Why Do People Hate Giovanni Pernice?

Giovanni Pernice is a professional dancer on the hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing. He first joined the show in 2015 for the thirteenth series and has been a regular fixture ever since.

While Giovanni has proven to be an accomplished dancer and choreographer on the show, winning the Glitterball trophy in 2015 and 2021, he has also stirred up some controversy during his tenure. This has led some viewers and fans to develop a dislike or hatred towards the Italian dancer.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the main reasons why Giovanni Pernice has his detractors and has provoked such a strong negative reaction from sections of the Strictly fandom.

Reasons Why Giovanni Pernice is Disliked

His Arrogance and Cockiness

One of the foremost reasons why Giovanni rubs many people the wrong way is his perceived arrogance and overconfidence.

From his comments in interviews to his general demeanor and body language on the show, Giovanni frequently exhibits a cocky attitude as if he’s the best dancer on Strictly.

Quotes like “I’m Giovanni Pernice. I’m the man. I’m the king of the dance floor” reinforce his arrogant persona. This self-aggrandizing behavior inevitably grates on viewers.

His self-assuredness also comes across as disrespectful towards the other professional dancers, as if Giovanni believes he is superior to them. This arrogant posturing is a huge source of annoyance for many viewers.

Rows with Previous Celebrity Partners

Giovanni has been embroiled in public spats with previous celebrity dance partners on Strictly Come Dancing.

In 2018, he reportedly had a major falling out with dance partner Faye Tozer. Various sources claimed Giovanni berated Faye over minor mistakes during training sessions.

His partnership with Debbie McGee in 2017 also allegedly featured some tense moments, with Giovanni becoming impatient over her errors.

These high-profile clashes reveal Giovanni’s infamous short temper when partners don’t live up to his high standards. Viewers don’t take kindly to someone who seems to bully or speak harshly to celebrity contestants.

Perceived Over-Competitiveness

As a pro dancer, Giovanni is ultra-competitive and dances to win at all costs. He puts tremendous pressure on his celebrity partners to nail the routines and impress the judges.

But this fierce determination to win is seen by some as making him overly competitive, to the detriment of the fun, lighthearted spirit of the show.

Rather than enjoying the experience, Giovanni only seems focused on getting 10s from the judges and winning the Glitterball. This excessive competitiveness and perfectionism leaves a sour taste for many.

The “Strictly Curse”

Giovanni has been embroiled in rumours about the so-called “Strictly Curse”, where people in relationships end up breaking up or having affairs with their dance partners during or after the show.

In 2018, Giovanni was rumored to be dating his partner Ashley Roberts, leading to backlash that he contributed to splitting her up from her boyfriend.

And in 2021, Giovanni and partner Rose Ayling-Ellis sparked romance rumours that her long-term boyfriend felt uncomfortable about.

While neither relationship was ever proven, Giovanni being a tabloid fixture makes him an easy scapegoat for the Strictly Curse, whether warranted or not.

Perceived Favoritism From the Judges

Some Strictly fans believe Giovanni gets preferential treatment from the judges, especially head judge Shirley Ballas.

Viewers have noted Shirley’s gushing praise for Giovanni’s performances and higher scores not commensurate with the quality of his dances.

Whether there are ulterior motives or not, this perceived bias where Giovanni is underscored feeds into the narrative that he is the “chosen one” on Strictly, which doesn’t sit well with audiences.

Do the Public Dislike Claims Add Up?

Looking at all the reasons, it seems Giovanni Pernice rubs many Strictly viewers the wrong way because he:

  • Comes across as arrogant and full of himself
  • Berates and argues with his celebrity partners during training
  • Is overly competitive and perfectionistic rather than fun-loving
  • Gets entangled in show romances that fuel the “Strictly Curse”
  • Receives unfairly high scores and gushing praise from head judge Shirley Ballas

On the other hand, some of these notions may also be exaggerated by the media or built on unsubstantiated rumours. And there’s no denying Giovanni’s talents as a choreographer and dancer.

Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between – Giovanni does exhibit some unpleasant traits but likely isn’t as terrible as his harshest critics make out. Overall, he evokes such strong reactions because he has a brazen personality that doesn’t fit the jovial spirit of Strictly.

Giovanni’s Response to His Detractors

For his part, Giovanni does not seem overly troubled by those who dislike him. He is focused on his dancing and choreography, maintains he is simply driven to do well on the show.

In interviews, Giovanni shrugs off accusations that he is arrogant or overly competitive. He says the celebrity partnerships require him to be tough at times because learning complex routines in a few days is incredibly difficult.

Giovanni also laughs off any showmance rumours and says he just wants the best for his partners and helps them to emotionally invest in the dances.

While he acknowledges the public have valid critiques of him at times, Giovanni stays mostly silent and lets his performances speak for themselves. He is unwilling to get caught up in tiffs with Strictly viewers who have taken against him.

Time will tell if he alters elements of his approach to win over more of the skeptical Strictly fandom.

The Future for Giovanni on Strictly

Giovanni Pernice has been a fixture on Strictly Come Dancing for 8 series and counting. He is still only 32 years old and in the prime of his professional dance career.

Therefore, it seems likely Giovanni will continue starring on Strictly for many more years if he so chooses. He has even spoken about his desire to still be competing on the show in his 40s.

The question is – will the public opinion around him soften over time or will he remain a polarizing figure?

Giovanni has won the Glitterball twice now and proven his abilities beyond doubt. Perhaps with more wins under his belt, he will relax and become humbler. His recent partnership with Rose Ayling-Ellis showed a softer side too.

But there is something about Giovanni’s personality that seems to invite criticism and rub people the wrong way. He may just have to accept he will never win over some Strictly fans.

If Giovanni does stay for many more years, he would likely have to accept being a divisive character – respected for his dancing but disliked by some for his arrogance or competitive streak.

Ultimately, it comes down to whether Giovanni cares sufficiently about public perception to rein in some of his more objectionable traits. For now at least, he seems content to keep doing his thing, regardless of detractors.

Why Giovanni Pernice Divides Opinion: Pros and Cons

Masterful dancer and choreographerComes across as arrogant and cocky
Creates brilliant routines for partnersPuts too much pressure on celebrity partners
Determined to get the best performancesOverly competitive and perfectionistic
Has won Strictly twiceGets entangled in Strictly curse rumours
Passionate about dance as an art formPerceived by some as Shirley Ballas’ favorite

FAQs About Giovanni Pernice’s Public Perception

Why do people think Giovanni Pernice is arrogant?

Giovanni often makes boastful claims in interviews along the lines of being the best dancer on Strictly. His general demeanor and body language also conveys cockiness and self-assurance that he is superior.

What happened between Giovanni and Debbie McGee?

Rumors swirled that Giovanni lost patience with Debbie during training, berating her for mistakes and displaying a quick temper. This led to tension between the pair.

Has Giovanni ever broken up relationships due to Strictly curse?

While he has been involved in rumors, there is no definitive proof Giovanni was the direct cause of a Strictly celebrity’s relationship ending during or after the show.

Does Shirley Ballas favor Giovanni as a judge?

Some Strictly fans believe Shirley scores Giovanni’s routines higher than they deserve and lavishes disproportionate praise on him. But it’s subjective if favoritism is actually occurring.

Why doesn’t the public warm more to Giovanni Pernice?

His perceived arrogance, arguments with partners, overly competitive nature and entanglement in show romances rub many viewers the wrong way. But he seems unwilling to change.


Giovanni Pernice is undoubtedly a world-class dancer who has delivered some of Strictly’s most memorable performances. However, he is also a divisive character whose personality and behavior irks sections of the show’s fanbase.

While the claims around Giovanni being arrogant, overly competitive and difficult with partners contain elements of truth, some are also exaggerated tabloid rumors. The reality is somewhere in the gray zone.

Ultimately Giovanni evokes such a strong reaction because he is brazenly self-confident and willing to bend rules to win, which doesn’t fit Strictly’s light-hearted spirit. As Giovanni seems unlikely to change, he may just have to accept being a polarizing figure.

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