Faye Tozer told Strictly Come Dancing viewers how it had changed her life as she made it into the final four to take to the dance floor in the hit show.
The Steps star, who lives in West Boldon, and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice competed against former Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev and YouTuber Joe Sugg, Dianne Buswell in the last of the series, with the glitterball trophy lifted by documentary maker Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton after the public vote.
Faye and Giovanni had been given flawless scores of 10 by each of the judges, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas, as the singer and her professional dancer performed their three routines in the lead up to the announcement.
Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2018 final: The 13 dances that got Faye Tozer through the competition
Faye told viewers: "Last week was such a roller coaster, it was just so amazing and we can say we were 2018 Strictly finalists."
She also said: "My family, they are just going to be so proud of what I've achieved.
"I've never been an overtly confident person, but I've grown so much through this experience.
"My family all know it's been for them."
Her husband Michael Smith and their son Benjamin also appeared on the show to say how proud they were of her.
Faye and Giovanni performed a Viennese Waltz to the sound of It's a Man's Man's Man's World, followed by their show dance to the sound of Lullaby on Broadway and then repeated their couple's choice to Fever by Peggy Lee.
The judges heaped praise on Faye, with Craig shouting out "Fab-u-lous" after watching their second turn on the dance floor while Darcey told her she was sophisticated and looked like a movie star.
There were also chants of "Ballroom Queen" by her fellow competitors as all those who took part reassembled for the event.
Before the final, Faye tweeted via her @Faye_Tozer account: "Thank you for all the good luck messages for me & my amazing partner @pernicegiovann1 for tonight’s @bbcstrictly final.
"I’m so grateful for the support and you guys giving me the chance to realise my dream.
"We’re gonna give tonight everything we’ve got! SO much love"