Strictly curse strikes again? Giovanni Pernice and Maura Higgins break up

Fans think the Strictly curse may have stuck again as Giovanni Pernice and Maura Higgins announce split

Strictly curse
(Image credit: Future / Image 2: Ricky Vigil / Stringer / Getty // Image 1: Lia Toby / Stringer / Getty )

Strictly star, Giovanni Pernice, and former Love Island contestant Maura Higgins, have split as fans think that the couple may be the latest victims of the Strictly curse.

Giovanni and his celebrity partner Rose Ayling-Ellis are one of the fan-favorite Strictly Come Dancing couples but fans think their partnership may be the cause of Giovanni and Maura's break-up.

However, Giovanni spoke about their break-up publicly for the first time on Instagram on Monday, October 25, 2021. In a post on his Instagram story, Giovanni said, "I wanted to say a couple of things..."

"Firstly, great relationships with great people can come to a natural end. This has been the case for me recently. There was absolutely no wrong-doing & this should be the end of any speculation." 

"Whilst I respect & understand interest in my personal life, wouldn't it be fantastic to instead use this space to raise awareness of subjects & issues which need the attention."

The professional dancer then spoke about representation in the ITV dance competition, which fans think is linked to his dance partner Rose who is the show's first deaf contestant.

"My eyes have been opened to so many things during my career, but I am learning so much from this series of Strictly. The show has highlighted many important conversations for different communities and increased representation. These are the conversations which deserve the time, energy & recognition."

"We must concentrate on what's important and how we can all make a difference in life," concluded Giovanni in the post.

Strictly come dancing

(Image credit: BBC One)

Rose and Giovanni have been getting closer over the past few weeks and even made a joint plea to the NHS after Rose's hearing aid broke while the pair were rehearsing. 

However, fans think their close friendship may be something more and could be another example of the Strictly curse. The 'Strictly curse' refers to the high number of celebrities who participate in the dancing competition and end up falling for their dance partner. 

This is often referred to as a curse because many of the celebrities who fell victim to this phenomenon were in relationships—or even married—when they left their real-life partner for their dance partner after participating in the show.

A source previously told The Sun that this curse was a factor in Maura and Giovanni's breakup. "It’s not easy going out with someone who’s on Strictly Come Dancing, with all the history there," said the source. "But she was hugely supportive of Gio and is utterly heartbroken things have come to an end."

Giovanni has fallen for one of his dance partners before and previously dated his 2015 dance partner Georgia May Foote. Georgia was dating her Coronation Street co-star, Sean Ward when she began the show, but shortly after the show finished, she announced her break up with Sean and began dating Giovanni.

Strictly Come dancing

Giovanni and Rose

(Image credit: BBC One)

Other contestants in Strictly Come Dancing 2021, are also alleged to be under the spell of the Strictly curse.

Adam Peaty and his partner Katya Jones have been linked to relationship rumors and fans are sure that there is a romantic side of their partnership. This began when, in an interview, Adam Peaty admitted he can see why the Strictly curse happens because of the close proximity and time that dancers spend with their celebrity partners. 

Fuel was then added to these rumors when Katya Jones spoke about their connection in an interview and complimented her partner's ability and drive. Katya was also previously linked to her dance partner Seann Walsh. They were both in relationships at the time, with Katya married to fellow Strictly professional Neil Jones (Neil and Katya divorced in 2019).

The rumors then reached an all-time high when the pair appeared to have a near kiss just after their performance. Fans were shocked by this and even Adam Peaty’s girlfriend reacted to his near kiss with Katya Jones and made it clear to fans that she too had seen the chemistry on screen.

At the moment, the concerns about the Strictly curse on the 2021 cast are simply rumors but the curse has been a real thing in past years. 

Countdown star Rachel Riley married and had children with her Strictly dance partner Pasha Kovalev despite starting the show with a husband, although the star maintains that there was no overlap.

Journalist Stacey Dooley and her dance partner Kevin Clifton also got together after being paired together on Strictly. Stacey began the competition with a long-term boyfriend Sam but the two broke up soon after the show and Stacey and Kevin went public with their relationship. 

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday on BBC One at 7.10pm.

Laura Harman
Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.