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Neil Jones and Alex Scott break silence following shock Strictly exit

A technical glitch caused voting problems online on Saturday night

Gemma Strong

Neil Jones has taken to Instagram to praise his Strictly partner Alex Scott following their shock exit from the BBC show. Pro Neil shared a photo of the pair embracing on the dance floor, along with a touching message for the former footballer. "Joyful Joyful was the perfect song to end our @bbcstrictly journey together because from the first moment we started together that's how u have made me feel," Neil, 37, began. "From day 1 I have taken my time to get to know you @alexscott2 MBE as I really wanted to make sure that you enjoyed every moment. All I can say is the nation has seen the real you. I've said it a million times that you have made me proud and you have made me smile."

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Alex Scott and Neil Jones have been voted off Strictly Come Dancing

He continued: "Of course I was there to teach you to dance but you taught me sooooo much more and the biggest lesson I learnt was to always be myself and never change. You have warmed the hearts and inspired so many people around the country on a daily basis because you always worked hard and I never heard you complain plus you did all of this with a smile on your face. I will walk away from this with my head held high knowing that we did everything we could and without a single regret and loving every moment. I want to really thank everyone that has supported us both with your messages, posts, votes and just spreading the positivity of #teamred. I have soooo much more I would like to say to everyone including Alex but I will stop now or it will turn into a book! I'm just sad I'm not teaching you a new dance in the morning, unless we could just dance for fun and giggles!"

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On Saturday night, Neil and Alex danced the Samba to Joyful Joyful from Sister Act. They ultimately found themselves in the dance-off with Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer, who performed their Foxtrot to Consider Yourself from Oliver!. The judges were split on their decision, with Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse choosing to save Neil and Alex. However, Bruno Tonioli decided to save Chris and Karen, leaving the deciding vote to head judge Shirley Ballas. Fans quickly took to Twitter to discuss Neil and Alex's elimination, not least because the show was hit with a technical glitch on Saturday night.

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Viewers shared their disappointment on social media, having faced problems voting online - something that was addressed by Claudia Winkleman at the start of Sunday’s show: "Apologies if you experienced any problem voting online on Saturday night," she said. "There was a technical problem but our independent verifier has confirmed we have a fair and valid result." Subsequently, Saturday's voting was extended until 9pm, rather than the usual time of 8.40pm.

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The couple lost out to Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer in the dance-off

Following the end of her Strictly journey, Alex, 35, also shared a touching post on Instagram. "Don't cry because it's over… Smile because it happened!" she began. I have had the most amazing 11 weeks on a show that I have always loved. I truly have had an amazing strictly 'journey' and I wouldn't change any of it. I just want to say thank you to everyone that supported us, sent messages, voted or even spoke about us with a smile. Your support has been EVERYTHING #teamred."

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"I came onto the show because it was a dream of mine but knowing the importance of using the platform I am lucky enough to have to inspire others. I gave you the real me. The shy, scared to make a mistake, the real emotions, you saw me grow in confidence and a smile that showed you that I was loving it all. Don't try to fit in and be something you are not… just always be you.. It's not always about the end destination it's about what you do along the way and I feel complete and so so happy. Thank you @bbcstrictly for having me... it's been real. @mr_njonesofficial your special post is pending!"