Faye Tozer has made it through another round of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing contest as cricketer Graeme Swann departed the show.
The former England bowler, 39, was the ninth celebrity to leave the BBC One show after a dance off with high-scoring Ashley Roberts.
Faye and partner Giovanni Pernice made it to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday night with their waltz which was performed to the tune of Dee C. Lee’s See the Day.
Head judge Shirley Ballas said to Faye, who lives in West Boldon with her family: “Well I can tell for sure this week you’ve put long hours of dedication into this because there were skills in this that we haven’t seen at all throughout the competition.”
Ex-Pussycat Doll Roberts, 37, who found herself in the dance-off with professional partner Pasha Kovalev, dropped four points for this week’s samba routine after receiving a perfect score of 40 during the previous round in Blackpool.
All the judges said they would save Roberts, who has sparked some controversy for her level of previous dance experience.
And even Swann, who had stumbled during his routine on Saturday with professional partner Oti Mabuse, admitted: “I’d have voted for Ashley and Pasha as well. I can’t quite believe I was put against them.”
He said: “I was on borrowed time, unless I learnt to fly or something.”
He added: “This woman Oti... has just made me fall in love with this whole dance nonsense that I thought it was before.
“I absolutely adore you for that. I’ll never forget everything you taught and shouted at me for weeks and weeks... I’ve just had the best of times. I’ve had the worst of times.”
Mabuse said: “I’ve had the best season of my entire career on Strictly. I have never laughed so much, I’ve never been so angry so much.”
And she said: “We might not have been the best dancers but you have the spirit of Strictly.”
The judges’ scores were combined with the results of the viewers’ votes to decide the lowest scoring two couples facing the dance-off, with Swann performing his quickstep and Roberts her samba again.
Judges had been left baffled following a glitch as they tried to give points to the contestants for their combined lindyhop-athon.