Viewers of Strictly Come Dancing have detected striking similarities between Ellie Leach’s recent routine and another routine.
In the semi-final, the former Coronation Street actress, 22, and her Italian pro partner Vito Coppola, 31, performed two dances: a cha cha cha and the couple’s choice, the latter of which gave the duo the freedom to do anything they wished.
Ellie and Vito, who are audience favourites, earned high applause for both of their performances and finished second on the tally, trailing only Layton Williams.
However, their couple’s decision appeared similar to viewers at home, who immediately compared it to Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu’s show dance from the previous series.
Ellie’s routine was really elegant, with her dancing to a combination of Dua Lipa songs.
The soap star looked ferocious as she strode around with a cane, dressed in a bedazzled red jumpsuit with her hair in a ponytail.
Craig Revel Horwood accurately labelled the dance as “feisty,” and the judges awarded them 38 points.
Noticing the similarities, fans hurried to publish side-by-side comparisons of Molly and Carlos’s 2022 dance, in which they performed similar choreography to Kiss by Prince, also with canes.
A user named Poppy commented on X, previously Twitter, that the distinctions between couple’s decision and show dance had grown too blurred.
‘I just need the producers to tell me the difference between a couple’s choice and a show dance because they’ve really become the same thing’, she wrote. ‘Ellie’s reminded me so much of Molly’s show dance last year’.
Michelle Pryde replied: ‘Omg I thought I’d seen it before’.
I just need the producers to tell me the difference between a couples choice and a show dance because they’ve really become the same thing
Ellie’s reminded me so much of Molly’s showdance last year #strictly
— poppy ☾ (@scddevereaux) December 9, 2023
Hmmmmmmm…Ellie and Vito's CC felt strange?? Gave me Molly/Carlos Showdance vibes and I'm not sure on it.
Not gonna lie…a little worried.#Strictly
— Shirleigh (@ShirleighShirlz) December 9, 2023
i had really high hopes for ellie’s couples choice but i honestly didn’t love that 😭 feel like she would have been so much better at something jazzy #Strictly
— beth (@bethhhh2000) December 9, 2023
I love Ellie and Vito but honestly I can leave Couple's Choice it's never my fave of the dances #strictly
— xhorsechestnutx (@xhorsechestnutx) December 9, 2023
Another user named Shirleigh penned: ‘Hmmmmmmm…Ellie and Vito’s CC felt strange?? Gave me Molly/Carlos Showdance vibes and I’m not sure on it.’
Others called the dance a ‘clone and paste’ after mistaking a video of Molly and Carlos’ performance doing the rounds for Ellie and Vito’s 2023 routine.
While many people admired Ellie and Vito’s choice, the reaction from spectators was divided.
Some said it was ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unfair’ to enable a couple’s option in the semi-final.
Rob Davies wrote: ‘Why give Ellie couple’s choice when she’s such a technical dancer and could have shone with something else?’
However, there was a lot of love for the couple, who have been the subject of a lot of romance speculations in recent weeks.
‘Absolutely loved Ellie and Vito couples choice showing how she’s grown in to this strong beautiful powerful women my girl NEEDS to be in the final and NEEDS to win this’, a user named Courtney wrote.
Ellie and Vito’s first dance this weekend was a cha cha cha to Bette Midler’s Mambo Italiano, which garnered them 37 points.
Head judge Shirley Ballas was full of compliments, as she told Ellie that she had some ‘unique and beautiful leg actions’.
Anton Du Beke described the dance as ‘absolutely beautiful’.
However, Craig said it looked ‘a little bit too polite’.
With the glitter ball trophy now within touching distance, it’s a race to the finish line for Ellie, Layton, Bobby Brazier and Annabel Croft.
Strictly Come Dancing’s semi-final results air on BBC One and iPlayer.