Strictly2021: Six unforgettable moments before the final

By Steven McIntosh
Entertainment reporter

Image source, PA Media

Pernice might be celebrating his first win. Ayling Ellis, however, would be the first show’s deaf winner.

Strictly Come Dancing will conclude later. However, two couples will contest after AJ Odudu (TV presenter) left the show because of an injury.

Rose Ayling Ellis (EastEnders) and John Whaite (TV chef) will each perform three dances in Saturday’s finale.

Odudu had been scheduled to participate, but she was forced to withdraw from the competition on Friday due to a ruptured ligament in her right leg.

Tess Daly hosts the finale. Claudia Winkleman broadcasts live from BBC One at 19.00 GMT.

Strictly will record this year’s results – Ayling Ellis would be the first winner for the deaf in the history of the program if she wins.

Whaite would win the match with Johannes Radebe. This is also Whaite’s first win as a partner in same-sex.

Odudu, speaking on Friday, said she was “deeply disturbed” by her inability to compete with Kai Widdrington for the final.

Kai said that learning to dance in the last thirteen weeks has been an extraordinary honor and she will always treasure it.

“Thanks to my Strictly family and the medical team who tried to help me get back on my feet. And, most importantly, thanks to all of you at home who watched and supported.”

Odudu, Ayling Ellis and Whaite were both successful in last week’s semifinal. They scored 79 points out of 80, respectively.

The final outcome will be decided by viewers, not judges, and this is unlike other episodes. Viewer votes decide the winner.

Although neither of the remaining professional dancers has won Strictly, Ayling Ellis’s partner Giovanni Pernice has been close to winning it several times.

He was previously a finalist in the 2018 and 2015 Finals with Faye Tozer (Debbie McGee) and Georgia May Foote (2015).

Ayling Ellis spoke out ahead of the finale to journalists during a press conference. “I feel amazing. I’ve been here from day one, and I made it all the the way through the end. And isn’t this lovely?” It’s amazing to be in the final.

“I watched the video of week one, then I watched my last dance. And I am so happy with how much I’ve improved. This is mainly due to Gio. Gio is the reason I’m able to dance like I do now.

Pernice was asked if he was concerned about his first partner being deaf. He replied that he was excited more than nervous. Rose is the ideal partner for me to take on this challenge.

  • Rose Ayling-Ellis inspires sign language lessons surge
  • AJ Odudu using crutches to get ready for final
  • Strictly 2021: Dad dancing, dragons, and ‘Stricky Leaks’

Whaite stated that “We don’t care about winning.” It’s not right to say this, but I’m proud of what we did and that we got there. I don’t care what happens. All that matters is that I am here to enjoy the moment and continue my dance routine.

Radebe, his partner added that he was so happy and couldn’t stop telling you how much. “But, I’m most proud of you guys and the fact that it’s possible. We’ve also had support. For me, that is just huge.”

Prior to Odudu’s departure, Strictly was a very successful year despite some absences from the series due to injury or positive Covid cases.

This series regularly attracts a viewership of over nine million. It is therefore one of America’s most-watched television shows.

However, some viewers are concerned about inconsistent scoring. Although it wasn’t the highest scoring series, there have been some significant discrepancies in the scores between judges.

According to Michael Hogan of the Telegraph, “We noticed this uneven marking most clearly after Dan Walker’s American smooth To King Of The Road.” Anton Du Beke scored a staggering nine points, while Craig Revel Horwood was a satisfied four-year old.

“This five point difference was the biggest of the series, and also the joint largest of all times.”

Six moments that stood out at this year’s Strictly

1. Pernice and Ayling-Ellis’ silent dance

The couple chose Symphony by Clean Bandit, and the dance they performed was beautiful and touching.

A tribute to deaf people and an attempt at showing viewers what it was like to dance as deaf, Pernice saw Ayling Ellis cover Pernices ears during their routine.

The music abruptly stopped. But the couple danced. They danced for 20 seconds unassisted, but they never lost their rhythm or place.

This dance became one of the most popular online in this series and was undoubtedly a pivotal point for the couple’s journey on Strictly.

2. The Levitating shirt

Does it work? It’s an optical illusion. The optical illusion is actually Nikita Kunzmin’s shirt being caught by a microphone wire.

When Tilly Ramsay found herself in the bottom two in week 10, her professional partner realised this might be his last chance to show off his admittedly-rather-impressive bare body to the nation.

His shirt had been attached to him during the main performance, but Kuzmin tore the top off and tossed it on his shoulders for a while before letting it fall to the floor.

Except that the shirt became entangled in microphone wires between the two of them and ended up floating high above ground, like some kinda foxtrotting ghost.

It was amazing to witness the chaos and joy. AlsoDua Lipa was their Levitating partner. It’s hard to imagine a better time.

3. Celebs present in the audience

Casting relatives and friends of A-list stars in Strictly has the advantage that they may turn up on the show.

So it turned out that Dame Emma Thompson, the legendary actress was in the crowd cheering on her husband Greg Wise. Gordon Ramsay became emotional while watching Tilly.

Giovanna, an ex-I’m A Celebrity Winner, was seen standing beside her husband Tom at the tables while Danny Dyer (Rose’s EastEnders) cheered on Rose’s daughter. David Coren Mitchell was joined by Victoria Coren Mitchell as they celebrated Robert Webb’s Peep Show ex-star.

Carol Kirkwood, a weather-presenter extraordinaire and all-round treasure of the country, was delighted to be there when Dan Walker, her BBC Breakfast host, was praised.

4. Sean Paul brought Judi Love light

Many musicians wrote supportive messages to celebrities after they performed their song routines. Pernice and Ayling Ellis danced to Pernice’s single Shivers, Ed Sheeran recorded it.

Sean Paul, however, was the one who raised the bar when he sent Judi Love a support video.

Graziano Di Prima was the Loose Men panellist. Their dance to Get Busy went viral and became the talk of dancehall.

“Hey Judi, what’s up? “It’s Sean Paul,” said he, unfortunately not even singing his own name.

“Listen. You blew up mine last week. Yeah, man. I was constantly being called by people telling me how busy you were. You did it! Bravo, and best of luck with the next installment of Strictly.

5. Judges use musical chairs

Agent Cynthia Erivo will get an extra-large Christmas hamper following booking of the Tony-winning Star. TwoEpisodes of this series are to be used as a cover for missing judges.

Craig Revel Horwood felt a bit ill after being caught by Covid halfway through the series. Erivo took over while Craig recovered.

Motsi Mabuse was back in the UK the next week. However, she had been told by a Covid friend that she could not travel to the UK because of a close Covid connection.

The judge who had the highest attendance record this year was actually Anton Du Beke. He was in fact covering Bruno Tonioli who was unable to attend due to US travel restrictions. Everyone clear?

6. The show is generally not in collapse

Odudu’s sudden departure from the series the day before its finale was not Odudu’s first accident.

Ugo Monye was unable to attend for a week because of back issues, and Robert Webb was advised by his specialist that he should leave the show entirely after undergoing heart surgery two years prior.

There were also the celebrity and absent judges who missed weeks due to Covid. After self-isolating, Love and Tom Fletcher received a one week pass.

It’s an incredible feat of production that the program remained on-air.

While Blackpool may not have taken place this year, there were Katie McGlynn and Webb playing Cruella and Kermit the Frog, as well as Dan Walker dressing up as a lobster.


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