TV presenter Ruth Langsford and her pro dance partner Anton Du Beke are the latest couple to leave this year’s Strictly Come Dancing after facing 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 added: “The couple I’d like to save on the element of difficulty and having no mistakes, and that is Jonnie and Oti.”
Bruno Tonioli called Jonnie and Oti’s performance “cleaner and… more emotionally moving” than Ruth and Anton’s and head judge Shirley Ballas said she agreed with her fellow judges and would also have saved Jonnie and Oti.
Following the result, Ruth had kind words for Anton and said he deserved to be competing in the show’s annual trip to Blackpool’s famous Tower Ballroom next week.
“I’m disappointed for Anton because he should be going to Blackpool,” she said. “He’s made this whole thing so much fun, I’ve absolutely loved it, even the judges’ comments, even Craig’s – he knows I love him really! All those wonderful people up there, they all deserve to be going to Blackpool.
“And you Anton Du Beke, are just the most fabulous man, so funny and you are a beautiful dancer and I hope we will be friends for a very long time.”
Anton admitted he felt more emotional than usual and said this was his hardest ever departure from Strictly.
“It’s a funny old thing this, getting voted off Strictly Come Dancing, it never gets any easier and this is, by far the most difficult,” he said.
“I feel a bit emotional and I don’t know why. I don’t really get emotional about this kind of thing because it’s part of the fun of the show, the thing that upsets me the most is not being able to spend all the time that we do together, you are beyond the most joyous person I’ve ever met, I’ve enjoyed every second of it. The time we spent in the studio together rehearsing and laughing. The moment you jumped on me and wrapped your legs around my hips to the moment where we basically laid on the floor.
“You are amazing and I love you.”
Strictly comes live from Blackpool next Saturday on BBC1