Strictly Come Dancing: Who left dance competition tonight?

Strictly Come Dancing has said goodbye to its tenth contestant after an eventful semi-final filled with glitter, bum-slides and lots of 10s.

Sunday night’s results show (10 December) saw the latest celebrity sent home as the final three remaining couples sailing next week’s final were revealed.

Please note that spoilers for Strictly’s semi-final results are in this article.

EastEnders star Bobby Brazier and former tennis pro Annabel Croft found themselves in the bottom two and the dreaded dance-off, but it was Croft who was eventually voted off by the judges.

Both couples performed their favourite routine of the night again. Brazier and his partner Dianne Buswell performed their Quickstep to “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin – a dance so impressive that head judge Shirley Ballas called Brazier “the King of Ballroom” during Saturday night’s show.

Then, Croft and her partner Johannes Radebe performed their Viennese Waltz to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by Slow Moving Millie, each fighting for their place in next weekend’s final.

While Craig Revel Horwood chose to save Croft, praising the former sports presenter for her much-improved “exquisite technique” in the dance-off, the rest of the judges opted to save Brazier.

Ballas, who made the final decision as head judge, said: “The semi-final 2023, I thought both couples were absolutely extraordinary, I felt that both couples lifted their performance, I thought there was technical qualities on both sides, improvements galore, but again one tiny mistake coming out of a pivot turn and therefore my decision would be to save Bobby and Dianne.”

Croft and Radebe say goodbye to ‘Strictly’ 2023

(BBC/Guy Levy)

When asked by presenter Tess Daly where she had any final words, an emotional Croft said: “It’s been the most life changing and extraordinary experience of my life. I have to congratulate Bobby and Dianne and all the contestants that took part in it.”

She hailed her partner Radebe as “absolutely extraordinary”, and said he has been a welcome positive force in her life following the death of her husband of 36 years, Mel Coleman, earlier this year.

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“You have given me a reason to get out of bed and come and dance with you, distract me and to heal me,” she said.

Croft and Radebe perform a Viennese Waltz during the ‘Strictly’ semi-final

(BBC/Guy Levy)

“I can’t thank you enough for that. You have been so patient, so caring and so loving. You are an unbelievably special human being. I simply adore you. Thank you so much.”

Radebe returned the sentiment, adding that his life is now “richer” for having met Croft through Strictly.

It could have been a mistake that Croft made during Saturday night’s semi-final that saw her placed in the bottom two. While performing her first dance of the night, a salsa to Gloria Estefan’s “You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)” alongside pro dance partner Johannes Radebe, Croft made a crucial error that left her “skidding” across the floor.

Croft slips up dancing a Salsa during ‘Strictly’ semi-finals

(BBC)

Midway through the routine, Croft jumped into her partner’s arms, and was spun around on the floor.

However, a misplaced arm movement meant that Croft ended up spinning awkwardly with her legs in the air, before eventually recovering.

The error didn’t escape the notice of the judges, who commented on the slip-up in their feedback.

Revel Horwood told Croft and Radebe: “Your leg placement on the floor spin on that bum spin… something went awry there, darling, so you were in the wrong position for that.”

Ballas, meanwhile, said: “You are what the show is about: you started off as a beginner, and you’ve come out here and you’ve danced this. Unfortunately… the bum spin went wrong because you got the wrong arm movement.

Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe on ‘Strictly’

(BBC)

Ballas praised Croft for the way she “recuperated” from her mistake.

“It’s not always if you make a mistake, it’s how you recuperate and you did that marvellously well, I’m very proud of you and you should be very proud of yourself,” she said.

Speaking to series presenter Claudia Winkleman after the dance, Croft admitted she “might have a sleepless night over that one”.

“I certainly went for it. I didn’t quite expect to do a skid on the floor and end up on my back, which wasn’t quite the move I was intending,” she admitted.

“But it was so much fun, it was hilarious.”

The remaining three couples – Brazier and Buswell; Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola; Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin – will take to the dancefloor next week for the final time as they hope to lift the Glitterball Trophy above their heads during the Strictly grand finale next week.

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final will air live on Saturday 16 December at 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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