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Strictly Come Dancing final: What makes a winner?

Strictly Come Dancing judges

After weeks of dancing, rehearsing, injuries and don't forget that kiss - this weekend we will have another Strictly Come Dancing winner.

Journalist Stacey Dooley, YouTube star Joe Sugg, Steps pop star Faye Tozer and former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts will all be battling it out for the glitterball trophy.

The bookies have Stacey as the favourite, but arguably she is not the best dancer, so what does it take to win Strictly?

Emma Bullimore is a TV critic and says there are many factors that can help the celebrity claim victory.

Take the audience on 'a journey'

"Likeability is very important," she tells us.

"If you look at Joe McFadden last year, he had a combination of a journey and likeability.

"He wasn't the best dancer there but it is quite rare that the best dancer actually wins."

Image caption Stacey Dooley has been on a classic journey through the series and that has helped her become the bookies favourite

Emma says Stacey Dooley is having a classic journey.

"She didn't look like a professional dancer at the beginning.

"But now, not only is she getting to be a better dancer but she is also blossoming, her personality is coming through.

"She was understated to start with but now wants more and more feathers and sequins.

Have lots of fans

An absolute shocker this one. Having a huge fan base is also useful.

Joe Sugg has that big fan base - he's got more than eight million followers on YouTube - and you can almost guarantee some will be voting for him regardless of how well he dances.

Image caption YouTuber Joe Sugg has a huge online following and there are romantic rumours about him and his dance partner

Amy Elizabeth is the presenter and producer of the official Strictly Come Dancing podcast. She says having a big following is key in the early rounds.

"It's not just having the fan base, it is who is your fan base," she says.

"If you have got teenage girls as fans then they are more likely to get a bit fanatical about you, they will share it on their socials and really get behind you."

It was a similar situation with Jay McGuiness from The Wanted, who won in 2015.

Image copyright Larry Marano
Image caption Jay McGuiness (far right) won the 13th series, benefitting from already having huge numbers of fans of his band The Wanted

Don't be that good a dancer (at first)

One thing that viewers don't warm to, is a celebrity with a dance background according to Amy.

"Alexandra Burke last year and this year Ashley Roberts," Amy says.

"She has been quite safe with the judges because even if she gets down to deadlock she will pull out an amazing dance.

"No-one can fault her skills, she is an incredible dancer but with her background a lot of the public are not as impressed."

Image copyright Guy Levy/BBC
Image caption Former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts hasn't impressed the viewers who feel she has an unfair advantage because of her dance background

Make them feel the love

Who doesn't like a bit of romance?

Audiences like a hint of a spark between the celebrity and their professional dance partner according to Emma Bullimore.

"If you look at series one, Natasha Kaplinsky won and there were a lot of rumours about her and Brendan (Cole, her professional dance partner)," she explains.

"During series eight there were lots of rumours about Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev and she went on to win.

"If there is a sense of chemistry, a sense of potential, something there sizzling away, then I think people like investing in that as well."

Image caption We are all suckers for a love story like Kara and Artem's, but even just a hint of a romance can help propel the celebrity to the final

It takes two...

Let us not forget the professional dancers.

Who celebrities get partnered up with can also have an impact on how well they do.

The show has been going for 16 years so some of the pro dancers are as famous and popular as the celebrities.

And as Tom Wohlfahrt, a dance teacher at the City Academy in London explains, they have to be able to choreograph the right dance.

"They have a huge impact, they have to chose the choreography carefully and think about the style and how it is presented," he explains.

"They need to be good teachers and make sure the dance isn't too easy that the judges aren't impressed.

"But not too hard that the celebrity cannot master it and is likely to make mistakes."

The Strictly Grand Final is on BBC One on Saturday 15 December at 6.30pm.

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