Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin were very emotional as they reflected on their Strictly Come Dancing axe.
The Paralympian swimmer and the professional dancer crashed out of the competition last night in one of the most shocking exits of the series so far. Ellie found herself in the dance-off alongside Molly Rainford and her partner Carlos Gu.
As the duo danced for a second time, the judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton du Beke – all opted to save Molly and Carlos, as Ellie and Nikita found themselves eliminated. Following their exit, the pair appeared on Strictly: It Takes Two this evening where they chatted with host Rylan Clark about their exit.
Speaking on the show, Ellie admitted she hadn't stopped crying since her axe as Rylan went to show the pair their best bits. They were both visibly emotional as they were shown their speeches after Ellie's exit last night.
Rylan then asked Ellie what she would miss the most, as she detailed all the celebrities and crew backstage who had made her experience so memorable. Ellie thanked Nikita for changing perceptions of dance and making it accessible to all. They both got teary eyed as Ellie said dancing was available to anyone and everyone – whatever disabilities they might have.
Things got even more emotional as Nikita told Ellie she had changed his life, with not a dry eye in the house.
Ellie and Nikita both cried last night as they departed the show, with the pro dancer heaping praise on his co-star. He cried as he told her how loved she was by everyone in the room, as they all gave her a huge send-off from the show.
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.”
Whilst Ellie added of their time on the show: "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. 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 changed my life."