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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Eleventh celebrity leaves Strictly Come Dancing as finalists confirmed

The Strictly contestants to reach the semi-final in 2022 (BBC/Guy Levy)

Will Mellor has become the 11th celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing after a close semi-final.

The Coronation Street actor, 46, battled it out against singer and radio DJ Fleur East, 35, in the dance off after they came bottom of the leaderboard based on the scores from the judges and public.

The judges awarded 74 to East and gave Mellor a 70 during the semi-finals when they performed two dances.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022,12-12-2022,TX12 RESULTS SHOW,TX12,Will Mellor, Nancy Xu and Fleur East,++Results show – Embargoed for publication until 21:00 hours Monday December 12th 2022++,BBC,Guy Levy

Asked for his final words, Mellor said: “I have to thank you all for giving me this chance to put a smile on my mum’s face, she deserves it.

“I’ll take whatever I have learnt from this show forward in whatever I do because it shows you can achieve more than you think.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to get anywhere near this and I am so proud of what we have achieved but also everybody who has voted for me, who has supported me, the messages I’ve had from my local community and children.”

Mellor previously said he wanted the glitterball trophy so his mother could display it on her mantelpiece.

His professional dance partner Nancy Xu also said during Monday’s show: “I really wish I could make more memories with you and your family.”

To save himself, the Bredbury, Stockport-born actor and Xu danced a couples’ choice to a 90s Manchester-inspired medley but did not win favour with the judges.

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas all opted for East and her partner Vito Coppola, who performed the Charleston to Tu Vuo’ Fa L’Americano by Fiorello.

Anton Du Beke, the only judge to choose Mellor, said “both danced terrifically” but he had to go with the “details”.

He added: “Due to an error in a dismount from a lift, I am going to have to save Will and Nancy.”

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Mabuse said the “details” led her to choose East while Revel Horwood also said the singer was the “most impressive”.

Ballas said she knows the public have gone a different way than the judges but due to the “micro details” she also opted for East, calling it the “most difficult decision” she has made so far.

Elsewhere during the show, Lewis Capaldi performed his latest single Pointless, alongside dancers Giovanni Pernice and Katya Jones.

The remaining four couples – East and Coppola, Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal, Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu, Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez – will take to the dancefloor next week for the final.

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final will air live on Saturday at 7.15pm, on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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