Heather Small has become the latest casualty of Strictly Come Dancing after losing out to Rachel Stevens in the dance-off.

The M People singer – who had been the bookies favourite to go – had been in the bottom two on three other occasions but each time had been saved by the judges.

However this week her luck ran out after the panel voted unanimously to save Rachel and her dance partner Vincent Simone – but all the judges made it clear that they were not pleased with the outcome.

“I think it’s an absolute travesty that these two couples were in the bottom two and it proves that absolutely nobody is safe,” said Craig Revel Horwood.

Bruno Tonioli added that it was a “surreal” situation.

“I do understand that we do this show for the public but this is like being in the Twilight Zone,” he told the couples.

Afterwards, Heather was full of praise for her dance partner Brian Fortuna.
“Dancing with Brian has been an absolute ball,” she said, “and I feel like a winner because I’ve had such a great time.”

Heather had received a mixed response from the judges in previous weeks but had been praised for her improvement more recently.

Eight celebrities – including John Sergeant, who sailed through to the next stage despite scoring only 12 points from the panel on Saturday’s show – remain in the competition. Rugby player Austin Healy is the bookies’ favourite to win the series.