Strictly Come Dancing fans, the wait is nearly over. On Saturday night, the 15th winner of this famous dance show will be announced and Strictly lovers from across the United Kingdom will have their own views on who deserves to be crowned champion.
This year, the winner will be decided by public vote only – the judges will score every performance but these will NOT count towards the final result. Television presenter Ore Oduba won this competition last year and another male in Joe McFadden could be crowned champion this time around.
Yet to feature in the dreaded dance-off, McFadden is a clear favourite with Strictly fans and punters will be tempted by the 4/6 on offer for the Holby City star to emerge victorious - he would be the third man in a row to win the coveted glitter ball. For the rest of the field, a female winner is valued at 6/5 in our television specials...
Dancing the American Smooth as well as a show dance and her own pick, Alexandra Burke is arguably the most gifted dancer in the competition. Despite receiving very high marks from the judges on a weekly basis, she has been saved twice by the judges in the dance off.
Based on their standing with Strictly fans on social media, Alexandra and partner Gorka Marquez will need a BIG performance on Saturday to stand any chance of winning the glitterball.
After receiving a perfect 40 for her Tango back in Week 7, some viewers may be surprised to hear that the judges have chosen the Salsa for Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice to perform this weekend.
Her efforts earlier in the series earned her 33 points on this dance and they will need to score higher than that. She has excellent technique but as a trained ballet dancer, the public may be inclined to consider voting for Joe instead. 2/1 is still a very good price given her skillset.
Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec will be dancing the Paso Doble this weekend and the former Hollyoaks and Emmerdale star will be full of confidence after scoring 35 for the dance earlier in the series.
Having featured in the dance off just once in the semi-finals, Gemma is popular with the public and that gives her an outside chance of snatching victory. The judges have been harsh to her at times this year and her huge fan base will be fully behind her this weekend.
The Viennese Waltz isn’t the liveliest of dances but Joe McFadden and Katya Jones have the quality and personality to succeed. He has NEVER featured in the dance off – a telling sign that the British public are fully behind him.
With next to no previous dance training, most viewers can relate to his journey and he stands a good chance of being crowned champion. Has enjoyed himself throughout the competition and another huge Saturday awaits.
Joe would be a deserving winner – his journey to the final has been fantastic. To think that he scored 22 points back in Week 2 and is now competing in the Strictly final shows just how much improvement he has made. A red hot favourite heading into Saturday night.
On dancing content, Debbie would be a worthy winner too. She was the first celebrity to receive a perfect score of 40 this series and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see her prevail if Joe has an off-night.
Alexandra and Gemma are dark horses. The former is very talented but may not receive the votes needed to triumph whilst the latter is the weakest dancer but remains popular with Strictly fans. Hard to back either contender for me…
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*