Strictly 2022: Ellie Simmonds eliminated after one of BBC show’s ‘best dance offs ever’

The latest celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing has been revealed.

In Sunday night’s results show (6 November), Paralympic champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds became the sixth contestant to leave the BBC competition after a dance-off with Molly Rainford.

All four judges opted to save Rainford and her partner Carlos Gu after both couples performed their routines again, with head judge Shirley Ballas calling it “one of the best dance offs I think I’ve ever seen”.

Speaking after her elimination, Simmonds called her Strictly experience “incredible” and “life-changing”, and praised her dance partner Nikita Kuzmin.

She said: “I want to thank Nikita ever so much. I’m going to miss him – he’s changed my life and confidence. We’ve had the most amazing days. We’ve had not just dancing days, but days we’ve just spoken for hours.

“And the confidence you’ve given me – I seem confident but you know what I’m like, I worry about everything so so much and we’ve literally represented everything. We went out there any danced our life out every single night and I loved it so much.”

Kuzmin tearfully said: “I am a bit disappointed as I wanted Ellie to have a bit more time on this TV show, I know how much it means to her. I’m really happy that this journey has been with you [Ellie] because she has taught me so so much, so much empathy, just so much, I’ve learnt so much in these seven weeks.

Nikita Kuzmin and Ellie Simmonds hugging on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC)
Nikita Kuzmin and Ellie Simmonds hugging on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC)

He continued: “I love you Els, I just want to tell you every single person in this room loves you. That is just to say how much of a beautiful human you are, you spend time to go to each person inside this room, you care about everybody, you are just such a wonderful human and I am so glad I’ve had the chance to dance with you.”

In the wake of Simmonds’s elimination, viewers resurfaced a “sweet” question she asked Kuzmin after they finished their Charleston on Saturday (5 November).

Tony Adams, who scored the lowest judges’ points once again, sailed through to the next round.

Simmonds’s departure comes the day after viewers accused the series of being “fixed” due to the way the judges were scoring certain dances.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday 12 November at 6.55pm.