Tuesday 10 Dec 2013
After six weeks of explosive performances, exhausting rehearsals under the tutelage of some of the dance world's leading choreographers, and dramatic judgements, Charlie Bruce has been named Britain's Favourite Dancer, and crowned the winner of the first series of BBC One's So You Think You Can Dance.
Following a dramatic final week which saw fellow-finalist Robbie White withdraw from the competition, due to an injury sustained in rehearsal, tension was fever-pitch between the remaining three finalists as they headed in to tonight's Grand Final.
Performing Pop Jazz, Tango, Hip Hop, Samba, Lyrical, Broadway, Jazz and Contemporary routines in groups and couples, as well as their all-important solos, the finalists had their work cut out to impress the viewers at home and get the chance to dance on the US show and take home the £100,000 prize.
Standing in for Robbie, who appeared at the start of the show with host Cat Deeley, were former contestants Alastair Postlethwaite, Mark Calape and Drew McOnie in routines partnered with the competing finalists.
McOnie later teamed up with former dance partner Hayley Newton to perform the Judges' Favourite dance from the series – their much-loved Contemporary 'Bed' routine performed in Week 2, choreographed by Raphael Bonachela.
After all the performances, the judges reflected on the performances of the evening.
Nigel Lythgoe said: "All the dancers were inspirational and, I think, for series two, it's going to inspire all the dancers sitting out there wondering if they'll audition. They're all going to get up and audition after tonight... any one of these three are worthy winners, and the whole point of not just the £100,000 but actually going to Hollywood to expose their talents to 20 million people and work with all those choreographers... it's a chance in a lifetime."
For Arlene Phillips, it was "a battle of the girls, and Lizzie tonight in Sweet Dreams – her acting was absolutely phenomenal... that edged it for me."
Louise Redknapp agreed it was all about Girl Power: "I'm along with Arlene on this one and I think Lizzie in Sweet Dreams and Charlie in the lyrical."
Sisco Gomez, however, sided with Tommy, saying that his routine with returning dancer Mark was the highlight: "That Hip Hop was representing."
After the couples' performances, each dancer performed a solo to showcase why they should be named Britain's Favourite Dancer.
On Lizzie's solo, Louise said: "Let me say this is not a one-horse race! Lizzie, your solo every week is unique. Not many people can spin on their head the way you did. You are a strong, edgy, cool, exciting dancer and I love you."
On Tommy's shirtless solo, Arlene said: "Tommy, what you do is unique. I have to say last week's solo was phenomenal, this week's solo was phenomenal too. You live, breathe, hear, feel and see music. And taking your shirt off too was pretty good."
On Charlie's solo, Arlene said: "Charlie, you have just changed tonight and grown through this series. That solo was one of your best. It wasn't necessarily your very best, but what you have done through the night is mega, honey. Mega."
Eliminated in third place was Lizzie Gough, leaving Tommy Franzen and Charlie to go head-to-head for the title.
Of Lizzie's time in the competition, Arlene said: "Never mind the audience ringing and voting, phones will be ringing for Lizzie right now from choreographers and producers to get this outstanding talent in some way. I know that."
Following her elimination, Lizzie said: "I think I've been lucky because I've had a different style every week and I've never had a bad routine. I'm still going to go to America and kick ass over there!"
Cat Deeley later announced the results and, after weeks of hard-work, it was announced that Britain's Favourite Dancer was Charlie!
Following the announcement, Nigel said: "I'm exhausted. To have seen Tommy and Charlie grow across this series has been wonderful. Both were spectacular this evening but, for me, Charlie edged it. I'm going to be so delighted to take her to America."
And the newly-crowned champion, an emotional and tearful Charlie, said: "I'm absolutely speechless. Thank you so much. I did it. I did it... I'll never forget this!"
The results show had performances from Robbie Williams singing the official Sport Relief single, Morning Sun; a group dance featuring the three finalists to I Gotta Feeling choreographed by Paul Domaine; as well as a spectacular routine reuniting all the show's former dancers to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance.
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