Debbie and Giovanni narrowly avoid elimination as Strictly sends home its eighth couple

Blackpool week is over and one more pair have bid farewell to the competition

BBC Pictures, SL

Jonnie Peacock and partner Oti Mabusi have become the eighth couple to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing.

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The pair – who performed a Tango to the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams on Saturday night – found themselves hovering above Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton at the bottom of the leaderboard, with a score of 26.

They competed in the dance off against Debbie McGee and her partner Giovanni Pernice after the latter had a rare misfire with their Spice Girls Samba, scoring 33 from the judges which placed them in fifth.

Susan and Kevin’s Paso Doble inspired by Strictly Ballroom proved to be a favourite among viewers who voted them out of the danger zone.

And so it was Jonnie and Oti who were sent packing, after Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli all chose to save Debbie and Giovanni.

When asked by Tess if he had enjoyed his time on the show, Jonnie said: “Massively. I think it’s been an absolute honour to be the first disabled person and I want to thank each and every one of you for judging me as an equal. That’s what I want. You’ve been critical with me and I want that criticism; and I think that’s fantastic and hope it paves the way for more people to come through and I think they may be able to stick their bum under a bit better than me.

“I need to say an absolutely gigantic thank you to this woman for pushing me because she knows what I’m capable of. Her choreography has been outstanding, and for putting up with me, pinching me, biting me – thank you so much.”

“This has been one of the most life changing things that could ever happen to me,” added Oti. “Jonnie is not only an inspiration but he represents so much more. If anybody wants to do anything, if you put your mind to it then you can achieve it and that’s what he represents.”

Sunday’s results show also saw a performance from Northern Soul, plus Michael Ball and Alfie Boe and Tears for Fears.

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Jonnie and Oti will join Zoe Ball for their exit interview on Monday’s It Takes Two at 6:30pm while you can catch the rest of the celebrities performing next weekend as the live show switches back to its Elstree studios.