'Strictly Come Dancing': Two former leaderboard toppers in the dance off, but who went home?

Watch: Shirley Ballas sends home one former Strictly leaderboard topper

It’s tough at the top of the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard this year - as two of its champions from previous weeks discovered in the results show.

Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer were riding high as the judges’ top pick last week, and Clara Amfo was the leader in week four with partner Aljaz Skorjanec, but both found themselves in the bottom two.

Read more: HRVY says he was in trouble over socially distancing at Strictly

Ultimately, it was Strictly superfan Amfo who went home and Laing who goes through to the quarter-finals, after a reverse in fortunes that saw Radio 1 DJ Amfo drop down to last place in scoring for two weeks in a row.

However, it was the first time this series that the deciding vote came down to head judge Shirley Ballas as Craig Revel Horwood wanted to save Amfo and Motsi Mabuse picked Laing.

Ballas said: “Well this is a very difficult series, I mean every couple is outstanding and I felt on this occasion that both couples totally lifted their game, but there was one couple they just convinced me.

“They had conviction from step to step, they believed in their performance and therefore I’m going to save Jamie and Karen.”

Both couples had scored 29 points in the weeks that they came top, and it was pro dancer Hauer’s first time in her nine years on the show that she had finished a week in first place.

Amfo had had a tough week with the Jive - although the judges thought the dance suited her, she made a number of mistakes on Saturday night including forgetting part of the routine.

Meanwhile, Laing impressed with his Tango which scored 24 points as Ballas told him during the live show: “Once you start getting your musicality stronger, the sky’s the limit for you, young man.”

Amfo said on being told she was voted out: “I’ve had the best time ever, the best time ever and got a new friend for life.

“I’ve loved it, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever ever done, it’s been a dream come true.”

Week six was a welcome break from the dance off for Maisie Smith, who had been in the bottom two for the previous two weeks despite scoring highly.

Viewers loved her Quickstep on Saturday, with some calling it “the dance of the series”, and threw their support behind her by voting to keep her out of the dance off.

Saturday’s leaderboard topper was HRVY with his partner Janette Manrara, who became the first celebrity to get a perfect score this series after earning all 10s for his couple’s choice street/commercial routine.

Gary Barlow performed in Sunday night’s results show and next weekend will see the annual musicals week theme in the ballroom.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.25pm on BBC One.