Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Week 12 semi-final, live – the girls top a high-scoring leaderboard

Well, the two-dance semi-final usually sees the standard drop as the celebrities struggle with twice the workload, but not this year. AJ Odudu and Rose Ayling-Ellis are joint leaders after they both scored a perfect 40 on Saturday night, the former with her quickstep and the latter with her Argentine tango, plus a 39 for their second dance. 

John Whaite and Rhys Stephenson impressed too, with Whaite producing an emotional Couple’s Choice number and bold jive, and Stephenson a intense tango and surprisingly strong samba. Both scored yet more 10s, resulting in a close leaderboard.

What a shame that we can’t have a four-person final this year; this quartet really are worthy of it. But only three will make it through – and, as it stands, Stephenson is the one trailing slightly in the standings, with Whaite just ahead. Join us to find out who falls agonisingly short on the results show at 7:20pm on Sunday night on BBC One

AJ Odudu delivers a perfect quickstep and smoking rumba

Odudu came into the semi-final still chasing that elusive 40 – could a feather-light, old-school Fred ‘n’ Ginger quickstep to Sing, Sing, Sing do the trick? You bet! The judges were in ballroom heaven, with Anton Du Beke saying it was shame the annual Blackpool trip was off this year as their dance was worth of that Tower Ballroom floor. Craig Revel Horwood, who finally dusted off his 10 paddle, crowed “O-M-G, darling, that was incredible.” Motsi Mabuse praised Odudu’s delivery of a difficult dance, while an emotional Shirley Ballas called it pure Strictly magic. Fab-u-lous!

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