Strictly: Shirley Ballas praises Dan Walker’s dance
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BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, 44, left this year’s Strictly Come Dancing tonight after performing a Tango on Saturday’s show, which was met with mixed feedback from the judges. On Sunday night, Dan found himself facing the dreaded dance-off opposite AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington. The panel decided it was time for the broadcaster to go, and he admitted he’d have saved his co-stars over himself as well. He also confessed he was close to leaving the show towards the beginning.
In response to Dan’s performance on Saturday night, the judges gave differing feedback.
Motsu Mabuse commented: “Well, at the beginning of the routine I was really mesmerised.”
She continued: “The second part of the routine, you kind of lost a little bit of control.”
After glowing comments from Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke stated: “I’m sorry, but it was a Tango. The opening – exquisite.
“You took hold and we go ‘let’s have a look at the Tango’, and it wasn’t your best.”
In Sunday’s results show, the judges unanimously voted to save AJ and Kai, leaving Dan narrowly missing out on a place in the semi-finals.
When asked by Tess Daly about his experience on the show, Dan admitted: “By the way, I would have saved AJ and Kai as well!
“The last 11 weeks have been absolutely amazing, I’ve genuinely loved every second of it.
“When I go back to the first day when I was asked to dance in front of some glitter balls, at that point, if there had been a fire exit, I’d have just walked away.”
He turned to his dance partner Nadiya Bychkova to thank her for her patience, adding: “But this amazing woman grabbed me by the hand, and brought me out onto this dance floor.
“I’m not a dancer, but she showed me that I can dance, and that for me, this has been an absolutely incredible experience.”
He went on: “Thank you to the judges, your feedback every week has been brilliant, and really constructive and helpful, and everyone over there, my fellow competitors, have been brilliant.
“The four people left are so good, as you say, the standard has been amazing, it’s been a pleasure for me to watch them dance each week, and thank you to all the pros for being so kind, caring and encouraging.
“Plus everyone who works on this programme, it’s a pleasure to be a part of a show that means so much to so many people.”
The presenter continued to show gratitude towards his dance partner, saying: “I also want to mention this amazing woman next to me, there are some people who walk into your life and turn some lights on, and that’s what she has done to me.
“You’re an amazing person, and if you’ll have me, you’ll have a friend for life Nadiya Bychkova.”
Following the dance-off, Craig Revel Horwood said it was his best performance yet.
The judge commented: “Well I’ve got to say, Dan, I think you did such a great job in the dance-off, that’s the best I’ve ever seen you dance, ever!
“AJ, you totally nailed that last bit, that was fantastic, a dilemma, but the couple I am going to save is AJ and Kai.”
Motsi agreed, adding: “Well another strong dance-off. It’s just an amazing year and to be part of the team I think is absolutely sensational.
“Dan you did a great job, AJ you did, for me, the better job, and I’m saving AJ and Kai.”
Anton remarked: “Can I just say, it’s a thing to make the quarter-finals of Strictly Come Dancing, and to pick this year of all years, to make the quarter-finals would have guaranteed you a place in the final in any other year.
“It was an immense dance-off, congratulations to both of you. You danced brilliantly, but the edge just goes, for me, to AJ and Kai.”
Head judge Shirley said she would have agreed with her fellow judges, and saved AJ and Kai.
Fans took to Twitter to respond to the latest elimination, with Dan’s BBC collgue Sally Nugent commenting: “So proud of our
@mrdanwalker and @NadiyaBychkova. They have both been brilliant from day one. I will miss them on #strictly.”
“I loved that final dance so much I’ll miss Dan #Strictly,” Peter shared.
Drama Queen Insomniac wrote: “The right decision in the dance-off. Dan had to go ! #Strictly.”
Becca penned: “Look I’m sure Dan is a lovely man. But there was no competition between him and the other dancers there. Sorry. #strictly.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.05pm on BBC One.
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