Rosehaven star Celia Pacquola has won Dancing with the Stars 2020 after a fast-tracked finale.
Together with dancer Jarryd Byrne, she defeated Christian Wilkins and dance partner Lily Cornish.
Claudia Karvan came third and Ed Kavalee was fourth.
“I really think it will be a few months from now before I realise or understand what this all means,”said Pacquola.
“For right now, I’m so happy for Jarryd, he deserves this so much. It feels great to be on a show that’s inspirational and aspirational, it feels like we did some good.”
But Sunday was no ordinary finale, brought forward due to production changes in the pandemic.
With a scattered crew sitting in audience seats, hosts standing apart, and judge Craig Revel Horwood on satellite from the UK, the show did not bring back former contestants.
But it also sidestepped the issue of dancers failing to demonstrate social distancing, suggesting that they were like a ‘family’ because they had been rehearsing together in close quarters all week. That didn’t pass the pub test.
Nevertheless, Warner Bros. and 10 managed to produce a worthy winner under trying circumstances -including Christian & Lily self isolating for 14 days.
Pacquola’s win came despite Claudia Karvan scoring two perfect 30s across the night, with Christian Wilkins proving androgynously theatrical and Ed Kavalee surprisingly emotional.
Judge Sharna Burgess said, “What I love about Celia winning this competition, is that she is every woman. She had the ups and the downs, she showed her vulnerability and her strength. It was a gift to watch her blossom and she truly deserved the win.”