Layton Williams has pushed back against the haters with another outstanding Strictly Come Dancing routine.
Since the premiere of the show’s 21st season, the Bad Education star and his partner, Nikita Kuzmin, have delivered dynamic performances from their Grease-inspired Viennese waltz – which featured Williams in drag – to their sizzling Salsa routine.
While their run has been nothing short of iconic, the dancing pair found themselves in the bottom two for the first time during Week 10 of the competition.
Fortunately, they didn’t let their low scores get them down going into week 11.
For the musical-themed episode, Williams and Kuzmin turned up the heat with a romantic Paso Doble to Moulin Rouge!‘s ‘Backstage Romance’.
At the start of their performance, the pair are at the center of a large heart while their backup dancers evoke a sensual ambience.
As the music builds, Williams performs various moves on Kuzmin, ranging from dips and leg extensions before the two strut down the stairs and execute the rest of the routine.
Of course, the iconic pair didn’t take long to deliver more epic dance moves across the stage as the jukebox song switched between Lady Gaga and Britney Spears lyrics.
Toward the end of their performance, Williams and Kuzmin channelled their inner Santiago and Nini for one final lift and pose.
Like their previous performances, the duo were treated to rapturous applause and rave reviews from the judges.
“It took me back darling to 1988 when I danced at the Moulin Rouge. However, it was not like that. That was fabulous!” Craig Revel Horwood exclaimed.
Motsi Mabuse praised Williams and Kuzmin for having a stellar comeback, stating: “I have to commend both of you. Because of all of this negativity you have been receiving and, to shine on week on week and coming back, never losing yourself.
“Just remember you left your footprint here. You were here, and you were stunning.”
Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke echoed similar sentiments, with the former praising the two talents for displaying “first-class teamwork” and the latter labelling their Pasa Doble as the “best thing” they’ve done on the series so far.
After reflecting on their performance with co-host Claudia Winkleman, the Billy Elliot star was finally treated to the judges’ scores – who all gave the duo 10s (40 points).
Shortly after the episode aired, Williams celebrated his incredible achievement with a heartwarming statement on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“10’s accross the board! Fighting back from the bottom 2 is rough, but what a perfect routine for it. All credit has to go to the most amazing dance partner & teacher ever – @kuzmin__nikita!” he wrote. “Think what you want about me, but give him his flowers plz.”
In an additional tweet, the beloved talent thanked all his fans and viewers for their encouraging messages and comments.
“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 ya’ll proud,” he wrote. “All these memories warmed my heart. Here’s to making more soon.”
— Layton Williams (@LaytonWilliams) December 3, 2023
Check out Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin’s full Pasa Doble routine below.