Dancing On Ice 2023 winner – Olympian Nile Wilson beats TOWIE’s Joey Essex

The Dancing On Ice 2023 winner is Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson.

Olympian Nile and his skating partner Olivia Smart were crowned the champions after a dazzling final which saw a string of perfect scores.

The athlete from Leeds beat reality star Joey Essex, who came second, and third placed drag queen The Vivienne, following a public vote.

Nile had earlier become emotional after he performed the famous Bolero which won Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean the gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

He said: “We got to skate the most iconic ice dance of all time. What an absolute pleasure, what a process it’s been. We’ve put our all into it and we gave 110per cent and you can see how much it means to us.”

TOWIE star Joey and his partner Vanessa Bauer also danced the routine in the classic purple outfits.

Reflecting on Joey's growth, Dean said: “I remember when we saw you on the ice way back when you couldn’t stand up, you were falling all over the place, it didn’t look like it was the job for you. You’ve made us look silly because you’ve come here, you’ve gone through all the competition, you’ve got to Bolero and you finally performed that with emotion.”

Joey, Vivienne and Nile all secured a place in the grand final following last week's dramatic double elimination.

The finalists had starting the season on a crowded rink, with the 11 competitors including footballer John Fashanu, Love Island’s Ekin-Su, former EastEnder Patsy Palmer and Corrie’s Mollie Gallagher.

On Sunday night all three finalists wowed the judges to score a perfect 40.

First to perform was Nile who kicked off the final in dramatic fashion with a pirate-inspired routine.

Olympian Wilson showed off his gymnastic abilities as he performed a handstand on parallel bars suspended in the air as well as the infamously difficult headbanger, the first time a male celebrity has attempted the move.

After the performance, he said it was an “honour” to have the routine choreographed by judges and former Olympic champion skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Reflecting on the routine, Dean said: “I’m speechless almost. We wanted to capitalise on his gymnastic skills and his athleticism and I think he did that.”

Torvill added that she feels Wilson definitely deserved a 10 as she felt it was the best she had seen him perform the routine.

Next up was The Vivienne, who delivered a seductive performance. The drag queen dressed in a vibrant red outfit as she skated to Dark Horse by Katy Perry with her partner Colin Grafton and a number of other dancers who dipped and lifted the 30-year-old entertainer.

After the routine, The Vivienne said: “This whole experience has been amazing and being on the ice with Jayne and Chris is an experience money cannot buy. It is just phenomenal and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

Judge Jayne Torvill said: “What I like about this routine is there’s so many difficult steps and edges but you make it look easy.”

Diversity star Ashley Banjo added: “Your skating is incredible. You’ve come so, so far – but for me, you are literally such an incredible performer and there is not one person in the competition that could perform that routine like you and that’s why I absolutely loved that."

The final celebrity to perform was Joey who embodied the Greek hero Hercules for his first grand finale routine and once more landed perfect 10s across the board for his efforts.

The reality star performed a walkover and a backflip with his skating partner Vanessa Bauer while dressed in a white toga.

Essex described the show as “the best experience I’ve ever had in my life” after he received the top mark.

Judge Ashley Banjo said: “I’m actually so proud of you bro because from where you started to where you ended up, you are skating with Vanessa and all the other incredible pros.

“And it would have been really easy to underestimate you at the start of the series but look, you are here in the final and you absolutely smashed it.”

Christopher Dean joked Essex had taught him patience during the competition, adding: “Tonight, I think it was an amazing performance but also it was a Herculean performance and it was from zero to hero tonight.”


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