Entertainment & Arts

Abbey Clancy wins Strictly Come Dancing 2013

Media captionThe moment Abbey Clancy was named the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2013

Model Abbey Clancy has won Strictly Come Dancing 2013.

The 27-year-old lifted the BBC show's glitterball trophy after a final against actress Natalie Gumede, newsreader Susanna Reid and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

BBC Breakfast presenter Reid was favourite with bookmakers to win the show's 11th series.

Clancy, partnered by professional dancer Aljaz Skorjanec, said: "I can't believe this; it's just mad."

She called Strictly "the most perfect experience I've had".

Winning dance

After the cameras stopped rolling, she ran and jumped into the arms of her husband, footballer Peter Crouch, who had arrived in the studio between the first and second broadcast after scoring a goal for Stoke City earlier in the day.

Image caption Abbey Clancy was partnered by Aljaz Skorjanec in the competition
Image caption Susanna Reid, Natalie Gumede and Abbey Clancy were Strictly's final three
Image caption Aljaz Skorjanec and Abbey Clancy danced three times in the final

Clancy's winning dance was a quickstep to Katrina and the Waves' Walking On Sunshine, scoring 38 points.

Judge Bruno Tonioli called it "absolutely dazzling in its brilliance", while Len Goodman called her "a spectacular dancer" with "wonderful posture".

Six million votes

The model and presenter was a complete amateur going into the contest, but was the first contestant to score a perfect 40, for a salsa performed during the 10th week of the show's run.

It was the first time in the programme's 11-year history that there had been an all-female final, and many of the previous winners - including Mark Ramprakash, Louis Smith and Natasha Kaplinksy - were in the Saturday night audience to watch the showdown.

All four couples performed two dances in the first half of the finale, comprising of the judges' favourite performance from across the series and a showdance.

Reid kicked off with a cheery newsreader's-sofa-based quickstep and later performed a daring 14-revolution spin clinging to the neck of her dance partner Kevin Clifton. But her scores were consistently lower than those of the other contestants.

Coronation Street star Gumede was the most technically-impressive dancer, with head judge Len Goodman at one point essentially demanding she be put through to the final three.

"Excellence is never a fluke," he said after her cha-cha to Boney M's Rasputin. "Excellence comes from hard work and dedication and sweating. And I can tell you, that was excellent."

Ellis-Bextor performed an elegant, stylish Viennese Waltz but her cha-cha showdance contained some inelegant lifts, and she was eliminated as the second show commenced.

Outstanding beauty

Clancy began her career on another reality show - Britain's Next Top Model - where she was the runner-up in 2006.

Although she did not win, her runway career took off, and she has appeared on TV shows such as Hell's Kitchen and This Morning, where she is a fashion expert.

Her last night on Strictly began with a waltz to Des'ree's song Kissing You. The routine, which had been chosen by the judges, originally scored 32 in week one - but improved to a perfect 40 in the final.

"That dance should be declared an area of outstanding beauty," said Goodman.

She then performed a flame-fuelled showdance to Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine, scoring 39 and prompting Bruno Tonioli to declare: "You rocked my world and you rocked the nation".

Darcey Bussell favoured her final dance, a "seamless quickstep", and noted her improvement over the course of the series.

"I feel so lucky," Liverpudlian Clancy told the BBC after the show. "The fact everyone's voted for us to win... it's just surreal."

Her partner, Slovenian dancer Skorjanec, was also competing in Strictly for the first time.

Six million votes

The final was determined entirely by public votes and the judges' scores did not count towards the final outcome.

More than six million votes were cast in the final.

However, the BBC said it would not disclose the breakdown of the votes, meaning the second and third-placed contestants will not be revealed.

Reid would have been the third BBC Breakfast presenter to win Strictly, following Natasha Kaplinsky in the first series and sports host Chris Hollins, who won in 2009.

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