Giovanni dumped Maura because he ‘didn’t want her to ruin chance of winning’

The dance professional has his eyes on the Glitterball Trophy prize – and he doesn’t want a relationship to get in the way of winning the 2021 series of Strictly Come Dancing

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Strictly: Giovanni and Rose use BSL sign language during dance

Giovanni Pernice dumped Love Island star Maura Higgins after just a few weeks of dating as he feared she risked ruining his chances of winning Strictly Come Dancing.

The 31-year-old professional dancer has been paired with EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, 26, for the 2021 series of the hit BBC show – with the actress being the first ever deaf star on Strictly.

Giovanni and 30-year-old Maura were first linked back in June when they were spotted attending a UEFA European Football Championship match together.

But now the professional dancer has chucked his Irish love interest as he doesn’t have time to get distracted by romance while chasing the Glitterball Trophy.

Giovanni Pernice and Maura Higgins’ relationship came to an abrupt end this month



A source told new! magazine: “Giovanni is taking this really seriously. He’s got a great relationship with Rose. They are doing incredibly well and getting so much love.

“Nobody understands what Strictly is like – it’s such hard work. All your time is taken up and Maura wasn’t given any time by Giovanni.

“You’re not allowed many people in the studio and she wasn’t given an invite. The writing was on the wall.”

Giovanni is reportedly too busy focusing on winning Strictly with Rose Ayling-Ellis to waste time on a romance



The source also made it clear that it was Giovanni who dumped unlucky-in-love Maura.

They said: “Giovannis is so into it this year – he thinks this is his chance to win Strictly. He’s got such an amazing chemistry with Rose, and Maura couldn’t handle it.

“He didn’t want anything ruining it and the split has come from him, not her.”

On Saturday night, Strictly viewers were moved to tears by an emotionally charged performance between Giovanni and Rose.

Rose plays Frankie Lewis on long-running soap, EastEnders


BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

The pair began their dance with a conversation held via sign language – before bursting into an “elegant” dance.

After the show aired, the BBC shared footage via Instagram that revealed what Giovanni and Rose has said to each other via BSL – with the pair making Strictly history in the process by being the first couple ever to incorporate sign language into a performance.

Rose was shown jumping to her feet on the set and asking: “Where have you been? You’ve been ages!”

Giovanni then defensively replied: “I don’t want to talk about this now. I’m too tired.”

This pushed Rose to her limit, as she hit back: “Me and you have broken up. I’m leaving.”

But begging for forgiveness, Giovanni replied: “Stop, Rose! Let’s have a chat. I’m so sorry.”

Maura is back on the shelf after being ditched by Giovanni



Fans reacted with delight after the translation was aired on the BBC show’s main Instagram feed – with many predicting the duo could win the 2021 competition.

One fan gushed via Instagram: “These two are spectacular sooo impressed not being able to hear the music yet dance the way she does just wonderful I think Rose is just brilliant such a great role model for us all let alone the deaf community. I hope they go all the way to the final.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday night on BBC One at 7:10pm.

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