The singer, who’d been in the dreaded dance off with Susannah Constantine and Anton Du Beke in week two, found himself bathed in red light once again as Tess Daly confirmed he’d failed to secure enough public votes to see him safely through to week four.
Ryan and his professional partner, Nadiya Bychkova, faced off against Casualty actor Charles Venn and Karen Clifton in the Sunday night showdown.
Venn and Clifton’s American Smooth (set to Up Where We Belong from An Officer and A Gentleman) was deemed the better dance by Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli, who all voted to save the pair and send Lee packing.
However, Head Judge Shirley Ballas revealed that she’d have opted to save the singer. “I would have gone with Lee on the musical performance from this evening, ” Ballas said.
“I’ve had a really lovely time, even though it’s been short it seems like I’ve been here a long time because it’s been so intense, it’s been amazing,” Ryan told Tess Daly. “I love these guys, I absolutely love every single one of them. There’s so much love in everyone it’s been a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life, I really will.”
His professional partner, Nadiya, had some very kinds words for him as they prepared to take to the floor for their last dance. “Just stay the way you are because you’re such an amazing person and I love you so much,” she said.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturday nights