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Strictly's Claudia Fragapane 'in her element' after avoiding dance-off

Published 22/11/2016

Ed Balls and Katya Jones perform to Gangnam Style on Strictly Come Dancing.
Ed Balls and Katya Jones perform to Gangnam Style on Strictly Come Dancing.

Gymnast Claudia Fragapane has said she is "in her element" after surviving the Strictly Come Dancing dance-off on Sunday.

Speaking on the competition's BBC Two spin-off It Takes Two on Tuesday, she told presenter Zoe Ball: "I am literally in my element and I don't really want to come home, because I am loving every minute on here."

The 19-year-old clung on to her chances of reaching the final after beating fellow athlete Greg Rutherford, the last contestant to be eliminated, in Blackpool.

But she revealed she was still frustrated with mistakes she made in her dance, a jive to Hey Mickey with her partner AJ Pritchard.

Referring especially to a particular hand move, she said: "Beforehand I nailed it every single time, but for some reason I totally blanked it."

But her partner said Fragapane had performed like a "true professional", adding: "No-one at home even noticed, probably."

On Saturday's show the pair will perform an Argentine Tango to Justin Timberlake's Cry Me A River.

AJ teased fans: "The lifts are insane."

Meanwhile, Ed Balls and partner Katya Jones will be dancing a Tango to The Rolling Stones' (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

Earlier on Tuesday, the former shadow chancellor turned down an invitation to perform a dance-off with aspiring rapper Honey G.

Challenging him to a contest on the dancefloor this weekend, the controversial X Factor contestant said: " I'd like to challenge Ed Balls to a dance-off. Challenge me any day. He knows where I am."

But Balls, 49, suggested he would be steering clear of the North Weezy rapper and told ITV show Lorraine: "I have spent 10 weeks trying to avoid the dance-off. And so far I have.

"If I'm in the dance-off I'm out. So I'm afraid my answer is I'm trying to avoid the dance-offs.

"I'm probably the worst dancer (on Strictly) ... I'm really, really trying."

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