Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls survived the boot in tonight’s Strictly Come Dancing results show despite finding himself at the bottom of the leaderboard once more last night after almost dropping his partner during a “dodgy lift”.
Mr Balls, who served as Labour MP for Morley and Outwood until 2015, received 18 points for his American smooth with a hitch-hiking theme to (Is This The Way To) Amarillo.
He made the judges nervous by precariously lifting partner Katya Jones at the end of the performance.
Although he improved on last week’s score by four points, judge Craig Revel Horwood described his dance as the “antithesis of smooth” that lacked in “any style whatsoever”.
Head judge Len Goodman added: “The trouble with hitch-hiking is you always get a dodgy lift.”
But it was Birds Of A Feather actress Lesley Joseph who was eliminated after all four judges voted to save model Daisy Lowe in the dance-off.
Joseph paid tribute to her professional partner Anton Du Beke after she received the news, saying: “Learning a new dance every week has just been lovely, working with him (Anton) has been an absolute joy and we’ve laughed a lot.
“And, yeah, it’s been just a lovely, lovely, lovely journey and it’s come to an end and that’s absolutely fine. We’ve loved it.”
When asked by Tess Daly what she would miss most, she said it would be Du Beke.
The remaining 10 couples will take to the dancefloor next week for a Fright Night Halloween special when Strictly Come Dancing returns on October 29, at 6.45pm.
Ore Oduba topped the Strictly Come Dancing judges’ leaderboard for a second week running after scoring 36 points for his classic waltz.
The sports presenter, who won viewers’ hearts with his jive on last week’s show, was given nine points by each of the four judges, with Craig Revel Horwood describing him and partner Joanne Clifton as “delicious”.
Actor Danny Mac was in second place after scoring 35 points for his rumba to Sam Smith’s How Will I Know with partner Oti Mabuse.
Mr Balls had earlier spoken about getting his first spray tan in preparation for last night’s live show.
The trouble with hitch-hiking is you always get a dodgy lift.Len Goodman, head judge
He called the experience the weirdest thing he had done since getting a “naked Balinese massage” on his honeymoon.
Inspired by broadcaster Jeremy Vine who opted for the fake tan during his time on the competition in 2015, Mr Balls chose to take the extra measure after finishing bottom of the judges’ leaderboard last week with a new low score of 16.
Sporting a black hairnet the former politician streamed the experience live on his Facebook page alongside his professional dance partner Katya Jones, with one viewer telling him he looked like a “bronzed Greek God.”
While being sprayed he let out yelps of “oh my goodness” and said it was “really cold”, adding that he felt as if he was “on a Caribbean beach” before asking for a pina colada.
“Gosh I’m being patted all over. For the fake tan I’m not bothered but for the patting down I wouldn’t mind going for the full Jeremy,” he said, referring to Vine.
“I’m not sure about the tan but I quite enjoyed the experience,” Mr Balls said after being dried off.
He added his wife, Labour MP Yvette Cooper, was going to be “appalled”
“I always felt as if I needed a fake tan, but I always felt it would be a step too far but actually I’ve had one... and I feel sticky.”
On Friday he told Vine on BBC Radio 2 that he was enjoying the experience, adding: “Lots of people think politicians are boring and not human but when people see someone like me laughing at themselves, it makes them see we’re actually normal people who can make mistakes”.