Debbie McGee broke a Strictly record with the competition’s earliest ever perfect score in a rollercoaster ride of a show which saw Ruth Langsford take a tumble.
The former magician’s assistant and partner Giovanni Pernice received 40 points for their fiery tango to The Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling – the earliest anyone has scored full marks in Strictly Come Dancing history, according to the BBC.
As an added gift on the week McGee celebrated her 59th birthday, Craig Revel Horwood fell to his knees in a bow as the judges lauded her performance.
Bruno Tonioli said it was like “watching a tango masterclass” while head judge Shirley Ballas labelled it “outstanding”.
It means she topped the leaderboard for the third week running with TV presenter Langsford and partner Anton Du Beke scoring the lowest marks of the night after they fell during their paso doble.
As they neared the end of the routine, Du Beke lost his balance in a hold with his celebrity partner and the pair crashed to the floor.
In the spirit of the comical routine Langsford opted to mount her dance partner while he lay on his back leaving the judges, audience and her husband Eamonn Holmes, in hysterics.
But they collected just 22 for the dance with Revel Horwood telling Du Beke: “I think you’re being really smart Anton by choosing the entertainment route because at least the people at home will vote for it but I can’t possibly.”
Aston Merrygold scored a new low of 25 with partner Janette Manrara after they disappointed judges with their viennese waltz.
Singer Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez picked up a near-perfect 39 for their cha cha to I’ve Got The Music In Me while Holby City actor Joe McFadden was labelled the “dark horse” after a comical charleston which scored him and Katya Jones a new high of 36.
Davood Ghadami and Nadiya Bychkova’s American smooth received 35 points while Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton’s painter-and-decorator themed jive scored them 29.
Mollie King and partner AJ Pritchard and Jonnie Peacock and partner Oti Mabuse both collected 27 points for their respective dances – a foxtrot and a salsa.
Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec came third from bottom with 26 points for their salsa.
McGee is now 2/1 to take the glitterball trophy according to bookies’ Coral while Alexandra Burke is second favourite at 5/2. Langsford’s tumble means she is the favourite to depart at 7/4 ahead of Ghadami at 9/4.
: Strictly Come Dancing results show airs at 7.15pm on Sunday night.