Reverend Richard Coles has said he “can’t quibble” with the judges’ decision as he became the second Strictly Come Dancing contestant to leave the show.
The priest and former popstar, 55, said he was sorry to go so soon, but admitted that he “really can’t dance”.
His eviction came on Sunday night’s result show, when he and partner Diane Buswell brought their Flash Gordon-inspired Paso Doble back the stage in a dance-off against Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton.
While both pairs were the lowest scorers following the judges results and public vote on Saturday, the panel unanimously agreed to save the TV chef – almost unrecognisable in his Buzz Lightyear costume.
Having scored the lowest mark of 14 on Saturday’s leaderboard, the reverend said: “I’m very sorry to go because I’ve loved every minute of it, especially being with Di and learning from a real master of her art.
“It’s been wonderful, but I can’t really dance so I can’t really quibble with the judges’ decision.”
He continued: “It’s just wonderful to come together with a group of people you’ve never met before, and have such an intensely joyous experience. So many people working so hard to just make the most out of it is just a joy and I’ll remember it forever.”
After watching them again, judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell agreed that they “loved” Rev Coles’ entertainment value, but the technical points had to be awarded to Rimmer and Clifton.
His brief stint on the show also made for a short Strictly debut for professional newcomer Buswell.
But she showed no hard feelings as she said: “I’m super proud of what he’s done, he’s a non-dancer and he’s come out here and he did everything I said to him and was not afraid of it which was amazing. I could not be more proud of him.”
Following their last dance, she told viewers: “I have had the time of my life and he is a friend for life.”
Strictly’s movie weekend delighted viewers with Hollywood-inspired special performances. While Saturday’s show opened with a group tribute to Oscar-winning musical La La Land, Sunday’s episode welcome Sheridan Smith to the stage for a rendition of My Man from Funny Girl.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One an 6.45pm on Saturday as the remaining 13 couples take to the dancefloor for the next stage of the competition.