Strictly’s Giovanni has ‘big challenge’ with partner Rose, says ex pro Kristina Rhianoff

Strictly: Kristina Rihanoff says she’s rooting for Rose Ayling-Ellis

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Kristina Rhianoff, 44, spoke on BBC Breakfast this morning about who she was rooting for the most in this year’s Strictly line up. The dancer added she was looking forward to watching Giovanni and Rose, however, she believes he will have a “big challenge” in front of him. 

So being fully deaf, it’s probably a big challenge.

Kristina Rhianoff

While speaking to Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast, Kristina discussed the upcoming season. 

She said: “I think it’s amazing that she’s on the show.

“I’m really rooting for her.” 

She then mentioned the challenges of working with someone who is deaf, as she was partnered with Ben Cohen who was partially deaf. 

Kristina said: “There was a lot of challenges as even though he loved ballroom, he couldn’t hear the melody. 

“The strong beats with the Charleston and the jive were better for him.” 

Kristina, knowing the struggle she had, believed she knew what pressure Giovanni would be under. 

She said: “So being fully deaf, it’s probably a big challenge.” 

Kristina married Ben, having met him on Strictly when he was still with his former wife Abby. 

On Day 3 of her time in the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2016, she announced the pair were expecting their first child together. 

Rose is the first deaf person to be on Strictly Come Dancing. 

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk she said: “I feel like I have got a purpose because I am deaf and the first deaf person on Strictly. 

“I feel it will be a good chance to break the stereotype of what deaf people can and can’t do.

She added: “A lot of people think deaf people can’t hear the music and enjoy dancing so I think it will be a good chance for me to break the stereotype.” 

The British actress has a lot of people rooting for her, including the EastEnders cast. 

Giovanni hopes he will be able to take the Strictly title this year, having first joined the show in 2015. 

He has reached the final a record three times, however each time he merely missed out on taking the glitter ball home. 

Kristina, although she detailed the struggle, will be rooting for the Strictly pairing. 

She said: “We get to see a very special thing happening on the show.” 

You can watch Strictly Come Dancing tonight at 7pm. 

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