Ex-footballer David James lost out on his chance to let loose as he became the latest celebrity to be voted out of Strictly Come Dancing.
The 49-year-old former goalkeeper was sent home by the judges after a dance off against BBC breakfast presenter Mike Bushell, with all the judges agreeing that while both contestants were fairly equal in skill, Bushell’s enthusiasm gave him the edge. It was the footballer’s third time in the dance off and he failed to make it a hat trick.
James - who at 6ft 5in towered over his professional partner Nadiya Bychkova - said of his time on the show: “Oh I’ve loved it. I’ve had the best partner so I feel so bad I’ve let Nadiya down in a sense. I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve put some weight on though.”
Bychkova revealed: “He’s done so well. I’m so proud of you. From the first day he couldn’t lift his elbows up or stand straight and now he’s delivered such an amazing jive. I’m so proud.”
After landing in the bottom two following the public vote, both couples performed their routines again for judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and guest judge Alfonso Ribeiro, star of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and winner of America’s Dancing With The Stars in 2014.
James and Bychkova danced a Jive to Such a Night by Michael Buble and Bushell and his partner Katya Jones performed their Salsa to Jump On It by The Sugar Hill Gang - a dance Ribeiro performed himself to win Dancing With The Stars.
Revel Horwood said: “Well for me both couples were pretty much technically equal but the couple I’d like to save were the most confident performers and I thought sold the number better and that was Mike And Katya.”
Mabuse agreed: “Well I felt that one couple gave me a better performance than I saw the first time so I’m going to save Mike and Katya.”
And Ribeiro said: “The couple that I’m going to save put on a great show. The technique wasn’t there but they came out, they delivered a showstopper for the audience to love - so I’m going to save Mike And Katya.”
Despite the vote being passed at three, Head Judge Ballas also admitted: “Yes I would have saved Mike and Katya.”
James - who had previously revealed he has been rehearsing for more than 12 hours a day - paid tribute to paralympian Will Bayley, who remains in the competition.
He said: “Just a word to Will: I think I work hard, but, man, that guy puts a shift in.”
Saturday night’s show saw James being urged to roar at the judging panel in a bid to unleash his emotions.
Ribeiro told James: “Here's what I want you to do - just scream and let it out. What I want is for you to just let it go let all hang out on the dance floor.”
But Revel Horwood told him: “No amount of screaming is going to fix that!”
All the judges called out the former footballer for making mistakes in his footwork and he scored just 16 out of a possible 40, putting him at the bottom of the Leader Board, one point behind Bushell and Jones.
The results - which are pre-recorded on Saturday night - were leaked on Twitter hours before this evening’s show aired, upsetting some fans who didn’t manage to avoid the spoilers online.
Sunday’s Results show opened with a group performance to David Bowie’s Fame and singer Mabel performing her sit single Don’t Call Me Up with professional dancers Dianne Buswell, Nancy Xu, AJ Pritchard and Gorka Marquez.
Singer and The Greatest Dancer judge Cheryl was a surprise VIP guest in the audience. She said: “The show is unbelievable. Everyone seems to have put in so much work.”
YouTube blogger Saffron Barker and professional partner AJ Pritchard were top of the Leader Board with a score of 38 out of 40 for their Foxtrot to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York.
Barker said: “To get two 10s - I just can’t believe it!”
Revel Horwood, 54, demonstrated his Charleston to presenter Claudia Winkleman while discussing footballer Alex Scott’s improvement this week. Winkleman commented: “I love the upstairs Craig!”, prompting the pigeon-holed ‘Mr Nasty’ panelist to reply: “Me too. I hate the downstairs one.”
The remaining eleven couples will take to the dancefloor next week when Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 26th October at 6.35pm on BBC One.
James and Bychkova will discuss their exit from the competition on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two with Rylan Clark-Neal on Monday 21st October at 6.30pm on BBC Two.