Layton Williams finally bagged a perfect score on Strictly and fans have thoughts: ‘Rising above the haters’

Strictly Come Dancing Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin

Layton Williams has finally earned himself a perfect score on Strictly Come Dancing – marking the first of the 2023 series.

The musical theatre star came close to elimination last week after finding himself in a dance-off against presenter Angela Scanlon but just managed to preserve his spot in the competition.

It would seem that that was enough to light a fire under Williams, with the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie star shooting from the bottom of the line-up to the number one spot.

This week, Williams and his partner Nikita Kuzmin pulled out all the stops with their dance to “Backstage Romance” from Moulin Rouge! The Musical and impressed judges so much that they earned a rare score of 40.

While scoring Williams and Kuzmin a perfect ten seemed like a no-brainer for judges Anton Du Beke, Shirley Ballas, and Motsi Mabuse, who had already been wowed by the pair’s past routines, it came as a shock to viewers at home when Craig Revel Horwood matched their votes.

Horwood has been particularly stingy with his ten panel so far, so when Kuzmin and Williams finished their show-stopping routine, presenter Claudia Winkleman issued the judge a final warning.

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“Good luck,” she told the dance duo, before turning to the judges’ table and adding: “I think from all of us, we’re saying, ‘Craig, sort it out.’”

Layton Williams says he's 'not perfect' after criticism.
Strictly Come Dancing contestant Layton Williams has earned the first perfect score of the season. (BBC/Ray Burmiston)

With that, Horwood followed suit and scored the pair a perfect ten, sending shockwaves throughout the studio.

Shortly afterward, his co-judges followed suit, earning Kuzmin and Williams the first perfect score of the season.

When the excitement eventually started to die down, Claudia Winkleman’s co-host Tess Daly turned back to the judges’ table and said: “On behalf of a nation, Craig, thank you for finally getting your ‘10’ back out. We love you for that.”

Viewers at home were thrilled for Layton, who has been getting a hard time from many die-hard Strictly fans because of his musical theatre background.

Layton supporters took to X to congratulate him on his perfect score, and for proving his haters wrong.

Equally as moved as the viewers at home was judge Motsi Mabuse, who held back tears as she congratulated Williams and Kuzmin on their perfect score.

“Listen, this is how you come back from a Dance Off,” she told them.

“I have to commend both of you because all of this negativity you have been receiving and to shine on week on week, on week on week. Coming back. Never losing yourself.

“Always trying to push the boundaries always trying to do something very different, something very special.”

“No matter what happens, just remember you left your footprint here, you were here, and you were stunning.”

After the night came to an end, Williams took to X to thank everyone for their kind words.

“10’s across the board! Fighting back from the bottom 2 is rough but what a perfect routine for it,” he tweeted.

“All credit has to go to the most amazing dance partner & teacher ever – @kuzmin__nikita! Think what you want about me, but give him his flowers plz.”

He later added: “Reading all these comments really gave me the boost to go out there and slay for the stageys, theatre fans & MT industry! I’ve been flying the flag for us all since day dot and hope I’m doing y’all proud.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday 9 December at 7.25pm on BBC One.

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