15/12/2018 21:50 GMT | Updated 17/12/2018 11:41 GMT

The 'Strictly Come Dancing' Final Reminded Us All What The Show's Really About - HuffPost Verdict

Away from the negative headline and tabloid scandals, there's no mistaking the joy of 'Strictly'.

K E Y   P O I N T S

  • Documentary presenter Stacey Dooley was crowned the 16th winner of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in this year’s live final
  • Stacey was voted the public’s winner ahead of Faye Tozer, Ashley Roberts and Joe Sugg, who all finished as runners up
  • This marks professional dancer Kevin Clifton’s first time winning ‘Strictly’ after five times in the final previously
  • As always, the judges’ scores weren’t taken into account, with Stacey actually finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard on the night
  • All of this year’s eliminated contestants, from Susannah Constantine right up to Lauren Steadman, also returned for one last group dance

S N A P   V E R D I C T

It’s fair to say that this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ ended up being among the most controversial ever, with much of the press coverage surrounding the show being dominated by cheating scandals, negative headlines and even accusations of media witch-hunts from certain contestants.


However, the series finale proved to be joyful from start to finish, reminding everyone what the show is really about: a bit of glamour, a bit of escapism and a whole lot of fun.


A great symbol of this was eventual winner Stacey Dooley’s victory, after a particularly tough two weeks in the media, with the documentary presenter finding herself at the centre of a string of negative tabloid stories.


This media scrutiny had the potential to turn what should have been a positive and joyful experience into a difficult one, but judging from the looks on both her and professional partner Kevin Clifton’s faces, the furore was all worth it.


In fact, Stacey was clearly as excited for Kevin as she was for herself, devoting most of her conversation after discovering they’d won to the professional dancer, who has been in the final on five occasions previously, but never lifted the Glitterball trophy until now. And truly, what could be more ‘Strictly’ than that?


The evening also gave us plenty of feel-good moments, with all 11 of the previously-eliminated stars returning for one last group number, as well as the usual heart-warming VTs featuring interviews with the finalists’ friends and family.


And of those finalists, truth be told, any of them would have been worthy winners this year. Both Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts have been consistently great performers throughout the series (both of them got perfect scores for all three of their routines during the final), while Joe Sugg’s upward trajectory from complete novice to ‘Strictly’ finalist has been a joy to watch – again, two fingers up to those early skeptics who suggested that having a YouTube vlogger on the line-up was a sign the show was lowering its standards.


But even though she wasn’t the judges’ favourite on the night – her Showdance only got her a 36, putting her at the bottom of the leaderboard overall – we were still happy to see Stacey take home the title of ‘Strictly’ winner.


She has, after all, given us plenty of memorable moments during the series, from the early days of her ‘Minions’-themed Jive and ‘Doctor Who’-inspired Tango to her emotional Musicals Week routine and fun-fuelled Showdance. Not only that, but she’s been a joy to watch in her interviews, VTs and behind-the-scenes moments too.

B E S T   L I N E S

Out you went from a cloud of hairspray into a medley of Stacey’s greatest tits… greatest hits!!”Bruno Tonioli suffers an unfortunate slip of the tongue
One day I’ll impress you, Craig...”Kevin Clifton, clearly fearing that the Glitterball Trophy is out of reach once again
Kev, you know how highly I think of you, it’s no coincidence he’s been in the final as many times as he has.”Winner Stacey Dooley heaps praise on her celebrity partner

T A K E   H O M E  M E S S A G E

This series has delivered scandalous behind-the-scenes moments and shocking headlines, but try though people might, there’s no denying the joy of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. And isn’t that something we need now more than ever?

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