Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice have topped the 'Strictly Come Dancing' leader board with a score of 39.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice top the Strictly leader board on quarterfinal

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice top the Strictly leader board on quarterfinal

The 'EastEnders' actress, 27, and professional dancer Giovanni, 31 danced their way to success in the quarter final of the BBC favourite with their performance of the American Smooth to the Natalie King hit 'This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)' after impressing with a "never before seen" dive lift.

Following their performance - which featured a challenging lift - host Tess Daly said: "You are fearless. That was absolutely fearless. My heart was in my mouth with that dive lift. We have never seen anything like that before. "

Head judge Shirley Ballas labelled the dance a "performance of a lifetime" and heaped praise on the soap star for her "beautiful footwork" as well as her "outstanding posture."

Her comments were echoed by Craig Revel Horwood who - despite being the only judge not to score the pair a 10, instead awarding a 9 - noted that there must be a lot of "trust" between the stars.

He said: "Absolutely amazing that lift. You really have to know each other really well and trust [each other]. I thought the whole routine was absolutely gorgeous."

Fellow judge Motsi Mabuse went on to gush that Rose "definitely deserves" a place in the semi-final, which is set to air next week.

Asked by presenter Claudia Winkleman whether she trusts Giovanni after the show stopping lift, Rose quipped: "Well, I don't really have much choice! I do trust him. Our friendship is really good. He catches me every time."

Elsewhere on the show, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu joined the pair in first place on the leader board after they defeated Nikita Kuzmin and Tilly Ramsay in last week's dance-off.

Tumbling to the bottom of the board were AJ Odudu and her partner Kai Widdrington who finished with 30 points after their salsa went awry.