Angela Rippon’s Strictly 2023 dreams are dashed as eighth star is eliminated

Angela Rippon’s Strictly 2023 dreams are dashed as eighth star is eliminated

The spectacular Blackpool special week is over! (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

Angela Rippon has become the eighth star to depart from Strictly Come Dancing 2023 after taking part in the show’s dazzling Blackpool special.

In last night’s show, the remaining seven couples were joined by talented back-up dancers as they put on some of their most spectacular routines to date for the milestone week of the BBC competition.

Fans were left furious with judge Craig Revel Horwood as he refrained yet again to dish out his 10 paddle, with the pairings of Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin, as well as Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola, both receiving 39 out of 40 for their respective dances.

Angela, 79, and her partner Kai Widdrington, 28, landed at the bottom of the leaderboard with a score of 28 for their glamorous American Smooth.

Therefore, it might not have come as too much of a surprise when it was announced that the couple would have to take part in the dance-off.

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell, who received a score of 35 for their Jive, were also at risk of elimination, despite being joint third on the leaderboard on Saturday night – which just goes to show how tight the competition has become.

Bobby was compared to Mick Jagger after his lively Jive (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

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After performing their routines for a second time at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom, it was up to the judges to decide who would stay and who would go.

Craig said that he would be saving Bobby and Dianne, describing their dance as a ‘standout performance’ that he ‘can’t ignore’.

Motsi Mabuse voted the same way, stating: ‘I felt that both couples danced so beautifully. Really one of the most beautiful dance offs we have had.’

Bobby and Dianne received a third vote in their favour from Anton Du Beke, who thought that they danced ‘excellently’ in ‘a marvellous dance off’.

‘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,’ he said.

Layton and Nikita astounded with their Couple’s Choice routine (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

While the three votes meant that Angela and Kai’s fate was sealed, head judge Shirley Ballas confirmed that she would have chosen to vote the same way.

Speaking to co-host Tess Daly after her elimination, former Come Dancing presenter 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.

‘I have had the time of my life, people keep making reference to the fact that I presented Come Dancing, but that was 40 years ago, that was a different time! He [Kai] wasn’t even born then!’

Angela explained that being on ‘this side of the competition’ has ‘been really an eye opener for me in many different ways’.

‘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.

‘They support us, they encourage us all the time – it’s absolutely wonderful. But the person who really has to get the most credit is this gentleman here [to Kai].’

Ellie and Vito were joint top of the leaderboard with their magnificent Charleston (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

Angela described Kai as an ‘old soul’, highlighting the 51-year age difference that they have between them.

‘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!

‘All I can say is that you’ve got me here so don’t you dare cry! He and his partner, Nadiya, are in every sense of the word beautiful people and I am so pleased to have you in my life.’

Kai similarly showered Angela with praise, saying that they’ve become ‘mates’ and recalling how he asked his parents about her famous Morecambe and Wise moment.

‘Dancing with you the whole way through this competition has just been such a celebration of yourself and her life and I wish she could see me now. I’m so proud of you and you should be proud of yourself, it’s been my absolute honour and pleasure to dance with you especially in this beautiful ballroom,’ he said.

Strictly returns on Saturday at 7.30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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