Tameka Empson has become the second celebrity to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing.
The EastEnders actress found herself in a surprise dance-off with TV presenter Laura Whitmore, despite both earning scores that put them half way up the leaderboard, several points ahead of Ed Balls and Naga Manchetty who sat at the bottom after last night’s live performances.
The dance off saw Empson and her professional partner, Gorka Marquez, perform their Tango to The Heat is On from Beverley Hills Cop, in keeping with movie week, while Laura Whitmore and Giovanni Pernice danced their Salsa to Rhythm of the Night by Valeria Andrews, inspired by the film Moulin Rouge.
Three of the four judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Toniloli and head judge Len Goodman – chose to save Whitmore, with Darcey Bussell casting her vote for Empson.
Speaking after her elimination, Empson said: “I have enjoyed my time immensely, I really have. The costume, the hair, everybody. There are just so many people. Every department shows a lot of love and you guys watch it at home but it’s really lovely to be a part of it and I’m grateful so thank you.”
“Thank you for being an amazing partner,” added Marquez, “for teaching me so many things in this new world for me. And thank you for being such an amazing person,” to which she responded: “Gorka is such a lovely person, I think he is a great asset to the show. And you have showed me so much passion, so much patience, motivation and I love you. I really do. I think you’re fantastic.”
Tonight’s results show also featured a performance from Alfie Boe and Michael Ball singing Somewhere from West Side Story.
Next week the remaining 13 couples will be back on the dance floor, performing live from 6:30pm on BBC1