Star footballer Baichung Bhutia and his choreographer Sonia Jaffer won Sony's Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 3 trophy last week.
Baichung, who was one of the weaker contenders over three months ago, beat ace dancer Gauhar Khan and the audience favourite Karan Singh Grover in the finale to take home the Rs 40 lakh cash prize.
"I am glad I won the competition. I am still a non-dancer but now I can at least rate myself on a scale," said Baichung. "My first performance -- when I danced to the title song of Goal -- was so bad that I just wanted to run away and never come back again. I never thought I would win. It was only after I topped the semi-final round that I entertained the thought of winning."
'My tapori act in the semi-final round gave me all the confidence to do well in the finals'
Baichung's wife and friends have being supportive throughout the show.
"My friends were surprised when I participated in the show because they knew how bad I was at dancing. But what surprised them more was that I won," he said.
On asked who he thought was the most deserving contestant, Baichung said, "It could have been anyone. My tapori act in the semi-final round gave me the confidence to do well in the finals. By God's grace and the support of the audience, I did. What you need is the best choreographer and hard work."
Giving full credit to his tough taskmaster choreographer Sonia, who flew to Kolkata when Baichung could not make it to the rehearsals in Jhalak House in Mumbai, the footballer added, "It's only because of her that I have won the competition. Winning this competition means a lot more to her than me."
'Just because I have won Jhalak doesn't mean that I will dance in any corporate events or weddings'
To a question whether football will now take a backseat to dance, Baichung replied, "Football is my priority. Just because I have won this competition doesn't mean that I will dance in any corporate events or weddings. I will not dance anymore. If Jhalak calls me next year because I am this year's winner, I might probably shake a leg. Nothing more than that.
"I took part in this show because I wanted to learn dance and it was a new learning experience. I wouldn't want to take part in any more reality shows or even judge a show where I don't have any knowledge about it," he added.
Does he have any Bollywood aspirations? "If a mad director or producer offers to pay me a big amount for the film, then I will sign it," he laughs.
Asked whether there would be any celebrations after winning, he said, "I was very tired after the show so I'm catching up on my sleep."