Strictly 2021: Dan Walker eliminated after tense quarter-final dance-off

Dan Walker became the latest star to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing, losing a tense quarter-final dance-off with AJ Odudu.

The competition is quickly reaching a climax, with BBC Breakfast presenter and professional dance partner Nadiya Bychkova failing to impress with their tango to Santa Maria, by Gotan Project.

The judging panel, made up of Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke, chose to save AJ and Kai Widdrington – who performed a salsa to Rhyme Is Gonna Get You / Get On Your Feet.

All four judges opted to keep AJ and Kai in the competition, with Craig – who recently tipped Dan to win – stating: ‘Well I’ve got to say, Dan I think you did such a great job in the dance off, that’s the best I’ve ever seen you dance, ever! AJ, you totally nailed that last bit, that was fantastic, a dilemma, but the couple I am going to save is AJ and Kai.’

‘Well another strong dance off. It’s just an amazing year and to be part of the team I think is absolutely sensational,’ Motsi agreed. ‘Dan you did a great job, AJ you did, for me, the better job, and I’m saving AJ and Kai.’

‘Can I just say, it’s a thing to make the quarter finals of Strictly Come Dancing, and to pick this year of all years, to make the quarter finals would have guaranteed you a place in the final in any other year,’ Anton said.

‘Plus everyone who works on this programme, it’s a pleasure to be a part of a show that means so much to so many people.’

Turning his attention to dance pro Nadiya, he added: ‘I also want to mention this amazing woman next to me, there are some people who walk into your life and turn some lights on, and that’s what she has done to me.

‘You’re an amazing person, and if you’ll have me, you’ll have a friend for life Nadiya Bychkova.’

The pro responded: ‘Like he said, sometimes the right person walks into your life at the right time and that’s what happened. You always encourage everyone, you always have time for everyone, it just inspires me to be a better person myself. Thank you.’

After watching their best bits, Dan concluded: ‘I’ve loved it, I don’t think ill dance all the time, but the one thing that will be different, is that I won’t not dance anymore. So thank you for having me, it’s been brilliant!’

AJ will be hitting the dance floor once again in the hunt for the Glitterball, alongside co-stars Rose Ayling-Ellis, Rhys Stephenson and John Whaite.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.05pm on BBC One.

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