Belfast Telegraph

Gavel falls on Judge Rinder's time in Strictly

Judge Rinder has shuffled out of Strictly Come Dancing after losing a dance off with sports presenter rival Ore Oduba.

But the departing TV star said it was "a joy" to take part in the show and urged everyone to try the toe-tapping pastime.

He became the 11th contestant to leave the show alongside his professional partner Oksana Platero, with the judges voting unanimously to save Oduba and his partner Joanne Clifton after each pair performed their routines again.

The judges' scores were combined with the results of the viewers' vote to decide the two lowest scoring couples to face each other in the dance off.

Rinder and Platero did an energetic samba to 'Oh! What a Night!' from Jersey Boys, while Oduba and Clifton did their foxtrot to 'Pure Imagination' from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as part of the musicals theme.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood said Oduba and Clifton had "better technique" and Darcey Bussell praised the duo's "artistry and technique".

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli also preferred their performance to that of Rinder and Platero.

Rinder thanked Platero and those involved in the show for having "so much love" for it.

He said: "It's a joy to be here, every single person, there's too many people to thank but I even want to thank the judges.

"You are never too old to try something new and everyone should try dancing, thank you so much."

Platero said her first season on the show had been an "unforgettable time".

The remaining four couples, including celebrity dancers Claudia Fragapane, Danny Mac, Louise Redknapp and Oduba, will be back on Saturday for the semi-final, ahead of the next results show on Sunday night.

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