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Strictly's Layton Williams breaks silence after brutal dance-off with Nikita Kuzmin

Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu's Strictly journey came to an end on Sunday

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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Layton Williams has taken to social media to express his gratitude for surviving another week on Strictly Come Dancing

On Sunday night, the 29-year-old and his dance partner Nikita Kuzmin found themselves in the dreaded dance-off for the first time this series alongside Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu, whose journey sadly came to an end. 

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin dancing the American Smooth© BBC
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin performed the American Smooth to Oh It's So Quiet by Björk

"That was close! SO grateful to be through to Musicals Week! Being in the bottom two has given me a [fire emoji] up my [peach emoji]," he wrote. "Big love to all of our supporters. PS - @angelascanlon I love you x100! The last vid just sums you up. Pure joy. Xx."

Layton, who has consistently reached the top of the leaderboard this series, later added on X, formerly Twitter: "Not me going from being a top to a bottom! #Versitile."

Fans were quick to comment, with one writing: "Absurd that you were even in the bottom two but hey, it just makes you stronger right? Cannot wait for the two of you to continue to show the public why you deserve to win that glitterball!" Another said: "You and Nikita were amazing. It was outrageous that you were in the dance off. Looking forward to musicals week. You will kill it. All the love." 

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They had performed the American Smooth to Oh It's So Quiet by Björk, and were subsequently saved by the judges. 

"Well this was certainly a tough, tough Dance Off. I based my decision on musicality and balance and that is why I will be saving Nikita and Layton," Motsi Mabuse said. However, Head Judge Shirley Ballas confessed she would have decided to save Angela and Carlos, who danced the Cha Cha Cha to I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. 

'I think they were in the bottom two just because expectations of them are so sky-high' - TV and Film Editor,  Emmy Griffiths

After hearing their fate, Angela said: "It’s been honestly incredible, I'm gutted, really gutted that it's finished now, but it has been the most wonderful experience. I have made the best friend in this man [to Carlos]. We have had so much fun; he is such an incredible guy. 

WATCH: Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin's epic Argentine Tango

"He has supported me and picked me up and made me laugh so much. I don’t know what to say, it’s been magical honestly – all of those people up there! My husband at home, my two little girls and all my friends!" 

With the quarter-finals this week, competition will be hotting up even more. But do Layton and Nikita have what it takes to reach the final? Our TV and Film Editor, Emmy Griffiths, shares her verdict: "I think Layton and Nikita could be in the final - despite finding themselves in the bottom two last week - for so many reasons. 

"They're an incredible duo, with Craig Revel Horwood even calling Layton the best dancer Strictly has ever seen. As such, I think they were in the bottom two just because expectations of them are so sky-high - and hopefully the audience at home won't let it happen again! I think if they're not up there (with Ellie and Vito, of course), then it will be a real injustice!"

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