Mumbai: After showing his legwork on the field, football star Bhaichung Bhutia has proved he can dance well too as he walked away with the winner's trophy after the grand finale of third season of Sony TV's reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa in Mumbai on Sunday night.
Bhutia, who was one of the weaker contenders when the show began over three months back, beat model Gauhar Khan and actor Karan Grover to win the Rs 40-lakh prize money.
His victory has not only been backed by improved performance, but also by the SMS frenzy in his home state of Sikkim.
Several women from an organisation called Sahayta Club chipped in with Rs.30,000 to buy mobile cash cards so that they could facilitate 10,000 SMS votes for Bhutia last week.
Another campaign was undertaken by a social organisation called Citizens Forum that had set up a massive tent in Sikkim to conduct mass voting. Many booths were also set up in various localities in and around the state and neighbouring West Bengal hills to boost Bhutia's vote count.
Even the United Sikkim Sporting Soccer Club, whose chief patron is Bhutia, organised a mass voting at a discotheque in Gangtok.
Bhutia was recently slapped with a show-cause notice by Mohun Bagan, the club for which he plays football, for missing their practice sessions.
But he went on to perfect his dance moves for Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.
The special episode was a glitzy event with performances from the participants, choreographers as well as celebrity guests, actors Malaika Arora Khan and Mallika Sherawat.
The show's judges - star choreographers Saroj Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant - as well as actress Juhi Chawla graced the event.
A run-down of the journey of the three finalists too was showcased.