Charles Venn has become the tenth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing 2018.
The Casualty and EastEnders star was given the chop after finally being defeated in a dance-off.
Charles lost out to Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, who shockingly found herself at risk of leaving for the second week running despite being one of the favourites to win.
After performing his Rumba to Maria from West Side Story, the judges unanimously decided to save Ashley and her partner Pasha Kovalev.
But the most controversial part of the night came when Charles’ professional partner Karen Clifton appeared to make a dig at some of the other contestants.
When asked is she had any words for Charles, she said: "Oh Charles, I can only say that you have been the most humble, the most professional person who I’ve ever worked with.
"And thank you for always respecting me as a woman, as a friend and as a teacher, and I will never forget this journey that we had together."
Some Strictly fans thought she was taking aim at Seann Walsh and Katya Jones, who took the student and teacher relationship to another level with their drunken street snog.
It could also have been directed towards Ashley after rumours she is dating pro dancer Giovanni Pernice.
There were also links being made to Danny John-Jules, who left his partner Amy Dowden in tears during a training room clash.
When asked by Tess about his time on the show, Charles was full of praise for Karen and even thanked the judges for saving him in previous weeks.
The actor said: “Well, I have to say first before I go into highlights; I have to thank my family for all of their support because obviously without them I don’t know if I would have got through half of this. Before I go through dances or memories I have to pay extreme homage to this woman here because Karen Clifton turned me into a promising dancer. A promising dancer honestly! This woman has been by my side and supported me, she’s been strict, she’s been solid, she’s been caring and loving, sensitive, intuitive, and I’m adamant that without her I don’t know how I would have got to this level.”
“The most memorable moments for me would have to be the street dance because that was the first time anything like that had ever been done on the show, and of course the Samba – that was one of my highest scores. That was our highest score and the first time Karen ever got a 10. So of course those are definitely the most stand out moments.”
“I am so thankful and appreciative of this opportunity. I’ve learnt so much about myself. I now know I can do a bit of ballroom and Salsa. I’m so thankful. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you Strictly Come Dancing. Thank you to the voters. Thank you judges because you guys saved our butts a couple of times so thank you, thank you.”
Sadly, Charles lost out to Ashley after the dance-off veterans both found themselves in the bottom two.
Both couples performed their routines again, with Charles and Karen performing a Rumba to Maria from West Side Story, and Ashley and Pasha dancing their Quickstep to Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl.
After both couples had danced for a second time in a bid to impress the judges, they delivered their verdicts.
Craig Revel Horwood, who chose to save Ashley and Pasha, admitted it was a tough choice to make.
Craig said: “Well let me firstly say I truly loved both performances and of course, I hate saying the word ‘difficult’ but I have to. But for the most solid and technically demanding performance I’m going to choose Ashley and Pasha.”
Darcey Bussell also chose to save Ashley and Pasha and was faced with a tricky decision.
Darcey said: “This is horrible to make a choice between these two but the couple I would like to save on the pure complexity and brilliance of the dance is Ashley and Pasha.”
Bruno Tonioli sealed Charles and Karen’s fate when he chose to save Ashley and Pasha.
Bruno said: “First I would like to say thank you to both of you because you really gave wonderful, completely different but wonderful performances but I have to choose the performance that I thought was stronger, more accomplished, more complicated, and more exciting so I have to go for Ashley and Pasha.”
Head Judge Shirley Ballas said she agreed with her fellow judges and would have saved Ashley and Pasha.
Charles and Karen will be appearing on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two with Zoe Ball for their first interview live on Monday at 6.30pm on BBC Two.
The remaining five couples will take to the dancefloor next week when Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 6.35pm, with the results show on Sunday at 7.15pm on BBC One.
Strictly Come Dancing 2018
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