'It's upsetting' - Laura Whitmore becomes seventh celebrity to be booted off Strictly
Laura Whitmore has said it has been "brilliant to even get this far" after becoming the seventh celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing.
The Irish TV presenter, (31), had struggled slightly with her Samba to Gipsy Kings' Bamboleo with dance partner Giovanni Pernice, coming in joint second-to-last on the leader board during Saturday night's live show.
She faced BBC sports presenter Ore Oduba and his partner Joanne Clifton in the dance-off after the public's votes were combined with their scores from the judges - 32 for Whitmore, and 34 for Oduba.
Both couples repeated their dances for a second time and the judges unanimously opted to save Oduba, sending Whitmore home.
Craig Revel Horwood commented that Oduba and Clifton's dance - a Salsa to Turn The Beat Around by Vicki Sue Robinson - was the "dance of the night", and Darcey Bussell agreed that theirs was a "finished performance".
Bruno Tonioli added: "First off, let me say this wasn't a dance off, it was a dance treat. You both danced with such vibrancy, energy and entertainment value, it's like splitting hairs here. We didn't put you there, if you didn't vote, don't moan. But I have to pick one out of the two that in a way outshone everyone else, and that couple was Ore and Joanne."
Head judge Len Goodman agreed that he too would have opted to send home Whitmore and Pernice.
Whitmore has said that, while it is "upsetting" to leave Strictly, she is going to stay in touch with her co-stars.
"It's such a great opportunity to be part of this and make so many friends and I've really enjoyed my time with Giovanni and learning so much," she said.
"It was kind of like being back at school again which was really nice and refreshing, it's been brilliant and to even get this far, I'm so proud of myself."
Whitmore returned to the Strictly dance floor last weekend after missing the previous show due to sustaining an ankle injury.
Following her return, she managed to top the scoreboard with a Tango and received her highest total ever, 36.
But her latest routine saw her stumble over one of the moves, leaving her to fight back the tears while apologising to Pernice.
Returning after nearly having to pull out of the series was a high for her, though, as she said: "Two weeks ago I couldn't walk because I'd injured myself and to be able to come back here for two weeks has been lovely."
Louise Redknapp fared well this weekend, coming out on top with the series' first Argentine Tango.
The former Eternal star and her dance partner Kevin Clifton scored three 10s from the judges to get a total of 39.
Ex-shadow chancellor Ed Balls managed to beat his series-best score from last week, but he still landed himself at the bottom of the scoreboard with 27 points.
Mr Balls and his professional partner Katya Jones were dressed as Laurel and Hardy for their Quickstep to Help! by The Beatles.
Other show highlights included actor Danny Mac receiving two 10s for his sizzling Jive to Little Richard's Long Tall Sally and Olympian Greg Rutherford impressing the judges with his Viennese Waltz.
:: The remaining eight couples will continue to compete on the dance floor when Strictly Come Dancing returns next Saturday at 6.55pm on BBC One.