Claudia Fragapane leaves Strictly Come Dancing
Claudia Fragapane and AJ Pritchard have left Strictly Come Dancing.
The pair found themselves in the dance-off on Sunday night alongside Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse, despite achieving their highest score yet on Saturday night. The pair’s charming quickstep to ‘When You’re Smiling’ received an impressive 38/40 on the night.
However, a dance-off to the same song wasn’t enough to save them in one of the show’s tightest dance-offs yet.
All of the judges expressed congratulations to the two couples for their performances, and their regret at sending one of them home.
Craig Revel Horwood said: “Both couples I have to say in that dance-off were worth tens equally, but I would really like to save Danny and Oti.”
Darcey Bussell added: “Both performed to such an outstanding level tonight […], but the couple that had a small edge over the other was Danny and Oti.”
Bruno Tonioli agreed, saying: “First I would like to congratulate you because you were both excellent, but I have to go to the couple that had the edge in artistry and emotional impact. For that reason I choose Danny and Oti.”
Asked whether he would have chosen the same way as his fellow judges, Head Judge Len Goodman agreed.
The result was a disappointing one for gymnast Claudia, who was full of praise for the show and her professional dance partner AJ.
Moved to tears, Claudia said: “I can’t believe we made it this far to be honest. Everyone is so lovely and I am just so happy that I’ve made it this far. Everyone’s just been incredible people. To come out and be as confident as I was, I’m a different person now all thanks to this show.
She told AJ: “You’ve been absolutely amazing. You’ve really pushed me to the best of my ability. You’ve boosted my confidence. It’s all thanks to you.”
And the sentiment was definitely returned, with a teary AJ explaining: “I’m so proud of her. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come and how confident you’ve become. Thank you.”