EastEnders actor James Bye said he has made a “friend for life” in dance partner Amy Dowden as he became the fifth celebrity to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing.
The 38-year-old, who has played Martin Fowler in the BBC One soap since 2014, found himself in the dreaded dance-off against singer and broadcaster Fleur East following a Halloween-inspired live show.
Dressed as a beekeeper, Bye reprised his Charleston to Bumble Bee by LaVern Baker with his professional partner Dowden, who was dressed as a bee, in a bid to impress the judges.
During Saturday’s show, Bye had performed a lift he had not been able to nail during the dress rehearsal, however the routine scored 27 placing them bottom of the leader board.
The audience booed judge Anton, dubbed “Phantom”, Du Beke’s negative comments about “throwing” his partner down from lifts rather than “placing her down”.
Meanwhile, East and her professional partner Vito Coppola performed their salsa routine to Beyonce’s Break My Soul with judge Motsi Mabuse praising her power as a woman on the dancefloor.
After both couples had danced for the second time, it was a unanimous decision by the judges to save East, sending Bye home.
Craig Revel Horwood said it was his “responsibility” as a judge to “save the better dancer”, meanwhile Mabuse said there were “different levels of dancing on the dance floor.”
Du Beke added: “I thought both couples danced better on Saturday night. They didn’t reproduce their best performance, but it doesn’t have to be the best performance, it has to be better and I thought their performance was just good enough.”
Reflecting on his time on the show, Bye said: “I’ve said this from the very beginning, all I can do is go out there and do my very best.
“I am dancing against Fleur East, I went and did my best but she is phenomenal.
“I’ve had the best time on this show and I have a friend for life (in Amy) all I can do is thank the family, and I have a new family now.
“It’s a competition but you don’t feel like that backstage, you honestly feel like everyone has each other’s backs and everyone is just willing everyone to do their best!”
Dowden also praised her partner, saying: “You came on here to show your boys they can throw themselves into any challenge in life, and you are the best role model they could ever have as their daddy.
“I am so proud of you.”
The results show opened with a spellbinding routine from the Strictly professionals that told the cautionary tale of Icarus.
There was also a performance from Japan-born singer Rina Sawayama who sang her single This Hell.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday November 5 at 7pm, with the results show on Sunday November 6 at 7:15pm on BBC One.