Alex Scott and Neil Jones have missed out on a place in Strictly Come Dancing’s semi-finals as they became the latest couple to leave the series.
Sports star Scott and professional partner Jones landed in Sunday night’s dance-off alongside comedian Chris Ramsey and partner Karen Hauer.
They performed their samba to Joyful Joyful from the Sister Act musical, which had earned them the lowest score of the night (27) during Saturday’s musicals-themed quarter-finals.
Head judge Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli opted to save Ramsey and Hauer while Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse named Scott and Jones as the couple they wanted to save.
Ballas, who has the final deciding vote, said: “This is a very, very difficult decision. Both couples danced extremely well and, for me, it’s going to go personal taste, and I’m going to go with the couple that I felt had the most content and more powerfully entertaining, and therefore I am saving Chris and Karen.”
Tonioli said the “stronger overall, more convincing, powerful entertaining couple is Chris and Karen”, who performed their foxtrot to Consider Yourself from Oliver!
Revel Horwood said he had “loved the refreshing fusion of this particular dance and the fact that the dance was performed very, very well” when he named Scott and Jones as his couple to save.
Speaking to Strictly host Tess Daly, Scott said: “I’ve been a fan of Strictly forever, so to even be here and dance here every week.
“I’ve loved every moment and I have to thank everyone, and everyone behind the scenes to make this show work.
“I’ve literally lived out another dream – I had football and then this chapter. I have to thank my dance partner, he’s incredible. Thank you to everyone.
“I’m proud of the whole process, I’m proud of the struggle and I’m proud that people got to see me. Thank you for having me.”
Professional dancer Jones said of Scott: “I’ve been so lucky because I got a partner. And, I got you, you were the best. You were so good. She’s taught me so much.”
According to overnight ratings provided by the BBC, the show’s quarter final was watched by an average of 9.4 million viewers, with a peak audience of 10.4 million.
Highlights from the Saturday night episode included Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden scoring the first perfect score for the current series for their jive.
During the opening number, professional dancers Anton Du Beke and Kevin Clifton showed off their vocal talents while Revel Horwood appeared in drag at the conclusion.
Scott and Jones will appear on Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two on Monday night.