By LOUISE SAUNDERS
She's suffered a traumatic week after dislocating a rib during training and being left battered and bruised after putting her body to the limit with her strenuous rehearsals.
But Denise Van Outen overcame adversity during the Strictly Come Dancing final on Saturday night to wow the judging panel with an effortlessly energetic jive.
The 38-year-old TV presenter and her partner James Jordan won praise from judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell for her sexy moves on the dancefloor.
Pulling out her best moves to Little Richard's Tutti Frutti, the star impressed with her 'fantastic energy and impeccable timing' and won a rapturous applause from the audience for her efforts.
Awarding her a near-perfect score of 39 for her first dance, head judge Len said: 'I thought you combined athleticism with artistry there. It was fantastic.'
Bruno added: 'My darling you are wicked. That was a premium grade jive, packed with excitement energy and variety of steps. You deserve to be her darling, you really do.'
Darcey gushed: 'I love this the first time and i love it again. You're fast and furious and it suits you down to the ground.'
But famously acid-tongued judge Craig teased Denise by seeming to criticise her performance, before turning the tables and praising her for her efforts.
He said: 'Limp lame, I'm joking. Fantastic energy, your timing as usual was impeccable. You truly are a great dancer.'
Denise and James then took to the stage for an energetic showdance to Irene Cara's What A Feeling.
Twirling around the dancefloor in a form-fitting sheer black catsuit, the mother of one managed to top even her previous performance with a perfect score of 40.
Len said: 'If that dance was a game of poker you went all in - it had dancer it had talent. I'm so glad that came off as it did because it justified what i thought all along
Bruno added: 'What a feeling what a dance, the lift had an incredible level of difficulty and you pulled it off in a way I've never seen before. That was epic.'
Craig gushed: 'It was a little bit hip central for my liking but it was absolutely incredible. I can't believe what your body did.'
And Darcey seemed to be in disbelief at the talent she saw: 'That was flashy, wow you could travel the world doing that and make a lot of money from it. You made that look far too easy.'
But perhaps preparing for the worst, Denise said: 'If this is our last dance then I'm so happy because I loved every second of it.'
Earlier in the week, Denise opened up to Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw about the extent of her injuries.
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