Ashley Roberts and Faye Tozer lead Strictly finale with perfect first dances
Ashley Roberts has opened the Strictly Come Dancing series finale with a perfect score of 40.
The Pussycat Dolls star currently shares the top spot with Steps singer Faye Tozer, who also scored all 10s from the four judges.
Joe Sugg and Stacey Dooley, who are joint favourites to win, sit just one point behind in shared second place.
Both earned a score of 39, leaving all four finalists in pole position to lift the show’s glitterball trophy at the end of the night.
Earlier in the night host Tess Daly reminded viewers that the judges’ scores were for “guidance only” and it would be those watching at home who decided the winner.
First up, Roberts and her partner Pasha Kovalev took to the stage for a salsa to (I’ve Had The) Time Of My Life by Bill Medley. Dressed in pink against a stained glass backdrop, the pair performed the Dirty Dancing classic as the studio audience clapped in time.
Head judge Shirley Ballas told the pop star: “When you think something just can’t get better you managed to take it to the next level. You are fearless, you have the most spirited heart. Thank you for opening our final the way you did. It was brilliant.”
Craig Revel Horwood added: “You managed to take all the notes on board and you made that dance live. It was absolutely amazing.”
However, soon Tozer had equalled Roberts score, as the vocalist danced a slow, impassioned Viennese waltz to It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World by Seal.
Daly said Tozer and her partner Giovanni Pernice had been “smouldering all the way through”.
Revel Horwood said: “I do love a bit of drama and I rather enjoyed that. I loved it first time round. I loved it even more the second time round. It was much better. You have come so far. Truly, truly.”
Dame Darcey Bussell added: “You are the best ballroom dancer in the competition. You have just proved that. That transition from the floor into hold was superb. I loved it.”
An ecstatic Bruno Tonioli said: “The girl always delivers. From the first show of the season. Your ability to make the Viennese waltz so gripping, so sensual, so dramatic. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
YouTube star Sugg danced the paso doble to Pompeii by Bastille in a matador-themed routine while BBC documentary maker Dooley danced the foxtrot to Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck. Both dropped just one point, scoring a cumulative total of 39.
The Strictly Come Dancing finale continues on BBC One.