Rose Ayling-Ellis has made Strictly Come Dancing judges and viewers cry in an emotional silent dance that Anton Du Beke called "the greatest thing I've ever seen on this show".
The EastEnders actor used her couple's choice routine to represent her experiences as a deaf dancer by surprising those watching with a silent section in the middle of her performance.
She and partner Giovanni Pernice danced to Symphony by Clean Bandit, but faded the music out for a section to show how Ayling-Ellis experienced dancing to music.
"In this dance we have a very special moment, and I'm doing it for the deaf community." 💖 So much power in the silence of Rose and Giovanni's routine. #Strictly @RoseAylingEllis @pernicegiovann1 pic.twitter.com/kW8OTggI5X
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) November 13, 2021
It drew tears and standing ovations from the judges, with Anton Du Beke telling her: "You get moments like this, I've been doing this show since the beginning, same as Craig and same as you Tess.
"I've had the great pleasure and the honour of being on Strictly Come Dancing for a long time - getting a bit emotional - and that's the greatest thing I've ever seen on this show, congratulations."
Motsi Mabuse said: "In this case I honestly feel like saying thank you. This was such a beautiful moment to include us in your world and for us to actually understand how important and how aware we all could be of each other everywhere.
"Sometimes it's more than just scores and marks, sometimes it's just a moment."
Head judge Shirley Ballas got to her feet as she said: "I feel I should stand up out of respect for you sharing, particularly the silent moment, I was not expecting it and it takes you into a much deeper place."
She added: "This is a number that will be etched in my heart for a long, long time."
Craig Revel Horwood commented: "My darling, fab-u-lous."
Viewers were equally moved, with one person tweeting: "Incredibly powerful, in bits watching this performance by Rose and Giovanni on #strictly tonight. Amazing to see representation on a mainstream show, done so beautifully too. Needed to be a 40."
Someone else wrote: "YES ROSE #Strictly that silent bit is absolutely stunning. What an amazing woman she is."
Another viewer agreed: "Giovanni and Rose was one of the TV moments of the year, right?"
Talking to host Claudia Winkleman as they were told they had scored a near-perfect 39 points, Ayling-Ellis thanked a tearful Pernice for the joy-filled routine.
She said: "Thank you for your determination to make this dance the most positive, happy dance it can be because you know that being deaf, there's nothing wrong, it's such a joy to be deaf.
"I think it says a lot about you as a person."
Watch: Rose Ayling-Ellis dances perfect Halloween Tango