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Entertainment News

Strictly’s first deaf contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis crowned winner


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Rose Ayling-Ellis has been crowned the winner of this year’s history-making Strictly Come Dancing.

Ayling-Ellis, with professional Giovanni Pernice, beat former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite to the coveted glitterball trophy, who was also making history as part of the first all-male partnership in the show’s history.

Presenter AJ Odudu had also made it to the final three, but had to withdraw from the competition on Friday after sustaining an injury to her foot during the week.

EastEnders star Ayling-Ellis performed a Frozen-inspired quick step, as well as her moving couple’s choice dance (which included 10 seconds of silence to reflect her disability) during the final.

She had been the contestant to score the most maximum scores of 40 during the competition, and an early favourite to take the crown.

Ayling-Ellis also performed the traditional show dance, which was inspired by Romeo and Juliet, on the show, scoring her a perfect 40.

Pernice said after the announcement that Ayling-Ellis was “incredible”, adding: “Thank you to this beautiful young lady who made all my dreams come true.”

More on Strictly Come Dancing

She said to Pernice: “You are an incredible teacher and a wonderful friend. We’ve gone through a lot, and I just want you to know you’ll always have a piece of my heart.”

Responding to the win, the chief exec of the Royal National Institute of the Deaf, Mark Atkinson, said: “Tonight, Rose hasn’t just won the UK’s biggest TV dance competition, she’s also captured the hearts of a nation.

“Rose made history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant, and throughout the last 13 weeks she’s given millions of viewers an insight into her world, and amazed the judges with her outstanding dancing.

“Her victory isn’t just a personal achievement, but also a victory for the deaf community. She has shown that deaf people can do anything, if society addresses those barriers and provides the right access and support.

“Giovanni has been a perfect example of this, working with Rose and adapting his teaching style to help her succeed.

“At RNID, we are all thrilled that Rose has won, and we are confident that her legacy will mean lasting change for the one in six people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

“We hope Rose’s success will open up employment opportunities for deaf people and reduce barriers, and we’re excited to see what she will undoubtedly go on to achieve in her future career.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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