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Who won Strictly Come Dancing 2021? Winners of this year’s dance competition - and the runners-up

There were just two couples competing in the final after AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington had to pull out due to injury

The dazzling finale of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing took place on Saturday night (18 December), with the remaining two couples taking to the floor one last time in a bid to win the coveted Strictly Glitterball trophy.

But who won Strictly Come Dancing 2021 and who were the runners up?

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Here’s what you need to know.

Who was in the Strictly final?

There were just two couples competing in the final after AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington had to pull out due to injury.

Rose Ayling-Ellis & Giovanni Pernice and John Whaite & Johannes Radebe both performed three dances before the winner was revealed.

Rose Ayling-Ellis & Giovanni Pernice and John Waite & Johannes Radebe both performed three dances before the winner was revealed (Photo: Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Eastenders star Rose, who is Strictly’s first deaf contestant, performed the quickstep, which was the judge’s choice, with her partner Giovanni.

They then danced their favourite dance from the series which was their couple’s choice, featuring a moment with no music, which was the first time this had been done in Strictly’s history.

The couple then danced one last time, performing a Romeo and Juliet-inspired showdance to The Rose by Bette Middler.

The judges chose the rumba as their favourite dance for Bake Off star John and partner Johannes to perform again, with the couple then choosing to dance their paso doble routine as their favourite from the series.

The couple - who were the first male same-sex pairing in Strictly history - then performed a glitzy routine for their showdance.

Both pairs had matching scores during the final, with both duos receiving a perfect 40 for their favourite dances and their showdances.

AJ and Kai were meant to perform their Jive, Charleston and brand new showdance in Saturday’s final, but had to pull out due to AJ suffering an ankle injury.

Who won Strictly 2021?

After three fabulous performances each and a tense wait, it was revealed that the public had chosen Rose and Giovanni as their 2021 winners.

Reacting to their win, Rose told Giovanni: “I just want to say you’re so amazing, you pushed me to believe in myself more than I believed in myself.

“You’re an incredible teacher and a wonderful friend and we have gone through a lot, and I just want you to know you’ve always got a piece of my heart.”

Giovanni replied: “Incredible. I have to say thank you to this beautiful young lady who made all my dreams come true.

“It took me seven years to get that thing and you became the best dancer, the best teammate I could have asked for, you are a dream so thank you for everything.”

Disability equality charity Scope also described Rose’s participation in the show as a “massive step forward” for disability representation.