Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden have scored the first perfect score for the current series of Strictly Come Dancing with a jive branded the “best ever seen” by the judges.
The children’s TV presenter and his professional partner wowed the judges with their performance to You Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray in the quarter finals of the BBC One show.
The couple, who last week landed in the bottom two, also scored their first 10 from Craig Revel Horwood, who stoop up and applauded them after their dance.
Judge Motsi Mabuse handed Zeroual a paddle with the score of 10 on it, while Bruno Tonioli said: “I have shivers going down my spine, that was a mindblowing performance.
“I think tonight you are the best jive we’ve ever seen on Strictly. You are a champion in my eyes already, I don’t care what happens.”
Another couple who earned plaudits galore was Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse, who danced an American Smooth to Gaston from Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.
They scored a total of 39, with Ballas telling soap star Fletcher: “You are fantastic!”
Actor Luke Evans visited the couple during training to dispense some advice following his stint playing Gaston in the 2017 re-imagining of the Disney classic, which also starred Emma Watson.
Joining Fletcher and Mabuse with the same score on this week’s leaderboard is Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke.
Following their Charleston to Thoroughly Modern Millie from the musical of the same name, Ballas mentioned the ‘f’ word, telling Barton: “I think Emma you just fast tracked your way to the final with that. It was synchronised, it was on point, you were together…
“Emma your personality, your authenticity, your delivery, your footwork, your swivels, fantastic, congratulations, well done.”
Revel Horwood also praised the couple, saying it was “classic, classy, fabulous darling”.
Alex Scott and Neil Jones failed to impress with their samba, earning them the lowest score of the night, 27.
Comedian Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer, who opened the show, scored 28 for their foxtrot to Consider Yourself from Oliver!
Ballas congratulated Ramsey, and said “generally, overall, what a way to open the show, I was pleased”.
The opening number of the show saw professional dancers Du Beke and Kevin Clifton showing off their singing talents, while Revel Horwood appeared in drag.
Following the show, Strictly apologised to fans for “technical problems” with the online vote.
A tweet said: “We are aware that there were some technical problems with the online vote this evening and apologise for that. The online vote is now working and voting will remain open until 9pm. #Strictly.”
Strictly Come Dancing: The Results will air at 7.20pm on Sunday on BBC One.