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Strictly Come Dancing 2016: A look back at the highs and lows of this series

Sharnaz Shahid
Sharnaz ShahidDeputy Online Editor
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strictly© Photo: BBC

Will Young's exit

It's the Strictly Come Dancing final on Saturday night, and here at HELLO! we have decided to look back at some of the highlights from this year's series. In week three, Will Young dramatically quit the competition for "personal reasons". The 37-year-old, who was partnered up with Karen Clifton, became the fifth celebrity to quit the show in the programme's 12-year history. In his statement, Will said: "To be a part of Strictly has been a long-time ambition of mine. As a performer, a viewer, and a fan of the show, to dance as a contestant was an experience I always hoped for. I have made some great friends, and am in awe of their performances week in, week out. I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience."

strictly 2a© Photo: BBC

Ed Balls' Gangnam Style

Although he didn't make it to the final, Ed Balls became an immediate hit with viewers thanks to his energetic performances. The politician and his partner Katya Jones will perhaps be best remembered for their Gangnam Style salsa as well as their samba, based on Jim Carey's The Mask. After his elimination last month, David Cameron took to Twitter to say that Strictly "wouldn't be the same". He shared: "Well done @edballs- we're very proud of you! #Strictly won't be the same without you."

strictly 3a© Photo: BBC

Gorka Marquez steps in for Brendan Cole

The following week professional dancer Brendan Cole had to pull out from the live show due to a serious lung infection. The 40-year-old star was replaced by fellow dancer Gorka Marquez – who stepped in to perform with Anastacia. At the time, Brendan revealed the surprise move on Strictly's spin-off It Takes Two. "I'll let you into a little secret," he told host Zoe Ball. "We have the lovely Gorka stepping in for me for a few days. I don't know how happy I am about it – he's Spanish, he's good looking and has a body which is pretty much the best on the show."

strictly 4a© Photo: BBC

Laura Whitmore injured

In week six, Laura Whitmore was unable to perform after she sustained an ankle injury during rehearsals. The presenter, 31, was given an automatic pass to the next week as a result. The presenter, who was partnered up with Giovanni Pernice, took to Twitter to post: "Absolutely devastated. It was a decision taken out of my hands. If it was my choice, I'd be on the dance floor doing my jive with Gio. This was by far my favourite dance. We all train really hard. All of us dancing have aches and pains and I didn't realise the severity of my injury until it was too late. I'm sorry to let you all down."

strictly 5a© Photo: BBC

Danny Mac makes Strictly history

Danny Mac and his dance partner Oti Mabuse made Strictly history after they became the first couple to score a remarkable 40 for their samba. After dancing the routine to Sergio Mendes' Magalenha, head judge Len Goodman remarked: "He's a tease, started slow and all of a sudden…! Your hips were like a snake! Hotter and steamier than the Amazonian jungle." Meanwhile, hard-to-please Craig Revel-Horwood added: "I found the open shirt a slight distraction… We never get that hip action from a male celebrity."

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