It was a sparkling Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals week, with each of the final five celebs taking on a tricky two dances each.
While Stacey Dooley and Faye Tozer shined on the dancefloor, receiving top scores and gushing comments from the judges, it was a more difficult week for Joe Sugg and Lauren Steadman.
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While Sugg’s Viennese Waltz was described as having too much “rise and fall”, Steadman’s nerves got the better of her when she attempted the tango – and things went far from ship-shaped when her samba sank, scoring a poor 23.
“You had too many mistakes,” head judge Shirley Ballas told her and her dance partner AJ Pritchard. “You got on the wrong foot, and this was definitely not your best dance.”
At the bottom of the leaderboard on Saturday night, the Paralympian was in the danger zone of being in the dance-off.
However, while Sugg was fourth out of five, the YouTube sensation was pulled through down to the strength of the public vote.
Instead, it was Pussycat Doll star Ashley Roberts that found herself in the bottom two for the third week in a row – despite topping the leaderboard and scoring a perfect 40 for her American Smooth with partner Pasha Kovalev.
Roberts chose to dance her top American Smooth in the dance-off, while Leadman plumped for her tango.
However, all four judges chose to keep Roberts, with Craig Revel Horwood saying, “Well one couple for me were clean, precise and dyanmic. And that couple? Ashley and Pasha.”
Upon hearing the news she was out of the competition, Steadman told host Tess Daly, “I have absolutely loved my Strictly journey and it has been so much more than anyone ever tells you it’s going to be and that you thought it would be. Down to the smallest things; I mean outfits, hair, makeup, AJ the judges, all the choreographers. It’s just… I can’t tell you just how magical it is.”
Turning to dance partner Pritchard, she added, “I think it goes without saying that for you, AJ, everybody can think you’re an amazing dancer and sometimes you’re a bit hard on the outside but you’re so squishy and marshmallow like on the inside. I’ve got a lot of resilience and determination but I’ve never met somebody quite like you. as a pair I didn’t think we would be partnered and I’m so grateful I got you as a partner, words can’t explain how much I appreciate it.”
Meanwhile, Pritchard praised Steadman for altering people’s perceptions on disability and dancing, telling her, “You have changed so many people’s opinions and it has always been about ability not disability. You have attacked everything, you have always been stubborn, you have always been ‘I will be able to get this lift’ even though it’s not going to work but we’ll get there somehow by Friday and Saturday. But for me honestly it’s been a fantastic journey and you’ve done yourself proud.”
With the glitterball trophy now in touching distance, Faye Tozer, Stacey Dooley, Joe Sugg and Roberts will go head to head to be crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2018.
Strictly Come Dancing concludes Saturday at 6:30pm on BBC One.