Nicky Byrne narrowly missed out on a place in the Strictly come Dancing 2012 semi-final after becoming the ninth celebrity to be voted off this year’s show.
When the judges’ scores were combined with the viewers’ votes on Sunday night, the former Westlife star and his partner Karen Hauer found themselves in the bottom two alongside Denise van Outen and James Jordan.
On the night that The X Factor announced its 2012 winner, Nicky and Karen revisited their American smooth-foxtrot combo to Troublemaker by the ITV talent show’s 2009 runnner-up Olly Murs, while Denise and James once again performed a quickstep-jive to Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson.
The judges were impressed by both pairs, with Darcey Bussell saying “They were both very strong performances” and Bruno Tonioli adding “They both improved”. But the vote to save Denise was unanimous, sending Nicky out just shy of next weekend’s semi-finals.
Despite the verdict, Nicky shared his enthusiasm for Strictly, and thanked his partner and even the judges: “It has been just so much fun,” he said. “It is the biggest and best show in the world. To come out every Saturday night is hard but it’s playing a different character, doing a different dance – it’s just been amazing.
“Karen, every week, every day has been incredible. We had a bit of a shaky start in terms of judges and stuff, but we just seemed to improve.
“I have to say thank you to the judges – you have been absolutely amazing with all your advice. All the people backstage – even the people that get you your coffee – I am going to miss the whole thing, it’s been an amazing experience.”
Nicky’s partner Karen, a Strictly Come Dancing newcomer, said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone – all the celebs and professional dancers. It’s been my first year and I could not have asked for a better celeb – [Nicky,] you were amazing.”