- Newsreader Kate Silverton and pro partner Alijaz Skorjanec become eighth couple eliminated from Strictly 2018
- Cricketer Graeme Swann survived the dreaded dance-off for third time
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The Blackpool results show saw newsreader Kate Silverton join Danny John-Jules, Dr Ranj, Seann Walsh, Vick Hope, Katie Piper, Lee Ryan and Susannah Constantine on the sequin-spangled scrapheap.
Here are all the talking points and social media reaction from Sunday night…
It was time for Kate Silverton to go
If 48-year-old BBC newsreader Kate Silverton wasn’t eliminated at Blackpool, she was surely bound to exit next weekend. So, as she sagely said in her farewell speech, where better to take your Strictly bow than the Tower Ballroom?
At a sporty 5ft 10in tall, Kate has sometimes looked ungainly but has thrown herself into the Strictly experience with admirable gusto. Her highlights reel includes her slinky, sultry Roget Rabbit foxtrot in Movie Week and last Saturday’s frothy white wedding quickstep.
She had become a regular down in the lower reaches of the leaderboard and only hauled her scores up to 30 points in the last two weeks, so deserves to go out around now.
Ultimately, she didn’t fare as well as some BBC news colleagues who’ve entered the hoofing contest - notably Natasha Kaplinsky, Chris Hollins and Katie Derham – but Kate was certainly no John Sergeant either. Justice was done.
Alijaz might be more missed than Kate
Smiley Slovenian pro Aljaž Škorjanec is a firm fan favourite and one of the better choreographers among the Strictly troupe, so he’ll be a loss to the latter stages of this year’s competition.
Still, he did well to steer Kate Silverton this far. An eighth-place finish matches his run with Daisy Lowe two series ago and she was a superior dancer to Kate.
Aljaž won his debut series in 2013 with Abbey Clancy and reached last year’s final with Gemma Atkinson, so could be due a top-ranking celebrity partner last year. He can also console himself with the fact that he lasted two weeks longer than wife Janette Manrara, who left a fortnight ago with Dr Ranj Singh.
Lauren Steadman had a narrow escape
Paralympian Lauren Steadman will be breathing the biggest sigh of relief in Blackpool tonight. She finished rock bottom of the scoreboard, five points behind Kate Silverton and seven behind Graeme Swann, but was lifted clear of the bottom two by viewer votes. This was only the second time this series that the lowest scorer survived.
She had a tricky dance with the Argentine tango but it lacked power, passion and flow, scoring just 25 points – not good enough in the final month of the competition. Yet she’s clearly got a loyal voting fanbase and survived Blackpool’s “curse of the Paralympians” after sprinter Jonnie Peacock bowed out here last year.
Lauren has been on one of the biggest journeys™ of this year’s field but she needs to bounce back strongly or she won’t survive the next fortnight.
Kate and Alijaz’s last dance
As the eliminated couple take a final turn around the Tower Ballroom floor to Bye Bye Baby by Bay City Rollers (wot no tartan?) and the other couples crowd in for the traditional group hug, please stay with us for analysis and social media reaction…
Kate says some more stuff
She thinks it’s the Oscars.
“Can I say a few thanks? As a viewer, you don’t realise just what it takes to put this programme on air. You guys as professionals work really really hard but it’s everybody behind the scenes as well – the runners, production crew, hair, wardrobe and make-up. So a big thank you to all of them and a thank you to tAljaz because I am so lucky to have had you as my teacher. We’ve become such good friends and you have just made this the most incredible experience.”
Yeah alright, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Alijaz returns the compliment
Kate’s emotional pro partner Mr Skorjanec says: “We started every single dance from scratch and I am so impressed. Every week going out there and delivering incredible performances, for someone that has never performed in her life, I am so incredibly proud of you. You have taught me so much, you’re such an incredible woman, you’re an incredible mother and it has been an amazing series.”
Kate says her goodbyes
In his exit interview, Kate tells Tess: “Actually, weirdly and perversely, going out on a night like tonight in such a place, I couldn’t have asked for anything better really. I got to dance twice, went up in a hot air balloon twice and I loved it twice. We’ve had 11 weeks and you have got me ballroom dancing. I am forever grateful to this man.”
Head judge Shirley Ballas agrees
The Queen of Latin says she would have also saved Graeme and Oti.
Kate Silverton is eliminated
So the newsreader becomes the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly 2018, after Danny John-Jules, Dr Ranj Singh, Seann Walsh, Vick Hope, Katie Piper, Lee Ryan and Susannah Constantine.
Bruno Tonioli choose to save…
Graeme and Oti, saying they “ gave the more accomplished and overall stronger performance”.
Darcey Bussell chooses to to save…
Graeme and Oti, saying: “This is really tough but it was a more energised and detailed performance.”
Craig Revel Horwood chooses to save…
Graeme and Oti, saying they had “ better technique and performance.” He voted against Swanny last week, so that’s a result for the cricketer.
Has Swanny got this in the bag?
Or the brolly? He scored two points more than Kate last night, so she needs to improve to close the gap. I’m not sure she is.
Kate takes her turn
Kate Silverton and Alijaz Skorjanec have another go at their American Smooth to ‘Everlasting Love’ by Love Affair.
