Harry Judd has been crowned champion of Strictly Come Dancing 2011, following a tensely fought final against Chelsee Healey at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday night.
The McFly drummer – who had been hot favourite to take the coveted Glitterball trophy – triumphed after a two-part show which saw the finalists perform four routines each.
But despite a close competition which saw both Harry and Chelsee score high marks from the judges, the Waterloo Road actress and her dance partner Pasha Kovalev ultimately had to be content with second place.
Earlier in the evening Jason Donovan and his partner Kristina Rihanoff finished third.
Harry’s win makes him the second member of McFly to be crowned champion of a reality show in less than a month, following Dougie Poynter’s recent victory on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
Harry’s triumph also marks a first victory for his dance partner Aliona Vilani, who narrowly missed out on the prize in 2010 after she finished second with her partner Matt Baker.
However her chance to celebrate with Harry was cut short after the other members of McFly, who had been watching him in the audience, raced on to the dance floor to congratulate him when the news was announced.
Bruce Forsyth was left to chase his enthusiastic bandmates away before presenting Harry with the trophy.
And afterwards the 25-year-old – who still appeared stunned at news of his win – said, “All I can say is, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for voting for Aliona and me. I’ve been on the best show on TV and I’m honoured.”
Harry’s triumph came at the end of a high-scoring final which saw the judges dishing out their fair share of full marks to the celebrity dancers.
The drummer scored full houses both for his quickstep which opened the show – a reprise of his routine from earlier in the series – and for the Argentine Tango with which he closed it.
“You came, you danced and you conquered Blackpool,” Bruno Tonioli told him, “I loved it,” while Len added, “I loved it the first time, and I tell you what, this time it was brilliant.”
Len also praised his Argentine tango, saying, “Last time I told you I wanted to up the intensity – well you’ve listened,” while Craig Revel Horwood summed up his thoughts more succinctly. “Like the nation,” he said, “I have fallen in love with you too, darling.”
In the second half of the show Len described Harry’s American Smooth as “unbelievable,” and also praised Harry for his showdance – a jive-themed number in which he had the chance to play the drums.
“If you were a stick of Blackpool rock,” he said, “You’d have talent written all the way through.”
Chelsee, meanwhile, was the only finalist not to score 40 out of 40 for any of her routines, but she still fared well, reprising her Shrek-themed jive in the first half of the show as well as performing a showdance to the Beyonce song One Night Only.
“Watching a girl like you who started out with no experience who then performs a jive like that gives me as much pleasure as judging the world championships,” Len said of her jive, while Alesha Dixon called it “my favourite jive of the series”.
And Alesha also praised Chelsee’s disco-inspired showdance, saying, “You were set free in this dance.”
The actress performed her first rumba of the series in the second half of the show as well as reprising her quickstep from week four – and the judges gave both an enthusiastic thumbs up.
“You’ve been a joy to watch this entire series,” Alesha said, while Craig told her, “That was simply magnificent.”
And Alesha was similarly enthusiastic about her quickstep, saying “That was the perfect combination on what has been the greatest series of the show.” Len, meanwhile, added, It’s your favourite dance and i tell you what – it could be my favourite dance too.”
Saturday’s show also featured a performance from Jessie J, while the other contestants from the series returned to the dancefloor for a group routine with their partners.
And although the main series might be over, Strictly fans will have one final dose of the show this year with the Christmas special, which will be screened on Christmas Day at 8pm.