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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Annabel Nugent

Strictly: Ellie Simmonds earns standing ovation from judges with ‘emotional’ dance


Ellie Simmonds has earned a standing ovation from Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse on Strictly.

The hit BBC reality series is underway with its second week of new episodes. Simmonds takes part alongside a whole roster of contestants, including TV presenters, athletes, and pop stars.

The five-time Paralympian champion swimmer is partnered with professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin.

The pair were the third couple to dance on Saturday’s episode (1 October), choosing to perform a waltz to a rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.

After they completed their dance, they were met with standing ovations from two of the four judges: Ballas and Mabuse.

The judges all praised the “emotion” in the dance, with Craig Revel-Horwood praising the “expression” in Simmonds’ arms and hands.

Ballas agreed, stating: “There is so much magic in something so simple,” adding that the waltz was “beautifully executed”.

After the performance, Simmonds appeared to become teary-eyed reflecting on the experience. Her mother was in the audience.

The dance earned the duo a score of 30, beating out Will Mellor and Nancy Xu’s 26 as well as James Bye and Amy Dowden’s 24.

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