Strictly Come Dancing 2023: Who has made the final?

Annabel Croft fails to progress from the semi-final

Annabel Croft is taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2023. (BBC)
Annabel Croft is taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2023. (BBC)

What did you miss?

Annabel Croft has failed to progress to the final of Strictly Come Dancing as she becomes the tenth contestant eliminated from the competition.

After dancing twice, the tennis legend found herself in the dreaded dance off against EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier.

Croft and Brazier then had to perform for the third time of the weekend with each getting to choose their favourite dance from Saturday night to woo the judges in a last bid to join Ellie Leach and Layton Williams in the final.

What, how, and why?

Brazier performed first, opting to dance a quickstep to Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin with Croft going second with her Vienesse waltz to Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by Slow Moving Millie.

As he always does, Craig Revel Horwood delivered his verdict first with him choosing to save Croft.

On his decision, Horwood said: “Well, one dance was flashy, one dance was quiet. I think both couples have equalised completely. I saw improvement in this one couple and based on this dance and nothing in the past but this dance alone, the person which I think had the most exquisite technique is Annabel and Johannes.”

Conversely, Motsi Mabuse thought Brazier was more deserving of going to the grand final, saying: “Well, first of all I have to say this was a really tough one tonight, I think both couples danced really well, and after the dance off I stood there for a few seconds making my decision, there was one dance where there was a slight hesitation at a turn, one slight hesitation was the decision, and I will be saving Bobby and Dianne.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,25-11-2023,TX10 - DRESS RUN,Johannes Radebe & Annabel Croft,*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 20:30HRS, SATURDAY 25th NOVEMBER, 2023*,BBC,Guy Levy
Annabel Croft on Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)

Her view was echoed by Anton Du Beke who said: “Well the semi-final, I mean it’s going to enormously disappointing for somebody, but I also think its celebration of how well you’ve both done and how far you’ve come and how wonderfully you’ve danced through the whole series. It was a very close run thing and literally because of a coming out of a pivoting section wasn’t as clean as they would have liked and I would have liked, I’m going to be saving Bobby and Dianne.”

For the first time this series, head judge Darcey Bussel got to cast the deciding vote and she chose to send home Croft: “The semi-final 2023, I thought both couples were absolutely extraordinary, I felt that both couples lifted their performance, I thought there was technical qualities on both sides, improvements galore, but again one tiny mistake coming out of a pivot turn and therefore my decision would be to save Bobby and Dianne.”

After the decision was announced, Croft said to Tess Daly: “It’s been the most life changing and extraordinary experience of my life. I have to congratulate Bobby and Dianne and all the contestants that took part in it. But obviously, it’s been an amazing, magical experience for me. Johannes, you have been absolutely extraordinary.

"You have given me a reason to get out of bed and come and dance with you, distract me and to heal me. I can’t thank you enough for that. You have been so patient, so caring and so loving. You are an unbelievably special human being. I simply adore you. Thank you so much."

Radebe also paid tribute to his partner especially after the tought 2023 she has endured after the death of her husband earlier this year.

The South African professional said: “I would like to say thank you. Thank you for making the decision to come here. Thank you to Strictly Come Dancing for sending her my way. My life is richer with you in it. I hope we dance long after this has ended. You know my heart and I just want to tell you thank you Annabel. Thank you Lily, thank you Amber, thank you Charlie.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,11-11-2023,TX8 - LIVE SHOW,Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe,BBC,Guy Levy
Annabel Croft on Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)

What else happened on Strictly Come Dancing?

For the semi-final and last results show of the series, Strictly brought out the big guns in Take That who performed their recent single This Life.

Will we be back for more?

The remaining three contestants – Ellie Leach, Layton Williams and Bobby Brazier will go up against each other one final time with the hope of taking home the Glitterball Trophy.

Leach is the favourite to take home the trophy with Williams hot on her sparkly heels and Brazier is definitely the underdog but we're firmly set for one of Strictly's most intriguing finals.

The Strictly Come Dancing final will air on 16 December at 7:00 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing