A lot of people were expecting reality TV star Mark Wright to be in the Strictly Come Dancing quarter-finals dance-off – including Mark himself, by the look on his face when he found out he wasn’t… And Frankie Bridge was so convinced she would be in the dance-off she was rehearsing for it.

But it was singer/songwriter Pixie Lott who faced Blue singer Simon Webbe – and Pixie lost.

Pixie had won the “waltz-a-thon” on Saturday night but ran into a bit of criticism from head judge Len Goodman for her cha cha cha with Trent Whiddon.

“There were three lifts in a dance that shouldn’t have had any,” Len told Pixie and Trent. “This is a warning to all the couples: I’ll let it go this week but I won’t be lenient in the semi-finals.”

Len had also criticised Pixie’s leg movements, describing them as “stiff”.

And Claudia Winkleman had pointed out to Pixie that she hadn’t scored a 10 since Week Seven of the contest.

Not a good sign.

Simon, on the other hand, has been impressing the judges with his improvement, and his American smooth with Kristina Rihanoff was described by Darcey Bussell as “glamorous” on Saturday night.

Len loved it, too. “The boy from Blue, the lady in red…swing and sway going on… That was proper lush,” he told Simon.

Both Pixie and Simon had scored 35/40 for their routines on Saturday and, come the dance-off, there wasn’t much in it.

“Don’t change a thing,” Craig Revel Horwood advised Pixie, before she danced again. “I’m looking forward to seeing the dance again.”

“Just relax and enjoy it,” Darcey advised Simon, who had been in the dance-off twice before.

Craig saved Pixie and Trent. Darcey saved Simon and Kristina. Bruno saved Pixie and Trent. So it was Len who had the casting vote.

“I have to judge it on what I just saw, not what’s been in the past. My winners were Simon and Kristina,” said Len.

So, the semi-finals line-up is Simon and Kristina, Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev, Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton, Mark Wright and Karen Hauer and Jake Wood and Janette Manrara.

Click here for our photo special of the quarter-finals.

The Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals are on BBC1, Saturday, December 13, 6.50pm.