Strictly dancer Nadiya Bychkova thanked partner David James for a “beautiful journey” as they were voted off the show.
The pair received their marching orders on Sunday after losing to presenter Mike Bushell and his partner Katya Jones in the dance-off.
Bychkova said on Instagram after the show: “What an amazing man. Thank you so much @davidjamesofficial for such a beautiful journey.
“I loved every moment of it, our long long hours of rehearsals.
“Loved every chat we had, I learned so much from you.
“Loved watching you improve and falling in love with dancing.
“Loved watching you enjoying the dances you were so scared of.”
Bychkova said the football star’s improvement on the BBC programme was “absolutely amazing”, and said that was what the show is about.
“I’m so so proud of you, it was an honor to have you as a partner. Thank you for everything,” she said.
Jones posted a message on Instagram after making it through to the next round, saying eliminations were “the worst part of this show”.
“Losing another couple! You were fantastic guys!” said the dancer.
Fellow Strictly professional Dianne Buswell added a string of hearts.
Cricket star Michael Vaughan, who danced with Bychkova on a Strictly Christmas special, wrote on Instagram: “Well done Partner..
“You did great with David.”
James said: “Oh I’ve loved it. I feel so bad I’ve let Nadiya down in a sense.
“I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve put some weight on though.”
Discussing the highlights of his turn on the dancefloor, he said: “Having the best partner and the guys up there.
James also paid tribute to fellow competitor Paralympian Will Bayley.
He said: “Just a word to Will, I think I work hard, but, man, that guy puts a shift in.”
Strictly continues on BBC One.