Caroline Flack has been crowned the winner of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
The television presenter, known for presenting shows such as The Xtra Factor, and her partner Pasha Kovalev beat off fellow finalists Simon Webbe, Frankie Bridge and Mark Wright in a thrilling final, which saw Mark Wright leave before the remaining finalists danced their favourite routines from the series.
The duo had become the favourites to win the series after topping the leader board for the last three weeks, with their position as favourite being cemented after receiving the first perfect 40 of the series from the judges for their Salsa in the semi final, coaxing a 10 out of the notoriously hard-to-please Craig Revel Horwood. This was followed up by a perfect score of 120 points the final itself, for their judges choice dance, the Cha Cha Cha, their show dance and finally their favourite routine, the Charleston. This is a feat never previously achieved by any other finalist in Strictly history, and becoming the first celebrity to score a perfect 40 on four separate occasions and led to high praise from the judges, with Revel Horwood claiming that they had “melted” his heart, whilst head judge Len Goodman described her as “24 carat”.
Fellow finalist Simon Webbe, with his partner Kristina Rihanoff, looked set to cause an upset and beat Caroline and Pasha to the glitter ball trophy when they too received a perfect 40, dancing the Argentine Tango which they first danced in Blackpool. They also scored two 39’s in the final, for their judges choice dance, the Charleston, and their show dance. This left him second on the leader board at the end of the night with a total score of 118.
Frankie Bridge and her partner Kevin Clifton did not receive the perfect 40, but still amassed a total of 116 points, consisting of a 39 for their judges choice dance, the Samba and a 39 for their favourite dance, the Paso Doble, with a 38 for their Fred and Ginger inspired show dance.
Before being declared fourth, Mark Wright and his partner Karen Hauer had danced the Cha Cha Cha as their judges choice dance and the show dance, gaining a total of 70 points out of 80, with both dances receiving 35 points.
After being declared winners, both Caroline and Pasha were emotional, with Caroline praising all her fellow competitors, the judges, presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman and finally Pasha himself. This was the third final in four years for Pasha, showing that he is one of the most consistently good professional dancers to be paired with.
Her fellow competitors then proceeded to lift the duo up for further celebrations whilst the Strictly band played out ‘Celebration’.
The night itself also included a medley from Take That, singing tracks ‘Greatest Day’, ‘These Days’ and ‘Never Forget’ whilst the professional dancers took to the floor. Other highlights included the return of the Class of 2014 to the dance floor, and a preview of the pantomime themed Christmas special, which has the return of Bruce Forsyth to the show.[poll id=”12″]