Strictly Come Dancing 2018 bid farewell to its eighth contestant as Kate Silverton was voted out of the competition during the show’s beloved Blackpool Week.
The BBC newsreader and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec had impressed the judges with their American Smooth in the Tower Ballroom but a combination of lower judges’ scores and viewer votes landed them in the dreaded dance off for the first time.
The pair competed against dance off veterans Graeme Swann and Oti Mabuse, who performed a Musical Theatre and Jazz number set to The Trolley Song from Meet Me in St Louis.
The decision about who to save fell to judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas.
“For technique and performance I’d like to save Graeme and Oti,” Craig said. “This is really tough, but the couple I would like to save on a more energised and detailed performance is Graeme and Oti,” Darcey added.
“Purely based on what I saw I have to go for the couple that gave the more accomplished and overall stronger performance and for that reason I think Graeme and Oti,” Bruno explained, before Shirley confirmed that she too would have saved the cricketer and his dance partner.
Silverton was gracious in dance floor defeat: “I couldn’t have asked for anything better really. I got to dance twice, went up in a hot air balloon twice, and I loved it twice,” she said.
She paid tribute to her partner Aljaz, to whom she said she is “forever grateful”.
“I am so lucky to have had you as my teacher. And as you said we’ve learnt so much from each other, we’ve become such good friends and you have just made this the most incredible experience. We’ve had so much fun, we’ve worked hard but just thank you,” she added.
Aljaz, who seemed to have struck up a genuine bond with the Silverton family throughout the series, didn’t hold back when it came to praising his celebrity partner.
“Every week going out there and delivering incredible performances, for someone that has never performed in her life I am so incredibly proud of you,” he said.
“You have taught me so much, you’re such an incredible woman, you’re an incredible mother and thank you honestly it has been an amazing series. I’m never going to forget it and thanks to all of you who supported us.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturday nights