14:38 EST, 9 December 2012
04:03 EST, 10 December 2012
Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne became the ninth star to leave Strictly Come Dancing after the judges chose to save competition favourite Denise Van Outen.
Nicky, partner Karen Hauer and the six remaining couples took to the dance floor in a final bid to book their places in the semi-final but a combination of viewer votes and the judges scores left Byrne, 34, and Denise, 38, at the mercy of the judges as the lowest scoring couples.
The handsome father of two’s exit came after he found himself in the bottom two for the second consecutive week. On Saturday night he failed to impress judges with his fusion dance to Olly Murs’ song Troublemaker.
Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing his way out of there: Nicky Byrne and his partner Karen Hauer were kicked off Strictly on Sunday night’s show
The singer looked suave in a pin-striped suit as he performed his combination of the Quickstep and the American Smooth but judge Craig Revel Horword said: ‘There wasn’t any bounce – your posture was awful in the American Smooth.’
And he prophetically added: ‘I suspect that we’re going to be seeing that dance again.’ With just a score of five from Craig, Nicky found himself at the bottom of the leader board.
Denise got her heel caught in her dress during her routine with partner James Jordan which was a combination of a Jive and a Quickstep. Head judge Len Goodman loved the routine: ‘The quickstep had show and the jive had go.’
We had a ball: The Westlife singer was seen hugging Louis Smith as he bowed out of the competition
Tough spot: Nicky find himself in the bottom two along with Denise Van Outen
‘You were going at the speed of light. Apart from that moment when you caught yourself, it was superb,’ said Bruno Tonioli.
But the viewer votes and combination of judges’ scores was not enough to save them from the dreaded dance-off.
After both couples had performed for a second time on Sunday night the judges unanimously chose to save Denise and partner James Jordan.
Showing off his moves: The singer’s efforts in the dance off didn’t win over the judges
Putting her best foot forward: Denise was disappointed to be in the bottom two but the judges chose to save her
Darcey conceded: ‘They were both very strong performances but I’m going to save Denise and James.’ As did Bruno calling Denise and James ‘the outstanding couple.’
Nicky said of his Strictly experience: ‘It has been just so much fun. It is the biggest and best show in the world. To come out every Saturday night is hard but it’s playing a different character, doing a different dance – it’s just been amazing.
And he paid tribute to his dance partner: ‘Karen, every week, every day has been incredible. We had a bit of a shaky start in terms of judges and stuff, but we just seemed to improve.
Emotional: Nicky’s partner Karen became upset when the judges failed to save them following the dance off
‘I have to say thank you to the judges – you have been absolutely amazing with all your advice, all the people backstage – even the people that get you your coffee – I am going to miss the whole thing it’s been an amazing experience.’
Karen who joined the show this season, described dancing with Nicky as ‘amazing’ and said she could not have wished for a better celeb [partner].
Denise faces strong competition from Olympian Louis Smith, actress Dani Harmer and Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh who bagged a perfect score of four 10s from the judges, the highest score of the series so far.
The Girls Aloud star got a standing ovation from the audience after her combination of the Chachacha and the Tango to It’s Raining Men.
Described as ‘the dance of the season’ by Bruno Tonioli, the singer topped the leaderboard.
On Sunday’s Results show, Grammy award-winning singer Michael Buble performed It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.
Next week Strictly Come Dancing is on Saturday 15th December at 6.30pm with the results show on Sunday 16th December at 7.30pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.