Giovanni Pernice struggled to motivate Strictlys Amanda Abbington

Giovanni Pernice on what he tells celebrity partner before they dance

Giovanni Pernice “struggled to motivate” actress Amanda Abbington, a leading body language expert has claimed.

Judi James added that pro dancer Giovanni seemed “frustrated” at his inability to convince the actress of “how talented she is”.

Her comments come after Amanda shared a post on Instagram over the weekend written by late comic Robin Williams, which read: “People don’t fake depression … they fake being okay. Remember that. Be kind.”

Looking at the pair’s last dance together before Amanda called it quits – a foxtrot in time with Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ – Judi told The Mirror that she felt the writing was on the wall for the Sherlock actress.

“[Giovanni] seems to be struggling to motivate her and to make her feel as confident as she deserves to, given her dance ability,” she began.

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“He hangs an arm round her neck during the judges comments and as he holds her hand he shakes it hard every time she gets praise as though frustrated she doesn’t realise how good she is.”

Commenting on their reactions to each other in the Strictly rehearsal studio, Judi continued: “When she pushes her hands against her head during rehearsals Gio turns to look into the camera with his hands on his hips and this does create the idea that he was getting frustrated, knowing her potential but maybe not able to take her to the stage of being a winner.

“There are no signs of joy or real fun between them here. Amanda often looks lost in her own worries about getting it all right.”

Judi also suggested that her body language seems “cold” towards Giovanni, despite having been working closely together for weeks.

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She suggested that she would have expected smiles and a “softening” of Amanda’s facial expression in the presence of her partner, had they been hitting off.

However, Giovanni did share a snap of the two looking happy together when he announced the end of their Strictly partnership on Instagram, lamenting that he was “so sad” it had drawn to an end prematurely.

He told his one million followers: “I am so sad we can’t continue but I am proud of what we achieved and I am sending you so much love.”

More than 70,000 people hit the like button on the image, which portrayed him with his arm wrapped around his partner’s waist, and her holding onto his extended arm in return.

@jayneshellard exclaimed: “I’m gutted. Loved you both. Gio is the Halloween King, he will be gutted he’s missing it!”

Meanwhile, @alisend73 chimed in: “I’m so gutted… Amanda had so much potential and I think you guys would’ve made the final. Sending lots of love to you both. Xx.”

The pair did have their moments of fun on social media, especially when Amanda brought chocolate to the studio for them to share, and today she spoke of the “deepest regret” she felt about leaving the competition.

“I did not come to this decision easily or lightly but for personal reasons I am unable to continue,” the Sherlock actress shared in her own statement.

“It was an absolute joy working with my fellow contestants, they are a beautiful, hardworking and talented group of people who I love and who I will miss seeing every Friday and Saturday and competing alongside.

“I want to thank the incredible Production team and everyone on Strictly who looked after me and who are so kind and caring. It’s a wonderful bunch of people and I’ll miss all of them.”

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