Entertainment

Two couples stun judges on Strictly Come Dancing

Anton Du Beke earned his first 10s.

Two couples are neck and neck on Strictly Come Dancing after wowing judges in Blackpool.

Kelvin Fletcher and Karim Zeroual have stunned the Strictly panel in the Tower Ballroom.

CBBC presenter Zeroual was hailed as “flawless” for his Charleston, and Fletcher was branded “formidable” for an energetic jive.

In a moment of Strictly history, Anton Du Beke was awarded his first ever 10s on the show.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Amy Dowden and Karim Zeroual (Guy Levy/PA)

But it was Fletcher who first sealed a place at the top of the leaderboard, earning a score of 39 with partner Oti Mabuse for their Elvis-inspired performance.

Shirley Ballas said of the dance: “I’m speechless. You owned it, you gave it, you controlled it. I was impressed.”

Craig Revel Horwood added: “The strength, the stamina, the agility, absolutely formidable.”

Couples were joined on the famous spring floor by backing dancers, but all eyes were on Zeroual as he performed an almost perfect Charleston with Amy Dowden.

They were also narrowly denied a perfect score on the show, with judges nevertheless wowed by the number.

Motsi Mabuse said: “I’m absolutely speechless. I can’t give you more than the 10, but it doesn’t justify how well you dance. You killed it.”

Ballas added: “You were absolutely flawless. You are a star.”

The scores tie Fletcher and Zeroual at the top of the leaderboard, while Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice have found themselves bottom with a score of 32.

Also in the bottom two after the famous annual visit to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom are comedian Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer with 33.

Du Beke and Emma Barton pulled off a successful American smooth, managing a total of 37, and the professional’s first 10s on the show despite him participating in 17 series.

Revel Horwood: “Beautiful movement around the floor, elegant, graceful.”

Mabuse added: “I think that was the best since you started Strictly.”

Stunned after breaking his duck, Du Beke told his partner: “Seventeen series, you don’t understand.”

Neil Jones and Alex Scott danced the paso doble and managed a score of 34.

Last week’s leaderboard frontrunners AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker danced a blistering quickstep and got a score of 35.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access