Ashley Roberts and dance partner Pasha Kovalev found themselves in the dreaded dance-off on Sunday night's Strictly Come Dancing, but the judges chose to save them, which meant that Graeme Swann and Oti Mabuse had to say goodbye to the competition. Ashley, who has been a favourite to win throughout the competition, faced her first round of harsh criticism from the judges on the previous night, which resulted in her being third on the leaderboard. After performing the Samba, Craig Revel Horwood called it "staccato" while Dame Darcey Bussell said: "I would have loved a bit more bounce, a bit more softness." Knowing that Ashley is a trained dancer - which is something else she has also faced criticism from fans for - viewers couldn't believe that she was in the bottom two, with one wrtiting: "#Strictly turns into #surprisesurprise. But a pro dancer has an unfair advantage which offended the voters," and another even suggesting: "It's obvious they have to put Ashley in the bottom two before she wins just to make it look like it’s not a fix." Many also felt for Graeme, with one fan saying: "Poor Graeme, doesn’t stand a chance against Ashley."
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Graeme and Oti left the competition
Despite this bump in the road, Ashley and Pasha have made it through to next week's quarter finals, ulike poor Graeme and Oti. Speaking about his time on the show, Graeme told Tess: "I'd have voted for Ashley and Pasha as well. I can't quite believe I was put against them to be honest but this whole journey I’ve got to say, before I say gloating things about Oti that I’m obviously going to. This show and what you’ve got is something special and thank you for letting me be a part of it." He added: "I’ve just had the best of times, I’ve had the worst of times - it’s been very hard missing the kids and the wife. Blackpool, I will never forget, this whole experience I will never forget and Oti I will never forget you, you absolute hero."
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Oti revealed that this had been her favourite year on Strictly, saying: "I have never laughed so much, I've never been so angry so much. I have the best friend in you. We might not have been the best dancers but you have the spirit of Strictly. The show is such a nice family to be a part of the judges are amazing, the pros and the celebs are such a great support because they are lovely so thank you guys."
With just seven couples left, who will leave Strictly in the quarter finals next weekend?