Sharing her thoughts on the routine, Mosti said: “AJ I feel so proud of that dance, so authentic, everything you put into it, the acting, the condition.
“You know you came in on a high level but you didn’t just sit on that level you went even higher.”
Shirley added: “I don’t think a paddle big enough, bold enough for you – that was absolutely off the chart.”
“If you’re going to do a Charleston like that in the 20s you would have got thrown out of the joint because it was too bad – it was amazing,” Anton commented.
After the judges’ remarks, AJ failed to hold back tears as she opened up on her tough week of training with Claudia Winkleman.
The host said: “We were screaming up here, this was the dance you wanted to do, then you get comments like that you look quite emotional – how was it for you?”
Choking up, she replied: “This week has been really hard and when you take all the tumbles, all of those lifts, I kept landing flat on my face.
“And when you take a lot of tumbles and ice baths you’re bashed and bruised you end up losing confidence in yourself.”
“You did amazing,” Ballroom and Latin dancer Kai remarked.
“I just wanted to say I can’t wait to see your Charleston tonight it’s going to be absolutely phenomenal,” Tom said.
“I know how hard you’ve been working and it’s all going to pay off and it’s going to be brilliant.”
Wiping away tears,” AJ exclaimed: “Oh Tom, thank you.”
Claudia pointed out Kai’s dad Tommy was in the audience cheering the couple on before the judges’ revealed their scores.
Craig scored their dance a nine while Motsi, Shirley and Anton gave the couple 10s.
“You’re top of the leaderboard,” Claudia observed. “All that hard work, the tumbles, the terrifying lifts [paid off].”
AJ and Kai finished the night in the top spot with Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden close behind with 38 points.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Sunday at 7.15pm.
Published at Sat, 06 Nov 2021 20:50:00 +0000