Aston Merrygold has told how winning the Strictly Christmas Special with his first 10 from Craig Revel Horwood has easily made up for his shock early exit from the show last year.
The JLS star said he was “gutted” to become the sixth star to be voted off the BBC One show in November 2017, when he controversially lost the dance-off to Mollie King.
But he said that winning now – just as he begins a West End production alongside three former Strictly winners – is perfect timing.
He said: “This makes up for it 100%. Everything happens for a reason. I feel like if I’d got further I might not have done the Christmas special and been able to win it.
The group waited patiently for the answer
Janette was ecstatic when Aston took the crown
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“This is why I had to leave then, come back and be able to prove myself that I could actually do it.”
In February he appears in theatre show Rip It Up with Louis Smith, Jay McGuiness and Harry Judd.
He said: “Now I can actually join this winners’ club.
“I really, really wanted that 10 from Craig. That was my big thing. I didn’t manage to get a 40 when I was on the show.
“If you can be among that elite group who get a clean sweep, it’s job done. I can sleep happy tonight.”
Remembering when he and partner Janette Manrara were voted off, the pop star believed viewers thought he was too experienced.
The pair celebrated with glitter and fireworks
Aston Merrygold took the win on Strictly’s Christmas special
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He said: “I’ve never trained, I just love to dance. I had bad habits. Janette had to uncarve me and carve me back into being a dancer.”
Millions of viewers saw him do a jive against Anita Rani, Ann Widdecombe, Caroline Flack, Jake Wood and Michael Vaughan to take the Silver Star trophy tonight.
Aston, 30, said he was “knackered” afterwards, adding: “I couldn’t register what the judges were saying – you just stand there with a smile trying to breathe.”
Here’s the breakdown of the scores throughout the night, and how Aston took the win.
Anita Rani and Neil Jones performed a Foxtrot to ‘Winter Wonderland’ by Michael Bublé and scored 35.
Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara performed a Jive to ‘What Christmas Means To Me’ by CeeLo Green and scored 40.
Ann Widdecombe and Anton Du Beke performed an American Smooth to ‘Sisters’ by Rosemary Clooney and scored 22.
The pair smiling with their trophy
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Michael Vaughan and Nadiya Bychkova performed a Viennese Waltz to ‘Please Come Home For Christmas’ by Kelly Clarkson and scored 30.
Jake Wood and Luba Mushtuk performed a Cha Cha to ‘Could It Be Magic’ by Take That and scored 39.
Caroline Flack and Gorka Marquez performed a Charleston to ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ by Mariah Carey (intro) Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters (main) and scored 40.
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