UPDATED: Biggest and best night in Blackpool's ballroom

The floor-stomping opening number of Strictly Come Dancing at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The floor-stomping opening number of Strictly Come Dancing at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

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It was a real ballroom blitz.

Producers had promised 'the biggest and best Strictly seaside special to date'.

The Strictly Come Dancing cast say goodbye to eliminated dancer Jamelia in Sunday night's show, at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The Strictly Come Dancing cast say goodbye to eliminated dancer Jamelia in Sunday night's show, at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

And with a bumper cast of extras, special effects and the wonderful location, they delivered – and more.

The BBC's top billing Saturday night show, Strictly Come Dancing gave audiences at home and in the dazzling Tower Ballroom a gloriously glitzy celebration of dance.

The show opened in brilliant style, with an Upstairs Downstairs-themed routine that made anyone of a delicate disposition feel a little queasy when the famously sprung floor got bouncing under the feet of the eight celebrities and their partners, the previously eliminated professional dancers, lindy-hop specialists and more.

Those who maybe thought the talk of the ballroom's bouncy floor was exaggerated were soon muttering: "Wow did you feel it?" as the dance ended.

Jamelia and Tristan MacManus, who performed in the dance off

Jamelia and Tristan MacManus, who performed in the dance off

Bury-born ex-Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote was the true Northern star of the night, topping the leader board with 38 points from the judges after a heavenly American smooth to Whitney Houston ballad I Have Nothing – which opened with her descending on to the floor from a crescent moon, under a 'star-lit sky' created by light bands among the audience.

Judge Bruno Tonioli declared it 'pure ballroom bliss' while Darcey Bussell said she was 'gliding through this competition'.

At other end of the celebs was singer Peter Andre, scoring just 29 for his flat-footed jive to Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High.

But it was singer and Loose Women panellist Jamelia and her professional partner who lost our in the dance off against Andre and his partner Janette Manrara.

Peter Andre and Janette Manrara who performed in the dance off

Peter Andre and Janette Manrara who performed in the dance off

Jamelia told presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman her Strictly experience had been 'fantastic'.

"I'm sorry to go. I do have to say I've had the most fantastic time. I've made the most amazing set of friends, I've danced at the Tower Ballroom and I've danced with Tristan MacManus a million times."

The TV personality had been crowned 'queen of the dance-off' after surviving the dreaded test for the bottom two celebrities for a fourth time last week against broadcaster Jeremy Vine, but ranked second from bottom with the judges scoring her 31 points for the quickstep in Blackpool.

"I thought I was only going to get to week three and be gone, but I'm here at the Tower Ballroom and made it to Blackpool. I'm happy," the 34-year-old said.

Anita Rani in dancers

Anita Rani in dancers

Elsewhere in the battle of the ballroom, singer Jay McGuiness saw a return to form with his vibrant salsa to track Cuba scoring 36, and Countryside presenter Anita Rani created tension at the Tower with her paso doble to Malaguena, with 37 points – including a 10 from Darcey.

On an equal footing was actress Kellie Bright, also scoring 37 for her 9 To 5 quickstep, while actress Helen George struggled a touch with her 34-point Charleston, and presenter Katie Derham wowed in an American smooth to score 35.

Off screen between dances the operation to change the props and set for every dance was something to behold; beyond military and completed without a moment's hesitation to ramp up the scenes seen at home.

Throughout the broadcast, there were shots of the town's many attractions, proving once more that Strictly's Blackpool bonanza is the ultimate money-can't-buy advert for the resort - with 10.3million people (44.7per cent of viewers) tuning in last night.

Kellie and former professional competition dancer Kevin Clifton made a trip to the British National Championships at the Winter Gardens' equally-dazzling Empress Ballroom, while Georgia and Giovanni Pernice took a whirl on the Big One, and Anita Rani revisited her childhood Pleasure Beach trips.

Judge, former prima ballerina Darcey Bussell hailed the night, saying: "It was bigger than ever and they all put so much effort in.

Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice

Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice

"Having all the extra professionals too, it’s bigger than any West End show could produce, and in this spectacular ballroom it adds something really special.

"The public and the dancers all rose to the occasion.

"It's such a treat for everyone."

David Davis from South Shore, Blackpool, said the night was 'bigger than previous years' with 'so much more in it', and wife Paula added: "It was a good show, they don't spare the budget when they come to Blackpool."

Leigh Smith had travelled from Birmingham for the night with husband David.

"It has been great," she said. "It was on the bucket list to see Strictly live, so I've ticked it off now.

"It's wonderful to get so close to people you have enjoyed watching every week."

After a seven-hour drive from Luton, Jennie Stavrou was excited to be in the ballroom – having applied for tickets to see a live Strictly broadcast for eight years.

"It's brilliant, excellent," she said. "I can't believe I'm here, and sat next to people who've applied once – that's the luck of it."

Ann Knibbs came from Hyde, Manchester, for the night and said: "I loved it, it was absolutely wonderful."

Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke

Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke

Judges Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli

Judges Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli