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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Zoe Delaney

Strictly's Fleur East tearful tribute to late father after emotional Show Dance

Fleur East emotionally paid tribute to her late father ahead of one of her dances during tonight's Strictly Come Dancing final.

The former X Factor contestant, 35, remembered how the BBC series was her dad's 'favourite show' while training with professional dance partner Vito Coppola earlier this week.

In a VT shown before Fleur and Vito took to the dancefloor, Fleur could be heard discussing how much the BBC series meant to her family and how much winning would mean to her.

After performing her show stopping Show Dance, the radio DJ emotionally thanks Strictly viewers for bringing happiness back into her life, following the death of her father in 2020.

Strictly viewers saw Fleur East get emotional during tonight's big final (BBC)

Fleur and Vito scored 39 out of a possible 40 for their second final performance earlier this evening, with head judge Shirley Ballas telling the star: "When you want it all to come together, tonight is the night it's come together... I thought it was steady, I love the moments of passion."

She then added: "I think your dad would be so proud of you. Well done darling."

Anton Du Beke told the pair: "It was intense, it was dynamic, it was strong. The thing I'm most impressed with is your skill as a dancer - I now see complete performances in front of me... you are a very, very good dancer. Well done."

Fleur and Vito's Show Dance was a hit with both judges and viewers (BBC)

Craig Revel Horwood added: "It was striking and bold, it was definitely something you want to see in a Show Dance."

Speaking with Strictly presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, Fleur emotionally thanked her supporters for getting her to the final.

"Thank you for bringing happiness and joy back into my families life. We needed this," the star

Fleur's father Malcolm ‘Max’ East died after a suffering a heart attack in 2020, leaving the Strictly star heartbroken.

Fleur was heartbroken when her father passed away two years ago (Instagram)

When she signed up for the BBC show earlier this year, Fleur emotionally explained: "I’m just going to be doing it for him. I’m gutted he can’t see me do it, but I’m going to keep him in mind when I’m doing the show."

Speaking earlier this week, Fleur's professional dance partner Vito vowed to dedicate their win to the star's late father should they lift the Glitterball trophy this evening.

He explained how Malcolm was a huge fan of Strictly and the reason his celebrity dance partner agreed to take to the famous dancefloor this year.

Fleur and Vito discussed her late father during rehearsals earlier this week (BBC)

Strictly fans were delighted to see Fleur praised after her first dance during tonight's live final - taking to social media to discuss how great it was to see the star 'finally get the recognition she deserves'.

Fleur and Vito became the second couple in Strictly history to score a perfect score for the Samba tonight, thanks to their perfect performance in the judges' choice category.

Fleur and Vito impressed the Strictly judges with all three of their performances (BBC)

"I'm furious actually because I couldn't find anything wrong with it," Craig joked as he gave Fleur his feedback.

Head judge Shirley added: "I said after week eight you'd mastered your craft and I really do not have a paddle high enough for that Samba. It was good enough for a world class final."

"Wow! Listen, what is so beautiful about this Samba is I feel you didn't lose yourself in the competition," Motsi gushed as she delivered her verdict, "You became a stronger Fleur, you learned how to use that skill. You smashed that Samba!"

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