'Strictly's' Alex Scott just misses out on a semi-final place after vote that splits judges

Katie Archer
Contributor
(BBC)

The semi-finalists for Strictly Come Dancing 2019 have been revealed, with Chris Ramsey just making it into the penultimate week alongside Karim Zeroual, Kelvin Fletcher, and Emma Barton.

Comedian Ramsey was in the bottom two, but won the dance off against Alex Scott by a tiny margin with a decision that split the judging panel down the middle.

Read more: Karim Zeroual gets Strictly 2019’s first perfect 40

At first, it seemed that the decision would go Scott’s way when the first two judges, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse, chose to save her and pro partner Neil Jones.

But when Bruno Tonioli opted for Ramsey and partner Karen Hauer, it took the elimination to a deciding vote from head judge Shirley Ballas, who also went for Ramsey.

Explaining that her choice came down to “personal taste”, Ballas added: “I’m going to go with the couples that I felt had the most content and more powerfully entertaining and therefore I am saving Chris and Karen.”

The quarter-final saw a musicals themed week where Ramsey and Hauer performed a Foxtrot based on Oliver!, and Scott and Jones danced a Samba inspired by Sister Act.

Judges had criticised the Samba for containing too many street/commercial influences, but during his dance off voting Revel Horwood said: “I really loved the refreshing fusion of this particular dance.”

Strictly was clouded by a voting controversy this weekend as a technical glitch left some fans unable to cast their vote online, meaning that the time available to call in for their favourites had to be extended.

However, as the results episode opened, host Claudia Winkleman assured viewers that an independent adjudicator had said that the vote result was a fair one.

Talking about her time on the show, Scott said: “I’ve been a fan of Strictly forever...I’ve literally lived out another dream, I had football and then this chapter.”

She added: “I’m proud of the whole process, I’m proud of the struggle and I’m proud that people got to see me. Thank you for having me.”

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood steals the show in drag performance

This was the first year that Jones was promoted from the supporting cast of dancers to having a celebrity partner, and he said: “I’ve been so lucky because I got a partner. And I got you, you were the best. You were so good. She’s taught me so much.”

Meanwhile, Barton’s partner Anton du Beke has made it to the semi-final for just the third time, despite being the only pro dancer to have taken part in all 17 series of Strictly.

On Saturday night, Zeroual and his partner Amy Dowden became the first pair to score a perfect 40 this series.

Strictly Come Dancing’s semi-final airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.