Strictly Come Dancing 2021’s most memorable moments: Perfect 10s, passionate Tangos and a pirate Paso Doble

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Though the final promises to be a night of twists and turns, there have been plenty of memorable numbers already  (BBC/Guy Levy)
Though the final promises to be a night of twists and turns, there have been plenty of memorable numbers already (BBC/Guy Levy)

After weeks of glitz, glam, and fake tan galore, three amateur dancers have now cha-cha-cha-ed their way into the Strictly final.

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice will battle it out for a chance to win the coveted Glitterball trophy on Saturday night, with the show airing live at 7pm.

Though the final promises to be a night of twists and turns, there have already been plenty of memorable numbers over the course of the series.

From tip-top Tangos to silent standouts, here are our favourite moments from Strictly Come Dancing 2021.

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe’s Pirates of the Caribbean nod

 (PA)
(PA)

Strictly’s first male same-sex couple John and Johannes have been a welcome addition to the line-up throughout the series, with Bake Off winner John even crediting Johannes for helping him feel comfortable in his own skin for the first time: “For saying to the world ‘here I am,’ it’s taken 32 years to be comfortable in my own skin but I think I’m finally there and that’s all thanks to this one.”

In terms of dance moments, though, a particular standout has to be their slick nod to Pirates of the Caribbean in Movies Week - a striking Paso Doble full of bold steps and, in true Strictly style, a full size mast and sail rising from the dancefloor. Hats off, me hearties.

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin’s perfect score

 (PA)
(PA)

Not one for backing down without a fight, Tilly Ramsay, who also garnered widespread praise for calling out LBC host Steve Allen over comments regarding her appearance, bounced back from two weeks in the dance-off with a perfect score in Musicals Week.

The Matilda number (appropriate, given the name) was choreographed to Revolting Children from the stage musical, and saw a victorious Tilly receive glowing praise and perfect 10s all round.

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu’s first Strictly 10

 (PA)
(PA)

It’s fair to say there hasn’t been a shortage of 10s this year, as the competition has seen some of the strongest dances ever to grace the floor.

Rhys and Nancy narrowly missed out on the final, but at least walked away with the honour of receiving the first top mark of the series for their Spider-Man Couple’s Choice number.

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington’s fiery Tango

 (PA)
(PA)

Strictly wouldn’t be Strictly without a few romance rumours swirling about, and AJ and Kai, whether rightly or wrongly, have been subject to plenty this year.

A key moment for fans was a noticeably passionate moment between the pair at the end of their Argentine Tango - but with suspicions neither confirmed nor denied, the public will have to wait a little while longer for an answer.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice’s silent standout

 (BBC/Guy Levy)
(BBC/Guy Levy)

As Strictly’s first ever deaf contestant, Rose gave the audience a remarkable glimpse into her experience when opting to halt the music during a performance with partner Gio.

Midway through the number to Clean Bandit’s Symphony, the pair continued dancing in silence for ten seconds as a touching tribute to the deaf community.

Judge Anton Du Beke lauded the moment as the best thing he’d ever seen on the competition, and as social media lit up with praise, it was clear audiences around the UK were similarly moved.

The Strictly Come Dancing final is on BBC One, December 18 at 7pm

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