Dancing ability will only get you so far on Strictly. Viewers showed the power of their votes this week by casting Pixie Lott into the dance-off – and out of the competition – despite the fact that she has been the most technically proficient dancer this series according to the judges.
The perky pop star recorded an average score of 35.9, making her the most consistent celeb, ahead of The Saturdays’ Frankie Bridge on 35.3 and presenter Caroline Flack on 34.5. And despite not putting in her best performance this week, Pixie was still in second place with a total of 41 after scoring 35 for her cha cha with partner Trent Whiddon and then being given top marks in the ‘waltz-a-thon’, which featured all six couples.
But while the judges liked Pixie, it seems viewers were not so sure, as the results of the phone vote when added to the panel’s scores dragged her and Trent into the bottom two alongside fellow singer Simon Webbe and his partner Kristina Rihanoff.
Even after the dance-off, Pixie’s fate was on a knife-edge with both Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli choosing to save her, while Darcey Bussell plumped for Simon and Kritsina, meaning head judge Len Goodman was called upon to make the final decision.
“I have to judge this on this one dance that I have seen,” said Len, “not what has been in the past, [or] what my expectations are in the future. I tell you – this is hard as a judge but harder as person but I am judging it and I know when I drive home, in my heart, I have the right result for me, and my winners were Simon and Kristina.”
Pixie said she had loved her time on the show, and praised her “amazing” dance partner, but admitted she did have regrets about not having made it to the semi-finals.
“I was absolutely loving it, I had the best time ever,” she said. “I am sad that I won’t get to learn the salsa and the American smooth next week. I have honestly loved this experience so much and I am so pleased that I decided to do it. I couldn’t have asked for a better dance partner – honestly, Trent, you have been amazing. I have learnt so much and I am so grateful for it.”
Trent described Pixie as “a super talent and so hard working”, calling her “the nicest, sweetest, most genuine person you could ever meet.” It sounds like she was his favourite, even if viewers didn’t feel quite the same way.