All three of the remaining couples in Strictly Come Dancing are to compete in next week’s final after a tie between Rachel and Lisa for first place.

Originally three couples were set to take part in the final, but this was reduced to two following the departure of John Sergeant.

However, when it came to the announcement of the result it was revealed that as Lisa and Rachel had tied at the top of the judges’ scoreboard – with 75 points each – the public votes would be carried over to next week’s show, and all three couples would be in the final, prompting celebrations among the excited trio.

“Due to the fact that there was a tie between the top two couples with three couples in the semi final, the audience vote could not have saved one of our couples from the dance-off,” said a BBC spokesperson.

“The vote opened just before the programme went off air. So we made a decision that the fairest option to all of our dancers was that all the votes cast will stand and be carried through to next week’s final, where all three couples will compete for the Strictly Come Dancing title.”

As a result Lisa Snowdon, Rachel Stevens and Tom Chambers will all have a chance to win the series on next Saturday’s show.

This could be particularly good news for Lisa – who had been the bookies’ favourite to be eliminated.

The semi-final was a close one, which saw all the remaining couples performing the Argentine Tango as well as their favourite dance from the series.

Despite being favourite to win, Holby star Tom Chambers had a disappointing week, finishing bottom of the scoreboard after the judges had a mixed reaction to his jive.

Craig Revel Horwood described the routine as “a little bit lazy” while Bruno was also critical. “Towards the end of the routine it got a bit loose,” he said, “It cannot happen at this stage.”

Lisa, however, who had been the outsider at the start of the show, had a superb week, finishing top of the judges’ scoreboard after bagging a perfect 40 out of 40 for her quickstep.

“You mastered the quickstep,” Arlene Phillips told her, “and I have just one thing to say – you’ve come a long way, baby!” Len Goodman was also impressed, describing the dance as “fantastic”.