Strictly backlash: Fans slam Jacqui Smith elimination as Samba hailed ‘too tough’

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Strictly Come Dancing: The Results aired its first dance-off outcome tonight, which saw former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith wave goodbye to the competition after finding herself in the bottom two against Jamie Laing. Jacqui had been the bookmakers favourite to exit this week after scoring just 12 points last night and all three judges were unanimous on their decision to send the contestant home. However, some of those watching at home were left disappointed after noting she appeared to have been “drawn the short straw” by having to perform a difficult Samba in week two.

Last night, the 12 celebrities got the chance to extend their points total as their scores from week one rolled over.

Due to nobody being voted out in the first week of the competition, tonight’s show marked the all-important first elimination.

And it was Jacqui and Jamie who found themselves competing to remain in the competition. 

However, after both couples upped their game, it was Jamie who was given the chance to return for another week of dancing. 

Craig gave his verdict, choosing to save Made in Chelsea star Jamie first: Based purely on dance merit and what I thought was the better dance of the evening, I’d like to save Jamie and Karen.”

Fellow judge Motsi Mabuse said: “First of all I’d like to say that both couples did very well, I felt that both couples picked up a notch this time. 

“I just have to say that for me personally, I think that one couple was a little bit on a higher level so I’m going to save Jamie and Karen.” 

Head Judge Shirley Ballas also agreed to save Jamie, which meant Jacqui became the first star to leave the floor. 

Fans soon reacted to the result on Twitter, with one sharing: “Poor Jacqui, she didn’t stand a chance. But we’ll always have this moment. #Strictly.”

Another agreed: “I love Jacqui but really not a good move to do the Samba on week two  #Strictly.”

A third said: “Poor Jacqui, she got the short straw having to dance the Samba on week two #Strictly.”

“Yup, think the same. Feel for Jacqui as she is loving learning it all – Samba on week two was a harsh one for her #Strictly,” wrote a fourth.

Another added: “Aww poor @Jacqui_Smith1! It’s quite a tough year on #Strictly  (and in general) and she had a couple of tough dances.”

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Asked by host Tess Daly about her time on the popular show, Jacqui told viewers: “I had the greatest adventure it’s possible to imagine. 

“I’m just sorry I can’t continue it with this man who has been absolutely fantastic and gorgeous to be with. 

“But I don’t feel too much shame in losing to these guys because they are a fantastic bunch of dancers, they really are – so I’ll be watching you and supporting you.” 

Turning to her partner, she said to Anton: “I would like to say you have been just an absolute joy to be with. 

“I am so pleased and proud to have spent this time with you,” before thanking those working behind the scenes.

She continued: “To everybody on the programme, I don’t think people realise just how brilliant the team is that put this programme together and if ever we need Strictly, we need it now so thank you so much.”

And Anton was full of kind words for his partner, telling Jacqui: “Well I’ve loved every second of being in the studio with you.  

“We have laughed, you have a shocking sense of humour I can’t begin to tell you, you are just the best and I’ve loved it – thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

STRICTLY FACTBOX

STRICTLY COME DANCING WINNERS: A TIMELINE

2004 winner: Natasha Kaplinsky

Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky was the first celebrity to win the BBC dancing series, which originally aired in July of 2004. She was partnered with Brendan Cole. They finished 39 points ahead of competitor Christopher Parker.

2004 winner: Jill Halfpenny

Jill Halfpenny was the second star to impress the judges with her dancing skills. Partnered with Darren Bennett, the pair beat off competition from Julian Clary and Denise Lewis in December of 2004. 

2005 winner: Darren Gough

Cricketer Darren Gough won the third series of Strictly. He and partner Lilia Kopylova wowed audiences but never once finished at the top of the leaderboard.

2006 winner: Mark Ramprakash

Mark Ramprakash was the fourth star to lift the Glitterball Trophy. He was partnered with Karen Hardy and they were the first couple to restart a routine after their initial attempt saw Mark’s mic get caught in Karen’s dress.

2007 winner: Alesha Dixon

Before becoming a Strictly judge, Alesha Dixon won the nation’s hearts and the Glitterball Trophy during the fifth series. She was partnered with professional dancer Matthew Cutler.

2008 winner: Tom Chambers 

Holby City star Tom Chambers was partnered with Camilla Dallerup when he won the sixth series. He performed the Foxtrot and Salsa in the final week.

2009 winner: Chris Hollins

BBC Breakfast presenter Chris Hollins and his professional partner Ola Jordan surprised viewers when they beat Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe in the final. They wowed with the Foxtrot, Charleston, Lindy Hop and Showdance.

2010 winner: Kara Tointon

Kara Tointon was the eighth celebrity to win Strictly. She danced with Artem Chigvintsev and failed to receive 40 points throughout her time on the show.

2011 winner: Harry Judd

Former McFly star Harry Judd was the ninth star to lift the Glitterball Trophy. He didn’t top the leaderboard until week seven but then scored 40 points twice in the final.

2012 winner: Louis Smith

The tenth series of the BBC show was won by Olympian Louis Smith. He danced his way to victory with professional partner Flavia Cacace. He faced competition from Kimberley Walsh, Denise Van Outen and Danni Harmer in the series finale.

2013 winner: Abbey Clancy

Model Abbey Clancy won series eleven of Strictly alongside partner Alijaz Skorjanec. She was called a “spectacular dancer” with “wonderful posture” by former head judge Len Goodman.

2014 winner: Caroline Flack

Love Island host Caroline Flack took to the dance floor in series 12 where she scooped the Glitterball Trophy with Pasha Kovalev.

2015 winner: Jay McGuiness

Jay McGuiness surprised viewers when he won the thirteenth series of the BBC dancing competition with Aliona Vilani. When he learned he’d won, he told host Tess Daly: “I feel spaced out – it’s really weird.”

2016 winner: Ore Oduba

Ore Oduba won the thirteenth series of the BBC dancing competition with Joanne Clifton.

The sports presenter broke down in tears after beating Danny Mac and Louise Redknapp.

2017 winner: Joe McFadden

Joe McFadden was victorious with professional dance partner Katya Jones. The Holby City star beat off competition from fan favourite Debbie McGee, Gemma Atkinson and Alexandra Burke.

2018 winner: Stacey Dooley

Documentary-maker Stacey fought off competition to make it to the Grand Final of Strictly Come Dancing with professional dance partner Kevin Clifton last year. When they won, Kevin described her as “the most wonderful person”.

2019 winner: Kelvin Fletcher

Late to the Strictly Come Dancing party, Kelvin signed up after Jamie Laing was forced to pull out with an injury. But that didn’t stop the Emmerdale actor from dancing up a storm with professional partner Oti Mabuse.

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