AJ Odudu dances to top of Strictly leaderboard with dazzling Charleston

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Strictly star AJ Odudu has danced her way to the top of the leaderboard with a dazzling Charleston.

The TV presenter impressed the judges with her routine to Don’t Bring Lulu by Dorothy Provine, Pinky and The Girls with partner Kai Widdrington, which gave her a score of 39 out of a possible 40.

She was brought to tears after she was praised by the judges for the routine.

Motsi Mabuse told her: “I feel so proud, proud of that dance, it was so authentic, everything you put on.

“You came in at a high level but you didn’t sit at that level, you took it even higher.”

Shirley Ballas rifled through her box of paddles which hold the scoring numbers and said: “I don’t think I have a paddle big enough for you, that was off the chart.”

McFly star Tom Fletcher also impressed with his paso doble to Amparito Roca by Jaime Texidor with partner Amy Dowden.

Craig Revel Horwood told him: “My goodness you did such a fantastic job, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a paso from a male celebrity that convincing,” while Motsi Mabuse praised him for “such a strong performance”.

They were scored 38, their highest of the series.

Meanwhile TV chef John Whaite left the judges emotional with his rumba with partner Johannes Radebe to Shape Of My Heart by Sting.

Revel Horwood told him: “I might steal it as my wedding dance. It was absolutely gorgeous, I totally loved it, it was brilliant.”

Mabuse added: “It felt like it was just the two of you and me in this hall,” while Ballas said: “I’m quite moved really, quite emotional after watching it, it was class personified.”

They were given 35 by the judges, the highest score for a rumba in the series.

Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and partner Katya Jones were left at the bottom of the leaderboard after their jive to Little Bitty Pretty One by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers.

The star, who survived the dance-off last week, was told by Ballas and Anton Du Beke he was “a bit hesitant” in his routine, but Ballas praised him for being “nice and light on your feet”, while Mabuse said there were “more positives than negatives”.

However, Revel Horwood told him his “mistakes put you out of time and you almost stopped dancing”.

They scored the fewest points of the night, with 27.

Broadcaster Dan Walker also could be in jeopardy after his couple’s choice dance to Classic by MKTO with partner Nadiya Bychkova.

Du Beke told him: “It was joyous, the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, I think I need my fillings checked.

“I want to see you push a bit more, this was great but I want a bit more and I think you’ve got more.”

Revel Horwood said he felt it was “a bit vanilla and saccharine”, while Mabuse added: “You can do more so do it, we are waiting for you.”

They were left second from the bottom of the leaderboard after they received a score of 28.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Sunday at 7.15pm.

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