'Strictly': Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse are crowned the winners in emotional final

Katie Archer
Contributor
(BBC)

Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse have won Strictly Come Dancing 2019, fighting off tough competition from Karim Zeroual and Emma Barton.

The news brought both of the pair’s families to tears, including judge Motsi Mabuse who is the pro dancer’s older sister.

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Ex-soap star Fletcher said of his win: “This show represents everything that is amazing in this country, it’s been an absolute privilege.”

Mabuse said: “I’ve been in the show five years and I have never, ever met any celebrity who gives his heart and soul like Kelvin.”

Fletcher was the only one of the three finalists to score a perfect 40 in his Showdance, a routine that impressed so much it brought judge Motsi Mabuse, pro dancer Katya Jones, and Fletcher’s dad Warren to tears.

Bruno Tonioli told the pair: “It was like watching all the best of 13 weeks of Strictly Come Dancing condensed into one dance.”

The former Emmerdale star acknowledged his unusual entry to the competition, taking over from Jamie Laing who was injured in the launch show.

He said: “It does feel weird, it feels as crazy as it sounds, to come in as a replacement and end up in the final - I never expected this.”

Fletcher has become known for his steamy routines during the series, and the judges were left fanning themselves after his first performance, the Rumba.

Craig Revel Horwood told him: “I have to admit, I’m rather hot under the collar, darling,” while Shirley Ballas added: “You are all the sunshine I need. You are oily, like a lava lamp.”

He was also congratulated on taking on both the Rumba and the Samba in the final, known as the show’s toughest dance styles.

Read more: Anton du Beke ripped his trousers having too much fun

Zeroual, the only finalist to score two 40s in his three routines, had an emotional evening, crying at both his Showdance and his final performance with partner Amy Dowden.

Tonioli praised his commitment to the show, saying: “You give everything you have to everything you do, never lose that.”

It was a special night for Strictly pro Dowden, too, as this was her first final and she had been a fan of the show since she was a child.

She said: “I’ve watched this show growing up and it was so inspiring, so to be here now, I can’t explain it - thank you, Karim.”

Although Barton and her partner Anton du Beke were at the bottom of the leaderboard, they enjoyed the night as much as their competitors, particularly as du Beke was in his second ever final despite being the only pro to have taken part in all 17 series of Strictly.

The final also featured a group dance from all of the series’ contestants, and a performance from Taylor Swift.

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Christmas Day for the festive special.