Rachel Riley knocked out of Strictly Come Dancing

"I’m really pleased to go out on a high," says the Countdown star after judges opt to save Abbey Clancy following the Sunday-night dance-off

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Rachel Riley lost out to Abbey Clancy in this week’s Strictly dance-off to become the fifth celebrity to be high-kicked off the show.

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The numbers didn’t add up for the Countdown mathematician who joined Abbey in the bottom two after the judges’ scores had been combined with the viewer votes at the end of Saturday night’s Halloween-themed show.

Sunday’s programme saw the two celebrities and their professional partners perform their routines again, with Abbey and Aljaž Skojanec dancing a rumba to Stay by Shakespeare’s Sister and Rachel and Pasha Kovalev revisiting their American Smooth to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put a Spell on You.

After the dances the judges gave their verdicts.

“Both couples performed even better tonight, so it’s very difficult,” admitted Darcey Bussell, before following Craig Revel Horwood and voting to save Abbey and Aljaž.

Bruno Tonioli agreed. “It’s very difficult because you both did very, very well, but I would like for Abbey and Aljaž to stay.”

Head Judge Len Goodman comfirmed that he would have made the same decision as the other panellists, had his vote been required.

Looking back at her time on the show, a tearful Rachel said: “I haven’t cried until now, I have made some amazing friends. I really enjoyed tonight, I really enjoyed yesterday’s dance so I’m really pleased to go out on a high… I have just loved it, from the make-up, to the hair – the whole show.”

She heaped praise on her opponent, too, saying “Abbey is just gorgeous, a gorgeous dancer, a gorgeous girl and I have no shame in getting knocked out to her. 

But Rachel left the last word for her dance partner Pasha, telling hosts Tess Daly and Bruce Forsyth: “He is just the nicest person in the world. He couldn’t have looked after me better, it has just been an absolute pleasure.”

“Well we started from zero and look where we are now,” replied Pasha. “It was amazing to work with you and I’m sorry it has to finish this way.”


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