By Emma Saunders
It is the 13th and final week of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing – but it will be lucky for one of the four celebrity contestants hoping to win.
Molly Rainford, Fleur East, Helen Skelton and Hamza Yassin are all aiming to lift the BBC One show’s famous glitterball trophy on Saturday.
Wildlife presenter Hamza, the only male celebrity left in the contest, has been the long-time bookmakers’ favourite.
Each celebrity will dance three times in the final.
As usual, one will be chosen by the judges, one will be their own favourite dance from the series, and the other is a show dance.
They include Helen’s jive to Tightrope by Janelle Monae and Hamza’s show dance to Let’s Face The Music And Dance by Irving Berlin.
Molly will dance her quickstep to Love On Top by Beyonce, while Fleur will perform her couple’s choice dance to a Destiny’s Child megamix.
None of the professional dancers in this year’s final have won Strictly before. Vito Coppola and Carlos Gu, who partner Fleur and Molly respectively, are new to the show.
Jowita Przystal is paired with Hamza, her first Strictly partnership since joining the show in 2021, not including last year’s Christmas special when she danced with Adrian Chiles.
Gorka Marquez, who is with Helen, has made the final before but never won.
The final four couples made it through from last week’s semi-final, which saw actor Will Mellor and his partner Nancy Xu eliminated.
This year’s Strictly has suffered some schedule changes due to the football World Cup taking place in Qatar, but Saturday’s show will kick off as expected at 19:05 GMT and run until 21:35.
Who are the finalists?
Molly Rainford is this year’s youngest contestant and recently celebrated her 22nd birthday. She first found fame as a child when she auditioned as a singer on Britain’s Got Talent and ended up coming sixth in the final.
She currently stars in the CBBC series Nova Jones. Molly’s been in the dreaded dance-off four times in this Strictly series, but she keeps bouncing back. Her stunning Paso Doble in the semi-final was rewarded with a score of 39 out of 40.
Singer and radio presenter Fleur East has also had her fair show of dance-off showdowns, but has hung in there and earned high praise from the judges.
She and Vito provided one of this series’ highlights when they managed to get Craig Revel Horwood to bring out his 10 paddle for the first time this series in honour of her Beyoncé-style couple’s choice routine in Blackpool. She ended up with the perfect score, 40 out of 40.
TV presenter Helen Skelton has quietly and determinedly fought her way to the final.
The audience gave Craig the biggest boos of the season – and that’s saying something – when he only gave her nine our of 10 for her couple’s choice dance two weeks ago. Her Cabaret-style performance was given top marks by Shirley Ballas, Anton du Beke and Motsi Mabuse, however.
Wildlife camera operator and presenter Hamza Yassin has become known for his daring lifts with Jowita.
His African-inspired couple’s choice dance last month reduced Motsi to tears (in a good way). He had never danced formally or had any lessons before taking part in the show. And now he’s the last man standing.
This series – the BBC show’s 20th – began in September with 15 celebrities in the running including singer Matt Goss, actress Kym Marsh and Paralympian Ellie Simmonds.
Marsh missed one week due to contracting Covid-19, while football star Tony Adams had to withdraw due to injury ahead of a dance-off earlier in the series.
Du Beke formally took Bruno Tonioli’s seat at the judges’ desk after the Italian left the show to concentrate on its equivalent in the US, Dancing with the Stars.