Layton Williams given standing ovation from Craig Revel Horwood on Strictly

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin received a standing ovation from Craig Revel Horwood during the Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals.

This week, the couples performed two dances in a bid to make it to the final and win the Glitterball Trophy.

For their second dance, Williams, 29, and Kuzmin, 25, wore matching suits as they performed the Charleston to Fit As A Fiddle by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.

They made use of chairs, a ladder and umbrellas as they danced their way to a full 40 points.

Revel Horwood said the dance was “the best Charleston I’ve ever seen in twenty years.”

Judge Anton Du Beke told stage and TV actor Williams: “That’s the best thing you’ve ever done.”

The Bad Education star performed a front flip during the dance and in previous weeks he has executed a back handspring and performed on a pole.

Williams and Kuzmin cried and embraced following the judges’ scores.

EastEnders star Bobby Brazier and his dance partner Dianne Buswell had kicked off the Strictly semi-finals with a quickstep to Mack The Knife by Bobby Darin and received 38 points.

Williams performed second on the show and his first dance was a rumba to Lift Me Up by Rihanna.

Revel Horwood said they brought “superb” emotion to the dance but Du Beke said “it was a little hard in places” and the duo received 36 points from the judges.

Former tennis player Annabel Croft then performed a salsa to You’ll Be Mine (Party Time) by Gloria Estefan and received a score of 32 with her dance partner Johannes Radebe.

After this, soap star Ellie Leach was told by head judge Shirley Ballas that she had some “unique and beautiful leg actions” following her first dance.

The soap star performed the cha cha cha to Mambo Italiano by Bette Midler with her dance partner Vito Coppola.

Du Beke described the dance as “absolutely beautiful” but Revel Horwood said it looked “a little bit too polite” and the pair were awarded 37 points from the judges.

Brazier and Buswell then danced a paso doble to Run Boy Run by Woodkid and were awarded 35 points from the judges.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023
Celebrities and professional dancers during their appearance on the live show on Saturday for BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Following the dance, judge Motsi Mabuse told Brazier that he had “convinced” her of his place in the final.

Croft’s second dance was a Viennese waltz to Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want, in the style of Slow Moving Millie, originally by The Smiths.

Ballas told her she had “beautiful, natural turns” and the pair received 33 points.

The last dance was from Leach and Coppola who performed a couple’s choice to a Dua Lipa medley.

Revel Horwood described the dance as “feisty” and they were given 38 points from the judges.

At the end of the show it was revealed that Williams and Kuzmin had topped the leader board with an overall score of 116 points.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly reminded viewers at the beginning of the show that the night’s scores would be added to the judges scores from last week.

Casualty star Nigel Harman did not compete in the quarter-finals last Saturday and was forced to withdraw from the competition after he injured his rib while practising a jump in rehearsals.

On the Sunday, there was no public vote or elimination and all of the remaining stars went through to the semi-finals.

The Strictly Come Dancing final will air next Saturday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.