The Tony and Oscar-winning star replaced Craig Revel-Horwood on tonight’s (20 November) episode after he tested positive for Covid-19.
She was a big fan of the duo’s quickstep to “Love Is An Open Door” from the musical Frozen, even though Pernice made a small error during part of the dance.
“I think you’re joyful, beautiful,” she told Ayling-Ellis. “That was so much fun to watch, you managed to get all the characterisation, the mood, the feeling, all in one. It was gorgeous, so thank you.”
She scored the dance a perfect 10, while her fellow judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton du Beke awarded the couple 9 points each.
The latest episode marked Music Week for this year’s series of the celebrity dance competition, with other couples performing to songs from Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Matilda and more.
Read about the contestants on this year’s show here.