The judges said last night that it lacked energy, while the lifts were graceless and grabby. Nice heart-shaped hot air balloon, though.
Swanny goes first in dance-off
Graeme Swann and Oti Mabuse reprise their Couple’s Choice (Theatre & Jazz) routine to “The Trolley Song” from Meet Me in St Louis.
The judges said last night that it was cheeky and charming but could have been sharper. Craig Revel Horwood said he was hitting ” child-like naive lines, darling”.
Kate Silverton in the dance-off
Newsreader Kate Silverton and her pro partner Alijaz Skorjanec are consigned to the dreaded dance-of for the first time. She finished second from bottom on the judges’ scoreboard, so perhaps not a shocker.
Who’ll face Swanny in the dance-off?
Dancing spotlight of doom again. Joe Sugg is through. Nanna Phyllis will be delighted. Stacey Dooley is safe too. So it’s either Kate Silverton or Faye Tozer...
Up to the Tower Ballroom’s temporary Clauditorium now for the weekly feature formerly known as Len’s Lens. Dear old Mr Goodman always loved it up in Blackpool. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Take That and Blackpool party
Musical interlude now, with “manband” Take That singing their new single Out Of Our Heads. It’s a jaunty little Sixties pop pastiche, with monochrome choreographic accompaniment.
They still don’t look right as a three-piece, do they? Come back, Robbie and Jason, and rescue us from the polonecks of doom.
Pasha’s Plaice, anyone?
Apron-clad pro dancer Mr Kovalev tells Claudia Winkleman that he might open a real fish and chip shop. Salt and vinegar and sequins on those?
Graeme Swann in dance-off
Cricketer-turned-pundit Graeme Swann and his partner Oti Mubuse will face the dreaded eliminator for the third time. He survived against Seann Walsh and Danny John-Jules. Can he do it again?
Time for the spotlight of doom. Safely through are a relieved and emotional Charles Venn. And Ashley Roberts, unsurprisingly. Pasha will be relieved he can remove that apron. And Lauren Steadman. Wow, she was bottom of the scoreboard by some distance.
Charles Venn in no vest
His six-pack got everyone a-flutter. Reminds me, I must do some sit-ups. I’ll start tomorrow.
Saturday’s show rewound
Last night’s live show gets recapped. Blackpool bonkersness! Craig and Darcey’s waxworks! Ashley Roberts’ 40-point jive! Gloria Leicester Fan! Giant sticks of rock!
Here come our co-hosts, so time for another seaside edition of our traditional fashion face-off. Claudia Winkleman’s in flouncy leopard print. Tess Daly’s back in metallic, this one a long-sleeved, boat-necked rose gold number. I think it’s a rare Tess double win this weekend.
It’s Italian dancefloor war
We open with a group dance from the Strictly professionals. It’s an epic showdown between the two Italian pros, . Graziano Di Prima and Giovanni Pernice.
Set in Gio’s bar, Graziano makes moves on his girlfriend Luba and 1940s-style Sicilian dance battle ensues. The dramatic routine incorporates elements of lindyhop, quickstep and jive.
And we’re off!
Roll clapalong credits. The Blackpool lights are about to go out for one of these couples.
And then there were seven
Tonight’s elimination will leave just seven celebrities standing in Strictly 2018. Less than half the field who started back in September. We really are in the home stretch now. Five minutes to wait…
Take That board the Blackpool bus
Musical guests tonight are Mancunian “manband” Take That. There’s also a razzle-dazzle group routine from the pro troupe.
Just 10 minutes until we go over to the Tower Ballroom…
Lauren Steadman looks most at risk
Paralympian Lauren Steadman was left propping up the Blackpool leaderbaord last night, cut five points adrift at the bottom.
She’ll be praying that viewer votes lift her clear of the bottom two because a dance-off could prove a dis-as-tah for her Strictly dreams. Fifteen minutes ’til showtime…
Who’ll be Blackpool’s dancing donkey?
Tonight sees the eighth elimination of Strictly 2018, as our eight surviving pro-celebrity pairs find out who has made the magnificent last seven and who’s doomed to face the dreaded dance-off.
On Saturday night’s Blackpool special, Ashley Roberts jived to the top of the leaderboard with the first perfect 40-point score of the series. In second spot, there was a three-way tie between Joe Sugg, Charle Venn and Faye Tozer .
At the foot of the scoreboard was Lauren Steadman after her Argentine tango flopped, with Kate Silverton second from bottom after a lumpy, bumpy American smooth.
The judges’ scores will be combined with the public vote tonight and the bottom two pairs will dance for survival – but will viewers agree with the judges? If not, Graeme Swann or even Stacey Dooley could come into choreographic contention.
The results show airs at 7.20pm on BBC One. We’ll be liveblogging from 7pm, providing build-up, rolling coverage, analysis and backchat from the cheap seats, so do join me and watch along with this blog.
And please join in too – you can email me on [email protected] telegraph.co.uk, tweet me on @michaelhogan or leave comments at the bottom of this blog. I’ll keep an eye on them all and report the highlights here.
Nearly time to staaaaart seaside eliminating!
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