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Michelle Visage leaves Strictly Come Dancing after losing dance-off to Saffron Barker

There are just six Strictly couples left!

Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
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Michelle Visage became the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday night, after a showstopping weekend in Blackpool. The RuPaul's Drag Race judge and her partner Giovanni Pernice performed a Street Commercial dance to Vogue by Madonna as a tribute to the New York drag community. But while the 51-year-old had been talked about as a potential finalist, the routine landed her at the bottom of the leaderboard and the public vote failed to keep her out of the dance-off.

michelle giovanni dance off

Michelle lost the dance-off to social media star Saffron Barker

She was there alongside social media star Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard who performed their Quickstep to Beverley Knight's Marvellous Party again before judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse gave their verdict. Craig Revel Horwood chose to save Saffron and AJ, although he found the choice difficult, saying: "This doesn’t normally happen to me. I normally make a very quick, instant decision. This has been really, really difficult. One couple took all the notes on board and one couple were better. And the couple I’ve decided I would like to save is save is Saffron and AJ."

MORE: Michelle Visage is unrecognisable with blonde hair in incredible throwback photo

Motsi Mabuse also chose to save Saffron and AJ, and commented: "I feel like we saw two brilliant dances. It's so, so tough this week, I have to say. But I’m going to save Saffron and AJ." Bruno Tonioli agreed, adding: "Ahh, it’s so competitive, it's unbelievable… It’s very hard to decide but based on what I saw somebody I really thought nailed the dance. Right on the money. Saffron and AJ." Head judge Shirley Ballas revealed she would have also saved Saffron and AJ.

michelle giovanni oti

The other couples were sad to see Michelle and Giovanni go

Asked by presenter Tess Daly about her time on the show, Michelle said: "This whole experience has been amazing. At 51 years old and never danced in my life, I never thought I’d be able to do what I have done and to have such an incredible partner. To be here for my husband and my kids and the entire community, that’s why I did what I did. I am so honoured to be welcomed by my new friends here."

READ: Exclusive: Former Strictly Come Dancing professionals reunite to reveal how show shaped their lives

She also paid moving tribute to Giovanni, saying: "Obviously I couldn’t have done it without him. He has been so amazing, so transformative. Just my rock and my best friend throughout this entire competition. He could take it as much as he could dish it, and I needed somebody like that. I’m going to miss seeing him every day. I would never have wanted to do this with anyone else." Giovanni also gushed about Michelle, telling her: "You are wonderful. We laugh, we cry, we fight and we argue… but I’ve loved every single second. You are a phenomenal lady and I am so proud of everything we’ve done. I’m here to say thank you, thank you, thank you."

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