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John Whaite tops Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard in movie week

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe (Ray Burmiston/BBC)
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

Great British Bake Off star John Whaite has topped the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard.

Alongside his partner Johannes Radebe, Whaite performed a paso doble inspired by Pirates Of The Caribbean.

They were scored 39 by the judges, with only Craig Revel Horwood not giving the pair a perfect score.

Judge Anton Du Beke said: “I’m a little overwhelmed, really.

“I have to be honest with you, I thought it might be a bit camp, this number.

“It was the best thing I have seen all night. You were so strong and believable and powerful.”

Shirley Ballas added: “I haven’t seen anything like that. Thank you for closing our show with such a magnificent performance.”

The routine received the highest score of any dance from the series so far.

CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and his partner Nancy Xu came second with a score of 37 for their Spider Man-inspired routine.

Third in the rankings was EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.

She was scored 36 by the judges, who each gave her a score of nine for her foxtrot to the Titanic theme song My Heart Will Go On.

Mabuse praised the simplicity of Ayling-Ellis’ routine.

She said: “I ask myself if things have to be complicated, and you guys just showed they do not have to be complicated.

“They have to be simple.

“It was simply beautiful and for me it was a magic moment. Thank you so much for that.”

Du Beke added: “I feel a bit emotional really, because I remember dancing to Titanic on Strictly Come Dancing a number of years ago with Ann Widdecombe and it didn’t quite look the same as that, somehow.

“It was absolutely beautiful.”

Revel Horwood simply commented: “Amazing.”

Soap star Ayling-Ellis, who has played Frankie Lewis since 2020, has made history as part of the line-up of the 2021 series by becoming the show’s first ever deaf contestant.

McFly star Tom Fletcher and his dance partner Amy Dowden returned to Strictly on Saturday with a score of 32.

The pair missed last week’s show after catching coronavirus.

Olympian Adam Peaty and Katya Jones currently sit bottom of the leaderboard after being given a score of 20 points.

One of the couples will be eliminated on Sunday following a public vote.

Last week, Nina Wadia became the first celebrity to be eliminated from the BBC One celebrity dancing competition.

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