'Strictly Come Dancing' favourite in shock dance off - but who went home in week 4?

Watch: Anton du Beke casts vote in Strictly elimination

One of Strictly Come Dancing’s best dancers had a shock result when she found herself in the bottom two in week four.

Maisie Smith and her dance partner Gorka Marquez have performed consistently well, earning early high scores that had many viewers convinced they would sail straight through to the final.

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So it was a huge surprise when they were the first couple to find out they were in the bottom two after week four’s routine.

However, Smith had a lucky escape when she was pitted against Max George and his partner Dianne Buswell for the dance off, and Craig Revel Horwood and stand-in judge Anton Du Beke chose to save the EastEnders actor.

But it wouldn’t have been a clean sweep for Smith, as head judge Shirley Ballas revealed that if the vote had come down to her decision, she would have saved George instead - a shock to many viewers.

The Wanted singer George said: “I’ve loved it and it’s all down to Dianne, for me to get through 90 seconds of a dance for four weeks now, it’s all credit to her.”

Despite having spent the first few weeks at the top end of the leaderboard, Smith was languishing mid-table after her Cha Cha this week.

Strictly viewers had a hint at which way the vote might be likely to go when Craig Revel Horwood told Smith: “I cannot believe you are in the dance off.”

George had a controversial Saturday night when at the end of his American Smooth he was caught on camera shouting “f***ing get in” to Buswell.

It prompted an apology from host Claudia Winkleman, but many of those watching claimed they hadn’t noticed the sweary episode until it was flagged up, and then rewound their TVs to see what the fuss was about.

Clara Amfo and partner Aljaz Skorjanec had the strongest week with their Charleston, as the first to score two 10s this series.

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Bill Bailey and HRVY also managed a 10 each for their routines, showing how strong this year’s line-up is.

During Sunday’s results show, it was announced that next week Strictly will be bringing the Blackpool Tower Ballroom to the studio.

The programme is not able to travel to Blackpool this year because of COVID filming restrictions, so next Saturday will see a theme week in Elstree instead.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.15pm on BBC One.