Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice won high praise from fans after a stunning performance to “Dancin’ Fool” by Barry Manilow on Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)
Richie Anderson wowed Strictly Come Dancing fans and judges after a show-stopping performance that incorporated iconic Beyoncé choreography.
The gay Radio 2 presenter and his professional partner Giovanni Pernice dazzled with a captivating quickstep during Strictly Come Dancing’s second batch of live performances Saturday (1 October).
The duo stepped on stage wearing matching sparkly jackets with canes in their hands for an energetic dance to Barry Manilow’s “Dancin’ Fool”. Anderson and Pernice truly gave it their all as the routine included everything from light footwork to cartwheels.
They also seamlessly wove in instantly recognisable choreography from Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” music video, which left everyone gagging for more.
The dance earned Richie Anderson and Pernice a standing ovation from Strictly Come Dancing judges Motsi Mabuse, who described the routine as a “moment”, and Shirley Ballas. Ballas said the routine was a “transformation” for Anderson compared to his first performance in the series.
The fast-paced performance netted Anderson a score of 32.
Stunned fans took to Twitter to compliment Anderson and Pernice on their excellent routine with some gushing over the Queen Bey reference.
HOW GOOD WAS OUR BOY 💥🎩 https://t.co/eO6lzWLhdf
— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) October 1, 2022
— Giovanni and Richie (@GiovanniPDaily) October 1, 2022
Loving this energy from Richie and Giovanni #Strictly !!
— Tilly Pearce (@tillyjeanette) October 1, 2022
— Simon Savidge (@SavidgeReads) October 1, 2022
this was amazing 😭😭 https://t.co/lGsKSa2YYH
— mollie ✨ (@everIastingrose) October 1, 2022
#Strictly Richie – 8/10. That was incredible! Never put a foot wrong and just enjoyed it from start to finish! I loved the single ladies in the middle too 🤩🤩
— Hannah McLachlan (@Angel_McLachlan) October 1, 2022
— Richard Ma 馬富文 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️🇪🇺🇺🇦 (@Richard_GP) October 1, 2022
Ritchie and Giovanni have just given me SO MUCH FUCKING JOY! They Beyonce’d! Cartwheeled! SEQUINS! OUTSTANDINGLY OLD HOLLYWOOD HOMOSEXUAL AND CAMP! loved it #strictly
— Carrie Walsh (@carrie_walsh_) October 1, 2022
Richie Anderson is among two same-sex couples competing for the top title on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing as he faces off against British comedian Jayde Adams and her partner Karen Hauer.
The ex-Sunday league footballer revealed he was given the choice of whether to compete in a same-sex or opposite-sex pairing on Strictly, but he decided to dance with a man after some encouragement from his partner.
“They actually gave me the option over it,” Anderson said. “They said they want me to be on Strictly this year and they were like, ‘Do you want to be with a female or male partner?’”
Anderson explained that his long-term boyfriend, Dean Eagles, encouraged him to embark on the competition as part of an all-male pairing.
“When I spoke to my other half Dean, it was our 10-year anniversary, and he was like, ‘You have to,’ and it’s the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK,” Anderson said.
Richie Anderson told Metro that he was “so glad” to be participating on Strictly as queer representation would have meant so much for him growing up.
“I just felt so much inspiration,” Anderson said. “I wish I could have seen that on TV growing up, when I was growing up as a teenager and constantly trying to discover what I was and what I wasn’t.”