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John Whaite tops Strictly leaderboard with three 10s in Movie Week

The former Bake Off contestant wowed with a Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired dance.

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe
Published: Saturday, 9th October 2021 at 8:38 pm

It was a stellar movies week on Strictly Come Dancing which saw several jaw-dropping performances, but the night was capped off in blockbuster style by John Whaite and Johannes Radebe's paso doble inspired by Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean.

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The energetic routine saw Whaite dressed in a costume reminiscent of Captain Jack Sparrow's iconic garb, with the couple nailing some challenging steps and spins, while also incorporating the swashbuckling action of the films.

Judges Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas gave a standing ovation to the paso doble, which ended with a cannon firing glitter across the dance floor, and the praise was unanimous across the entire panel.

"I'm a little overwhelmed really," said Anton Du Beke. "I have to be honest with you, I thought it might be a bit camp, this number, but it was the best thing I've seen all night. You were so strong and believable and powerful, your jump was exquisite."

Stern critic Craig Revel Horwood admitted that he hadn't "written a thing down" about the performance, suggesting it was near enough flawless even by his high standards.

In a break from convention, co-judge Mabuse revealed what score she was intending to give ahead of the proper reveal – and it just so happened to be her second perfect grade of the night.

"I don't care whether it's week one or week ten, you're getting a ten! That was brilliant! I loved that" she exclaimed, to applause from the Strictly Come Dancing studio audience.

Mabuse had given her first week three '10', as well as the first of the 2021 series, earlier in the evening to CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson, who had also impressed with a Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse number.

Ultimately, John and Johannes came agonisingly close to a perfect score, getting 10s from everyone but Revel Horwood, who ended up settling on a 9.

Nevertheless, a rock solid 39 points was enough to send the couple to the very top of the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard, with Stephenson close behind, followed by EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis who had moved viewers with a Titanic-inspired performance.

You can watch the performance below.

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Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow night at 7:10pm on BBC One. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight. 

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