Blackpool ballroom puts the soul into Strictly as latest celebrity leaves the show

Paralympic gold medalist Jonnie Peacock's race to the Strictly Come Dancing final has come to a halt, under the shimmering lights of Blackpool Tower.

Sunday, 19th November 2017, 8:00 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:02 pm
Debbie and Giovanni faced the dance off

The athlete became the eighth celebrity to leave the show, after facing one of the series' favourites Debbie McGee in the dance off.

Breaking up the tension of the results show was a stunning performance of New York, New York by local lad Alfie Boe and Michael Ball, and the show opened with a huge Northern Soul-inspired group performance - featuring specialists in the dance phenomenon as well as break dancers and the regular Strictly cast.

Alfie's arrival in the Tower Ballroom to film the number received rapturous applause and cheering from the audience, as it was revealed by the warm up host that Blackpool born Alfie once worked there.

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Jonnie and Oti faced the dance off

After receiving the viewers' votes, Jonnie and Debbie took to the Tower Ballroom's famous sprung floor one more time, for Jonnie to dance his techno tango with partner Oti Mabuse and Debbie her Spice Girls samba with Giovanni Pernice.

All the judges chose to keep Debbie in the competition, Craig praising her 'technical cleanliness and outstanding performance skill' and Bruno saying they were the 'much stronger' couple overall.

Jonnie said: "It’s been an absolute honour to be the first disabled person and I want to thank each and every one of you for judging me as an equal. That’s what I want.

"You’ve been critical with me and I want that criticism; and I think that’s fantastic and hope it paves the way for more people to come through and I think they may be able to stick their bum under a bit better than me.

Jonnie and Oti faced the dance off

"I need to say an absolutely gigantic thank you to this woman [Oti] for pushing me because she knows what I’m capable of. Her choreography has been has been outstanding, and for putting up with me, pinching me, biting me - thank you so much."

Oti added: "This has been one of the most life changing things that could ever happen to me. Jonnie is not only an inspiration but he represents so much more. If anybody wants to do anything, if you put your mind to it then you can achieve it and that’s what he represents."