Giovanni Pernice has shared his reaction to winning a BAFTA award alongside a sweet snap of himself and Rose Ayling-Ellis. The pair stole the hearts of the nation when they were paired on Strictly Come Dancing last year before swooping their way to victory, making Rose the first-ever deaf winner of the BBC One dance competition.
The EastEnders actress, 27, was tearful as she and her former dance partner Giovanni picked up Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment at the 2022 BAFTA TV Awards for their powerful silent dance in the 2021 series of the long-running annual contest.
The dancing duo reduced the judges and viewers to tears when they performed a stunning routine to Clean Bandit’s Symphony where they celebrated the deaf community and let those watching into Rose’s world with 10 seconds of silent dance.
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Rose, who looked stunning in a black gown with a low-cut back, and Giovanni, who looked as dapper as ever in a three-piece tux, took to the stage after being announced as the winners by Rochelle Humes and Clara Amfo. “It’s a very special moment for us and hopefully it’s shown how powerful TV can be, where it actually can influence and change things,” Rose started their acceptance speech.
“It’s even helped with BSL and made people stand up more for British sign language and just a better deaf awareness and positive attitude towards people. We’ve still got a long way to go but it’s such a great start.” Giovanni said the reaction of the audience was ‘beautiful’ before carrying on with their speech.
“When we first had the idea to put the song into the dance we knew it would have an impact but this is bigger than we thought. This is changing people’s lives. Thank you for everyone who voted for us, as it means you’re ready for a change,” he said before reeling off a list of thank yous.
The Italian dancer, 31, has since taken to Instagram to share an adorable snap of himself and Rose with their much-deserved award. The pair were gazing at each other smiling as they both gripped onto their red BAFTA gong. “We are @bafta winners !! Can’t believe it @rose.ae,” he started his post.
“The power of the DANCE strikes again!! This time this dance has changed people’s lives and that’s what me and Rose wanted to achieve. Thank you to the BBC and the @bbcstrictly team for supporting us all the way… Thank you to Jason, Ashley and Arduino to help me translate mine and Sarah’s vision into steps with this beautiful choreo.
“To @sarahjamesface THANK YOU FOR BEING the best guide throughout the whole season WE LOVE U!! but the biggest thank you goes to all of you for your support and your votes, one more time !! We will never stop being grateful.”
The post was soon flooded with applause and heart emojis from Giovanni’s fellow Strictly pros. Head judge Shirley Ballas also commented: “Congratulations so proud of you.”
And fans were just as pleased. @__seem4__ commented: “YES! So so deserving. It was a magical moment.”
“So well deserved – you’re both so amazing,” @tara_hils said as @pipsta71 wrote: “Congratulations!! Deserved winners for this truly unforgettable moment.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.