The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ final is almost upon us, but this weekend will see Joe McFadden, Debbie McGee, Alexandra Burke and Gemma Atkinson battle it out on the dancefloor in a bid to be crowned ‘Strictly’ champ 2017.
This Saturday’s climax will see each of the four finalists dance a judges’ pick, a showdance and their own favourite dance from the past 12 weeks.
Then it’s up to the public - and the public only (sorry judges) - to pick their favourite, with the winner being announced at the end of Saturday’s show.
So who will win? Well, we’re not Mystic Meg, but we’ve taken into account the latest bookies’ odds and the form of each of the finalists over the course of this year’s series to try and determine who stands the best chance of lifting that coveted glitterball trophy.
Joe McFadden - The Dark Horse
Odds: 1/1 Favourite
Out of all the finalists, ‘Holby City’ star Joe has had the biggest journey, which has helped him become this year’s favourite ahead of the final. He got off to a decent, but fairly unremarkable start, but as the series has progressed he’s improved week after week. This has been reflected in his scores, and along with dance partner Katya Jones, it culminated in the pair topping the leaderboard in week 11 for their 1920’s-inspired quickstep. The semi-final saw them unleash an incredible tango to Rag N Bone Man’s ‘Human’, which was arguably their best dance yet, so we’re expecting to see that crowd-pleaser again in Saturday’s grand final.
Debbie McGee - The Surprise Showstopper
From the off, Debbie has wowed us all with her natural dance ability. The 59-year-old has shown she’s more than a match for many of the younger contestants with pretty much every routine featuring a seriously impressive array of high-kicks, splits and lifts (but let’s just forget that Spice Girls routine ever happened, ok?). However, some viewers can’t seem to get past her dance background, insisting her ballet experience gives her an unfair advantage. Quite how much that will impact her chances remains to be seen, but older viewers will not only be rooting for her, but more importantly picking up the phone to vote - so we wouldn’t rule her out of lifting the glitterball trophy. If she does, she’ll become the oldest winner ever to do so.
Alexandra Burke - The Fallen Favourite
We couldn’t be happier that Alexandra has made it to the final after finding herself in the bottom two for the previous two weeks. None of that had anything to do with her insane dancing ability, and everything to do with the public’s perception of her. For weeks, she has been accused of being “fake”, acting like a “diva” and falling out with her dance partner Gorka Marquez by certain sections of the press, leading to the former ‘X Factor’ winner to write an open letter to a certain tabloid addressing their “lies”. At the eleventh hour, it looks like it could have paid off, with her avoiding the dreaded dance-off in semi-final week after delivering a perfect score of 40 for her in-cre-di-ble salsa routine. On dance ability alone, Alexandra deserves to win, but will people pick up the phone and vote?
Gemma Atkinson - The Rank Outsider
Gemma failed to really wow us - or the judges - for the first few weeks of the competition, but then Blackpool happened. The ‘Emmerdale’ star admitted that was when she finally conquered her nerves, and it really showed in her American Smooth in the city’s iconic ballroom, which left head judge Shirley Ballas gushing about her performance. Her dance partner Aljaž Škorjanec is a firm favourite with viewers, which could help her in the final, but we’ll eat our feather boa if she wins. Having said that, after Trump and Brexit, we all know that when it comes to people power, literally anything is possible.