Countdown presenter Rachel Riley was the fifth star to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing, losing the dance-off to the “gorgeous” Abbey Clancy.
She was unanimously given the boot by judges after the head-to-head battle with the model who has been touted as one of this year’s main contenders.
Strictly drew its biggest audience of the series so far with an average of 10 million tuning in on Saturday – maintaining its huge lead over ITV rival The X Factor, which drew 7.9 million viewers.
This was the second time Riley found herself in the bottom two with partner Pasha Kovalev.
They performed their American Smooth to Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, but it was not enough to save them.
Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli all chose to save Clancy, with head judge Len Goodman adding afterwards that he would also have voted the same way.
Looking back at her time on the show, Riley said: “I haven’t cried until now, I have made some amazing friends.
“I really enjoyed tonight, I really enjoyed yesterday’s dance so I’m really pleased to go out on a high.
“Abbey is just gorgeous, a gorgeous dancer, a gorgeous girl and I have no shame in getting knocked out to her.”
Riley said Clancy has “no confidence in herself at all” and is very nervous every week.
She added: “Abbey especially was really upset because we get on really, really well.”
The maths whizz said she has made some friends for life, describing everyone as “lovely”.
“I swapped numbers with lots of contestants and a lot of the dancers. Everyone was so nice,” she said.
Riley said all she wanted to do throughout the series was to improve, and was pleased with the judges’ comments about her performance.
She and Kovalev performed their ”best dance yet”, according to Goodman.
Revel Horwood welcomed them back into the competition, while Tonioli told Riley she had found her mojo.
The couple scored 30 – their highest score so far.
She now thinks the competition is “hard to call”, and said that if Clancy can find herself in the bottom two then it’s “anybody’s call”.