HHP wins Strictly Come Dancing

Johannesburg - After eight gruelling weeks, local rap artist Jabulani Tsambo, better know as Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) and his dance partner Hayley Bennet were announced as the winners of SABC2's Strictly Come Dancing.

The final round of the celebrity dance competition, which took place in the Ballroom of the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg on Thursday night, saw HHP and Hayley compete with Candice Moodley, Eastern Mosaic presenter who was teamed up with Quintus Jansen.

With a head start from the judges and audience votes HHP and Hayley captured the attention of the audience right from the start and walked off not only with the Strictly Come Dancing Trophy but also with R20 000 each.

'Surreal'

"It still feels surreal," HHP told News24 on Friday morning. "I think the news will only sink in by Sunday. Before the competition I couldn't dance at all - well, that's apart from the dancing I do in the kitchen - so I felt 80% of the time like a fish out of water."

HHP ended up having so much fun in the competition that he wants to continue with ballroom dancing. "Hayley and I have got plans to do some more dancing. Maybe take it on the road and perform in different towns to thank all the people who voted for us. But for now we'll continue celebrating with bottles and bottles of champagne."

Strictly Come Dancing's executive producer, Kee-Leen Irvine, was equally delighted with HHP and Hayley's win: "I'm absolutely thrilled that the dancer that sat in my cast meeting and tried to cry off with nerves and commitments has cleaned up. Hayley and HHP have rocked as a team and delivered the goods each week with something different and exciting."

Perfect 10

The winning couple started out with their favourite dance, the Jive, which was followed by an interpretive dance sequence on a song chosen by the judges You'll never find, for which they received raving reviews like "best ever" from the judges.

But for HHP and Hayley the best was yet to come when their final dance, which was freestyle, earned them a perfect 10 from three of the judges (Lillian Phororo, Salome Sechele and Dave Campbell) whereas the fourth judge Tyrone Watkins, rewarded them with an 8 for their "fabulous" performance.

The glamorous affair was attended by a host of local celebrities including Cindy Nel, Danny Kay, Michael Mol, Penny Lebyane, Pabi Moloi and previous participants like Patricia Lewis and past season contender, Michelle Garforth.

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