Strictly Come Dancing has recorded its first shock elimination of the 2019 series as competition favourite Dev Griffin was sent home, leaving his dance partner Dianne Buswell in floods of tears as the show ended.
The BBC Radio 1 DJ had earned consistently high scores across the first few weeks, even coming second on the leaderboard last weekend with 36 points for his Aladdin-themed couple’s choice routine, which judge Motsi Mabuse called “one of those dances we will remember forever”.
So fans couldn’t believe that Griffin landed in the dance-off with his partner Buswell tonight, and that they were the judges’ unanimous choice to send home.
The judges admitted to being surprised that Griffin was in the bottom two ahead of his dance, with Craig Revel Horwood telling him: “I am truly shocked, I really am.”
Griffin and Buswell were up against Viscountess Emma Weymouth and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec, another surprise pair for the bottom two as judges had praised their Saturday evening Jive for being a huge improvement on previous performances.
Both couples had been in a risky danger zone, with Griffin and Weymouth fourth and fifth last on the leaderboard respectively, but viewers thought high scoring of poorer couples was to blame.
So sorry Dev and Dianne. I must say I have loved all your dances every week. Unfortunately your journey was cut very short. You had so much talent and potential.#Strictly— Ola Jordan (@The_OlaJordan) October 13, 2019
This makes no sense, Dev had so much more to offer :( #strictly— Marlijn✨ (@Marlijn_Jesse) October 13, 2019
What a joke. Sometimes I don’t understand #strictly. Dev was by far the superior dancer. In the top third of the group for sure.— Joe Rice (@josephlrice) October 13, 2019
Emma and Aljaž maybe were better in the Dance Off, but bloody hell, this is a travesty. Dev and Diane should not be out of this, there were far worse dancers last night #Strictly— Alex H (@AlexJubileeLine) October 13, 2019
It's true that contestants can't rest on their laurels but what a shame to see Dev leave so early. So much potential. Not helped by the inconsistent scoring. #strictly— TV watcher (@TVprattle) October 13, 2019
Revel Horwood, Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas all decided that Weymouth was more focused and made fewer mistakes than Griffin in his Cha Cha.
Griffin, clearly devastated at the result, said: “I’m not going to lie I am absolutely gutted, but learning how to dance, hanging out with Dianne and the other pros and celebs… I’ve absolutely loved it.”
Dear #Strictly judges, the reason Dianne was sobbing & refused to do final dance is because she knew Dev was a likely finalist. You’ve made a complete pig’s ear of this, keeping in David who has all the swing of a Victorian wardrobe. Just awful #scd— Allison Pearson (@allisonpearson) October 13, 2019
That's my weekend ruined. Dev & Diane were up there. Fuming #Strictly— Minkymc (@mandmcmillan67) October 13, 2019
Wow that was the most shellshocked atmospshere at the results show I’ve ever seen. Not sure one person wanted that to happen. Feel so much for Dev and Dianne, they didn’t deserve to be anywhere near the bottom two, really horrible to watch #Strictlyresults #strictly2019 #strictly— Hevvie (@Hevvvie) October 13, 2019
Buswell added: “Dev has been absolutely amazing. His work ethic is insane. I see him everywhere practising and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Thank you so much for all your time and your effort.
“This boy has so much talent, I’m really sad he won’t be able to show you guys any more of it.”
Griffin’s previous scores had included a 30 and a 27, and although Weymouth’s were consistently lower, neither of them were expected to be in the bottom two as they had received plenty of encouragement and constructive comments from the judges.
Ex-footballer David James, who has been in both of the previous dance-offs, upped his game on Saturday with a vast improvement which saw him score 28 points, and his fellow celebrities looked thrilled for him that he’d avoided a third week at the bottom.
Look at them all cheering on David & Nadiya!!! Im feeling emotional 😭 #Strictly— 𝙸𝚗 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙱𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚔 𝙼𝚒𝚍𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛|Spoilers (@KellieC96) October 13, 2019
Sports presenter Mike Bushell also got serious about the contest and scored 32 – including a surprise nine points from Mabuse.
There were some complaints from Strictly fans that the judges’ high scoring of Bushell had carried him through ahead of better dancers.
the judges say they're shocked like this isn't a result of their horrible messy marking last night. like motsi giving mike a 9, what??????? #strictly— Leah ♡ (@_xleahjade) October 13, 2019
The judges messed the result with giving David and Mike such big scores messed up the results show today. #Strictly— Petty LaBelle Esq 🦚 (@petttylabelle) October 13, 2019
Justice for Alex for those paltry judges' scores. How in the very hell did they give Mike a 9? Why is Dev in the dance off? Nothing makes sense since 2016. Anywhere. Ever #strictly— anna greenwood (@annagreenwood_) October 13, 2019
Alex Scott and Neil Jones swerved being in the dance-off despite getting the lowest judges’ scores of the week.
Karim Zeroual and his partner Amy Dowden were the highest scorers of the weekend with 38 points for their Tango, including two 10s from the judges.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday, October 19 at 6.40pm on BBC One.