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James Jordan breaks down Strictly champs Ellie and Vito’s finale dance mishap: 'I honestly thought he was going to drop her'

What did you think of the Strictly finale?

James Jordan on Strictly the Truth
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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James Jordan’s the Truth is back for the grand season finale! In this episode, we discuss whether Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola should have won the much-coveted Glitterball trophy on Strictly Come Dancing, why the reports that the win was a "fix" are total speculation and Layton Williams’ undoubtedly starry future after finishing on top of the leaderboard. 

Chatting to HELLO!, James said: "The right people won. The correct people won the show. Strictly Come Dancing is not a proper dance competition. It shouldn't be a proper dance competition. It's about being invested in the couple. 

Watch James Jordan's the Truth here... 

"Who’s your favourite? Your favourite might be different to my favourite. There's nothing wrong with that. I can sit here and tell you who's the best dancer, technically, and fundamentally. Does that mean that's the person I should be voting for? No, and that's what makes Strictly great." 

Every Strictly Come Dancing winner so far

Rose and Giovanni with the Glitterball in 2021
Rose and Giovanni lifted the Glitterball in 2021
  • 2004: Natisha Kaplinsky (partner Brendan Cole)
  • 2004: Jill Halfpenny (partner Darren Bennett) 
  • 2005: Darren Gough (partner Lilia Kopylova) 
  • 2006: Mark Ramprakash (partner Karen Hardy) 
  • 2007: Alesha Dixon (partner Matthew Cutler) 
  • 2008: Tom Chambers (partner Camilla Dallerup) 
  • 2009: Chris Hollins (partner Ola Jordan) 
  • 2010: Kara Tointon (partner Artem Chigvintsev) 
  • 2011: Harry Judd (partner Aliona Vilani)
  • 2012: Louis Smith (partner Flavia Cacace)
  • 2013: Abbey Clancy (partner Aljaž Škorjanec) 
  • 2014: Caroline Flack (partner Pasha Kovalev) 
  • 2015: Jay McGuiness (partner Aliona Vilani) 
  • 2016: Ore Oduba (partner Joanne Clifton) 
  • 2017: Joe McFadden (partner Katya Jones)
  • 2018: Stacey Dooley (partner Kevin Clifton)
  • 2019: Kelvin Fletcher (partner Oti Mabuse)
  • 2020: Bill Bailey (partner Oti Mabuse) 
  • 2021: Rose Ayling-Ellis (partner Giovanni Pernice) 
  • 2022: Hamza Yassin (partner Jowita Przystał)

He continued: "I went to my mum's yesterday and her heart was with Bobby. She said, 'I just love him'… He's probably improved the most. So if he had won it, I would have said, 'He was the right winner because that's who the public wanted to win.' Whoever the public decides they want to win, it's the correct winner." 

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola nailed their Paso Doble to Insomnia by Faithless© BBC
Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola nailed their Paso Doble to Insomnia by Faithless

Of course, one of the biggest talking points of the night was Ellie and Vito’s jaw-dropping show dance, where the final lift didn’t go quite to plan, leading to a little wobble and a score of 36 for the pair for an otherwise fantastic routine. 

The former Strictly pro said: "Can we talk about the mistake though? They had this step before where he's holding her legs and she's spinning around. And I was looking at that lift and that doesn't really look that flattering. She's got her legs wrapped around his arms and she's face forward and he's spinning. It's almost like, 'Right, we've got to put another lift in here.' What else? 'Oh, just grab your legs and spin around a bit.'

Nikita Kuzmin, Layton Williams, Bobby Brazier, Dianne Buswell, Ellie Leach & Vito Coppola© Guy Levy
Nikita Kuzmin, Layton Williams, Bobby Brazier, Dianne Buswell, Ellie Leach & Vito Coppola

"Then he put her on the floor and spun her and she kind of lost balance a little bit. And then they went up into the one where she stood on his shoulders. My heart was in my mouth because I honestly thought he was gonna drop her. How he saved it… I mean, fair play to him. 

Vito Coppola and Ellie Leach© Guy Levy
Vito Coppola and Ellie Leach won the show

"It was a little bit terrible really at the end but having said that, up until that point, I was thinking to myself that this is probably the best show dance I've ever seen in Strictly history… up until that point. I was just wowed with the lifts and the fact that they mixed it with Ballroom and Latin dancing, which for me, is the whole idea of the show you've been doing." 

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola© BBC
Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola during Movie Week

Speaking about reports that the show was a "fix", James said: "You can't say, ’It should have been someone else. It's a fix.' People keep saying it's a fix. It's not. The public decide who they want. Doesn't have to be the best dancer. Just because the best dancer doesn't win, doesn't make the show a fix." Watch the whole episode of James Jordan’s the Truth in the video above, and let us know what you thought of the final! 

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