Eight dancing celebrities are Blackpool bound for Strictly Come Dancing’s glitziest show of the series.
The weekend’s episodes saw Jeremy Vine voted off, after a bottom two dance off against Jamelia.
But that wasn’t without countless references to the hallowed Blackpool Tower Ballroom, where crews will be moving in for the show today.
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman even joked about the repeated references, and a game played by the show’s viewers drinking each time the resort is mentioned.
Topping Saturday’s leaderboard with 39 points for their Chicago-themed Charleston was ex-Coronation Street actress, and Lancastrian, Georgia May-Foote.
In the night’s opening VT, she said winning a place in Blackpool was ‘so important’, ‘being a Northerner’,
After her showstopping performance with professional Giovanni Pernice, head judge Len Goodman offered her some ‘advice’, saying: “Take a coat to Blackpool, because it gets very cold,” predicting her place in the northern episode.
Also in the opening sequence, journalist Jeremy Vine admitted he felt ‘massive pressure’ to have a ‘breakthrough to get to Blackpool – after regularly being scored worst in the contest, with no difference on Saturday as he got 21 for his quickstep with dancer Karen Clifton.
Early frontrunner, The Wanted star Jay McGuinness said it would have been the ‘most devastating week to leave’, before joking ‘where are my flip-flops?’.
Claudia kept the Blackpool jokes coming, as she encouraged viewers to vote, with quips including: “If you want to see Gleb chased all over town by Blackpool hen parties, then call,” and asking whether presenter Katie Derham’s romantic rhumba with Anton Du Beke ‘lead to a romantic weekend in Blackpool?’.
Loose Woman and singer Jamelia spoke of a recent trip to Blackpool with her daughters, Call The Midwife actress Helen George said there was ‘no room for getting a single step wrong’ with Blackpool at stake, and EastEnders actress Kellie Bright ‘really really’ wanted to get to Blackpool.
After Vine and partner Karen Clifton performed their Quickstep to Going Underground by The Jam again, the judges decided to save Jamelia.
Vine said: “I was beginning to get nervous that at some point I would knock out a good dancer, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that to be perfectly honest. I didn’t ever lark about, I really wanted to learn to dance.”
He said he will definitely keep on dancing and has promised his wife they will waltz, or even tango, at the next wedding they attend.
The BBC 1 Saturday night ratings winner with broadcast live from the Tower Ballroom on Saturday night, followed on Sunday by the results show.
Take That will perform their new single Hey Boy during the weekend.
n Follow The Gazette all this week for the build up.