Strictly announces eighth celebrity elimination during Blackpool Week

strictly come dancing couples line up on stage in blackpool tower ballroom
Strictly announces Blackpool Week eliminationGuy Levy - BBC

Strictly Come Dancing spoilers follow.

Strictly Come Dancing hosted a spectacle of a show at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, bringing all of the glitz and glamour to the coveted ballroom floor.

Whilst judge Craig Revel Horwood seemingly forgot to pack his 10 paddle for some showstopper performances, two couples (Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola and Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin) found themselves vying for top place with 39 points, whilst Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington were in bottom place with 28 points.

Following the public vote, Angela and Kai had to dance to survive another week against Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell. Comparing Angela's serene American Smooth to Bobby's bouncy Jive, all four judges decided to save Bobby and Dianne, meaning Angela and Kai became the eighth pairing to leave the competition.

bobby, dianne, angela and kai stand under spotlight son ballroom floor in blackpool for strictly 2023
Guy Levy - BBC

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Reflecting on her time on Strictly, Angela said: "I have to tell you that the last nine weeks have probably been the most terrifying, the most fantastic, the most glorious, the most joyful that I have spent for a very long time in my profession."

Having returned to the Blackpool ballroom after presenting Come Dancing there over 40 years ago, Angela spoke on the poignant moment of experiencing the other side of the show by dancing in the special setting.

"People keep making reference to the fact that I presented Come Dancing, but that was 40 years ago, that was a different time! [Kai] wasn't even born then! But actually being this side of the competition, this side of the programme, has been really an eye opener for me in so many different ways. Everybody talks about the team and all the pros – everyone who has danced – there is a real team spirit in this programme unlike anything I've come across anywhere else in any of the many programmes I've done. It's absolutely fabulous. They support us, they encourage us all the time – it's absolutely wonderful."

Turning to her partner, Angela praised Kai for the care he had taken in making the experience so special for her: "[Kai]'s an old soul on young shoulders. He has looked after me so brilliantly, he's a wonderful dancer, a great choreographer, but he's a terrific teacher… and he has the patience of a saint! All I can say is that he's got me here so don't you dare cry! He and his partner, Nadiya, are in every sense of the word beautiful people and I am so pleased to have you in my life."

tess talks to angela and kai on the ballroom floor after their elimination from strictly
Guy Levy - BBC

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An emotional Kai returned the sentiment, calling Angela "amazing" and saying they've developed a deep friendship.

"Dancing with you the whole way through this competition has just been such a celebration of yourself and your life. I'm so proud of you and you should be proud of yourself, it's been my absolute honour and pleasure to dance with you, especially in this beautiful ballroom."

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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