Soap star Alexandra Mardell has been crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing’s 2022 Christmas special following a show filled with carnival-themed performances.
The 29-year-old actress, best known for her role as Emma Brooker in Coronation Street, lifted the silver star trophy alongside her dance partner Kai Widdrington after they impressed the judges and studio audience and scored a 40. perfect with The Ronettes’ quick jump Sleigh Ride.
The pair added festive cheer to their performance with Mardell dressed as a reindeer and Widdrington as a silver-haired Santa.
After the win, Mardell said: “I’m so shocked, I can’t thank you enough. I’m so glad I did it for you (Kai), I can’t believe it.”
The pair had to compete fiercely for the title before five other famous couples.
Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts scored high for her waltz with Giovanni Pernice in a version of Silent Night sung by Michael Buble.
With Roberts wearing a sparkly white polka dot evening gown with feather trim and Pernice in a gray suit, they swam through to score 39.
Host and podcaster Rosie Ramsey also earned 39 points after she and partner Neil Jones danced a vibrant jive in Sir Elton John’s Step Into Christmas.
They performed in pale pink outfits in front of a gingerbread house.
CBeebies hosts George Webster and Amy Dowden impressed with their Charleston to Good News from the movie Nativity.
Dressed in a yellow suit with glittery lapels, Webster dazzled the crowd by performing a split in the regular section, earning him a score of 38.
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Radio DJ Rickie Haywood-Williams donned a Nutcracker set to dance with Luba Mushtuk.
They delivered a salsa to The Waitress’ Christmas Wrap for a score of 34.
Actor Larry Lamb looked dapper in a tuxedo and dandy in his smooth American routine with professional co-star Nadiya Bychkova.
They scored 31 points for Buble’s A Winter Wonderland dance while surrounded by snow-covered Christmas trees.
The studio audience voted for their favorite contestant, and their votes were combined with the judges’ scores to decide the winner.
The Christmas special opens with a group routine with the festive medley Let It Snow, The Nutcracker Suite and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town featuring celebrities and their professional partners.
Strict former judge Bruno Tonioli has returned specifically to sing The Communards’ version of Don’t Leave Me This Way.
He was accompanied by professional dancers Dianne Buswell, Cameron Lombard, Nikita Kuzmin, Michelle Tsiakkas, Karen Hauer and Lauren Oakley.
To end the show, the couples and judges stepped onto the dance floor to the Beatles’ song All You Need is Love.
The Christmas special was hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkman, with judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas following every step of the way.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/winner-crowned-on-strictly-come-dancings-christmas-special-42243821.html Winner crowned in Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special