Brian Conley is the fourth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2017, 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 – Brian and Amy whipping out a Jive to Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual and Simon and Karen 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.
“Well both couples actually made mistakes in that, one fell-over and then the other one blanked before they went into a back-drop so it made it a really, really difficult choice,” Craig Revel Horwood said of the dance off. “But the couple I am going to save just for that little bit of swivel is Simon and Karen.”
“This is incredibly difficult with these two fabulous men and it’s not easy at all to choose between them,” Darcey Bussell added. “But I am going to save the person who had a more finished performance which was Simon and Karen.”
Head judge Shirley Ballas, who was not required to vote as the majority of the panel had already selected one couple, agreed that she too would have saved Simon and Karen.
“I have loved everything about this, I truly have,” Conley said after the judges had delivered their verdict. “It’s one of the greatest shows, it’s a family show.
“And you know what, there has been someone by my side all the way through this journey who has been just there every moment and that is… Aston [Merrygold, Conley’s fellow contestant]!
“I love him and I am really going to miss him,” he laughed, before paying tribute to his partner Amy Dowden.
“I want to say something about this lady here,” he continued. “Amy, if I was only thirty years younger… and not fussy! Me and you, I am not kidding!
“I love this lady and I want her to be on this show for ever and ever because I want everyone out there to know how special this lady is because she is a star and I love her to bits.”
“I have had the most amazing time,” Dowden said. “I’ve got not just Brian but his entire family as friends for life and thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The pair will appear again for their first exclusive televised interview on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two tomorrow (Monday 23rd October) at 6.30pm on BBC2.
Meanwhile, the remaining 11 couples will be prepping for what may be the scariest Strictly instalment yet – the seriously spooky Hallowe’en special, which will air on BBC1 next Saturday.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturdays