michelle visage strictly exit

Strictly's Michelle Visage speaks out following surprising exit with Giovanni Pernice

The RuPaul's Drag Race judge left the show on Sunday night

Sharnaz Shahid

Following her surprise elimination from Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday night, Michelle Visage was quick to release a heartfelt message, in which she thanked the BBC show for giving her a platform to teach as "there is more to life than the binary". She wrote: "I've learned in this life you must take big risks in order to affect change. Gio and I chose our couple's choice to Vogue to bring a part of the underground gay ballroom scene to a massive show like Strictly."

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Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice left the show on Sunday night

Both Michelle and her partner Giovanni Pernice found themselves in the bottom two after they performed a Street Commercial dance to Vogue by Madonna as a tribute to the New York drag community. She was joined by social media star Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard, who performed their Quickstep to Beverley Knight's Marvellous Party again. "We are SO proud of the dance we did, but for me, it wasn't about judges' scores," she added. "It was about shedding light on a group of people who deserve recognition and would otherwise not get it. I owe my life to the LGBTQIA+ community so as an ally, I try to bring attention to them, their love, their struggles, in any way that I am able to.

MORE: Michelle Visage addresses reports she is 'unhappy' dancing with Giovanni Pernice

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"In this instance, it happened to be through dance and hear this: Voguing IS dancing." The 51-year-old, who was a favourite to reach the finals, went on to say: "THANK YOU SO MUCH to EVERYONE for all the love you have shown me on this Strictly journey. Welcoming this 51-year-old mum into their lives through their telly weekly, voting for us, letting this American know she's welcomed into the British Public has meant SO much to me. I am BEYOND grateful. Through this experience, I have made great new friends and a partner in Giovanni who will be in my life forever. This experience has been one I'll cherish FOREVER."

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In the caption, Michelle once again thanked her fans for their support over the past few months. "Babies, friends both new and old, I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am by your responses of love and support," she said. "I had the time of my life and I will NEVER forget it! THANK YOU @bbc and thank you @bbcstrictly for allowing this woman to live her dancer fantasy and to give me a platform to try to teach everyone that there is more to life than the binary. That we ALL need to be accepted for who we are as individuals."

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The pair were once favourites on the BBC show

Meanwhile, her professional dance partner Giovanni told his followers: "Our journey has come at the end… 9 weeks... 9 amazing dances and I’m super proud of what we have achieved! We knew doing Vogue as a couple's choice wouldn't be the most challenging dance routine. It was more about a message. A message that my partner was passionate about and I'm glad to have been a part of it."

He added: "We hope you have enjoyed our adventure as much as we have!! Thank you thank you thank you. Keep dancing." To which, Michelle replied: "Baby, I LOVE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH. You were my EVERYTHING in this and I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for trusting me with your art. Forever friends!"

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