BBC Strictly Come Dancings Ellie Leach whispers four-word message to partner Vito after win

Ellie Leach was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2023 alongside professional dancer Vito Coppola, and she had a sweet message for her dance partner after they lifted the Glitterball trophy.

Ex-Coronation Street actress Ellie, 22, was completely stunned when Tess Daly, 54, and Claudia Winkelman, 51, announced she'd won, while Vito, 31, was immediately overcome with emotion and broke down in tears.

Ellie hugged her partner as everyone around them began celebrating. As she regained composure, Ellie defiantly told Vito: “This is for you!” while pointing at the Glitterball trophy.

The sweet four-word message proved to be a touching tribute to Italian pro Vito, who continued to hug Ellie.

The actress told hosts Claudia and Tess that it was the "first time" she'd seen Vito cry, before saying she "genuinely" couldn't believe she'd won the competition.

Ellie and Vito performed three incredible dances at the Strictly final. The judges – Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke – selected one of the pair's previous dances for them to perform again, and the duo also got to pick their favourite dance of the series to repeat. The finalists also performed a Show Dance.

The judges chose Ellie and Vito's Paso Doble to Insomnia by 2WEI as the dance they wanted them to perform, while the couple opted to repeat their American Smooth to Robbie Williams' Ain't That A Kick In The Head. Their incredible Show Dance was performed to mix of Jennifer Lopez tracks.

Ellie and Vito's three dances saw them awarded a combined score of 115 out of a possible 120. The pair were actually at the bottom of the leaderboard in the final, with Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell having scored 117 while Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin scored 119.

However, Ellie and Vito received the most votes from the public after it was revealed they were the firm favourite to win the BBC One show.

Ellie and Vito's partnership has had Strictly fans transfixed throughout the 2023 series, with the pair proving to be a match made in heaven on the dance floor. It's been claimed on several occasions that they are more than just friends, but neither have ever confirmed the rumours.

When asked about the rumours, both Ellie and Vito have dodged giving a direct answer. Speaking ahead of the Strictly final, Vito said they were firmly focused on taking home the Glitterball trophy while Ellie spoke of their "strong partnership".

Asked at a press conference if the romance rumours have bothered them, Vito said, as reported by the Mirror: "We are in the rehearsals all day, we have so many things to think about, choreography… we have to have the time to eat, we nap a little bit, then we go home and we eat and sleep because we rehearse again so we really are so focused.

“All of this beautiful experience, words cannot describe how we are enjoying every single rehearsal, every single second of this amazing experience."

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