Who won 'Strictly' 2018? The result that turned the leaderboard upside down and finally gave one pro his Glitterball Trophy


Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton have won Strictly Come Dancing 2018, despite coming bottom of the leaderboard in the judges’ scores.

The final saw the most 10s ever awarded in one show, but despite Ashley Roberts and Faye Tozer tying on perfect 40s for all of their dances, champion Stacey still did not manage to win a 10 from Craig Revel Horwood.

Fans of the BBC series were delighted to see underdog Stacey win, as she started the series with no dance experience and many criticisms have been levelled at finalists Ashley and Faye for having performed professionally in the past.

However, Stacey made it clear that she felt the win was a bigger deal for her pro dance partner Kevin, who has been in the final five times out of his six series in Strictly, but this is the first time he has ever won.

Stacey said: “You know how highly I think of (Kevin), you’re the biggest gem, it’s no coincidence he’s been in the final as many times as he has.

“It’s daunting doing something you’ve never done before, you feel silly, like a bit of an idiot, but Kevin walks you through. You so deserve this.”

Kevin, who won for the first time, said: “It’s a Christmas miracle!

“Thank you for being the most wonderful person to work with. You’re so lovely and I just think the absolute world of you, thank you so much.”

Each couple had to dance three times tonight, taking on their favourite dance from the series, one that the judges chose for them to improve upon, and an all-new routine for the Showdance displaying the skills they’d learned over the last few months.

Stacey was beaten by Ashley Roberts, Faye Tozer and Joe Sugg when it came to the judges’ scores, but she was a favourite with the public throughout the series and luckily only their votes counted tonight.

Of course, every Strictly final needs a Bruno-ism, and he did not disappoint with a slip of the tongue over Stacey’s Showdance.

There was minor outrage on Twitter during Stacey’s Paso Doble when an enthusiastic shake of her hemline made it appear that she flashed the cameras, although everyone calmed down when a screen grab showed she was simply wearing a very well-matched to her skin tone leotard.

Joe kept his promise to dye his hair the same shade of red as partner Dianne Buswell’s, although whether it suits enough to keep long-term remains to be seen…

It’s been an eventful series of Strictly this year, with the show hitting the headlines for Seann Walsh and Katya Jones’ kiss, Danny John-Jules and Amy Dowden’s alleged fall-out, a backlash against trained dancer Ashley Roberts, and various shock exits.

One of the highlights of the night was seeing all of the class of 2018 back together again for the group dance while the votes were counted, but of course all eyes were on one former couple…and her husband.

But despite the series gossip, what we’ll all remember the class of 2018 for is its incredibly high standard of dancing, crowned by Stacey’s win tonight.

Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev

Dance 1: Judges’ Pick – Salsa to (I’ve Had the) Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing

What we thought: How on earth did the judges manage to pick a dance that Ashley needed to improve upon?

It was a faultless Salsa, but we don’t really remember it being littered with mistakes the first time around.

However, there is one massive improvement on the last couple of weeks because Ashley actually looks like she’s enjoying herself. She must have decided to cast aside the negativity and enjoy being a finalist, as she should.

What the judges thought: Shirley Ballas said: “When you think something just can’t get any better you manage to take it to the next level.”

Bruno Tonioli said: “That really proves that the first time around was not a fluke – the girl can dance and she loves dancing.”

Score: 40

Dance 2: Showdance to Keeping Your Head Up by Birdy

What we thought: Putting aside any debate about whether dance experience matters, if there was any doubt about who the best dancer is, this cleared it up.

Not only was the routine full of energy, really difficult and perfectly performed, it saw Ashley arrive suspended from the ceiling by ribbons and doing most of the dance on a rotating platform.

A masterclass in everything a Strictly winner should be able to do.

What the judges thought: Shirley said: “You are the epitome of extraordinary. We already know you’re a great dancer, but you’ve stretched yourself beyond limits to styles you didn’t know.”

Bruno said: “That was sensational, you have no idea how hard that dance was.”

Darcey said: “That was showcasing all of your strengths. To take those exciting risks was outstanding.”

Craig said: “I had a small problem with your right toe, darling, but then I decided to get over myself.”

Score: 40

Dance 3: Favourite Dance – Charleston to Witch Doctor

What we thought: This was Ashley and Pasha’s most fun dance of the series, and the first time we saw how truly brilliant she was, so it’s a real treat to see it again.

It was every bit as perfect as we remembered and we’re glad Ashley chose to end her rollercoaster Strictly experience on a happy note.

What the judges thought: Darcey said: “You just come alive when you hit this dancefloor. Please tell me that you will never stop dancing.”

Craig said: “I’m glad you chose this dance because it’s full of character. I wish I could dance like you.”

Score: 40

Combined score: 120

Placed: Runners-up

Winners – Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton

Dance 1: Judges’ Pick – Foxtrot to Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck

What we thought: That routine is so far from being Stacey’s most memorable dance that we were a bit worried about how it might affect her chances.

However, she danced it brilliantly, even though it had nowhere near as many high-profile moments as Ashley’s Judges’ Pick.

What you can really see here, because it was an early routine for her, is how much Stacey has improved – she wasn’t a dancer before so it’s very clear how hard she has worked to get to this point.

