Strictly Come Dancing’s David James is the fourth celebrity to exit the competition

The ex-footballer faced Mike Bushell in the dreaded dance-off

David James Strictly (BBC)

The fourth celebrity to exit Strictly Come Dancing has been revealed as ex-footballer David James, who was eliminated by the judges after a dance off with TV presenter Mike Bushell.

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James, who was in the dance-off in the first and second weeks of the main contest (though had a reprieve last week) found himself in the bottom two again on Saturday night’s show after the judges’ scores were combined with the viewers’ votes, forcing him to perform again.

James and his partner Nadiya Bychkova performed their Jive to Such a Night by Michael Bublé, while Mike Bushell and his partner Katya Jones took to the stage again to show off their Salsa to Jump On It by The Sugar Hill Gang – and in the end it was the latter pair unanimously saved by the judges.

“Well for me both couples were pretty much technically equal but the couple who I’d like to save were the most confident performers and that was Mike And Katya,” Craig Revel Horwood said.

“The couple who I’m going to save put on a great show,” agreed guest judge Alfonso Ribeiro, who was filling in for Bruno Tonioli.

“The technique wasn’t there but they came out and delivered a showstopper for the audience to love so I’m going to save Mike And Katya.”

“I felt that one couple gave me a better performance than I saw the first time so I’m going to save Mike and Katya,” added fellow judge Motsi Mabuse.

Nadiya Bychkova and David James perform their Jive on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)
Nadiya Bychkova and David James perform their Jive on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)

Head judge Shirley Ballas’ overruling vote wasn’t needed, but she also confirmed that she would have saved Mike and Katya.

“Oh I’ve loved it,” James said when asked how he’d enjoyed his time on the show, adding that his highlights were “Having the best partner and the guys up there. Everyone’s lovely.

“Just a word to Will: I think I work hard, but, man, that guy puts a shift in.

“I feel so bad I’ve let Nadiya down in a sense,” he continued. “I’ve enjoyed it…but I’ve put some weight on though.”

“He’s done so well,” added James’ professional partner Nadiya Bychkova. “I’m so proud of you.

“From the first day he couldn’t lift his elbows up or stand straight and now he’s delivered such an amazing jive. I’m so proud.”

Following James’ elimination, 11 couples remain in the Strictly Come Dancing competition ahead of next week’s show, which will see the return of Bruno Tonioli.

David and Nadiya, meanwhile, will appear live on Strictly Come Dancing: it Takes Two’s Monday evening show to discuss their exit for the first time.

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 on Saturday 26th October at 6.35pm