Strictly Come Dancing’s Layton Williams secured a rare standing ovation from Craig Revel Horwood during Saturday night’s semi-final.
The actor, 29, and his professional dance partner Nikita Kuzmin, 25, bagged a perfect 40 for the second week running as they tried to bag a place in next week’s final.
Last week, Layton nabbed a perfect 40 for a mesmerizing Paso Doble, and once again got a perfect score this week for Charleston to Fit as a Fiddle by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.
They first danced the Rumba to Lift Me Up by Rihanna, which they got 36 out of 40 points for, before leaving Craig, 58, gobsmacked by their Charleston.
Craig got to his feet as he gave them a very rarely-seen standing ovation for the routine as he clapped them, while Layton and Nikita looked very surprised by the strict judge’s praise.
Strictly Come Dancing ‘s Layton Williams secured a rare standing ovation from Craig Revel Horwood during Saturday night’s semi-final
Craig told them: ‘That’s the best Charleston that I have seen in 20 years.’
While Motsi Mabuse echoed him as she added: ‘There is nothing that has been better, and this is a testament to your hard work and anyone around you, well done.’
Craig, Motsi, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke all gave Layton and Nikita 10 points for the routine, seeing them get a perfect score for the second time.
The pair appeared completely overwhelmed upon getting their scores and Nikita broke down in tears as he paid tribute to his dance partner.
Nikita also made a cryptic comment about Layton still bringing ‘joy’ to people despite what happens in his ‘personal life’ as he hinted at difficulties.
He said: ‘You try to bring joy to everyone – no matter what happens outside or in your personal life – I’m not going to go into that – you always bring joy.
‘You make me shine with how much you are shining, you are one of my best friends.’
Layton is hoping to secure their place in next Saturday’s final, and is up against Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier and Annabel in the race for the glitterball. The three finalists will be revealed in Sunday’s results show.
Upon getting their scores, Nikita also made a cryptic comment about Layton still bringing ‘joy’ to people despite what happens in his ‘personal life’ as he hinted at difficulties
Their latest dance comes after Nikita hit back at trolls who have continued to make hurtful comments about Layton during his Strictly stint.
The pair addressed the ongoing trolling during a joint appearance on ITV’s This Morning last week, with Nikita describing it as ‘sad and unnecessary’.
Layton is often targeted by trolls for his West End background and some claim that the celebrity is a ‘professional dancer’ and that he has an ‘unfair’ advantage.
Talking about the hateful comments sent to him online, Layton said: ‘It’s like: “Can you not just dress like a man, please please please put a suit on!” and I’m like: “Girl, relax!”’
Nikita was quick to defend Layton as he said: ‘We get a bit defensive of our partners and just to see sometimes people speaking things or saying things they shouldn’t be saying.
‘Sometimes things also get to him, and that’s a personal side, I find it sad and unnecessary [the trolling]. At the end of the day, we just want to make people happy, we just want to put on a show…’
Layton added: ‘I’m sure you know how it feels, you can have 1000 amazing messages and then just one [negative] and you’re like: “Urgh!” but in these moments, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… even Beyoncé has haters, so!’
Layton also recently took to X, formerly known as Twitter, urging harsh critics to ‘use their energy to shower with love’, rather than writing hurtful comments.
Their latest dance comes after Nikita hit back at trolls who have continued to make hurtful comments about Layton during his Strictly stint
The pair addressed the ongoing trolling during a joint appearance on ITV’s This Morning last week, with Nikita describing it as ‘sad and unnecessary’
Layton also recently took to X, formerly known as Twitter, urging harsh critics to ‘use their energy to shower with love’, rather than writing hurtful comments
Layton has received heaps of praise for his incredible dances on the show but has also been torn down with hate.
He wrote: ‘Instead of coming at me with hateful comments, use your energy to shower your fave celeb with love instead. Pretty sure it will make us all feel much better!’
Layton has said previously that he seeks support from mental health professionals and currently has access to a counsellor on Strictly.
Elsewhere this week, the identity of Layton’s mystery boyfriend was revealed after the couple enjoyed a romantic trip away last month.
It was confirmed that Layton has found love with deli-cum-bar owner and fellow actor James Harper.
The couple, who went Instagram official in November, hit it off when they met at Glastonbury festival.
A source told The Sun: ‘James has been by Layton’s side all through Strictly.
‘He even travelled to Blackpool to watch him perform there. They are obviously made for each other.’
James is a fellow actor, having starred on stage previously and now also owns and runs a deli and bar in London.
MailOnline contacted Layton’s representatives for comment at the time.
Layton unveiled his new boyfriend with a ‘hard launch’ on Instagram on James’ birthday.
Elsewhere, the identity of Layton’s mystery boyfriend was revealed after they enjoyed a trip away last month. Layton has found love with deli-cum-bar owner and actor James Harper
Layton showed off his man in a sweet post while wishing him happy birthday but revealed that he would be keeping his name and further details private.
He shared on Instagram Story: ‘Happy birthday to my fave! #hardlaunch but no @ coz y’all are too [nosy].’
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Layton previously hinted that he was in a relationship, saying on Alan Carr’s Life’s a Beach podcast: ‘I’ve got a man, you know, it’s new though, it’s only been a soft launch on Instagram.’