Friday night at Wintergardens was full of excitement!! Everybody: dancers, audience and I am sure the judges had a great time! Just like on Wednesday night I was impressed to see so many couples dance well and hardly anyone have a bad day.. That is why we stomped our feet through the whole Tango in the Final and jumped off our seats half way through the Quickstep!!! Congratulations to my fellow competitors on such amazing dancing! I had a very positive feeling while watching the competition (particularly the Final) as I really did notice the improvement in many couples!

Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova (USA). This couple possess a great quality of movement, impeccable shape, and awareness of center.. Their dancing is build on proper execution of ballroom dancing principles. That is why they are so consistent in their performance and I don’t see any distorted shapes or roughness in their movement.. At this moment they are the only couple in the final who have “the whole package” and the only ones truly deserving the title of British Open Champions. This competition was an easy win for Arunas and Katusha yet they still gave it a full 100% and put up a stunning performance!!
Katusha had beautiful gowns on, I particularly liked the soft pink she wore in earlier rounds.. I don’t think black is her color on the floor as it does not quite match her bubbly outgoing personality :).. though no doubt she can pull it off as well as  any other color.

Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyova (USA) were delighted to gain a prestigious second position in Blackpool Championships! Congratulations guys!! I think the absence of Mirko and Edita gave them an extra encouragement for this competition. They looked like they had absolutely no pressure and fully enjoyed the dancing. To me they were easily second in all dances. While I believe their performance at International 2011 was “special”, tonight was a good night for them and I enjoyed their dancing very much! My favorite dance was still their Tango and if they would to challenge the Champions at some point - it would be primarily in this dance. What I also noticed this time - Victor and Anastasia had found more harmony in the way they stand with each other which results in more consistent and even stronger performance. Hopefully that will give them the opportunity to produce great performances regularly and will allow them to seriously challenge for the first place.
I would like to congratulate Anastasia on her choice of dresses and hair style. It looked slick, classy and very complimentary to the overall look of the couple...

Andrea Ghigiarelli and Sara Andracchio (England) placed third in all dances. I like this couple’s dancing a lot. They are powerful, have a great shift across the floor and a good energy.  They turned Professional relatively recently and fit very well into the Final. When they just came out as Pros and I saw them competing for the first time, I remember thinking to myself - if they continue to show this kind of dancing they will very soon be challenging Victor and Anastasia (particularly if the later do not have a good night). But ... this time at Blackpool they unfortunately did not stand up to my expectations (which I admit were very high :)... They put up a good consistent performance from the very first round, but not as special as saw them earlier and to me they were clearly 3rd.
In my opinion Sara always looks good in soft flowing dresses with big floats (like the one she wore for earlier rounds). The Semi and Final dresses, though very beautiful, I am not sure were the right choice for her.

Domen Krapez and Monica Nigro (Slovenia) also had a good competition tonight. They are so tall and are such soft dancers - great combination!! Definitely to my liking! 🙂 I think they should keep developing this quality and make it so visible and obvious to everybody that it becomes their trade mark as a couple. Softness and flexibility look great on tall dancers! At the same time I was impressed with their Tango tonight. Powerful continuous action alternating with clear staccato.. Great dynamics!
Monica was stunning as always in both of her gowns that complimented her incredible femininity..

Valerio Colantoni and Yulia Spesivtseva (Russia) danced well but failed to impress me with any new development in their dancing. More or less consistent and accurate throughout the competition. They have all the assets to become Champions. They match each other perfectly and have a great look. They could benefit from using their weight more (which would require a more vertical and relaxed body position). That would allow them to have a better competitive edge against the other Finalists whom most of currently have a very good use of weight.
Yulia is a beautiful elegant lady. To her choice of gowns for this competition I much more prefer when she wears “serious” bold colors and simple yet sophisticated styles. That would give her a regal look on the floor.

Warren and Kristi Boyce (England) in my opinion had one of their best competitions in awhile. Very together, good space... Though they already have quite a unique hard to miss presence on the floor, in my opinion their own niche in dancing is yet to be found.. That would help them make a clearer statement on the floor and would be very helpful for the future to challenge for the higher placement.
Kristi looked great in bright colors! Wise choice for Blackpool!!

Sascha and Natasha Karabey (Germany). Every time I looked at this couple tonight I had a feeling - it was not a good night for them 🙁 .. I am really sorry to say this as I am usually a fan of their dancing.. But tonight it seemed like everything from dancing to costume choice was off.. The lack of energy due mainly to not consistent space between the heads overshadowed their famous smoothness and shift across the floor.. That often seems to be the case for the great shifters - they have a hard time maintaining a good spacial factor... The choice of the dress colors was in my opinion a little unfortunate for the lighting in the room and did not compliment at all the color of Natasha’s skin and hair. I am positive Sasha and Natasha will recuperate for the next competition and will show a great performance next time I see them!!

Angelo Madonia and Antonella Decarolis (Italy). This couple did extremely well for themselves tonight! Being a new partnership and making a Blackpool Final - THAT is a serious achievement! They made the Final in Tango and took the 4th place! Congratulations! In my opinion Angelo looked very confident and had a strong dominant appearance on the floor tonight. His posture had improved a lot and I am looking forward to the further development of his partnership with Antonella. To me Tango was their strongest dance (which was proved by their good result)... While they should definitely continue to enhance their strengths, I would like to see them develop a softer approach in the swing dances by relaxing their joints and letting the natural forces such as gravity for example, work in their favor. That will allow better release of weight and freer swing.. I am very excited for this new partnership!! Good Luck! 🙂

Chao Yang and Yi Ling Tan (China). Oh my Goodness!!! This couple was definitely one of the delights of Blackpool 2012!! When I learned that they had won Rising Star on Monday night I was very happy and couldn’t wait to see them compete in the Open. And... I got to say - I was really impressed! They had improved so much! Much better space, very wise choice of choreography that suits them well and of course great swing which was always their best asset. No wonder so many people were happy when Marcus Hilton called them into the Final in the Quickstep! I am glad that their good performance on the night and their improvement from before got recognized and appreciated by judges from the very beginning of their Pro career! That is a big big encouragement for them! What a start!!! Good Luck in the future my Dears!! 🙂

Friday night at Blackpool Dance Festival was and will always be special for me... And though I enjoyed watching the competition a lot I did miss dancing on the most beautiful floor in the world to the best “Blackpool” music...
Blackpool is a Living Legend... I am sure many competitors of all ages and of all the countries share my feelings and I am glad that no political disagreements, banning or restrictions affected the magical atmosphere of this great event!