Strictly Come Dancing: Ed Balls leaves programme – BBC News

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Image caption Balls played a male model in his Saturday night tango

Ed Balls has become the 10th celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing, saying he had had a “wonderful time” during his improbable run on the show.

The former Labour shadow chancellor lost a dance-off on Sunday night to Judge Robert Rinder.

Balls had been the show’s surprise star despite often being at the bottom of the leaderboard but this week, the public vote failed to save him.

Meanwhile, controversial rapper Honey G was eliminated from ITV’s X Factor.

‘Complete blast’

Balls and Rinder competed in the dance-off, both reprising their routines from Saturday night’s show.

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Image caption Judge Robert Rinder was saved in the dance-off

The ex-politician and his professional partner Katya Jones danced their tango to (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, while Rinder and his professional partner Oksana Platero performed their rumba to Lean On Me by Bill Withers.

All four judges decided to save Rinder for another week, with both Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell citing “technical” ability.

Bruno Tonioli added: “Well, I have to choose the better dancers. Judge Rinder and Oksana.”

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Image caption Not everyone achieved such high scores

Balls told Strictly co-presenter Tess Daly: “If people watching have had half the fun I’ve had learning to dance with Katya then they must have had a complete blast because it’s been such a fabulous thing.

“The judges, all the supporters, the make-up team, the wardrobe, in particular that band are the best in the world. It’s just wonderful.”

But his highest praise came for his partner and the voting public.

“Above all the only reason we have been able to learn and to entertain is because of Katya, and it’s her first series. She is going to go on to be a total dynamite, knock-out Strictly star, she is just the best there is. Absolutely amazing. She is utterly brilliant.

“And to all the people who have kept me in this long, thank you very much, I’m very grateful. I’ve had a wonderful time.”

Saturday night’s leaderboard was topped by two couples – Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac and partner Oti Mabuse, and singer Louise Redknapp and partner Kevin Clifton.

Redknapp said Balls would be “hugely missed”, adding: “I think he was such a big personality around here and all of us really looked forward to watching Ed’s numbers each week.”

Mac said if people were asked about Strictly in 2016 “they are going to say two words – Ed Balls”.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute to Balls, with whom he clashed many times in the House of Commons, tweeting: “Well done @edballs – we’re very proud of you! #Strictly won’t be the same without you.”

Others who paid tribute to Balls on Twitter included his wife, Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who tweeted: “Always knew @edballs would love doing #strictly, never does anything by halves. Just glad so many other people have enjoyed it with him”

And Nick Robinson, the former BBC political editor and presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme, referenced the ongoing Brexit situation by tweeting: “How’s about a second referendum on Edxit? @edballs @SCD_UK #strictly”

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Image caption The former prime minister joined the Twitter tributes to Balls, whom he clashed with in the Commons
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Image caption Balls’s wife, Yvette Cooper, said she had known her husband would enjoy the programme
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Image caption Katya Jones, who partnered Balls on the show, said she cried after they were voted off the competition
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Image caption The tweet by the BBC’s former political editor included a nod to the ongoing Brexit situation

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Image caption Danny Mac and his partner Oti Mabuse wowed the judges with their top scoring samba

Mac and Mabuse had the highest score from the judges, with four 10s for their samba.

But Redknapp won the show’s first ever Cha Cha Challenge, which saw all six couples dance at the same time. The win added six points to her score and brought her and Clifton level with Mac and Mabuse for the top spot.

The other two couples to make it through were Olympian Claudia Fragapane and her partner AJ Pritchard, and BBC Sport presenter Ore Oduba and his partner Joanne Clifton.

The five remaining couples will return to the dancefloor in the quarter-final on Saturday 3 December at 19:00 GMT, with the results show on Sunday 4 December at 19:20 on BBC One.

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Image caption Controversial rapper Honey G was eliminated from the X Factor after a sing-off with boy band 5 After Midnight

Meanwhile, Honey G has been voted off X Factor after a sing-off with boy band 5 After Midnight.

Considered by many to be the novelty act in this year’s competition, Honey was eliminated after judges Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell all chose to save the boy band.

Her performances have drawn criticism, with singer Lilly Allen describing her as a “white lady that dresses up in Ali G, Goldie Lookin Chain kind of attire” and rapper Professor Green saying she was “taking the right mickey out of rap”.

On Saturday, police were called to the set of the show after a man ran up behind Honey G and tried to touch her as the judges were giving her feedback.

Honey, whose real name is Anna Georgette Gilford, said on Sunday that the show had been a “completely life-changing experience”.

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