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Strictly's Karen Hauer talks Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice's 'rare' bond

The professional dancer chatted to HELLO! about the grand finale

karen rose and gio
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
December 20, 2021
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Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Karen Hauer has opened up about the "rare" bond between champions Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, adding their dance partnership was a "match made in heaven".

MORE: Rose Ayling-Ellis reveals reason for 'feeling sad' after Strictly win with Giovanni Pernice

Chatting to HELLO! for our Strictly Insider series, the dancer discussed the emotional finale and why Rose and Giovanni's partnership was so special. "They were a match made in heaven, seriously, it's been one of those partnerships that you rarely come across," she began.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Karen Hauer reveals everyone was 'in tears' watching historic finale

WATCH: The full chat with Karen Hauer about the Strictly finale for HELLO!'s Insider

"They complimented each other so well and I think for both of them, they both just gelled together. It was astonishing to see, even from the beginning and behind the scenes what Giovanni had to do and how he taught her, but how she learned, was incredible.

"When she was [dancing] on her own, you could see him behind the camera instructing and being so specific, and that takes so much and that was from day one. And that bond and trust they created was beautiful and something you don't see a lot."

Karen also opened up about what the atmosphere was like at Elstree studios for the grand finale, which has been hailed for its diversity of contestants. "It's hard to express and to actually detail it," she began.

MORE: Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse's REAL reaction following Rose Ayling-Ellis' win caught on camera - watch

MORE: Janette Manrara breaks silence on intimate Strictly final dance with Aljaz Skorjanec

rose and giovanni quickstep© Photo: BBC

Rose and Giovanni were fan favourites throughout the show

"It was already emotional, and we knew it was going to be an emotional one. Having the celebrities back in the room with us and just remembering what we all did throughout the series and then to have that final where we literally cried the whole time. It was happy tears, it was just seeing how amazing Rose and Giovanni were, how incredible John and Johannes were, and then the judges were crying! It was incredible!"

It was a final that I will never forget. I will never forget that final and the way it made us all feel. Because usually it's a competition and like 'Who's going to win?!' but this time it was like they're all winners. I'm still getting goosebumps. I could cry again!"

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giovanni and rose final© Photo: BBC

The pair were crowned Strictly 2021 champions

Rose and Giovanni's friendship is something that the pair themselves have said is one that will last a lifetime. After lifting the glitterball trophy, Giovanni wrote heartfelt tribute to the EastEnders actress, writing on social media: "'We are the champion my friend' @rose.a.e Dreams do come true if you believe in it... and that's what you did superstar."

Rose also wrote a message to her dance partner on Instagram: "I'm dedicating this post to the most wonderful human ever, Giovanni. The person who was there everyday with me for four months, who knows truly what this journey has been for me, the reason why I have become confident within myself.

"He came into my world and brought the best out of me. I cannot thank him enough for all the work and effort to make me become the dancer that I am today." 

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