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It's strictly Blackpool for Ed Balls as Daisy Lowe loses Heart

By Laura Harding

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls's pelvic thrusting and pony dancing on Strictly Come Dancing have secured him a ticket to Blackpool, as model Daisy Lowe became the eighth contestant to leave the show.

The ex-Labour MP stunned the judges with his salsa to Gangnam Style by Psy but landed at the bottom of the leaderboard.

However, the public vote secured him a place on the dancefloor for the BBC show's annual journey to Blackpool's Tower Ballroom next week.

Lowe lost out in a dance-off with long jump champion Greg Rutherford after performing her salsa to Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-lite with professional partner Aljaz Skorjanec for a second time.

The judges opted to save Rutherford after he impressed with his second attempt at a Paso Doble to Tamacun by Rodrigo y Gabriela.

Lowe told host Tess Daly: "I've loved every minute, everyone here is so unbelievable, you have no idea."

Turning to her partner, she added: "My hero, thank you for everything."

Skorjanec told Lowe that she had made his time on the show "unforgettable", saying: "Firstly thank you, you've been the most joyous in rehearsals."

Judge Bruno Tonioli said the dance-off between Lowe and Rutherford was a "clash of the titans" before opting to save Lowe.

Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell both opted to save Rutherford and his professional partner Natalie Lowe, with Bussell saying that both couples "upped their game beautifully" but saying Rutherford's "dynamic effect" had earned him his place.

Head judge Len Goodman had the casting vote.

He said: "Well, obviously, because it's a split decision that shows the closeness of this competition.

"However I have to go with my brain not my heart, and my brain tells me for a far more polished and technical performance I go with Greg and Natalie."

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