Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis—why the Eastenders actress is tipped to win the competition

Rose Ayling-Ellis is the bookies' favorite to win Strictly Come Dancing 2021 and we can see why!

Rose Ayling-Ellis Strictly Come Dancing
(Image credit: Getty)

Rose Ayling-Ellis is fast becoming Strictly Come Dancing 2021's most popular celebrity, having delighted both fans and judges with her raw talent and captivating personality. 

With Season 19 of the BBC dance series serving up lovable contestants from all corners of the entertainment and sports industry, it hasn’t been easy for viewers to play favorites. 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 lineup features a wide variety of British screen stars, including Loose Women panelist Judi Love, children’s TV presenter Rhys Stephenson, and Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite. It’s also delivered some irresistible drama—yes, we’re talking about Adam Peaty’s girlfriend reacting to his ‘near kiss’ with Katya Jones—and even a couple of shocking twists, like Robert Webb’s devastating Strictly departure

As the competition enters its fifth week, speculation on the predicted champ is heating up—and there's one name that just won't stop cropping up. 

Rose Ayling-Ellis is currently the frontrunner to win Strictly Come Dancing 2021, and it’s easy to see why. 

Best known for her role as Frankie Lewis on Eastenders, the 26-year-old soap star has quickly won over the hearts of viewers with her elegant dance moves and infectiously positive attitude. 

Rose is also the show’s first-ever deaf contestant, bringing new methods of learning choreography to the iconic studio. With the help of her partner Giovanni Pernice, whom she is teaching sign language, she aims “to break down the stereotype that deaf people can’t dance and can’t enjoy music” by wowing the judges and the audience with her performances each week. 

And if her last few renditions are anything to go by, it looks like Rose has already proven her point. With her odds of winning at 11/10, she is currently the bookies’ favorite to be crowned the champion of this year’s season. 

As well as being undeniably likable, the Kent native has shown serious prowess when it comes to her performances. She and Giovanni have earned the praise of both the Strictly judges and viewers, scoring 36/40 with their Titanic-inspired Foxtrot in Movie Week. Their place on the league table dropped, however, on Monday evening, after they failed to blow the expert panelists away with their sultry Cha Cha Cha dance. Despite delighting viewers at home, the couple was criticized by Shirley Ballas for ‘one of two little mistakes’ and walked away with a disappointing score of 27. The lower grade wasn’t enough to have them eliminated though—much to the relief of their adoring fans. 

Rose doesn’t seem ready to leave the dance floor any time soon, telling Closer magazine earlier this week that she’s thoroughly enjoying the experience. The delightful actress has also developed a strong bond with Giovanni, who’s helping her tap into her inner ‘sexy’ side.

“I'm not a very sexy person at all. If I have to be sexy, I tend to give myself a character and the character a name to not be me," she admitted. 

While Giovanni teaches Rose how to embrace her seductive alter ego, Rose is showing him a whole new way of communicating. 

“Rose is teaching me and I'm teaching her," he revealed. “So there's a perfect combination going on—we're both learning during this."

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.