Ashley Roberts leaves Craig Revel Horwood speechless on Strictly

Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev shot to the top of the leaderboard with a perfect routine in the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final that left Craig Revel Horwood lost for words.

He was speechless following their American smooth as the couple danced their second routine of the evening.

The judge simply clapped when asked for his thoughts on the performance.

Their routine propelled them to the top of the leaderboard alongside Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice, whose passionate Argentine tango wowed the judges.

Only one point separates the top three couples remaining as Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton also impressed to claim third place in the table with a total score of 75.

Roberts and Kovalev claimed the only perfect score of the night, impressing the judges with their second dance, which was filled with dramatic lifts that Bruno Tonioli described as “out of this world”.

Shirley Ballas described the routine as “absolutely stunning on every level” and Revel Horwood could only clap in response to the dance, which was awarded a score of 40, helping them achieve a total of 76.

Asked why his partner should remain in the competition, Kovalev said: “I think I look into her eyes and I see that love for dance that just melts my heart, because as a professional dancer and teacher, that’s the most important thing to me.”

Tozer and Pernice were praised for their passionate Argentine tango, described by Darcey Bussell as “powerful but feminine”.

They also managed a combined total of 76.

Nerves affected Lauren Steadman, who managed a total score of only 54 on the night with partner AJ Pritchard.

She made a series of mistakes with her second dance and languishes at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Joe Sugg also failed to impress alongside partner Dianne Buswell, with his inability to take the lead on their second dance coming in for criticism from the judges.  The pair had a total score of 59.