Kevin Clifton admits seeing change in Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice after Rose partnership

Strictly: Kevin Clifton says there's a 'change' in Giovanni

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Kevin Clifton told listeners of his self-titled podcast, The Kevin Clifton Show, that he has “seen a change” in Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice since he has been coupled up with EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, the first deaf contestant in the show’s history. The dancer made the comments during a conversation about Rose and Giovanni’s emotional performance which paid tribute to the deaf community earlier this month.

Their Couple’s Choice routine saw the pair dance to Symphony by Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson, before cutting the music halfway through and continuing in silence.

Podcast guest Andy pointed out the couple’s strong connection and the way Giovanni “was looking at Rose”, before he said “I love you” at the end of the dance.

Kevin laughed and said he feels “there is a change in Giovanni this year”.

He continued: “From knowing Giovanni, he is such a competitive guy, and I recognise it in him because I recognise it in myself.

“Sometimes you can get so ingrained in your work and so passionate about it being the best it can possibly be, that you almost get consumed by it and it can send you a bit mad.

“Now and again I have got really stressed out to a point where I was mentally exhausted after a season of Strictly.

“After the year that me and Stacey [Dooley] danced together, I myself felt like I was calming down and like I had allowed myself to enjoy the season…and I feel like I am seeing this in Giovanni this year.”

Kevin went on to say that although he doesn’t know Rose personally, she seems “very lovely” and is “having a really good effect on [Giovanni]”.

He continued: “Normally I see in Giovanni that he is trying so hard to win, not that that is a bad thing.

“But I feel like this year it’s not like he is just desperate to win, I think he is genuinely enjoying the process, he is enjoying dancing with Rose.

“I can hear in the things he is saying and his general demeanour, he seems a lot calmer, I think she has had a great effect on him.”

The judges awarded Rose and Giovanni a score of 39 out of a perfect 40 for their emotional dance last weekend.

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Craig Revel Horwood was the only judge not to give the couple a 10 because he said the technique was not perfect.

Kevin remarked: “For me, it doesn’t matter when a dance is that good.

“When a dance can bring you to tears like that, does it matter if a foot wasn’t pointed or a line wasn’t finished?

“The point of the dance is not to show me a finished line. The point of the dance is to express something and to entertain everyone else by expressing it

“And if a dance has made millions of people cry and it was so powerful and so lovely and joyous…people that don’t even watch Strictly say they saw Rose and Giovanni dance and they were in tears.”

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