As the weeks on Strictly Come Dancing go by, so the number of celebrity contestants will get smaller and smaller.
Although every single celeb wants to get their mitts on that Glitterball trophy, sadly it will stay tantalisingly out of reach for 14 of the 15 celebs as they face dance offs and leave the show week by week.
Jonnie Peacock and partner Oti Mabuse took on Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice in the dance-off – and the results seemed all but certain before either couple took to the floor.
Until Blackpool week, Debbie had been a hot favourite to lift the Glitterball while Jonnie had beaten Ruth Langsford in the dance-off the previous week.
Still, both couples made vast improvements in their second attempts, with Bruno Tonioli saying “they both did great jobs, great performances, very different, very effective”.
But all four judges voted unanimously to save Debbie and Giovanni after their Spice Girls-themed Samba with Craig citing the pair’s “technical cleanliness and outstanding performance”.
The decision meant Jonnie and Oti – who danced a Tango to Sweet Dreams – were sent packing, with the Paralympian telling the audience and viewers back home:“it’s been an absolute honour to be the first disabled person and I want to thank each and every one of you for judging me as an equal.”
This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford and her pro partner Anton Du Beke had to face Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse in the dance-off, resulting in a unanimous decision from the judges.
Both couples recreated their foxtrots from Saturday night but it was Jonnie and Oti who the judges felt had taken on board their comments and made the greatest improvement.
Craig Revel Horwood said: “The person I think that took on the notes and criticisms that we dealt out on board and improved in the dance-off, and for me, personally, was the better dance, I’d like to save Jonnie and Oti.”
Darcey Bussell voted to save the couple “on the element of difficulty and having no mistakes” and Bruno Tonioli called Jonnie and Oti’s performance “cleaner and… more emotionally moving” than Ruth and Anton’s.
Simon Rimmer was the fifth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2017, with the TV chef losing his third dance-off of the competition during this weekend’s Halloween special.
Rimmer and professional partner Karen Clifton failed to win over the judges with their spooky American Smooth to Delilah by Tom Jones.
After their Saturday night performance, judge Craig Revel Horwood described it as a “dance of the living dead – rigor mortis had set in, it was so stiff!” Darcey Bussell judged the dance as “lumpy” and Bruno Tonioli said it was “an American horror story – I’ve seen lighter articulated lorries”. The pair gained a score of just 16.
Surprisingly, Rimmer faced Mollie King and partner AJ Pritchard in the dance-off, although the pair scored a respectable 27 on Saturday. But despite this fright, all judges chose to save The Saturdays singer, who performed a Cha Cha to Better The Devil You Know by Kylie Minogue.
Brian Conley was the fourth celebrity to leave Strictly, with the comedian and actor failing to impress with his Gene Kelly-esque Charleston.
As usual, the judges’ scores were combined with viewer votes to decide which couple would be shoe-shuffling for their Strictly survival, and the results left Conley and his partner Amy Dowden up against TV chef Simon Rimmer and partner Karen Clifton in the dance-off.
Both couples then performed their routines again – Simon and Karen whipping out a Jive to Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual and Brian and Amy Charleston-ing their hearts out to Fit As a Fiddle (And Ready for Love) – before the judges delivered their final verdicts, with all three (fourth judge Bruno Tonioli being absent) choosing to save Simon and Karen.
Craig Revel Horwood said: “I love the entertainment value of one couple, I really have to save the couple that are technically better and that’s Simon and Karen.”
Darcey Bussell added: “This is always incredibly difficult because they both made improvements to their dance but the couple I would like to save, just for a better technical dance, is Simon and Karen.”
After being eliminated, Richard described his Strictly experience as “a joy”, although added: “I only forgot to reckon into my strategy that I can’t actually dance!”
In week one, Chizzy scored a total of 21 after she performed a Cha Cha to Boogie Fever by The Sylvers. Despite getting her heel caught in her dress, Bruno’s ‘diagnosis’ of Chizzy’s dance was “very, very good”. He also said he loved to see her on the dance floor, although Craig said that it was a bit too disco and there wasn’t enough Cha Cha in the routine. Darcey commended her “flirty attitude” and that she loved watching her, while Shirley told her not to be afraid of getting on her feet.
Sadly instead of improving in week two, Chizzy scored just 16 for her Foxtrot to I’m a Woman. Shirley Ballas said her dance was “a little disappointing”, and that she found the performance a bit “too lumpy” for her taste. Bruno said that she lost the style of the dance in the routine and there was “too much gapping” for Craig, who wanted to see “more Foxtrot and less musical theatre” in her performance.
After landing in the dance off, Craig Revel Horwood decided to save Chizzy because he loved watching her on the dance floor, but the three other judges Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas voted instead to secure Brian Conley’s place in the competition.
On hearing that she had been eliminated from the competition, Chizzy had to try and hold back the tears as she said thank you to everyone who had supported her, the judges for their constructive criticism and also to her partner Pasha – who said dancing with her had been so much fun.