Rose Ayling-Ellis WINS Strictly Come Dancing 2021! Show’s first ever deaf contestant lifts the glitterball with pro Giovanni Pernice – beating out John Whaite in the most diverse finale in history
- The EastEnders actress, 27, who made history as Strictly’s first ever deaf contestant lifted the glitterball
- GBBO’s John Whaite, 32, who formed a male same-sex partnership with Johannes Radebe, came runner up
- Just two finalists competed after AJ Odudu, 33, pulled out of the competition due to an ankle injury
- It came down to the viewers vote, after both tied on the leaderboard, scoring 119 out of 120 points
- The judges were in tears as they praised both finalists for the ‘groundbreaking’ roles they played in the series
- Ahead of the final, Rose was at 1-20 odds on favourite to win with 95% chance of lifting the trophy, while John, was the 8-1 outsider
EastEnders’ deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice lifted the glitterball as she was crowned winner of Strictly Come Dancing after competing against John Whaite in the most diverse final in the show’s 17-year history.
For the first time, just two finalists went head-to-head on Saturday night after AJ Odudu was forced to pull out of the competition a day prior due to an ankle injury that left the heartbroken presenter, 33, in crutches.
The nail-biting end to the 2021 series came down to the viewers’ vote after both Rose, 27, and John, 32, who formed the first ever male sex partnership with Johannes Radebe, tied on the leaderboard with the judges praising both for the ‘groundbreaking’ roles they have played in the competition.
As her name was unveiled as the winner of Strictly 2021, Rose said to Giovanni: ‘I just want to say you are so amazing. You pushed me to believe in myself more than I believe in myself. You are an incredible teacher, but not just that you are a wonderful friend.