Tilly Ramsay tops Strictly leaderboard with perfect 40 in musicals week

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Tilly Ramsay has fought back from the dance-off last week to climb to the top of the leaderboard on Strictly Come Dancing with a perfect score of 40.

The presenter and social media star, 20, faced elimination last Saturday, but was saved unanimously by the judges over Dragons’ Den businesswoman Sara Davies and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec.

Ramsay and her professional partner Nikita Kuzmin proved to the judges they were right to keep them in the competition after they performed their couple’s choice dance to Revolting Children from Matilda during musicals week.

Broadway star Cynthia Erivo, who was stepping in for Craig Revel Horwood this week after he tested positive for Covid-19, thought the dance was “awesome”.

She added: “That was amazing, so much energy, it was brilliant – I’m done.”

Head judge Shirley Ballas said: “Absolutely first class, how you’ve come back from being in the bottom to performing like this. To be honest, I never say this, but I couldn’t tell who the professional was – that’s how good you were.”

Ramsay, who is the daughter of celebrity chef Gordon, dedicated the dance to her family for always supporting her.

Comedian and writer Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Matilda, also sent the pair a message, saying: “Congratulations Matilda Ramsey on your excellent choice of song.

“I think your dancing was revolting, and I’d like to wish you all the best for the rest of the competition. Congratulations guys.”

After tumbling to the bottom of the leaderboard last week, TV presenter AJ Odudu made a comeback to secure second place with a score of 38 when she opened the show with a waltz to Edelweiss from The Sound Of Music alongside her partner Kai Widdrington.

The performance was said to have received the highest score of the series for a waltz so far, and Ballas noted said she could see the hard work that Odudu had been putting into her technique.

Erivo added: “Well how do you solve a problem like Maria? You cast AJ that’s what. I know you are someone who works really hard but it’s wonderful to watch you float like that. I’m really proud of you.”

Rose Ayling-Ellis kept up her dazzling run after her emotional dance last week, which was dedicated to the deaf community.

The EastEnders actress, who is the first deaf contestant in Strictly history, came in third with her quickstep to Love Is An Open Door from Disney’s Frozen with her pro partner Giovanni Pernice, which scored them 37.

Erivo signed a message to Rose and added “I think your joyful, beautiful. That was so much fun to watch and you managed to get all the characterisation and the mood and the feeling all in one. It was gorgeous.”

The couple made a small mistake near the end of their dance which the judges noted but Motsi Mabuse added: “It’s such a highlight watching you dance week to week.”

McFly star Tom Fletcher and partner Amy Dowden could face elimination after coming joint bottom with a score of 31 for their couple’s choice dance to On My Own from Les Miserables.

Fletcher explained that the number was dedicated to his younger sister Carrie Hope Fletcher, who is a Broadway actress, to show he is a “proud big brother” and had chosen this song as she made her West End debut as a young Eponine in Les Miserables as a child.

The singer ended the performance by saying he nearly cried and Ballas told him that he was being too restrained on himself, adding: “I would love to see you let those emotions go, it’s okay to cry.”

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker and his professional partner Nadiya Bychkova also came joint-last after they took on the challenging Charleston to Good Morning from Singin’ In The Rain.

The show opened musicals week with a group dance by the professional dancers to Willkommen from Cabaret, with Oti Mabuse playing Sally Bowles and Pernice portraying the Emcee.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Sunday at 7:15pm.

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