'Strictly' announces first contestant to go home as leaderboard is turned on its head

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WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 20:00:01 on 03/10/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 03/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX2 RESULTS SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 20:00hrs, SUNDAY 3RD OCTBER, 2021* Nina Wadia, Neil Jones, Katie McGlynn, Gorka Marquez - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
It was a battle of the soap stars in the first elimination. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Strictly Come Dancing has sent its first couple home following a week that turned the leaderboard on its head and a dance off that saw two soap stars up for the chop.

Nina Wadia and Neil Jones were first to be eliminated from the BBC One competition after losing out to Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez in the dance off.

Read more: Judi Love gets Strictly party started with bottom-shaking Samba

Last week, former EastEnders star Wadia had been pegged as one of the favourites for her impressive Samba, but found herself crashing down to the bottom of the leaderboard in week two after a lacklustre Tango.

Watch: Who's judging this year's Strictly?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 20:00:01 on 03/10/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 03/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX2 RESULTS SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 20:00hrs, SUNDAY 3RD OCTBER, 2021* Neil Jones, Nina Wadia - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
It was short but sweet for Neil Jones and Nina Wadia. (BBC/Guy Levy)

She wasn't the only contestant to experience a massive change in fortunes from week one to week two, as Sara Davies went from last place to first and Adam Peaty swapped second best score for second worst.

Peaty managed to dodge the dance off as Hollyoaks and Coronation Street actor McGlynn slipped down the scorings from mid-table to third from last when her Jive failed to impress, with Craig Revel Horwood telling her it lacked stamina.

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood reveals the word he's not allowed to say on Strictly

But he and Motsi Mabuse both chose to save McGlynn and Marquez in the dance off, with Mabuse calling them "just that little bit more convincing".

Anton Du Beke agreed that both couples had improved, but chose to save Wadia and Jones - leaving the final decision down to head judge Shirley Ballas.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 21:00:01 on 02/10/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 02/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX2 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++DRESS RUN++
**STRICTLY EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 21:00:01 02/10/2021** Katie McGlynn, Gorka Marquez - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez were also in the dance off. (BBC/Guy Levy)

She said: “Well this is one of the closest battles I think we’ve ever had in a dance off. Both couples upped their game. Both couples were absolutely delightful to watch. Neither couple had mistakes so I’ve decided to go with the couple who had more advanced technical actions in their dance and that couple is Katie and Gorka.”

The scores from week one and week two were added together and combined with the public vote to get the bottom two couples competing in the dance off.

Read more: Greg Wise's moving Strictly disco tribute to beloved late sister

After being voted out, Wadia said: “It’s been really fun, thank you so much. [Neil] is incredible, thank you.”

Jones told her: You’ve been a dream. Second partner on the show for me. I wouldn’t have wanted anybody else. You’ve been fantastic and so much fun. 

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 21:20:00 on 25/09/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 25/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX1 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++DRESS RUN++ *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 21:20HRS, SATURDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER, 2021* Nina Wadia, Neil Jones - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
The couple's Samba had previously marked them out as contenders. (BBC/Guy Levy)

"Literally, we’re like a married couple - you’ve got both husbands here tonight! It’s been so much fun together, you said you wanted to dance and you’ve done two fantastic dances and I’m really, really, really proud of you.”

Saturday night's show saw the leaderboard turned on its head as Dragons' Den star Sara Davies and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec stormed up the scoring from last place in week one to joint first place on 34 points for their Foxtrot.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 21:00:01 on 02/10/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 02/10/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - TX2 LIVE SHOW (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++DRESS RUN++
**STRICTLY EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 21:00:01 02/10/2021** Sara Davies, Aljaž Skorjanec - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Sara Davies and AljazSkorjanec turned their fortunes around with a beautiful Foxtrot. (BBC/Guy Levy)

They were later joined at the top by Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin on 34 points for their Charleston, an improvement on 11th place from last week.

Meanwhile, Adam Peaty and Katya Jones dropped down from second place in week one to second last place in week two.

Next Saturday, Strictly will return with its popular movies week theme, with Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden also expected to make their return after isolating from a positive COVID test.

Watch: Craig Revel Horwood spills behind the scenes Strictly goss

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