Hosts Address Nigel's Shock Exit
Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman opened the show by addressing Nigel Harman's shock exit. The Casualty actor, 50, announced just hours before today's live show that he was forced to quit due to a rib injury.
Heartfelt Message from the Hosts
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly shared a heartfelt message to the ex-EastEnders star. Claudia explained, "As you can see we only have four couples, unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight's show and has had to withdraw from the competition." Tess added, "We are as devastated as he is. But Nigel and Katya will be chatting to us later on in the show."
This Week's Elimination Scrapped
The hosts also revealed that bosses have made the decision to scrap this week's elimination. Instead, the remaining celebrities – Ellie Leach, Annabel Croft, Layton Williams, and Bobby Brazier – will all make it through to the next round. Claudia explained, "That means there will be no public vote tonight and no elimination this weekend." Tess continued, "But the judges will still be scoring and those scores will be carried over." Claudia added, "You'll be able to vote as usual next week."
Nigel's Decision to Quit
HOAR revealed earlier today that Nigel had made the decision to quit the show after sustaining an injury. A source said, "Nigel wasn't in training this morning, and other dancers were informed later on in the day. He and Katya were really disappointed as they were hoping to stay in the competition. They hadn't been in the bottom two so had a real chance of making it to the finals. Nigel has been training really hard and really threw himself into rehearsals."
No Elimination This Week
Nigel's withdrawal means there won't be an elimination this week. Instead, the remaining celebrities – Ellie Leach, Annabel Croft, Layton Williams, and Bobby Brazier – will all make it through to the next round.
Steamiest Routine of the Series
Last weekend, Nigel and Katya performed the steamiest routine of the series, writhing around on a bed. The Russian pro dancer, 34, donned a silk negligee to dance the rhumba to Celine Dion's power ballad It's All Coming Back To Me Now. Nigel planted a kiss on her forehead during the choreography and said, "All the time through our hands we're communicating and through our bodies, you have to be totally locked on with your partner to do that. One of my favourite times of the weeks is when we stand on the corner of the dancefloor and we hold hands and we walk out there together."
Second Shock Exit of the Series
The departure of Nigel and Katya is the second shock exit of the series, following Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice's withdrawal from the competition on medical grounds. Nigel was considered a favorite to win the competition.