Strictly star Rose Ayling-Ellis to recreate silent dance that ‘changed her life'
Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis will recreate the silent dance that “changed her life” in the final.
The actress, 27, is due to take to the dancefloor in the grand finale of the BBC One show with her professional dance partner Giovanni Pernice, who has said he “didn’t want this to finish”.
Ayling-Ellis, the show’s first deaf contestant, won over viewers with an emotional contemporary routine featuring 10 seconds of silence in tribute to the deaf community, which she will be performing again in the final on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference hosted by It Takes Two presenter Rylan Clark, Pernice, 31, said: “The sound moment was so powerful and it got so much attention, Rose keeps saying the dance changed her life, it’s fair to do it again.
“It’s remarkable, when I watch a show back sometimes I completely forget she’s deaf because of the way she dances. I am a very, very proud teacher but more than that I am happy I discovered a fantastic friend for life.”
During the finale, each of the final three couples – Ayling-Ellis and Pernice, TV presenter AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington and former Bake Off winner John Whaite and Johannes Radebe – will perform three routines, among them the much-awaited show dance.
“Our show dance is a celebration of me and Rose, our relationship together you know in a sense of we found this beautiful friendship and just that’s what we want to celebrate,” Pernice said.
In the press conference, the EastEnders actress said she knew they would make a good team because Pernice is Italian and “expressive” when he talks, making it easier for her to understand him.
Ayling-Ellis said: “I knew we would be a good team because one thing I really like about Giovanni is his track record and also Italians are very expressive and very diverse when they talk, there is no waffle or metaphors.
“He’s learnt so much and met me half way, he’s come into my world and respected who I am and he adapts his teaching around that, it works so well because sometimes when things don’t work he solves them, rather then trying to make it work.”
The actress added that it was “nerve-racking” and a “big pressure” being the first deaf contestant on the show but that it has exceeded all of her expectations.
The couple scored a perfect 40 during Saturday’s semi-final for one of their two routines – an Argentine tango – which judge Craig Revel Horwood said belonged in the final.
Their other semi-final routine, a waltz, earned a score of 39, the highest score for that dance of the season.
Pernice added: “For me, the highlight has been spending every day in the studio with Rose because of the positivity and the happiness that I have had every single day for 14 weeks, its been joyful and it’s the first time I’ve said I don’t want this to finish.
“I always say I’m the one who is privileged to be able to do this journey with her. If she was doing it with someone else, I would be quite jealous.”
The final three celebrities will take to the dancefloor in the Strictly Come Dancing Final 2021 on December 18 at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.