THE BLOG

I Can't Believe It... I Won the Champion of Champions Final of the Last EVER Dancing on Ice!

11/03/2014 17:29 GMT | Updated 11/05/2014 10:59 BST

If you were watching Dancing on Ice on Sunday night you will know why I've still got the biggest and broadest smile on my face.

I won the Champion of Champions final of the last ever ITV1 show and I've got to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for me.

It's the greatest of privileges for me and I simply could not have done it without your votes.

This week's blog is going to read like a rather emotional Oscar's acceptance speech and apologies for that in advance but it has to be said.

Firstly thank you for ITV for having me back, to Phil Schofield and Christine Bleakley for being so supportive every week, to the Christopher Dean, Jane Torvill for their expert advice, to the judges Robin Cousins, Karen Barber, Ashley Roberts, and even Jason Gardiner, who lavished great praise on me last night.

And to my family who supported me but especially the three women in my life my wife Emma Stephens, my mum Val and mother-in-law Liz.

And last but by no means least - my dance partner Maria Filippov, without whom none of this would have been possible.

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I started the night with a topless surfing extravaganza and slid on the front on a surfboard to Surfin' USA by the Beach Boys.

There is no way that I would have felt able to do this four months ago - when I was two stone heavier and totally out of shape. I've been working out six days a week, used a low carb Caveman diet and Forza T5 supplements to get in the best shape of my life - and now the show's over I'm going to try my hardest not to slip back into bad habits.

On the night I was up against two amazing and worthy competitors - Corrie actress Hayley Tamaddon and Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle - both of them put in perfect scores on their first performances so there was nothing it in. I just pipped them both in the last performance by 0.5 of a point, but I wasn't confident of getting through to the final. I'd been second out of four the week before but still been in the skate off - so I knew both Beth and Hayley had scored more of the public votes than me the week before.

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The tension was crazy when all three of us stood under the spotlights waiting for Phil's announcement on who would skate the final Bolero. I tried to keep on my game face but it didn't work, anyone watching could see I was totally bricking it.

Beth went out and it was down to Hayley and I. Luckily I got to skate last, but Hayley's performance of the classic 1984 Olympic Gold winning ice dance was flawless.

My dance partner Maria Filippov had put in several very difficult sequences in our choreography, in particular the splits drop that Christopher Dean does so effortlessly but is actually fiendishly hard. I had cocked it up several times in practice and that would have been enough to lose the whole thing. One slip up and I would have lost. My heart was pumping so hard it was hard not to wobble but somehow I got through it and nailed it.

I lay on the ice at the end of the Bolero knowing I had done my best, now it was up to the public to decide.

Again in the final announcement with just Hayley and I standing there my game face eluded me and I looked like the condemned man awaiting judgement.

When Phil said my name I jumped for joy. Words can not express how I felt but I want to thank everyone for voting - this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and one that I will never forget.

Lots of love,

Ray Quinn