Strictly Come Dancing star Ellie Simmonds became the sixth star to be booted off the show on Sunday night.
The Paralympian swimming champion faced off against CBBC star Molly Rainford in the show's dreaded dance-off as both couples had to perform their routines again for the judges. Ellie, 27, and her professional partner Nikita Kuzmin, 24, performed their Charleston to Too Darn Hot from Kiss Me Kate as Molly, 21, and partner Carlos Gu, 28, danced their Foxtrot to You Make Me Happy by My Sun and My Stars.
After the nail-biting dance-off, the judges delivered a unanimous vote to save Molly and Carlos leaving Ellie and Nikita as the next to leave the competition. Craig Revel Horwood said: "Well the couple I’d like to save are a couple that I think danced better than they did on Saturday night, in this particular dance off and that couple is Molly and Carlos."
Motsi Mabuse added: "First of all I thought that dance off was incredible. Both couples really, really just danced exceptionally well. I have decided to save Molly and Carlos."
Anton Du Beke said: "Well I think both couples can take credit from dancing an absolutely terrific dance off. But, the couple I’d like to save for making the performance even better than on Saturday night are Molly and Carlos."
With three votes to Molly and Carlos, it meant they had won the majority vote and would be staying in the competition regardless. Finally, Head Judge Shirley Ballas, also said she would have saved Molly and Carlos: "Well it was one of the best dance off’s I think I’ve ever seen, but again the performance was a little bit stronger in this dance off and I would have awarded it to Molly and Carlos."
When asked by Tess about her time on the show, Ellie said: "I've literally had the time of my life. It’s been the most incredible experience - life changing really. I want to thank Nikita ever so much. I’m going to miss him – he’s changed my life and confidence.
"And all of you guys - the pros. Every single one of you who’ve been part of this Strictly. Behind closed doors, the costume designers, I’ve literally loved waking up every single day and dancing, I’m going to dance forever. It’s incredible, this show is life changing.
"He’s [Nikita] changed my life. We’ve had the most amazing days. We’ve had not just dancing days – but days we’ve just spoken for hours.
"And the confidence you’ve given me – I seem confident but you know what I’m like, I worry about everything so, so much and we’ve literally represented everything. We went out there any danced our life out every single night and I loved it so much."
Nikita was then asked if he had any words for his partner, as he said: "First of all make me speak first next time because I am crying! I am a bit disappointed as I wanted Ellie to have a bit more time on this TV show, I know how much it means to her.
"I’m really happy that this journey has been with you [Ellie] because she has taught me so so much, so much empathy, just so much, I’ve learnt so much in these seven weeks. I really wanted to go with you to Blackpool, I think we should go there for the rides?
"I love you Els, I just want to tell you every single person in this room loves you. That is just to say how much of a beautiful human you are, you spend time to go to each person inside this room, you care about everybody, you are just such a wonderful human and I am so glad I’ve had the chance to dance with you."
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