Anton du Beke reaches the 'Strictly' final for only the second time - after competing in every series since it began

Katie Archer
Contributor
(BBC)

The Strictly Come Dancing 2019 finalists have been named - with Anton du Beke making his second ever final after taking part in all 17 series so far.

Pro dancer du Beke is the only one of the show’s stars to have been in every series since it began in 2004, but his only other final appearance was in 2015 with Katie Derham, where he placed fourth.

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In series one, he came third with Lesley Garrett but was eliminated in the semi-final as that year’s final featured just two couples.

Dancing with EastEnders star Emma Barton, du Beke has also achieved his first-ever scores of 10 points this year, something he had not previously managed in 17 series, and the couple have never been in the dance off.

He said: “You do something like this for a long time and you think it can’t get any better, I’ve loved every second of it, and then someone like Emma comes along, and you think, ‘it does get better’.”

The celebrity to miss out on a chance at the Glitterball Trophy was comedian Chris Ramsey, who had been at the bottom of the leaderboard this week with partner Karen Hauer.

He went up against Karim Zeroual and his partner Amy Dowden, the second time that both couples have been in the dance off, but all four judges opted to save Zeroual.

Ramsey said: “I’m very proud of myself, I never, ever thought I would make it past week two.

“I was so scared of doing this show, I had sleepless nights in the run-up to it, but there is no one else who could have made it what it was. (Karen) first of all made it bearable, then she made it incredible.”

The third couple making the final is Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse, who finally achieved their first perfect score of 40 points on Saturday night with a faultless Quickstep.

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Fletcher and Mabuse look like strong favourites to win, with a combination of impressively high scores and having never been in the dance off during the entire series.

Fletcher, Barton and Zeroual will fight it out on the dancefloor in Saturday night’s live Grand Final, where one of them will be crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2019.

Strictly Come Dancing’s live final airs on Saturday at 7.05pm on BBC One.

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