Strictly Come Dancing’s first contestant to get the boot this series has gone from zero to hero after being crowned the winner of the Christmas special.
Radio DJ Melvin Odoom and his professional dance partner Janette Manrara were axed from the ballroom in the first public vote of this year’s BBC1 contest, but have shown the judges that the champions’ result could have been very different if they had been kept in.
Melvin and Janette won the one-off festive episode with a perfect score of 40 points for their Charleston to Sparklejolly-Twinklejingley, inspired by the film Elf.
The judges’ scores were combined with votes from the studio audience which led to a turnaround in fortunes for the 36 year old.
Strictly’s theme for the Christmas special was festive movies and saw chef Ainsley Harriott and Karen Clifton Jive to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree inspired by Home Alone, TV presenter Gethin Jones and Chloe Hewitt do a Quickstep to The Polar Express, writer and actress Pamela Stephenson and Pasha Kovalev Cha Cha to Jump from the film Love Actually, Olympian Denise Lewis and Anton Du Beke dance a Viennese Waltz to Meet Me in St Louis, and pop star Frankie Bridge and Gorka Marquez perform an American Smooth to Let It Go from Frozen.
Ainsley scored 35, Gethin finished on 38, Pamela got 39, Denise was awarded 38, and Frankie tied her judges’ score with Melvin on 40.
Melvin, who lifted the Silver Star trophy with Janette, said: “This is the best Christmas ever. I’m going to put this trophy on my front door so people will know.”
The judges dressed up as characters from Narnia, with Len Goodman as the King, Darcey Bussell as the White Witch, Bruno Tonioli as Prince Caspian and Craig Revel Horwood as lion Aslan.
Also featured in the episode was a group dance to open the show filmed at Knebworth House, a closing number involving the contestants and judges to Auld Len’s Syne in honour of the retiring head judge, and a performance of White Christmas by Matt Goss.