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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Rebecca Cook

Will Mellor narrowly misses Strictly final as Fleur East triumphs in dance-off

Will Mellor has become the eleventh celebrity to exit Strictly Come Dancing 2022 alongside professional dance partner Nancy Xu.

The Coronation Street star landed in the dreaded dance-off alongside Fleur East and her dance partner Vito Coppola after the remaining couples took to the BBC One ballroom floor in the quarter-finals.

The two couples were then asked to perform their favourite routine of the night once again, as the judging panel of Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas watched over with a judicious eye.

Fleur and Vito performed their Charleston to Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano by Fiorello, after which Will and Nancy performed their Couples’ Choice to a 90s Manchester-inspired medley.

After both couples had danced a second time, the judges delivered their verdicts on which couple would be progressing to the final next week.

The Coronation Street star landed in the dreaded dance off alongside Fleur East (BBC/Guy Levy)

Craig first chose to save Fleur and Vito, noting the decision had been ‘really difficult’ with such stiff competition.

He said: “I’ve done a lot of these darling! I found it so hard because both couples are extraordinary and I want to see both couples in the final but that can’t be so.”

Motsi then made the same decision and chose to save Fleur and Vito based on ‘micro details’, saying: “This season has been challenging, it has been very close every single show and tonight it has not been any different.

“It is proof of your quality, it is proof of your championship, you can be proud of yourself.”

However, Anton Du Beke then chose to save Will and Nancy based on the ‘fine detail’ of the dance off and an error he said Fleur and Vito had made with a lift dismount.

The judges delivered their verdicts on which couple would stay (BBC/Guy Levy)

Head judge Shirley then had the casting vote and chose to save Fleur and Vito, noting that both were ‘outstanding’.

She said: “I have loved both of them, this is by far, even for me Craig, the most difficult decision I feel I have had to make.”

Host Tess Daly then asked for Will’s final thoughts on the show and he first thanked Strictly for giving him the opportunity to put a smile on his mum’s face.

He said: “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.

The remaining four couples will take to the dancefloor next week (BBC/Guy Levy)

“Thank you all so much, we really, really appreciated every bit.”

Nancy similarly thanked everyone working on the BBC One ballroom dancing show, saying they had had an ‘amazing journey’.

She said: “The support from the whole team is just phenomenal. I’m proud of the partnership, we’ve had such an amazing journey together. I really wish I could make more memories with you and your family.”

Will added: “Anyone watching this show, the people that work on this show, the crew, the make up team, the wardrobe team, the judges, the contestants, this is an unbelievable journey.

“If you get the chance to get on this floor then do it, it’s unbelievable this place.”

The Strictly results show saw hitmaker Lewis Capaldi perform his latest single Pointless, alongside a stunning routine from professional dancers Giovanni Pernice and Katya Jones.

The remaining four couples will take to the dancefloor next week for the final time in the hopes of becoming the pair to lift the Glitterball Trophy when Strictly Come Dancing : The Final airs live on December 17.

Strictly returns for the final at 7.15pm on Saturday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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