickstep

Pastel outfits, beige dancing. Neat apart from a lack of synchronicity but underwhelming and “pleasant”.  

Fleur & Vito

Judges’ Pick: Samba

They deliver performance. That was watchable and exciting. The Sambo rolls we will ignore since it is the final. 

Helen & Gorka

Judges’ Pick: Jive to Tightrope

Sophisticated, cool, polished and suddenly very confident. Is this the same Helen?

Hamza & Jowita

Show Dance: Let’s Face The Music And Dance by Irving Berlin

Well sadly, that was not good. Mistakes strewn and having to result in lifts. The indignity of doing a Fred number. What should have been floaty and Astaire ended clumpy, stiff and astray. 

Molly & Carlos

Show Dance: Kiss/1999 by Prince

For Molly and Carlos, fiiiinaly the personality. A bit of a wow. A tiny bit lacking connection still between the two. 

Fleur & Vito

Show Dance: Find Me by Sigma

Way too much him, not enough the brilliant powerhouse that is her. Frustrating. Shouldn’t Fleur be the focus of the dance. She is a star – we didn’t need her walking around her pro. 

Helen & Gorka

Show Dance: Shine

Proper Strictly dancing. No faffing about. Effortless. Confident. A joy to watch. About the expression of dance, with tiny (compared to others) mistake. 

Hamza & Jowita

Favourite Dance: Couple’s Choice to Jerusalema

Not as good as the first time. Absolutely a beautiful man, but that lacked wow. Such a good attempt… BUT it would be hard to see someone who dance so little ballroom and Latin steps to win. 

Molly & Carlos

Favourite Dance: Rumba to All The Man That I Need

Has there ever been a rumba in the final? All beautifully done. We watch Molly and her beautiful lines and smooth leg action. We watch Carlos and watch his intensity. But rarely do we watch both, together, telling the same story. 

Fleur & Vito

Favourite Dance: Couple’s Choice to Destiny’s Child Megamix

Yaaaaaassssss Queen! The isolations, the synchronicity, the power…if you are going to do non Latin/Ballroom steps, do that!

Helen & Gorka

Favourite Dance: Couple’s Choice to Mein Herr 

Dance of the series. We love her. She didn’t go wrong. We know who the studio wanted. 

And The Winner Is...