Jay McGuiness has said that winning Strictly Come Dancing 2015 has made him feel “happy, lucky and popular”.
The Wanted star had barely brushed the ticker tape from his shoulders before we gathered around to find out exactly how he and his now two-time winning partner Aliona Vilani were feeling.
“It feels surreal,” Jay told RadioTimes.com. “It does feel amazing because I enjoyed every second of our last dance. In my head now I think ‘Oh people enjoyed it, too’.
Jay’s been the hot favourite to win throughout the competition, but finished tonight’s show at the bottom of the leaderboard. Fellow finalists Georgia May Foote and Kellie Bright were both ahead after the judges’ votes and it seemed like the win may well have slipped from the singer’s grasp. But of whether he deserved to take the title Jay said:
“I think it’s down to whoever watches as to whether I deserve to win or not. I think everyone in the final deserved to be there. On Strictly you can’t help but put your whole heart into it.
“I think like anything in life you can work as hard as you can – you always need an element of luck,” he added.
Of getting tough feedback for their Showdance, which included segments from many of their dances from throughout the series, Jay remained upbeat.
“I just thought that our dance wasn’t to their taste,” he said. “I think Strictly has room for different styles of performance and ours was definitely more understated and introspective. Some people don’t like that but obviously enough people liked it to get us through.
“I can stand there and be criticised because I don’t feel [the judges] are doing it mean spiritedly. If we’d done a different style of dance they might have liked it and scored us even higher but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much,” he admitted.
As Jay adds a Glitterball trophy to his mantelpiece it seems he may also add a Strictly-inspired tattoo to his collection.
“I always collect tattoos when something awesome happened or something I want to remember, so yeah why not? We’ll see.”
But rest assured it won’t be his dance partner’s name.
“Aliona? I don’t know. I can’t face the controversy,” he laughed.
As for what’s next, Jay is looking forward to some festive time with his family, admitting his mum is “in bits” following his victory. Although, wielding a Glitterball won’t get him any ‘best child’ awards.
“[My mum] is such a stickler for no favouritism. If people say ‘You must be so proud of your son’ her reply is always ‘I’m proud of all of my children.’ Even when I’ve won the Glitterball…”
After a break it’ll be onto the tour and Jay promises an old favourite will return:
“We are touring and that’s going to be so much fun. A month of dancing the jive and probably the rumba. I’m looking forward to that.”
Want to know exactly how the final played out? Check out Ellie Walker-Arnott’s complete guide to the 2015 grand final.