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Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner revealed

The series has crowned a winner...

strictly final
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
Updated: 18 December 2021
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After 13 nail-biting weeks, the final ofStrictly Come Dancing 2021 is finally here! This year's series has seen plenty of tangos, tens and tears and now the time has come to crown this year's winners.

MORE: AJ Odudu is all smiles as she reunites with mum after being forced to withdraw from Strictly final

And it was Rose and Giovanni who lifted the coveted trophy, with Rose becoming the first ever deaf person to win on Strictly Come Dancing, with the pair scoring two-perfect scores during the final.

WATCH: Strictly Come Dancing finalist AJ Odudu opens up about devastating injury

Speaking after their win, Giovanni praised the "incredible" woman who made all his "dreams come true", dubbing her a "dream".

Rose herself was almost lost for words and called her partner an "incredible teacher and wonderful friend" and said that the Italian pro would always have a "part of my heart".

Things were a little bit different this year - as there were only two couples competing in the final following AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington's last-minute withdrawal - but they were exhilarating as ever as ex-Bake Off champ John Whaite went up against EastEnders actress Rose Ayling Ellis and both couples found themselves evenly matched throughout the entire show.

A closer look at the finalists …

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice

There's no doubt that Rose, who is the show's first-ever deaf contestant, is truly remarkable. The 27-year-old actress not only achieved the show's earliest perfect score of 40 but has made huge strides for the deaf community by bringing attitudes towards disability into the spotlight.

rose gio

Rose and Giovanni will dance their showstopping 'silent' dance again tonight

MORE: Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis makes touching promise to Giovanni Pernice ahead of final

Viewers will be pleased to hear that tonight, she and professional partner Giovanni Pernice will perform their show-stopping 'silent' dance once again. They have chosen their Couple's Choice to Symphony by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson, while the judges have picked for them to dance their Quickstep to Love Is An Open Door from Frozen The Musical. Their showdance choice is the rather fittingly named song The Rose by Bette Midler.

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer unfit to dance at final due to last-minute injury

MORE: Exclusive: John Whaite reveals romantic week away after Strictly 

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe

John Whaite and pro partner Johannes Radebe are likewise breaking boundaries as the BBC show's first-ever all-male pairing and the only same-sex couple to reach the final.

john and johaness pasodoble

Johannes and John will perform their passionate pirate-themed Paso Doble

The dance they have chosen to perform again in the final is their passionate Paso Doble to He's a Pirate by Klaus Badelt, from Pirates of the Caribbean from Movies week, which they will perform alongside the judges' choice of their Rumba to Shape of My Heart by Sting. Their showdance will be set to You've Got The Love by Florence + the Machine.

First Dances

Rose and Giovanni reprised their Quickstep, which Craig Revel Horwood hadn't seen due missing Musicals Week as he was diagnosed with COVID-19. The dance recieved rave reviews from the judges with Anton du Beke saying future ballroom numbers would be judged against her and Motsi Mabuse believing they were in for a "great evening" due to her performance. The pair duly scored 39 for the routine after originally only scoring 37.

rose ayling ellis quickstep

Rose danced her Quickstep again

John and Johannes danced their Rumba again to more rave reviews with Anton calling it the "best" Rumba he's ever seen on the show, while Motsi said it was "lovely", while head judge Shirley Ballas said it was an "emotional" watch and said that she hoped she might perform a Rumba with John in the future. The pair also scored a 39 for their dance, up from the 35 they originally scored.

Second Dances

Rose and Giovanni stunned fans several weeks ago when they briefly danced without music for their Couple's Choice, and they reprised this as their favourite dance. Like the first time around it made for emotional watching, with Anton close to tears as he dubbed it "perfect" and Giovanni and Rose both ended up in tears as they spoke to Claudia Winkleman. The pair scored a perfect score for the routine.

John and Johannes brought back their Paso Doble, which topped the leaderboard on Movies Week with a near-perfect score, and they powerfully danced the routine again. Shirley praised the strength of the routine, something the judges had wanted from the couple for the entire series, while Craig teased them over John's little finger. But despite his gibe, the pair still got a perfect score, their first of the competition.


Showdances are one of the best bits of a Strictly final where the couples pull out of all the stops, and Rose and Giovanni pulled out all the stops that featured one of the most daring lifts we've ever seen in the show's history. Shirley said Rose had "melted her heart" throughout the series, with the performance proving it, before thanking her for taking part in the show. Meanwhile Anton was left speechless and he tried his best not to look at Rose as he feared he'd cry if he did so and in a rare moment Craig agreed with Anton.

john whaite showdance© Photo: BBC

The routines made everyone emotional

The routine even left Giovanni and Rose in tears with Rose saying that she was a "seed" and that the show allowed her to "grow" as she spoke through the tears. The dance was deservedly given a perfect scores by the judges.

Meanwhile, John and Johannes' routine featured a medley of styles as they marked a tribute to love, and Motsi was visably emoitional following the routine. Craig praised the "energy" of the couple as Motsi said that today was a "great day to be on Strictly" and that the representation that both couples brought was so meaningful. The couple also scored a perfect score, meaning that he and Rose were tied on the leaderboard at the end of the show.

Keep checking back here for updates!

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