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In this week’s Halloween week, the couple performed a tango to Ed Sheeran track Shivers, in an outfit inspired by an ice queen and her servant.
Encouraged by Ayling-Ellis’s Eastenders cast made Danny Dyer in rehearsals, the pair were met with two standing ovations from judges Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse when the dance ended.
When the scores came in, they were met with a perfect 40 - the earliest one has ever been given in the competition.
Jumping up and down with joy, Pernice fell to his knees and immediately broke down in tears.
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) October 30, 2021
Taking a moment to contain himself, he soon grabbed hold of Ayling-Ellis, and kissing her on the side of her head.
Following the performance, judge Anton Du Beke - dressed as Batman’s The Riddler - literally took his hat off to the couple and declared: “Perfect. Congratulations.”
Craig Revel-Horwood then asked for guidance from Ayling-Ellis’s deaf translator to let her know that she had “smashed it”.
“Rose, you know I’ve been sitting and judging for 14 years, and I’ve seen a couple of numbers, but this one will remain epic. This was absolutely one amazing dance from the beginning,” added Mabuse.
“Your acting skills, the way you two dance together, the technique in that dance. I mean this was out of this world.”
Pernice remains the highest scoring pro in Halloween Week, and Claudia Winkleman quizzed him about how he felt about that affecting the pressure of this week’s routine.
“It was playing a little bit, but again, we just focused on our dance no matter way, and I think you delivered a fantastic, fantastic tango. Beautiful,” he said.
Ayling-Ellis also joked that he had been ‘lizarding’ quite a bit this week - her description of the pro’s sharp nature to get the routine right - but joked: “Well… it worked!”
Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturdays at 7.10pm on BBC One, with the results show airing on Sundays at 7pm.
Watch: Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice Tango to Shivers by Ed Sheeran