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, McGuiness 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.
“I think like anything in life, you can work as hard as you can - but you need an element of luck,” he added.
McGuiness 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”.
On if he would get a tattoo to celebrate his victory, McGuiness 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!”
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”, McGuiness said: “I think he definitely likes very theatrical, showy performances. And I actually like watching them too.
“I just often feel 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.
“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.
Runner-up Bright told presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman: “I’m glad I got to see it through to the end,” while Foote 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.