Strictly Come Dancing: Rose Ayling-Ellis And Giovanni Pernice Secure Earliest 40 In Show's History With 'Perfect' Tango

'This was out of this world."

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice made Strictly Come Dancing history on Saturday night after they scored 40 in week six - the earliest the top mark has ever been achieved on the BBC dance show.

The EastEnders star and her professional partner performed a tango to Ed Sheeran’s latest hit Shivers for the show’s Halloween special, which secured them the highest mark of the series so far.

The result all proved a bit much for an emotional Giovanni ― dubbed the “king of Halloween” on the show as he has topped the leaderboard of the spooky themed episode every year since he joined Strictly in 2015.

The dancing competition did not have a Halloween special last year, but in 2019 Giovanni came out top with RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, and previously with TV star Debbie McGee and actress Georgia May Foote, and joint top with singer Faye Tozer and TV presenter Laura Whitmore.

Rose, who has played Frankie Lewis in EastEnders since 2020, had already made Strictly history by becoming the show’s first ever deaf contestant.

And if bagging themselves a perfect score wasn’t enough, Ed Sheeran also surprised the couple with a video message which was played to the pair after they completed their dance.

He said: “Hey Rose, Ed Sheeran here. Thank-you so much for dancing to my track Shivers with Giovanni. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the season, I hope you win and I’m really honoured that you’re dancing to it. Have a great day, lots of love.

Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing

Commenting on the dance, judge Anton Du Beke said: “I’ve written a few things down here and they all basically say perfect, congratulations.”

Motsi Mabuse added: “Rose, I’ve been judging for 14 years, I’ve seen a couple of numbers, but this one will remain epic. This was absolutely one amazing dance. From the beginning your acting skills, the way you dance together, the technique in the dance, I mean this was out of this world.”

Elsewhere, TV presenter AJ Odudu and her partner Kai Widdrington came in second with their Viennese waltz to Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande. They received a score of 37 – their highest so far.

But Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies faces potential elimination as she sits at the bottom of the leaderboard with 23 points from the judges.

She performed her couple’s choice dance to Whitney Houston’s Queen Of The Night, which she dedicated to her family for supporting her through her career as a businesswoman.

The Halloween special opened with a group routine by the professional dancers which featured a host of classic villainous characters, including Voldermort, the Wicked Witch, Harley Quinn and The Joker.

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