What the judges thought: Craig Revel Horwood said: “I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, so confident, fantastic.

Darcey Bussell said: “What you always give is this lovely natural charm. Perfect, absolutely perfect.”

Score: 39

Dance 2: Showdance to Land of a Thousand Dances by Jessica Mauboy

What we thought: It couldn’t have been more different to Ashley and Pasha’s Showdance, but it was no less amazing.

The dance perfectly reflected everything we’ve come to know and love about Stacey and Kevin, their friendship and their sense of fun.

We loved it, even if the judges didn’t.

What the judges thought: Bruno said: “It was a medley of Stacey’s greatest tits – greatest hits, I’m sorry!”

Craig said: “I wasn’t that keen on the dance, it was a little bit too bitty.”

Darcey said: “It was a great mash-up of all your dances, a whirlwind of all your classic moves.”

Shirley said: “It was power packed. You felt comfortable in what you were doing.”

Score: 36

Dance 3: Favourite Dance – Paso Doble

What we thought: Snap! This is our favourite of your dances too, Stacey!

How could anyone not love Stacey and Kevin’s Paso Doble? The perfect amount of drama, while still feeling modern, too.

It was a great contrast with her first two dances, too.

What the judges thought: Shirley said: “From the beginning of the show, from where you started to leaving us as a professional dancer if you like, you have brought so much joy to so many people.”

Bruno said: “That was an authentic, beautiful Paso Doble. Everything I like.”

Score: 39

Combined score: 114

Placed: Winners

Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice

Dance 1: Judges’ Pick – Viennese Waltz to It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World by Seal

What we thought: We’re so glad that the judges chose this routine for Faye, because it epitomises her style in the competition – dramatic, sultry and mature.

It’s a real difference to the two more upbeat dances we saw from Ashley and Stacey, and gave Faye a chance to show off the best of her skills.

Any other year, Faye would be walking to a win, but there was tough competition from every corner tonight.

What the judges thought: Darcey said: “Faye, you are the best ballroom dancer in the competition, and you have just proved that.”

Shirley said: “You cannot be a winner in anything unless you have technique and you have that, you were amazing.”

Score: 40

Dance 2: Showdance to Lullaby of Broadway

What we thought: Something that often goes under the radar with Faye is that she has the most recognisable dance style of any of the celebs this series.

If she was on The X Factor, Simon Cowell would be telling her that she really knows who she is as an artist, and this routine showed that off more than anything we’ve seen so far.

One of the best Showdances ever.

What the judges thought: Craig said: “Fab-u-lous darling.”

Darcey said: “It’s sophisticated, but never forced. A dream routine.”

Shirley said: “You brought Broadway to Strictly. The choreography was outstanding.”

Bruno said: “Hooray for Faye! You were the embodiment of all the Hollywood goddesses.”

Score: 40

Dance 3: Favourite Dance – Couple’s Choice: Theatre/Jazz to Fever

What we thought: If anyone was unsure whether Couple’s Choice should have been brought in this year, Faye and Giovanni’s routine proved its worth.

Put together with her two earlier dances, Faye’s final routines seem much more well-connected than anyone else’s – they feel like they could all make up a show on their own.

What the judges thought: Craig said: “Love, love, love.”

Bruno said: “Everybody can join in with me for this one – A.Maz.Ing!”

Score: 40

Combined score: 120

Placed: Runners-up

Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell

Dance 1: Judges’ Pick – Paso Doble to Pompeii by Bastille

What we thought: Although Joe really threw himself into this first time round, it always just looked a little bit awkward with his frame.

It’s still not our favourite routine of Joe’s, but it was massively improved and more comfortable to watch.

Joe doesn’t seem in the same league as his competitors tonight, but he has certainly made a huge improvement and done himself proud.

What the judges thought: Bruno said: “It’s not just your hair that’s red hot, the Paso Doble was incandescent.”

Craig said: “The shaping for me was a little bit forced. But what I love about you is your commitment to everything.”

Score: 39

Dance 2: Showdance to I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys

What we thought: Heavy use of props here to cover up a lack of content and difficulty compared to the other three Showdances.

Joe looked a bit ahead of time with some of it too, as though he was running around the floor dragging Dianne along.

The judges were full of positive comments, but we didn’t feel it really lived up to the effort the others put in.”

What the judges thought: Darcey said: “The wild beast has been let loose. I thought you were going to lose control but you didn’t.”

Shirley said: “It was absolutely amazing. I think I actually might enjoy that kind of music.”

Bruno said: “You’re quite the bad boy Joe. Why didn’t you show us that before?”

Craig said: “I really enjoyed that, I thought it had the quirk of a Charleston.”

Score: 39

Dance 3: Favourite Dance – Charleston to Cotton Eye Joe

What we thought: Again, not our favourite of Joe’s dances over the series, but it does sum up the tone of most of his competition.

Joe and Dianne really went for the gimmicky numbers over the weeks, but as this was one of their earliest routines, we could at least see the huge improvement in what he’s achieved during his time on the show.

What the judges thought: Darcey said: “You are the biggest surprise of this series. You are a star on this dancefloor.”

Shirley said: “You are what this show is all about. You are a gentleman, you are kind, your work effort is second to none.”

Score: 38

Combined score: 116

Placed: Runners-up

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