Strictly Come Dancing: Pamela finishes third!

Pamela Stephenson has finished in third place in the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2010, following the first public vote of the night.

The 61-year-old comedienne turned psychologist was eliminated following the first part of Saturday’s final, which saw the three finalists perform two routines each.

Matt Baker and Kara Tointon now remain to battle it out for the coveted Glitterball trophy.

Pamela – who reprised her Viennese Waltz from the series as well as performing a showdance – paid tribute to her dance partner James Jordan after the result had been announced.

“You’ve been just incredible,” she said. “You’ve made it the most joyful experience I’ve had for a long time, your patience and dedication has been outstanding.”

Earlier in the show Pamela once again scored a full house from the judges for her Viennese Waltz – a routine she received top marks for when she performed it on a previous show.

“Beautiful acting, beautiful dancing,” Bruno Tonioli told the pair. “It was completely focused…simply brilliant.”

“You both play by the rules,” added Craig Revel Horwood, “another remarkable performance.”

She also won praise for a show dance which was inspired by the 80s classic Dirty Dancing. “It suited you,” Alesha Dixon said, “it was spot on.” “A truly terrific uplifting tribute to a moving classic,” added Bruno.

Despite her elimination, Pamela was the only contestant to receive a full house for any of her routines in the first half of the final.

Kara and her dance partner Artem Chigvintsev finished second on the judges’ scoreboard after reprising their rumba from last weekend’s semi-final, and performing their own show dance to the Queen hit Don’t Stop Me Now.

“I think you raised the bar even more,” Alesha told the pair, while Bruno was also impressed. “That was a glorious rumba of hypnotic beauty,” he said.

The actress’ show dance also won good reviews from the judges. “How much courage you have to do a routine like that,” Craig said, “because it is difficult.”

Len Goodman, however, had some reservations. “There were little incidents,” he said of the performance, “but overall, good job.”

Matt Baker – who had been the favourite going into the competition, eventually finished bottom of the judges’ scoreboard but was only a few points shy of the leaders.

The TV presenter kicked off the final with a reprise of the samba which had won him plaudits in Blackpool – and once again he was a hit with the judges.

“We’re expecting you to dance to the standard that got you into this final,” Len said, “and that’s what you did.”

And Alesha agreed. “The last time we saw this dance in Blackpool there was a magical spark in the air,” she said, “and that’s what you’ve done again tonight.”

However his energetic showdance – which featured breakdancing and acrobatics – wasn’t quite such a hit.

“You want to come out and entertain, and overall you did that,” Len said, “but there were a few too many tricks and stunts for me.” “I love all the tricks,” Craig added, but the concept didn’t work for me.

The two remaining finalists each have to perform two further routines in the second half of the final in a bid to be crowned champion.