For the past eleven weeks we have watched 15 #celebrities and their professional dance partners battle it out on Strictly Come Dancing. As the #TV show progressed, each week saw one of the pairs voted off the show. Now, we are left with four couples — Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard, Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse, Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton and Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton. The race is on for the glitterball trophy and there is no doubt that every couple will be giving it all they have on Saturday night's semi-final.
Although all of the remaining couples would be considered worthy finalists, there is no doubt in my mind that gymnast Claudia and her professional dance partner AJ should be crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing. Claudia may have had little dance experience before participating in the show, but you wouldn't know that from watching her and AJ perform now. Claudia is the underdog and, as we've seen in the past, the public love an underdog — if anyone deserves to lift that trophy, it's her.
Claudia Has Improved Each Week
Again, unlike some of the other participants, Claudia entered Strictly Come Dancing with no previous dance experience at all. Over the course of the competition she has improved exponentially and her performances have been thoroughly enjoyable. From her and AJ's Charleston to their Paso Doble, all of their routines have been wonderful and I've definitely found myself re-watching some of them afterwards. Who could forget their Lion King themed Salsa from Musicals week? Or their brilliant Charleston from Movie Week?
Claudia's gymnastic skills have of course played a part in her becoming a better dancer and, as well as learning AJ's complex dance routines, she has also learned the technique of the dance — from neat footwork to capturing the character of the dance. This has allowed for a much better technically correct performance.
Relive Claudia and AJ's fun filled Charleston from Week 3:
Also, Claudia's gymnastic skills have allowed her to carry out AJ's daring lifts throughout the competition and unlike some of the contestants on previous years of the show, Claudia recovers from the strenuous lifts with ease. Again, due to her experience as a gymnast, she has incredible core strength which has allowed her to pull off the choreography beautifully.
AJ's Choreography Is Magnificent
The current series of Strictly is AJ's first yet the young dancer has done anything but play it safe. His choreography has been daring, fresh and left audiences completely in awe. Competition #reality shows like Strictly can get a little repetitive with the same dance routines being performed week in and week out, so when a young visionary like AJ comes along with fresh ideas and wonderful choreography, it adds a level of originality to the series — we get to witness something new.
I find myself looking forward to Claudia and AJ's performances more than the other #celebs; I like to see something new and original and AJ's incredible choreography never disappoints. AJ continues to surprise me and even with his fearless choreography, Claudia has mastered almost everything the professional dancer has thrown at her.
The pairs' stunning Argentine Tango from Week 11 was incredible and it really shows how far Claudia has come as a dancer since Week 1. Moreover, this routine highlighted the attention to detail that both AJ and Claudia have and everything about that performance was jaw dropping — easily one of the greatest dances of the season. In only a matter of weeks, AJ has become my favourite of the professional dancers and I hope he sticks around for many years to come.
Are you a fan of BBC programming? Check out these:
- Why Kellie Bright Should've Won Strictly Come Dancing 2015
- EastEnders & Strictly Star Kellie Bright Announces Her Pregnancy
- Why BBC's Happy Valley Is One Of The Most Compelling Shows Around
- Conspiracy Theories And More: What To Expect From BBC's Sherlock Season 4
AJ And Claudia Have Consistently Outperformed The Other Contestants
Although AJ and Claudia are considered the underdogs, the combination of AJ's excellent choreography and Claudia's gymnastic skills have resulted in the pair outperforming the other contestants for a number of weeks. Having said that, the judges consistently undermark the twosome and at one stage they were the only couple left in the competition who had not scored a "10" from the judges.
Even the duo's brilliant Argentine Tango failed to earn them a "10" even though it was more than deserving of one. I'm not the only one to notice, as many social media users took to Twitter to express their disdain at how Claudia and AJ never get the credit they deserve.
The pair have only been in the dance-off once and ever since they've fought tooth and nail to keep their place in the competition. After finally scoring their first "10" last week, the duo are set to perform two dances in the semi-final — the Rhumba and the Quickstep. Claudia and AJ have been consistently brilliant throughout and they've never disappointed in their performance.
Despite not getting the the respect they deserve, the viewers have seen Claudia's potential and AJ's brilliance and have been voting for them every week and hopefully they will continue to do so until the pair lift the coveted trophy.
Relive Claudia and AJ's phenomenal Argentine Tango from Week 10:
With Strictly Come Dancing getting ready to wrap up for another year, the race for the glitter ball is well land truly underway. We're down to four acts and although all of them deserve their place in the semi-final, once act must leave this weekend. Claudia and AJ have stunned audiences for weeks now yet never get the respect they deserve. It would be a complete injustice if they were to miss out on a place in the final, so if you are a fan make sure you vote for Claudia and AJ on Saturday night.
Similar to Kellie Bright losing out on the trophy last year, it would be travesty if Claudia and AJ didn't make the final. Claudia and AJ have never disappointed in their performance and there is no doubt in my mind that they have what it takes to quickstep their way to victory on Strictly Come Dancing.
Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One. Previous episodes are available for purchase on BBC Store. Are you going to be voting for Claudia and AJ to win Strictly Come Dancing? Tell me in the comment section below.