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Strictly eliminates eighth contestant after dance-off as viewers left shocked

Strictly Come Dancing returned to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool

The Strictly Come Dancing 2023 Celebrities and Professional Dancers in Blackpool
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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Angela Rippon became the eighth celebrity to be voted off Strictly on Sunday night.

The former newsreader and her partner, Kai Widdrington, landed in the bottom two alongside Dianne Buswell and Eastenders actor Bobby Brazier, in a turn of events that left viewers of the show in disbelief given the latter pair's score of 35

Bobby and Dianne performed their Jive to Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham! a second time and Angela and Kai Widdrington danced their American Smooth to Tea For Two by Ella Fitzgerald again in a bid to remain in the competition.

WATCH: Angela Rippon, 79, performs the splits during incredible Strictly routine

It was a closely-fought contest but the judges were unanimous in their decision. Craig Revel Horwood said: "Well, there's a standout performance for me that I can't ignore and the couple that I would like to save are Bobby and Dianne." 

Motsi Mabuse agreed as she said: "I felt that both couples danced so beautifully. Really one of the most beautiful dance-offs we have had. I am going to save Bobby and Dianne." 

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell, Angela Rippon CBE and Kai Widdrington in the Strictly dance-off© BBC
The dance-off was unexpected

Anton Du Beke commented: "Well again, I thought it was a marvellous dance-off. Both couples danced very, very well. I thought Bobby and Dianne danced excellently again. I thought that Angela and Kai’s dance was beautiful and Angela even thanked one of the other dancers for lifting her and putting her down so gracefully which I thought was absolutely beautiful. 

"For me the couple I would like to save are Bobby and Dianne. With three votes to Bobby and Dianne, they had won the majority vote but head judge Shirley Ballas also said she would have saved the duo. 

Dianne Buswell and Bobby Brazier with their backing dancers in Blackpool© BBC
Dianne and Bobby performed an energetic Jive

Fans of the show, meanwhile, expressed their surprise on X, with one writing: "How on EARTH he was in the dance off is beyond me. One of the best of the night!!!!!" 

Another posted: "The correct result but I'm very shocked about Bobby being the bottom 2. His Jive was brilliant." 

Kai Widdrington and Angela Rippon in Blackpool© BBC
Angela and Kai went out on a high

The show opened with a fab-u-lous group number featuring the remaining couples as Strictly mounted its annual Blackpool spectacular

When asked by co-host Tess Daly about her time on the programme, Angela said: "I have to tell you that the last nine weeks have probably been the most terrifying, the most fantastic, the most glorious, the most joyful that I have spent for a very long time in my profession…

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Lauren Oakley with Angela Rippon CBE and Kai Widdrington on Strictly Come Dancing© BBC
Angela was also in the dance-off last week

"Everybody talks about the team and all the pros – everyone who has danced – there is a real team spirit in this programme unlike anything I've come across anywhere else in any of the many programmes I've done. It's absolutely fabulous… But the person who really has to get the most credit is this gentleman here [to Kai]." 

"He has looked after me so brilliantly, he's a wonderful dancer, a great choreographer, but he's a terrific teacher… and he has the patience of a saint." 

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington dancing an American Smooth© BBC
The pair have loved dancing together

Kai said: "I'm so proud of you [to Angela] and you should be proud of yourself, it's been my absolute honour and pleasure to dance with you especially in this beautiful ballroom." 

The remaining six couples will next take to the dancefloor when Strictly returns on Saturday 25th November at 7.30pm.

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