Strictly Come Dancing: Louis Smith lifts the trophy

 

Bruce Forsyth announced the winner of the final, in which Louis Smith went topless for his showdance

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Olympic Gymnast Louis Smith has been crowned champion of this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

The 23-year-old, who won a silver medal at this summer's Olympic Games, lifted the glitterball trophy after performing a quick-footed Charleston.

"I can finally say I won something in the year 2012," he said.

Smith beat actress Dani Harmer, TV presenter Denise Van Outen and Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh in the hotly-contested competition.

The final was watched by a peak audience of 14m people, up from 13.3m in 2011.

Smith was this year's youngest competitor, and was partnered with professional dancer Flavia Cacace.

He suffered several injuries during the 14-week contest, and said he would require a knee operation now the dancing has finished.

Louis Smith's dances

• Judges' Choice: Salsa to (I've Had) The Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

• Showdance: Rule The World by Take That

• Favourite Dance: Charleston to Dr Wanna Do by Caro Emerald

His back also caused problems throughout his career, which stopped him from performing too many dramatic lifts before the final.

The majority of those came during his showdance, which he performed topless to Take That's Rule The World.

Judge Bruno Tonionli said the routine "blew me away".

"That had grace. It had fluidity. It was sensual, as well," he added.

Head judge Len Goodman agreed, saying: "If this show goes on to another 20 years, I don't think we'll see another show dance like that."

Louis Smith lifts the trophy Louis and Flavia's names will be added to the bottom of the glitterball trophy
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace The couple's dancing was called "seamless, cool and calm" by the judges
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace in rehearsals The celebrities battled through 15 weeks of training to reach the finals

Smith had struggled in the opening weeks of the show, his lack of showmanship resulting in lower-than-expected scores.

Goodman said there was "no fire" in his performance - but things started to pick up after he enlisted the help of a drama coach to prepare for a Charleston in week nine.

That performance was repeated for the final, with a daring double somersault over his dancing partner.

At the final

It's all about the mops.

Between the fleckles, the spins, the jives and the jazz hands, Strictly is powered by an army of mops. Out they come, after every big number, sweeping up the glitter in case the next contestant takes a fall.

The show is such a well-oiled machine by now that watching in the studio is similar to seeing it at home. It is only the small details, like the mops, that catch your eye.

Kimberley's earring getting caught in her hair during the tango, Nicky Byrne being stitched into his trousers, Louis Smith with a heat pack stuffed down his britches.

But the routines are as dazzling in real life as on screen. When James Jordan dropped Denise Van Outen to the floor and spun her around, there was a collective intake of breath.

And you thought to yourself: Maybe they don't need those mops after all.

Cacace, who first appeared in the show in 2004, yelped in fear as Smith tumbled above her head - but the effort proved worth it, giving her the first Strictly win of her career.

Smith said he would celebrate his win by breaking his diet and taking a well-earned rest.

"I can't wait to have a drink of mulled wine, eat sausage rolls. I might order a Chinese on Christmas Eve," he said.

"I've pretty much been non-stop since April. To go from the Olympics straight into this, it's just been crazy."

'Nimble Kimble'

Earlier in the night, children's TV star Dani Harmer became the first celebrity to be eliminated, after nerves appeared to affect her showdance, performed to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

The remaining contestants then performed their favourite dance from the series, before Smith was revealed as the winner.

Making the final cut was a shock Denise Van Outen, who had been voted into the dance-off during the quarter and semi-finals.

The former Big Breakfast presenter was undoubtedly saved by a bravely acrobatic showdance, peppered with daring lifts and spins.

Tonioli called the routine "epic", while fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood said: "I can't believe the things your body did."

Kimberley Walsh performs her showdance Bruno Tonioli called Walsh's showdance a "latin flavoured stun-o-rama"

"I can't believe it," Van Outen replied. "I'm nearly 40".

The judges also had high praise for pop star Kimberley Walsh, whom they dubbed "Nimble Kimble".

She set temperatures soaring with a pyrotechnic performance of Beyonce's Crazy In Love, involving a mid-routine costume change.

"Indecent, improper, absolute filth," said Horwood. "I loved it."

After the show, Smith told the BBC he had been convinced the Girls Aloud singer "was going to walk away with" the title.

"I thought she was outstanding. When they announced us, I couldn't believe it."

Walsh returned the compliment, saying "we all did our best and we all loved every minute of it".

Far from being disappointed, the 31-year-old said she felt a "bizarre sense of calm to know the result".

Ratings success

Although the main series has now ended, Strictly will return for a pre-recorded Christmas special on 25 December.

Among the newcomers will be actress Sheila Hancock, former footballer Fabrice Muamba, and Jonathan 'JB' Gill from pop group JLS.

