Strictly Come Dancing final: Winner to be crowned

The Strictly finalists

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The finalists and their dance partners are all keen to get their hands on the trophy

The final of Strictly Come Dancing is taking place later, when one of the three remaining celebrities will lift the coveted glitterball trophy.

Danny Mac, Ore Oduba and Louise Redknapp are competing to be crowned the winner of the 2016 series.

Fifteen contestants started the competition, with one voted out each week – and singer Will Young deciding to step down from the show.

Saturday’s final also marks Len Goodman’s last appearance as a judge.

‘Enjoy every minute’

During the grand final, which will be broadcast live from the BBC’s Elstree studios, each couple will perform three dances.

They have each chosen their favourite dance from the series and have created a showdance – using any dance style, music and props. The judges have chosen the third dance, which will only be revealed on the night.

This will be the fourth consecutive final for professional dancer Kevin Clifton, who is partnering Redknapp. But he is yet to win the trophy.

He joked that he is starting to feel he is “running out of chances” to take the title.

“It’s a massive thing just to be there in the final,” he added. “As much as we’d all like to win, we don’t want to feel we’re competing against each other.”

But there could be sibling rivalry because his younger sister Joanne is partnering Ore Oduba – and is keen to get her hands on the trophy, joking at the finalists’ press conference that she is their parents’ “favourite child”.

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The 15 celebrities who started out on Strictly Come Dancing earlier this year

Danny Mac has consistently scored well – but some have suggested he had prior experience that put him at an advantage.

The Hollyoaks star told journalists he had dance training during his three years at drama school, but that he had not danced professionally before or since.

“The thing that bothers me is that I know what I came into this competition with,” he said. “Anything I’ve achieved, giving credit to that [being at drama school] would take away from Oti and that wouldn’t be fair. It’s 100% down to her.”

Former Eternal singer Redknapp said she would be an “absolute liar” to say she didn’t want to win.

She added: “But at the same time, Saturday night for me – I’m so proud to be there. I’m just going to give it my best and enjoy every minute of it.”

Goodman will be joined by fellow judges Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood for the final. His replacement as head judge is yet to be announced.

This year’s other contestants, in the order they left the show, were:

  • Melvin Odoom (left in week two)
  • Tameka Empson (week three)
  • Will Young (week three)
  • Naga Munchetty (week four)
  • Lesley Joseph (week five)
  • Anastacia (week six)
  • Laura Whitmore (week seven)
  • Daisy Lowe (week eight)
  • Greg Rutherford (week nine)
  • Ed Balls (week 10)
  • Judge Rinder (week 11)
  • Claudia Fragapane (week 12)

Read more about the Strictly finalists’ highlights and lowlights:

Danny Mac

Famous for: Being an actor – he appeared on long-running soap Hollyoaks.

Known on Strictly for: His shirt “accidentally” coming undone – and occasionally being so good he is confused for one of the professional dancers.

Grand final dances: The couple’s favourite dance will be their samba to Magalenha by Sergio Mendes. Their showdance will be performed to Set Fire to the Rain by Adele. Mabuse said the dance will express Mac’s journey on Strictly Come Dancing and how “Strictly has made him a better person”.

Best moment: “The best moment for a high was probably the samba and getting that score – the first time everything went as good as it could possibly have been.”

Worst moment: “It was the foxtrot, the disappointment Oti felt that she hadn’t done enough. It broke my heart that she felt she hadn’t done enough for me.”

Top score so far: 40 – Mac was the first contestant this series to score a perfect 40 from the judges with his Charleston to Puttin’ on the Ritz during Blackpool week, and followed this up with another 40 for his samba in week 10.

Key quotes:

  • “This is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Oti is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met.”
  • “None of us will ever be as good as the pros. Which means there’s always so much to learn. If it’s working, Oti will make it harder. She will push me and push me and push me.”
  • “We had the most unlikely group of friends on the show. I have the coolest What’s App group in the world – it’s absolutely mad. It really is brilliant and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
  • “The thing I was most terrified about on this show was being myself.”

Ore Oduba

Famous for: Being a BBC sports presenter.

Known on Strictly for: Getting emotional and shedding a few tears – on more than one occasion.

Grand final dances: Oduba and Clifton will take to the dancefloor with a jive to Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars, their favourite of the series. Their showdance will be set to I Got Rhythm by George and Ira Gershwin.

Best moment: “For me, the best thing has been learning to dance with such an amazing friend.”

Worst moment: “Being in the dance-off for the first time for the salsa. In that moment, the whole Strictly experience flashes before your eyes and within a dance, you might not be able to do this again. And it’s crushing.”

Top score so far: 39 – for the jive in week four, to Runaway Baby, and the Argentine Tango to Can’t Get You out of My Head in the semi-final.

Key quotes:

  • “This show has gone beyond my wildest dreams. There’s something about that live audience, something about knowing the whole country is watching you in that moment.”
  • “I didn’t dance at my own wedding – we didn’t do a routine.”
  • On getting compared to Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain: “That’s going to be banked in the memory for some time.”

Louise Redknapp

Famous for: Performing with girl band Eternal and as a solo singer.

Grand final dances: The dance picked by the pair to repeat for the final is their Argentine Tango to Tanguera by Sexteto Mayor. Their showdance will be to One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston, which Clifton said was “going to be based on Louise… her story on Strictly, how she’s developed from the beginning to the end”.

Best moment: “The moment I enjoyed most was probably with my feathers, in Big Spender – getting to stand up there with two big feathers, shimmying, it’s good fun.”

Worst moment: “Apart from wearing a fruit hat on Saturday, which wasn’t one of my finest moments – I had a slight meltdown over wearing the fruit hat – I cried in rehearsals trying to learn the rumba and I’m not that person – I don’t cry when I can’t get something. I just get on with it. I never thought Strictly would affect me like that.”

Top score so far: 39 – for the Argentine Tango and the waltz.

Key quotes:

  • “I did (Strictly) for real personal reasons – I just wanted to do something for me. Anyone who’s got kids knows that your life becomes very wrapped up in them and you end up doing nothing that you love doing. So Strictly for me was always about week by week, making the most of it, enjoying it. And just really getting back out there and remembering I love performing.”
  • “When I started doing the show, I thought it’s so not going to be up [husband] Jamie’s street – but I can’t get rid of him! He’s in the front row, in the training room… I wasn’t expecting that. It’s nice to see someone you love extremely proud of you. It takes me back to 20 years ago when we first met. All good things come out of Strictly.”
  • “Saturday night, for me… I’m so proud to be there. I’m going to give it my best and enjoy every minute of it.”

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