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Strictly champ Jay answers critics who said he didn’t deserve to win

Strictly Come Dancing winner Jay McGuiness has said that it was down to the viewers who decided he “deserved to win”.

Despite being the favourite going into Saturday’s final, The Wanted singer scored the lowest points with the judges and was placed at the bottom of the leaderboard beneath former Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote and EastEnders actress Kellie Bright.

Asked whether he believed he should have won, Jay said: “I think it’s down to whoever watches whether they think I deserved to win or not. I think everyone in the final deserved to be there.

Strictly champions Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani

Jay and dance partner Aliona with the Glitterball trophy (Guy Levy/BBC)


“I think like anything in life, you can work as hard as you can – but you need an element of luck,” he added.

Jay also addressed rumours of a relationship with his professional dance partner Aliona Vilani, and said although there was no romance between them, their friendship was “very firm and real”.

Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani in Strictly

Jay and Aliona danced off with the 2015 Strictly title (Guy Levy/BBC)


On the subject of whether he would get a tattoo to celebrate his victory, Jay explained: “I always collect tattoos when something awesome has happened or something I want to remember, so yeah – why not? We’ll see.”

Asked whether he would get “Aliona” inked on himself, he joked: “I don’t know. I can’t face the controversy!”

Jay McGuiness

Jay had all the right moves to win viewers' votes (Guy Levy/BBC)


Commenting on the criticism he had received from judge Craig Revel Horwood throughout the evening, including being told he started the competition with “no personality”, Jay said: “I think he definitely likes very theatrical, showy performances. And I actually like watching them, too.

“I just often felt uncomfortable when I would do some of it and it would feel artificial. I think sometimes when it came to things like the Jive and the Charleston and a lot of other dances that called for it, I would go so far into something I was comfortable with.

Strictly champions Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani

Jay and Aliona in their Strictly final showdance (Guy Levy/BBC)


“But I appreciate that he’s from a theatre background and he wants to see amazing things. And I think he saw that from lots of other contestants.”

The 25-year-old, who had been the bookies’ favourite for several weeks, also said that it felt “surreal” to lift the Glitterball trophy as he “enjoyed every second” of Strictly – and that his mum was “in bits” after his win.

Strictly's Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani

Jay and Aliona faced the music and danced (Guy Levy/BBC)


Runner-up Kellie told presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman: “I’m glad I got to see it through to the end", while Georgia said: “I’m so happy. All I wanted to do was get to the final.”

Meanwhile, broadcaster Katie Derham and partner Anton Du Beke finished in fourth place.

The star-studded final included appearances from this year’s contestants, The Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry and chart-topper Ellie Goulding.

Click here for our picture report on all the dances and scores.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special is on BBC1, Christmas Day, 6.15pm.