Nile Wilson sobbed as he won ‘Dancing on Ice 2023’ after a history-making headbanger routine: “If you put your mind to something and work hard, you can achieve anything”.
The Olympic gymnast, 27, beat Joey Essex and The Vivienne in the final of the ITV show on Sunday (12.03.23) and was overcome with emotion as he joined his professional partner Olivia Smart to lift the glittering trophy after their Bolero skate.
Paying tribute to his fellow contestants, Nile said: “I just want to say, 11 human beings proved we could do anything.
“If you put your mind to something and work hard, you can achieve anything.”
Speaking ahead of his routine, Nile said: “There’s going to be eight other professionals on the ice and it very, very intimidating. I need to blend in with them and not stand out.
“A hell of a lot can go wrong in this routine – it’s the biggest challenge I have ever attempted on this show!”
Runner-up Joey added: “I missed a few steps but it was the best time of my life, well done to Nile and Olivia.”
Nile made history as the first male contestant on the show to perform the headbanger – which sees a skater picked up their ankle and spun round by their partner – during the grand final, and was given the maximum amount of points for the routine, with judges Ashley Banjo, Oti Mabuse, Jayne Torvill and Chris Dean all scoring him 10.
The headbanger is banned by the International Skating Union, which governs competitive skating, but can be used in exhibitions or show skating.
Ashley told Nile: “After the week I know you've had, to pull that routine off cleanly with no mistakes is incredible.”
Oti added: “The passion, the thrill, the way you push yourself every week, this performance was worthy of a 10.”
Joey had transformed into Hercules for his showcase skate with professional partner and rumoured girlfriend Vanessa Bauer, and like Nile and The Vivienne the pair got tens across the board.