Saffron Barker is eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing

The social media star faced CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual in the dance-off

Strictly: A close-body dance might be out of the question

Social media star Saffron Barker is the latest celebrity to be eliminated from BBC dance competition Strictly Come Dancing, after failing to impress the judges with her Samba.

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Landing joint bottom of the leaderboard on Saturday night’s show, Saffron and her partner AJ Pritchard were later placed in the bottom two after viewer votes had been added to the total, where they faced off with CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual and his partner Amy Dowden (who were joint first on the leaderboard).

Both couples performed their routines again – Saffron and AJ’s Walking on Sunshine Samba vs Karim and Amy’s Contemporary Couples Choices to Drops of Jupiter – and in the end the judges opted to save the latter pair.

“Tonight was easy for me, the best dance tonight was Amy and Karim,” Craig Revel Horwood said.

“One couple left me no choice,” agreed Motsi Mabuse. “It was a perfect performance and I’m going to save Karim and Amy.”

“I want to keep the couple that has proven to be the strongest both technically and artistically,” added Brunio Tonioli, also voting to save Karim and Amy.

The unanimous vote meant that head judge Shirley Ballas didn’t need to cast her verdict, but she noted she would have saved Karim and Amy as well.

“I’ve had the absolute time of my life and it’s all down to [AJ],” Saffron said following her elimination.

“It’s been amazing. I’d like to thank AJ so much, when I look at what I was like on week one I was so embarrassed and shy. He’s really taken me out of my shell. Thank you so much for everything.”

“Every single week you’ve approached it with a positive mental attitude and you’ve inspired so many… on your own social media too,” AJ added.

“As a non-dancer starting from day one I’m not going to lie I was a bit scared… but performing those fantastic dances has been amazing. I’ll never ever ever forget that dance. Thank you. The best partner. Thank you.”

Notably, this is the third year in a row that AJ has been eliminated while dancing a samba, having previously missed out with partners Mollie King and Lauren Steadman in 2017 and 2018,

Now, five couples remain to take part in next week’s Strictly Come Dancing musical special – and then, it’s just another week or two to the final…

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 on Saturday 30th November at 7.10pm