Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin top leaderboard on Strictly once again

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin have topped Strictly Come Dancing’s live show leaderboard in yet another week.

The pair have come first for a total of four times on the Saturday show and will be hoping that a top score from the judges will guarantee them a place in next week’s prestigious Blackpool Tower Ballroom following the public vote.

Williams and Kuzmin’s fast and emotional Argentine tango to Tattoo by Loreen on the BBC One series received a standing ovation from Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse.

Mabuse, who called the performance “iconic”, said: “Oh man, what are you are doing to us… guys, speechless that happens once in a lifetime to me.”

Ballas said the dance “went beyond perfection and pure art” and she was “lost in the Layton magic” before the judges awarded a total score of 39 points.

During rehearsals, Williams’s fellow Bad Education star, the comedian Jack Whitehall, showed up to offer him some advice.

Coming second during the live show was former Coronation Street actress Ellie Leach who wore matching pink garments with her professional Vito Coppola as they spun around during a rumba to True Colours by Cyndi Lauper.

Mabuse praised Leach for being the “perfect student” and called the dance “quality” before judges awarded a total score of 35 points.

However, criticism did come from judge Craig Revel Horwood who admitted the routine was “difficult” while calling the performance “stiff”.

He added: “I wouldn’t like to do that… but I have to say, well done it was spectacular.”

A couple’s choice to Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars by Casualty star Nigel Harman saw the actor praised for his “leading man quality” by Anton Du Beke.

Du Beke said: “It was beautiful and it was clean… your upper body has a real Gene Kelly quality about it, never lose that because it is a dying art.”

Harman and professional Katya Jones received a total score of 34 points from the judges for their dance.

Tennis star Annabel Croft also received a standing ovation for a samba dance – to Whenever, Wherever by Shakira – from Ballas and Mabuse as well as total score of 31 points.

Broadcaster Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington mimicked a clock as they took to the dancefloor to Hung Up by Madonna – which features the lyrics “time goes by so slowly”.

Ballas, who gave a standing ovation for the performance, said Rippon came back with “a sting in your tail” following being in the bottom two last week.

Rippon’s well-received paso doble dance earned a total score of 32 points, which was the same score as EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier and professional Dianne Buswell got for an American smooth to Ghost Of You by 5 Seconds Of Summer.

Bottom of the pack was Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and professional Lauren Oakley, who Du Beke said had spread “joy” with a samba to Bamboleo by Gipsy Kings.

However, Guru-Murthy scored a total of 25 points as Ballas admitted his footwork on the night let him down.

Meanwhile, Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu’s waltz to With You I’m Born Again by Billy Preston and Syreeta received a total score of 33 points.