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Seann Walsh escapes elimination as third celebrity leaves Strictly

Katie Piper and dance partner Gorka Marquez were eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing last night. Picture by Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire
By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

KATIE Piper was the third celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing last night - despite Seann Walsh being the bookies' favourite to leave this weekend.

TV presenter and acid attack survivor Piper was in the bottom two with Casualty actor Charles Venn following the public vote.

Piper and her partner Gorka Marquez danced their jive to Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers in the dance-off, while Venn and Karen Clifton repeated their salsa to Use It Up And Wear It Out by Odyssey.

However, all four judges opted to keep Venn and Clifton in the competition, with Dame Darcey Bussell saying theirs was the "stronger performance".

Piper, who came bottom of the leaderboard on Saturday night with 18 points, said: "I have taken a lot from this experience and it has all been really positive, and I'll never forget this journey.

"Charles was the better dancer out of us two and there are some brilliant dancers in this competition and sadly I don't think I was one of them.

"But I have had a great experience you know, and I feel really privileged to have been here and thanks for your advice and thank you (Gorka) for all the hours.

"One thing as well all the public not just the audience here but the general public have been so supportive online and have voted for me the other weeks so I feel thrilled to have been here for four weeks. So thank you to everyone."

Piper's exit may raise eyebrows, as comedian Walsh and his dance partner Katya Jones were the top choice to leave following their kiss scandal.

Bookmakers including Coral and William Hill said the controversial couple prompted fresh bets from punters, and were the favourites to waltz away from the dancefloor.

However, Walsh and Jones were awarded the fourth-highest score by the judges on Saturday, with 28 points for their Charleston.

That, combined with votes from the public, has kept them in the BBC One show for at least another week.

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