Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin finally got Craig Revel Horwood to lift his 10 paddle on Saturday evening resulting in the first score of 40 in this year’s Strictly.
The actor and his dance partner have impressed the judges week after week so far this series and despite a controversial dance-off victory against Angela Scanlon last weekend, Williams’s performances have always landed him near the top of the leaderboard.
The same goes for Ellie Leach who has narrowly missed out on the perfect 40 score several times this series.
In this weekend’s Musicals Week, Leach and her partner Vito Coppola took on the Quickstep to Belle from Beauty and the Beast and again had the studio audience on their feet.
However, the judges’ verdict was far from as glowing as the one Williams received for his Paso Doble, with Leach finishing the show second on the leaderboard with a score of 36.
Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton du Beke’s verdict on Leach’s performance resulted in a large section of the Strictly fanbase slamming the fact she’d missed out on being given the first perfect score of the series.
Ellie Leach missed out on a score of 40 in Musicals Week
On X, formerly Twitter, one Strictly fan fumed: “Ellie and Vito deserved to have the first 40, weeks ago!!! #Strictly.”
While a second was similarly outraged: “So all three judges haven’t got anything bad to say but give Ellie and Vito a 9!? When are they going to have the 40 that they deserve #Strictly #StrictlyComeDancing #SCD #EllieandVito.”
“At what point is Ellie gonna get a 40 like the girl is well overdue one #strictly,” a third weighed in.
And a fourth took aim at Williams bagging the accolade: “Ellie and Vito are my winners. Ellie has deserved 40 so many times. Judges biased, favouritism towards Layton. He is a professional dancer, so should not even be in the competition. #strictly #strictly.”
A fifth echoed: “Absolute fix. So Layton & Nikita get the best song and perform another show dance to suit their style. 40 because the BBC wants him in the final. Ellie’s dance was equally good without all the drama. #Strictly.”
“Sorry but Ellie and Vito deserved to have had the first 40 weeks ago. This is a fix #Strictly,” added another.
However, amid the fury was support for Williams and Kuzmin after they managed to pull off the milestone feat of the series.
One person defended the actor as they argued: “Layton and Nikita’s paso is one of the best things #Strictly has seen! Truly breathtaking and a culmination of all their hard work.
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“Despite the vitriol he faces, Layton never shrinks himself to appease others and he continues to amaze and inspire. A perfect 40 for a real star.”
And a second agreed: “LAYTON AND NIKITA THAT IS HOW IT’S DONE. That is how you silence the haters (which I’m delighted Motsi addressed) and prove exactly why Craig called you one of the best dancers #Strictly has ever had. 40 BABY!”
Williams and Kuzmin’s score of 40 will be carried over to next weekend and combined with their semi-final scores following the exit of Nigel Harman.
Nigel Harman was forced to quit the show just hours before the quarter-finals after injuring his rib in rehearsals.
Both Harman and partner Katya Jones were in tears during Saturday’s show as they explained what happened – sparking concern for Jones from a number of BBC viewers.
Williams will now face Leach, Annabel Croft and Bobby Brazier in next week’s semis.