Hamza Yassin tops Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard with string of perfect 10s
Hamza Yassin has topped the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard in sparkling fashion with three perfect 10s across the board.
Saturday evening marked the halfway point of the BBC flagship show, with 10 celebrity contestants left battling it out on the dancefloor.
Wildlife cameraman Yassin performed the cha cha cha to The Four Tops’ I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) with his partner Jowita Przystal to secure the top score of 38.
The sweet routine received a standing ovation from Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas and secured full 10s from both judges as well as one from Anton Du Beke.
Ballas thanked Yassin for opening the show and said that it was one of the best cha cha chas she had ever seen.
Du Beke described it as “absolutely brilliant” and admitted he was searching for something to mark Yassin down on – but could not find it.
Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima came a close joint second after delivering a passionate Argentine tango to John Powell’s Assassin’s Tango.
Wearing all black, the presenter and actress secured a score of 37 with a routine filled with lifts and high kicks.
Craig Revel Horwood noted that apart from Marsh’s raised shoulders he felt it was “absolutely perfect”.
Du Beke praised her intensity and said he “loved it”, while Ballas said she felt it was “by far one of the most accomplished routines” she has seen Marsh perform.
TV presenter Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez also received a score of 37 for their jive to Janelle Monae’s Tightrope while dressed in complementary black and white suits.
Ballas said: “Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the jive, I actually got my first break in this dance, so let me just say, to everybody that is about to dance the jive: that is the way to do it.”
Singer Molly Rainford and her partner Carlos Gu took on the foxtrot to You Make Me Happy by My Sun And Stars for their routine, which saw them glide across the stage as petals floated down around them, eventually landing 35 points.
Ballas said it was the “epitome of style, sophistication, and just had that overwhelming sense of beauty, and that’s what this dance is for me”.
Also landing a score of 35 was Fleur East and Vito Coppola for their waltz to I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John.
Du Beke said: “I so much prefer this dancing from you. This level of energy in your dancing, it makes it beautiful to watch. You’re just the most divine dancer. You have a natural grace and elegance across the floor”.
Ellie Simmonds had the audience and some of the judges on their feet after delivering a lively Charleston with partner Nikita Kuzmin to Too Darn Hot by Kiss Me Kate.
Dressed in a fringed crimson red dress, the Paralympian champion performed multiple spins and kicks to secure a score of 33.
Mabuse said: “You came and put your heart on the dancefloor and this is what the show is about. Not pretending – doing it, living it, experiencing. Well done, I thought you did great.”
Will Mellor and Nancy Xu recreated a 1950s style with a petticoat dress and a soda shop background for their quickstep to Soda Pop by Robbie Williams featuring Michael Buble.
The couple received 33 points with Revel Horwood saying their performance had been slightly heavy-footed, but he also felt it had rhythm and was “so entertaining”.
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell performed an elegant Viennese waltz to I’ve Been Loving You Too Long by Seal for their routine to land a score of 29.
Revel Horwood said the dance was a bit “too pedestrian” and felt their transition needed to be “more graceful”, but praised West’s dancing ability.
Ted Lasso actress Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe delivered a dramatic Rumba to Alone by Heart but it did not quite find favour with the judges, who scored it a 22 overall.
Revel Horwood said: “I felt it was a little bit stiff, actually, and it felt like you were just walking around.
“There was actually no resistance and any sort of hip action and that’s what we’re looking for mainly in this dance, and therefore it lacked passion, I’m afraid.”
Meanwhile, former England footballer Tony Adams may be in trouble as he landed bottom of the leaderboard again after his salsa to I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) by Pitbull with Katya Jones.
Dressed in a low-buttoned shirt and attempting some dramatic lifts, the pair were brought down by a number of mistakes which left them with a score of 21 points.
Du Beke said: “For me, every time you come out, if I could give you 15 I would, but you went a bit wrong so it might not be 15 today, but good effort nonetheless.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One.