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James and Ola Jordan: Strictly's final was exceptional, Maisie did the dance of the series, and why the leaderboard didn't make sense

That's a wrap for Strictly 2020!

Nichola Murphy

The Strictly Come Dancing final was just what the nation needed following a disappointing announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding more COVID-19 restrictions.

With the show taking place in such difficult circumstances, Ola and James Jordan couldn't help but praise the production team and everyone involved in the dancing competition – with James even admitting he thought the final was the highlight of the entire 2020 series!

READ: Strictly fans react after Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse win 2020 series

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse made records when they took home the Glitterball trophy on Saturday – not only is the comedian, 55, the oldest celebrity to win the show, but it also marked a back-to-back victory for Oti. 

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So what did former Strictly professionals Ola and James think of the final four celebrities and the leaderboard? Keep scrolling to read their final 2020 Strictly Speaking column...

James: My highlight of the entire series was the final, what a brilliant way to end the show when so many people needed a lift in their lives. It had a bit of everything – great dancing, the comedic value, it was emotional.

Ola: My highlight was the series itself! The whole team did such a great job to keep the show going in such a difficult time. The hair, makeup, costume department, camera guys, runners, everyone – well done to them. 

James: The semi-final was quite disappointing but the final was exceptional. The remaining couples got to do their best dances again so you're seeing great performances. 

Ola: It's what we all needed, it gave us two hours not to think about the coronavirus pandemic, to watch the glitz and glamour of the show and vote for your favourite.

James: So what was your favourite dance of the night?

Ola: For me, there were a few. I still love Maisie's Samba and Quickstep – they're next level. 

James: Her Quickstep was the dance of the series in my opinion.

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Maisie's Quickstep was the "dance of the series" for James

Ola: But not taking away from HRVY's Jive and his American Smooth.

James: I thought HRVY and Janette had the best showdance. That's what a showdance should be – full-on, lots of lifts, entertaining, lots of bits from previous routines. They nailed it! I was gutted they didn't win but it's the public's choice and that was the right result, I'm happy for Bill and Oti.

Ola: I loved that Janette gave the choreographers credit last night.

READ: Jamie Laing breaks silence after missing out on Strictly win

James: It's changed a lot now. When we were on the show we might get a bit of help with the Argentine Tango or Salsa or the Charleston, but everything else we did ourselves. There's nothing wrong with getting outside help, but I like that Janette isn't afraid to say that.

Ola: Janette is just a lovely person.

James: Speaking of showdances, Bill got a perfect score. He's 55, he had the best production value, but if he got a perfect score then 100 million per cent, HRVY and Janette should have too. I'm not saying Bill didn't deserve it, his dance was still good, just not as good as HRVY's.

Ola: Do you think it should have been HRVY or Maisie who won?

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Bill and Oti were the people's champion

James: No, that's the great thing about Strictly – it's not a proper dance competition. If it was, Maisie would have been first, HRVY would have been second, Bill would have been third and Jamie would have been fourth. But that would be boring because it's too predictable. Bill is the people's champion and therefore he deserves it!

Ola: I like the fact the public gets a say in who is going to win, but the judges' scores still have an impact.

James: Not everyone that is judging at home is a trained dancer, they vote on what their emotions are telling them. If the judges were saying, 'Bill, you've never danced before and you'd be the oldest winner' they were setting it up a bit for Bill to win. 

I'm not taking anything away from him, he was brilliant at the beginning. I loved his Quickstep on Saturday which he first performed very early on – all of his best dances were in the first half of the series.

Ola: Bill, HRVY and Maisie all ended on a joint score of 88 anyway.

James: What a massive coincidence that all three of them got the same score!

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Ola Jordan and Chris Hollins won Strictly in 2009

Ola: Oti is the first professional to win the Glitterball trophy back-to-back, and normally someone who wins doesn't make it to the final the following year.

James: You must know how they're feeling now after your win with Chris Hollins in 2009.

Ola: It's an overwhelming feeling to wake up the next morning when you are back to a bit of normality and realise that people at home have voted for you to win. All that hard work and you got the cherry on the cake. It really is a massive achievement, so for Oti to get two consecutive wins is amazing.

James: The producers knew Bill's dance ability before they paired him with Oti.

Ola: Since about 2013, they try all the celebrities out before pairing them with a professional.

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James and Ola were gutted HRVY didn't win

James: Maisie has received some grief for her dance training which I didn't think was fair. 

Ola: HRVY and Bill have had dance training too.

MORE: Gemma Atkinson finally reunites with emotional Gorka Marquez after Strictly final

James: And Bill won – maybe it's because people may think Bill's training was so long ago. But he's still from the entertainment world and I think he's had more training than people may believe.

Ola: Craig also gave Maisie a nine last night after saying he couldn't find anything wrong with her dance. 

James: She deserved 10s so give her 10s! It's almost like Craig doesn't give out as many 10s as that's his role on the show.

Ola: Her Quickstep was certainly worth a 10!

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The former Strictly dancers thought the leaderboard didn't make sense

James: If he gave her a 10 she would have been at the top of the leaderboard! I can't see any other reason why she didn't get perfect scores, other than wanting to tie the leaderboard.

Maisie was clearly the best dancer and Jamie was the worst. They put Jamie at the bottom of the leaderboard but they didn't put Maisie first, so it doesn't make sense.

Ola: In the final, the celebrities are under pressure to do the dances justice the second time around.

James: Yes, if you did it very early on and everyone said how much you'd improved you'd expect to go out there and do the dance better than you did it the first time. But you've got to remember the routine and do three dances each!

Ola: You don't get as much time to spend on each dance, and there's a brand new show dance.

They were all brilliant, but I wonder who the Duchess of Cornwall was rooting for, she has always been a fan of the show.

James: Strictly is a fantastic show and will always work, but it's great to know the royal family are sitting at home and watching as well. It just shows what a great family show it is!

Ola: How are we going to fill our Saturday nights now?

James: I might have to start trying to get fit again – I look like Father Christmas!

We’ve loved sharing our Strictly thoughts and are so excited that we’ll be back in January to give you the inside take on 2021’s Dancing on Ice. So stay tuned - and have a fantastic Christmas!

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