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Ellie Leach crowned as Strictly champion following nail-biting final

The Corrie star scooped it with the Italian-born dancer

Ellie Leach dancing
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Welcome to the final!

Thirteen weeks ago, Strictly fever took over the nation, and I can't believe we're now here at the final. We've had the highs of two perfect scores and the lows of Les Dennis' samba (sorry, Les!), but who will take home the Glitterball? We have Bobby Brazier, Ellie Leach and Layton Williams battling it out with their professional partners, and any would be deserving champions.

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Who went home last week?

While we wanted all four of the remaining contestants last week to stay in, sadly this wasn't the case and it was Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe who were eliminated at the final hurdle. The pair wound up in the dance-off against Bobby Brazier, who was saved by all of the judges.

Johannes Radebe and Annabel Croft on Strictly Come Dancing© BBC
Annabel was eliminated last week
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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

What happens tonight?

The remaining three couples, Bobby Brazier & Dianne Buswell, Ellie Leach & Vito Coppola and Layton Williams & Nikita Kuzmin will all be taking to the floor three times tonight. Usually, the couples dance a routine that has been selected by the judges, before performing a no-rules showdance and then ending on their favourite routine from the series.

There are also interludes with musical acts and a dance from the previously eliminated contestants.

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Amy Dowden returns for pro number

Amy Dowden made another triumphant return to the show after admitting that she wasn't able to perform in the way she hoped after breaking her foot. However, she still danced alongside the professional dancers in an opening routine that celebrated our three finalists. It was a highly emotional moment and we're so happy to see her back. Here's hoping she'll be back in full force next series!

WATCH: Amy Dowden returns for Strictly final

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Ellie's fiery Paso kicks off the final with passion!

When Ellie first danced her Paso Doble, it was the standout dance of the competition for me, and once again this entirely enthralled me. Ellie has only improved and improved since the start of the competition and if the rest of the final was just her dancing this routine, I would be totally fine with that.

Judges' scores: 39 (9, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

'Snake Hips' Bobby is back for the final!

We've always loved Bobby's Samba, and it was a standout routine on Movies Week and a standout routine once again. Power, shimmying, and hip isolations for days. Bobby is how I imagine I dance in the club, although I can guarentee that I genuinely do not. And with the Samba being notoriously difficult, Bobby must be glad to have gotten it out the way!

Judges' scores: 39 (9, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Layton blows us away with dance reprisal

Do you remember Week 2? Well, Layton brought us all the way back there for his sublime Quickstep. He danced the routine sensationally and with an original score of 36, it was hard to top, and yet that's exactly what he did!- The pizzazz, the pops, the Layton-ness. I don't care what anyone says, I'm so glad Layton is in this final, and this dance proves why.

Judges' scores: 40 (10, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Ellie goes to new heights with her Showdance!

Rules went out the window, and Ellie went off the floor, again and again and again! With hundreds od daring lifts throughout that routine, it was only a matter of time before something went a little awry, but still she was basically flawless. She took the risks and it paid off. Can we just ignore the error, she only had a few days to perfect it after all?

Judges scores: 36 (9, 9, 9, 9)

WATCH: Ellie Leach suffers mishap with daring Showdance

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Bobby takes us to Hollywood!

Confident, assured, finesse. All three words I would use to describe Bobby's dance if I was a Strictly judge. The EastEnders star took us to Hollywood with a Showdance for the ages. He used the props to full use, got compared to the movie stars of the silver screen, and with a routine like this, Bobby deserves to be in a big Hollywood blockbuster.

Judges' scores: 39 (9, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Layton is Showdance perfection!

One of them dropped their hat, and it wasn't Layton! The end might not have gone how Nikita wanted, but Layton owned the moment. High kicks galore throughout the routine and Layton proved why he is a star through and through. We knew Layton's Showdance would be incredible, and it truly truly was.

Judges' scores: 39 (9, 10, 10, 10)

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Ellie finally gets perfect score

If I had to choose my favourite Ellie dance, it was between her Paso and her American Smooth, so being able to see them both in the same night is an absolute delight. She finished her Strictly journey with style, elegance, class and just everything that ticks all the American Smooth boxes. Will Ellie be your Strictly winner? She's done all she can, so the choice is in your hands!

Judges' scores: 40 (10, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Bobby and Dianne in tears following last dance

It was emotional the first time around, but with the emotions already running high knowing it was their final dance together, Bobby and Dianne were seen in tears during the routine. And it moved everyone from Tess to the judges to even us at home. Bobby has had quite the Strictly journey, and this was the perfect dance for him to finish on.

Judges' scores: 39 (9, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Layton closes the final with show-stopping Argentine Tango

Layton has been such a performer this series, and the Argentine Tango had to be the natural choice for the couple to dance as their final routine. And what a routine it was! I was mesmerised the first time they danced this, and I was mesmerised just as much with the reprisal. But will it be enough to clinch Layton the win? We'll find out soon!

Judges' scores: 40 (10, 10, 10, 10)

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Olly Alexander makes special announcement on show

Eurovision and Strictly in one night! I was already over the moon to see Olly Alexander come for the terms and conditions, but to here that he'd represent the UK at Eurovision was the cherry on the cake. Sweden, here I come!

WATCH: Olly Alexander confirms he'll represent UK at Eurovision

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Cher stuns with glorious performance

This Strictly final is getting gayer and gayer, and I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D! Olly Alexander at Eurovision, Cher, what more do we need?

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Our favourites return!

We're always happy when the former Strictly contestants return for one final time, and this routine was no exception. That anchor, Eddie's Men in Black routine, Zara' lifts, and, of course, Angela Rippon's never-ending legs! Now we just have to wait out to see who grabs that trophy.

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Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead

And it's Ellie and Vito!

After weeks of waiting it's finally confirmed. Our winners are Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola, with the couple being left speechless and Vito in tears!

WATCH: See the moment Ellie and Vito are crowned Strictly champions

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