Belfast Telegraph

Underdog Ed Balls tangos his way off Strictly Come Dancing

The former Shadow Chancellor competed against Judge Rinder in the dance-off.

Ed Balls' time on Strictly Come Dancing came to an end on Sunday night (27Nov16) after 10 weeks on the competition.

The former Shadow Chancellor had been expected to be voted off early when he was announced as one of the contestants in the 2016 series. However, he proved the doubters wrong by impressing viewers week after week with his improved skills on the dance floor, and even looked likely to emerge the winner of the contest at one point.

But Ed exited the programme on Sunday after competing against Judge Rinder in the dance-off.

After all four judges decided to save Judge Rinder over Ed, the politician spoke of his joy after being involved in the show.

"If people watching have had half the fun I've had learning to dance with Katya then they must have had a complete blast because it's been such a fabulous thing," Ed told host Tess Daly.

"The judges, all the supporters, the make-up team, the wardrobe, in particular that band are the best in the world. It's just wonderful."

He added of his professional partner Katya Jones: "Above all the only reason we have been able to learn and to entertain is because of Katya, and it's her first series. She is going to go on to be a total dynamite, knock-out Strictly star, she is just the best there is. Absolutely amazing. She is utterly brilliant.

"And to all the people who have kept me in this long, thank you very much, I'm very grateful. I've had a wonderful time."

Following Ed's departure, his fellow competitor Louise Redknapp said he would be "hugely missed", adding: "I think he was such a big personality around here and all of us really looked forward to watching Ed's numbers each week."

Even former Prime Minister David Cameron praised Ed, writing on his Twitter: "Well done @edballs - we're very proud of you! #Strictly won't be the same without you."

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