The competition is quickly reaching a climax, with BBC Breakfast presenter and professional dance partner Nadiya Bychkova failing to impress with their tango to Santa Maria, by Gotan Project.
The judging panel, made up of Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke, chose to save AJ and Kai Widdrington – who performed a salsa to Rhyme Is Gonna Get You / Get On Your Feet.
All four judges opted to keep AJ and Kai in the competition, with Craig – who recently tipped Dan to win – stating: ‘Well I’ve got to say, Dan I think you did such a great job in the dance off, that’s the best I’ve ever seen you dance, ever! AJ, you totally nailed that last bit, that was fantastic, a dilemma, but the couple I am going to save is AJ and Kai.’
‘Well another strong dance off. It’s just an amazing year and to be part of the team I think is absolutely sensational,’ Motsi agreed. ‘Dan you did a great job, AJ you did, for me, the better job, and I’m saving AJ and Kai.’
‘Can I just say, it’s a thing to make the quarter finals of Strictly Come Dancing, and to pick this year of all years, to make the quarter finals would have guaranteed you a place in the final in any other year,’ Anton said.
‘It was an immense dance off, congratulations to both of you. You danced brilliantly, but the edge just goes, for me, to AJ and Kai.’
Head judge Shirley added: ‘On this performance alone, I would have saved AJ and Kai.’
Discussing their time on the dance floor, Dan took a moment to heap praise on his competitors, telling Tess Daly: ‘By the way I would have saved AJ and Kai as well!
‘The last 11 weeks have been absolutely amazing, I’ve genuinely loved every second of it. When I go back to the first day when I was asked to dance in front of some glitter balls, at that point, if there had been a fire exit, I’d have just walked away. But this amazing woman grabbed me by the hand, and brought me out onto this dance floor.
‘I’m not a dancer, but she showed me that I can dance, and that for me, this has been an absolutely incredible experience. Thank you to the judges, your feedback every week has been brilliant, and really constructive and helpful, and everyone over there, my fellow competitors, have been brilliant.
‘The four people left are so good, as you say, the standard has been amazing, it’s been a pleasure for me to watch them dance each week, and thank you to all the pros for being so kind, caring and encouraging.
‘Plus everyone who works on this programme, it’s a pleasure to be a part of a show that means so much to so many people.’
Turning his attention to dance pro Nadiya, he added: ‘I also want to mention this amazing woman next to me, there are some people who walk into your life and turn some lights on, and that’s what she has done to me.
‘You’re an amazing person, and if you’ll have me, you’ll have a friend for life Nadiya Bychkova.’
The pro responded: ‘Like he said, sometimes the right person walks into your life at the right time and that’s what happened. You always encourage everyone, you always have time for everyone, it just inspires me to be a better person myself. Thank you.’
After watching their best bits, Dan concluded: ‘I’ve loved it, I don’t think ill dance all the time, but the one thing that will be different, is that I won’t not dance anymore. So thank you for having me, it’s been brilliant!’
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.05pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.