Boxer Joe Calzaghe has become the latest casualty of Strictly Come Dancing 2009 after losing out to actress Zoe Lucker in the dance-off.
Calzaghe had been voted through by the public for the past four weeks despite finishing near the bottom of the judges’ scoreboard – but he and partner Kristina Rihanoff were unable to see off the challenge from Lucker after both had reprised their jives.
The judges voted unanimously to save Lucker and dance partner James Jordan – making Calzaghe the fifth celebrity to leave so far this series.
Afterwards he said he had “had a great time” – while Rihanoff was full of praise for him.
“It’s been amazing to teach someone like him,” she said, “and I’ve been so lucky to have him as my partner.”
Despite being unpopular in previous weeks, Calzaghe received some good reviews from the judges for his jive.
“We’re finally seeing some personality,” Craig Revel Horwood told him, “thank goodness”.
“Last week and this week we can start to see a development as a dancer,” added Len Goodman, “well done.”
Lucker on the other hand impressed the panel. “Beautiful job, very well done,” Goodman said of her jive, while Alesha Dixon called her “a joy to watch”.
Elsewhere Hollyoaks Ricky Whittle scored the first 10 of the series for his Viennese Waltz, receiving the top marks from Dixon. “It was like watching a professional couple,” she said.
The couple also received the highest score of the series so far, with 36 points out of a possible 40. However Jade Johnson was snapping at his heels with 35 points, after wowing the judges with her Viennese Waltz.
But there was also controversy after Jo Wood received some cutting comments from the panel. Bruno Tonioli described her as dancing like a “grasshopper” while Revel Horwood compared her to a “bush kangaroo”.
A clearly annoyed Brendan Cole promptly led Wood off stage before any more comments could be made – leaving Bruce Forsyth to reprimand Revel Horwood for his remarks. “That’s going a bit too far,” he said, “that was too personal.”
Goodman, however, said that it was Wood’s “best dance to date”.
Next week the eleven remaining couples will tackle either a samba or American Smooth in a bid to remain in the competition.