Strictly Come Dancing’s Halloween week was obviously unlucky for some, as three of the show’s stars were ruled out of taking part in the competition this weekend due to injury.
As the show opened, keen fans noticed that Will Bayley and his partner Janette Manrara were missing from the introductions, and Alex Scott was dancing with Kevin Clifton rather than her usual pro dancer partner Neil Jones.
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman explained that Bayley had a knee injury, and Jones had suffered a last-minute accident meaning Scott needed a stand-in partner.
There’s a different kind of #Strictly Curse this week. Eek! Hoping Will and Neil get better soon. And kudos to Alex for teaching Kev.— Charlie Radford (@charliegwen) October 26, 2019
Bayley and Manrara were supposed to be up second on the ballroom floor, but instead viewers were shown footage of a nasty accident he’d sustained in training where he jumped off a table and landed awkwardly on his leg, lying on the floor as first aiders rushed to his help.
In a pre-recorded interview, Bayley said: “I thought I’d broke my leg because I’d never felt anything like it before, but luckily it wasn’t as bad as I first thought.”
Admitting he was “gutted” to be missing the Jive, Bayley was signed off sick for the week and Daly explained that the Strictly rules meant he would get a pass straight into next week if he recovers by next Saturday.
Hi everyone, I am absolutely gutted I cannot be performing tonight on strictly with Janette, sadly I'm injured and not fit to dance. I hope to be back on the dance floor next week. Good luck to everyone tonight. Thanks for all your messages guys, ill be back!! 🎃👻💃❤— Will Bayley MBE (@WillBayleytt) October 26, 2019
Manrara, who starred in the opening routine, told Winkleman that she was hoping he would be able to dance again soon: “He’s home, he’s icing, he’s taking care of himself, he’s resting, and fingers crossed he comes back next week.”
Clifton, who had been voted out with Anneka Rice in week three, was given just a couple of hours to prepare for his Ghostbusters-themed routine with Scott after Jones was injured earlier in the day.
This is just the second series that Clifton hasn’t been in the final, and he joked: “I’ve got to get in the final one way or another, haven’t I?”
Im gutted tonight I won’t be able to dance because I was injured earlier today but I know @AlexScott will smash it tonight, she’s worked hard all week and she’s in safe hands with @keviclifton #strictly #teamred— Neil Jones (@Mr_NJones) October 26, 2019
Scott and Clifton closed the show, giving them a little extra time to practise their street/commercial number.
After their performance, Clifton said: “It’s difficult enough having to learn a routine in four days for someone who’s never danced a step in her life before, but to then have to teach a professional in 45 minutes...everyone can probably tell, I got a few things wrong in that, but Alex held it together.”
Head judge Shirley Ballas told Scott: “What kind of mental ability you had tonight to switch partners an hour before the show - I thought it was on point, congratulations.”
As they left the dancefloor, Clifton could be heard telling Scott: “I completely blanked in the middle.”
The pair managed to score 34 points, including three nines for their impressive last-minute changes.
Well done Alex, very impressive esp. With King Kev! Such a pro Alex, good on you girl. 😘💕👌#Strictly— Charlotte (@charli_bascombe) October 26, 2019
Well done, Alex. The show must and did go on. #Strictly— Helen Walmsley-J (@TheVintageYear) October 26, 2019
Strictly Come Dancing returns for the results show on Sunday at 7.15pm on BBC One.