Fans may have fallen in love with Stacey Dooley‘s winning smile on Strictly Come Dancing 2018, but it’s her partner Kevin Clifton who really set the emotions running during the 2018 final.
Pro dancer ‘King Kev’ was left in tears after Stacey was announced the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2018.
And many fans were crying along with him after watching Stacey and Kevin lift the Glitterball trophy.
Kevin had reached the final four times previously with his celebrity partners, but the 2018 series is the first time he has won a Strictly title.
He was visibly emotional as documentary maker Stacey praised him for helping her to the Strictly win.
“Kev, you know how highly I think of you, you’re the biggest gent,” Stacey told him. “It’s no coincidence you’ve been in the final as many times as you have; you’re patient and talented and your choreography is second to none.”
Viewers were happy to see the pro dancer finally receive the reward they felt he deserved.
“Nobody deserved to win more than Kevin,” read one message, while another added, “So happy that Stacey won but even more happy that Kevin has finally won a Strictly title!”.
“Finally you get your wish Kevin!” another viewer wrote. “So deserved and even the under marking couldn’t stop you and Stacey from being champions! So thrilled for you both.”
Kevin had pointed out that Craig Revel Horwood had been particularly hard on him in previous Strictly finals.
“He does it to me every final, I expect it from Craig every final,” he told host Tess Daly after the pair were given just eight for their Showdance. “One year, I will impress you Craig – every year!”
In the end the judges’ scores didn’t matter however as the public vote swung decisively in Stacey and Kevin’s favour.
When the victory was announced, viewers couldn’t help crying along with Kevin as they sat watching the winners celebrate with the other celebrities and pro dancers, including Kevin’s ex-wife Karen.
“I’m more chuffed for Kevin than anyone else,” one viewer wrote in reaction to the win. “Sometimes we forget how much the show means to the professionals teaching the celebrities. They dedicate their whole lives to dance and then teach a novice like Stacey who hasn’t. It’s incredible.”
After the show had finished airing on BBC1, Strictly’s Twitter feed shared a video message from the pair thanking viewers at home for their votes.
“Thank you so much everyone who voted,” Kevin said. “This girl so deserved it, she’s been absolutely brilliant, and thank you each and every one of you for voting for us. You can see how much it means I think!” he added as his voice began to crack once more.
Kevin Clifton reached the final with partner Susanna Reid in his first year in the competition in 2013. Three more finals followed with Frankie Bridge, Kellie Bright and Louise Redknapp. Last year he finished seventh with comedian Susan Calman.
Strictly fan favourite Susan praised Stacey and Kevin after their Strictly win, writing on Twitter, “You could probably hear my cheers from Glasgow. So pleased for you. Worthy winners and all round gorgeous people. What a wonderful night.”
Stacey Dooley will return to dance in the Strictly live tour in 2019, but with a new partner. Kevin is unable to tour as he is set to tour with the musical Rock of Ages.