My Celebrity Life

Strictly 2021 final live: Rose Ayling-Ellis crowned winner as she beats John Whaite and makes history

Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis has been crowned the 2021 winner after an emotional final.

The EastEnders actress and her partner Giovanni Pernice beat John Whaite and Johannes Radebe in a glorious final episode, which left the judges, dancers and viewers at home in tears.

Reacting to their win, Giovanni said: ‘Incredible. I have to say thank you to this beautiful young lady who made all my dreams come true.

‘It took me seven years to get that thing and you became the best dancer, the best teammate I could have asked for, you are a dream so thank you for everything.’

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Rose, who is also the first ever Deaf contestant on Strictly, told him: ‘I just want to say you’re so amazing, you pushed me to believe in myself more than I believed in myself.

‘You’re an incredible teacher and a wonderful friend and we have gone through a lot, and I just want you to know you’ve always got a piece of my heart.’

We’re obsessed (Picture: BBC)
No, you’re emotional (Picture: BBC)

It was neck-and-neck throughout the episode, with Rose and John both receiving one score away from perfect after performing three stunning dances.

Rose’s first dance was a second performance of her quickstep to Love Is An Open Door from Tangled, which the judges chose for them.

Giovanni says Rose is ‘most beautiful thing to have happened in his life’

She and Giovanni then chose to perform their historic couple’s choice to Clean Bandit’s Symphony, which included their iconic silent moment to represent the Deaf community.

Finally, they performed a stunning Romeo and Juliet-themed show dance.

John and Johannes also had an incredible night, performing three gorgeous dances, while AJ Odudu also reflected on her time on the show after she was forced to exit early due to an injury.

The presenter tore a ligament in her ankle, meaning she was unable to continue to the final with her partner Kai Widdrington.

While she admitted her heart was broken, she said she’s so grateful to have had the opportunity to dance on the show.

It was an emotional night, with Anton Du Beke left fighting back tears following Rose and Giovanni’s performances.

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