Rachel Riley has become the fifth celebrity to exit the Strictly Come Dancing 2013 ballroom, following Saturday night’s Halloween special.
The Countdown letters and numbers whiz had previously survived a brush with the dance-off, being saved by the judges over fashion designer Julien McDonald.
However she wasn’t quite so lucky a second time after finding herself in the bottom two with Abbey Clancy – tipped as a potential series winner.
And after she had once again danced her American Smooth with partner Pasha Kovalev, and Abbey and partner Aljaz Skorjanec had reprised their rumba, the judges’ verdict was unanimous.
“Both couples performed even better tonight, so it’s very difficult, but the couple I have to save is Abbey and Aljaz,” said Darcey Bussell, while Bruno Tonioli added: “It’s very difficult because you both did very, very well, but I would like for Abbey and Aljaz to stay.”
Afterwards a visibly emotional Rachel said: “I haven’t cried until now, I have made some amazing friends.”
She added: “I really enjoyed tonight, I really enjoyed yesterday’s dance so I’m really pleased to go out on a high.”
And Rachel was also quick to sing Pasha’s praises, calling him “the nicest person in the world”.
“He couldn’t have looked after me better,” she admitted. “It’s been an absolute pleasure.”
Rachel’s departure came in the wake of a performance which was hailed by the judges as her best yet.
Craig Revel Horwood told her, “Welcome back to the competition darling,” while Bruno said: “The zombie bride has found her mate.”
Nine other celebrities sailed through to next Saturday night’s Strictly, including favourites Natalie Gumede, Ashley Taylor Dawson and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Dave Myers also survived another week despite finishing at the bottom of the scoreboard once again.