Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin had to hold back tears this weekend after he and Layton Williams finished their week seven performance.
The same-sex dance partners opened the show last week with a jaw-dropping Jive to “Shake Ur Body” by SHY FX and T Power.
Williams, who has successfully stunned judges and viewers at home every single week so far and broken a number of show records, had people on the edges of their seats once more this week with flips, dips, and pirouettes.
But perhaps most impressed by the Bad Education star’s performance was his partner Kuzmin, who confessed he caught himself getting emotional when they finished their routine.
Moving over to the Strictly judge’s table, Kuzmin and Williams were beaming with pride when Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas gave them perfect scores.
But the dancing duo were a little bit taken aback by judges Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke, who weren’t impressed with Williams’ footwork.
Each judge decided to award Williams and Kuzmin eight points, bringing the team to a total of 36 points. That means that the pair just narrowly missed the top spot this week to Elie Leach’s impressive 39 points.
After hearing what the judges had to say about his celebrity dance partner Kuzmin fired back with heaps of praise for Williams, defending the West End performer.
Host Claudia Winkleman asked Kuzmin: “You said you’ve never been more proud of Layton?” to which he replied: “Yeah, this week he just worked so, so hard.
“That’s why I was emotional when you finished dancing because I was so proud of you.
“You and I know what happens in the room, and you just did so, so well. Well done, Layton.”
This isn’t the first time that Williams has had to hit back at criticism during his time on the dance competition series.
Since he first appeared on the show, the gay actor, known for his starring role in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, has faced heavy backlash from certain viewers who argue that he’s over-qualified for the BBC series and shouldn’t have been cast alongside amateur celebrity dancers.
Williams decided to put a stop to the comments once and for all last week, in an interview with Manchester Evening News.
He told the publication: “Anybody who ever saw me in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie knows I didn’t do a Salsa or Tango there on stage.
“I hope that by watching the show, people can see that I am not perfect and that I have so much to learn. When I first started, I didn’t even realise that Latin and ballroom were two different things.
“I feel that everyone on the show is being critiqued within their own ability and I don’t think I am taking up anyone else’s space by being here.”
He added: “Quite frankly, I was asked to be on this show just like everyone else so I deserve to be here and I am working just as hard as everyone else.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 4 November on BBC One.
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