Zoe Lucker has become the latest celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2009 after a shock result which saw her and Ali Bastian in the dance-off.
It was the second time that the Footballers’ Wives actress and professional partner James Jordan had been in the bottom two despite proving popular with the judges.
Despite surviving the previous dance-off, in which Joe Calzaghe was voted off, Lucker lost out to Bastian who is tipped as one of the favourites to win the series.
However the judges – who voted three to one to save Bastian and her dance partner Brian Fortuna, were quick to express their surprise at the public vote.
“I know the viewers can do what they like and it’s a popularity contest but this is ludicrous, there are couples that are worse than these,” said Len Goodman
Lucker said afterwards, “I’ve had an amazing time, James is the best teacher.”
Earlier in the show Lucker had received a mixed response for her samba. Goodman said she had the “potential to challenge the leaders” while Alesha Dixon added, “it’s nice to see you lose your inhibitions”.
Bastian, meanwhile, impressed the judges with her paso doble despite battling a foot injury. “I loved the performance, it was clean and accomplished,” Craig Revel Horwood said, while Bruno Tonioli described the dance as “beautiful”.
Elsewhere Ricky Whittle once again wowed the judges, with Goodman calling his quickstep “the best dance of series seven”. “You were in a league of your own tonight,” added Dixon.
The Hollyoaks star received the highest score so far this series – 39 out of 40 – from the judges, dropping only one point from Craig Revel Horwood.
And there were some better reviews for Craig Kelly, who had been favourite to leave after being revealed by bookies as the least backed celebrity in the show’s history.
“Finally I’ve seen something that I like from you,” Dixon said after his Viennese Waltz. However Tonioli described the dance as “laboured”.
Next weekend’s show will take place in Blackpool.