With the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 final just around the corner, one celebrity sadly had to say goodbye to the competition and the chance to compete for the Glitterball trophy.


After a sensational semi-final on Saturday night, which saw just five points separate the top of the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard from the bottom, it was always going to be a hard-fought battle in tonight's dance off.

The semi-final results show saw John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe land in the bottom two against Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu.

The former chose to perform their Jive from the night before while Rhys and Nancy opted for a second showing for their Samba.

Then the Strictly Come Dancing judges were faced with the unenviable decision of choosing which contestant to send through to the final and who should go home.

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"In all the years I’ve been doing the show since 2004, I really do not want to make this decision tonight," Craig Revel Horwood admitted. "This has been one of the most amazing dance offs I’ve ever witnessed. Both couples are equal and both couples deserve to go through and I just want to put both couples through."

In the end, he chose to save John and Johannes.

Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke followed suit, meaning Rhys and Nancy became the 11th couple to be eliminated from the competition.

Head judge Shirley Ballas said "it was very close" but that she too would have saved John and Johannes.

Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

“I might not have gotten to the final but I learnt so much from just being on this show, from everyone here who’s just supported us in this new family," Rhys said. "To have the time to spend with this champion of a dancer [Nancy] who’s put so much into me. Thank you for just letting my energy shine. Thank you for being that partner. I should use your actual name which is Xu YouJie. Thank you so much, Nancy Xu YouJie, for just being there, being my rock and everything I needed to get through this. Thank you."

Nancy also thanked all of their fans for supporting them in their Strictly journey, adding: "And thank you [Rhys] for being an amazing dancer partner. My first year – it has been absolutely epic."

After watching their best bits, an emotional Rhys added: "It’s good to cry, it’s good to feel. Strictly makes you feel things. You feel so much and sometimes that’s overwhelming."

The remaining contestants in the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up, John, Rose Ayling-Ellis and AJ Odudu, will go head-to-head in the grand final next Saturday.


The Strictly Come Dancing final airs Saturday 18th at 7pm on BBC One. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news.