'Strictly' awards first 10s of the series as John Whaite and Rhys Stephenson impress

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 09/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX3 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++Live Show++ John Waite, Johannes Radebe - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
John Whaite wowed the judges. (BBC/Guy Levy)

John Whaite has earned a near-perfect score of 39 points in just week three of Strictly Come Dancing - right after Rhys Stephenson won the first 10 of the series.

CBBC presenter Stephenson was the first celebrity to impress the judges enough to get a top score, with Motsi Mabuse awarding him her full 10 points for his Spider-Man inspired couple's choice commercial routine with Nancy Xu.

Read more: Strictly's most memorable movie week moments ever

Stephenson impressed with a high-energy routine in the second last performance slot of the evening, but was quickly overtaken by final couple John Whaite and Johannes Radebe who picked up 39 points - including three 10s.

Whaite and Radebe's Paso Doble inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean stunned the judges, who gave them a standing ovation.

Anton Du Beke said: "I'm a little overwhelmed, I thought it might be a bit camp but it's the best thing I've seen all night."

Craig Revel Horwood, the only judge to score them nine rather than 10, agreed: "I didn't write a thing down, seriously hot, that was unbelievable."

Meanwhile, Mabuse gave a hint at her scoring, telling them: "I don't care whether it's week one or week 10, you're getting a 10, that was brilliant."

Stephenson and Xu had been given equally glowing praise from the judges as Revel Horwood said: "That was a professional standard, that was just incredible."

Head judge Shirley Ballas told the TV presenter: "I've never seen anyone jump that high. So athletic, do you have springs in your shoes?"

Mabuse praised Stephenson's "swag, energy, gorgeous smile" before awarding him the first 10 of the series with the routine scoring 37 points in total.

Read more: Strictly's movie week costumes are a hit

Viewers were just as wowed by the routines in movie week.

One fan tweeted: "That was one of the best dances i've ever seen on #strictly, ever. john and johannes, switching roles, acing the footwork, nailing the characterisation? perfect."

Someone else added: "This is one of the best Paso Dobles ever. John and Johannes are icons."

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 09/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX3 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++Live Show++ Nancy Xu, Rhys Stephenson - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Rhys Stephenson got the first 10 for his couple's choice. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Another viewer commented: "Rhys is brilliant. I love his energy. You can tell he has so much fun every week and just enjoys the moment."

Someone else tweeted: "Gonna say it, I think rhys was better than the pro on that."

Radebe opened the show by taking the lead role in the group performance with fellow pro Kai Widdrington, in a number that was danced entirely by same-sex couples.

Watch: Who is Strictly's Rhys Stephenson?