Meanwhile, judge Darcey Bussell has confirmed she will return for the 2013 series, after making her debut this year.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my first series," she said, "and I'm absolutely delighted to be returning."

This year's competition - which also saw Jerry Hall, Lisa Riley and Fern Britton take part - regularly beat ITV rival The X Factor in the ratings.

Compared to last year, however, its viewing figures dropped slightly - from an average of 10.9m to 10.7m.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 313.

    This show..and X factor need to go very far away..As my old dad used to say "If it looks like it..and smells like it..it is it " Shallow shows for a country full of shallow people ...............................

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 312.

    Absolutely fabulus darlings. best ever, too close to call but we wanted Louis and Fav to win albeit Kimbo was brilliant.

  • Comment number 311.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 310.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 309.

    In these days where the quest seems to be for instant gratification without any input from the individual it is a delight to see a show that presents the skills and dedication from a group of non professionals.
    The live music and presentation is a sheer delight and the hara work of all the backroom staff is simply incredible. Why can't we have more entertainment like this?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 308.

    well done louis and flavia worthy winners, this years is the best so far, dont know what i will do with my sat nights untill it starts again. Well done to all that took part and everyone who worked on the show to pull it off

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 307.

    Wonderful show that reminds us of the best of humanity! Louis was a worthy winner and has matured so wonderfully through the competition - his Mum must be so proud. But for me it is the superlative professional dancers who are the key stars - watching them brings tears to my eyes when I think of the hardship and squalor that all this will be replaced by during and after the viral Pandemic...

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 306.

    The result was unsurprising yet disappointing all the same.

    Louis was undoubtedly the best gymnast but not the best the dancer.

    The winner was settled thanks to a large proportion of women voting with their libido.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 305.

    robert #304. So!!!!!!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 304.

    A lot of men appear to be commenting, just an observation...

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 303.

    If you don't care who wins it's a great show, but it's marketed as a competition, so the best dancer should win, ie one with the highest score over the series, and, as the public don't know the rules , and aren't neutral, they shouldn't judge.
    All should dance the same dance in the same week to make
    judging fairer.
    I watch it for the fit women and because dancing is just a form of foreplay.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 302.

    64 Icebloo
    With all the news going on around the world does this REALLY warrant a debate?
    -----
    You obviously think it does otherwise you wouldn't be commenting.

    There are some terrible things going on in the world, I agree, this is light entertainment which is needed to take people's minds away from all the dreadful things

    Louis showdance was amazing, why not incorporate what you are good at?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 301.

    @294 abbo

    Considering that the 'professional' judges couldn't really separate the finalists (1 point between all 3 over 3 dances) then that alone discredits your point. You ignore the key point which is that the man will always be at a disadvantage through having to lead. Finally, the competition rules are clear and were applied accordingly ... so the right man won!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 300.

    288.slouching_towards_Bethlehem


    Which is exactly why we need entertainment shows, be it Strictly, sport or whatever else people like.....

    ....reality can be so crappy a bit f light diversion keeps us all sane (even if it does mean putting up with insufferable idiot that leches all over the young ladies........)

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 299.

    Anton is the rightful heir ... he has the humour; the credibility and on-camera presence. He'd be an ideal link between the dancers, competitors and the judges - so go on Beeb, time to hand over to Anton.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 298.

    Last post before I split...

    It`s a shame the format doesn`t allow more history on the different dances ..Latin and Ballroom....little snippets...

    Btw....you`d never know it , but Brucie is extremely knowledgeable about dance, there origins, syncopation...etc etc....shame we don`t see it...

    I agree the ending was spoilt..

    And other blogs ought to be open on world affairs..

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 297.

    Perhaps we should let the BBC know OUR opinion of Brucie's presenting - http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 296.

    Why on earth does the BBC keep trying to kid people that there is a Sunday show, when it is recorded on the same night. Is that why there is only about 25 minutes for viewers to cast votes !! These celebs train hard & it is an injustice to them in this DANCING competition. At least viewers have a chance for 22 hours + to vote on the X-Factor.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 295.

    206 U15418110
    Do me a favour. Brucie makes the show for us non dancers. And his jokes are supposed to be cheesy and outdated. That is the point of having Brucie as the compere. The show was outstanding this year. Just seen some You Tube clips of early series winners. The final this year was a totally different league to previous years

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 294.

    Well done to Louis & Flavia for winning. I am going to be a spoilsport here, but I understood it to be a DANCING competition and I'm afraid that the best 2 dancers in the show came 2nd & 3rd on this occasion.
    It is NOT a best entertainment show that awards viewers votes for baring their chests the most is it. If I were Denise or Kimberley, I would be very unhappy.

 

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