Strictly contestants rev up horsepower in week 8 as they aim for Blackpool trip

Strictly contestant and ex-Labour MP Ed Balls was left on his back and panting for breath in the battle for a place in the programme’s Blackpool show next week.

The former shadow chancellor’s pelvic-thrusting and pony dancing to internet hit Gangnam Style by Psy handed him and partner Katya Jones a standing ovation.

Ed has constantly wowed the Strictly audience with his energetic dancing and Saturday night proved no exception with his salsa receiving a stunned reaction from the judges.

Head judge Len Goodman said: “I don’t think there’s words in the dictionary to describe that” before adding that the show would be “less fun” if he was to leave.

Bruno Tonioli called it the “best worst dance I’ve ever seen” whilst Craig Revel Horwood simply added: “O M G.”

Darcey Bussell said the performance “will go down in Strictly history”.

The pair received 25 points for the dance putting them bottom of the leaderboard ahead of the public vote and a week before the BBC show makes its annual journey to Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom.

At the top of the scoreboard were actor Danny Mac and partner Oti Mabuse, who collected 38 points for their Argentine tango to I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye.

They were closely followed by Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton, whose American smooth received rave reviews from Revel Horwood.

He told Louise and her partner Kevin: “I loved the mix of jazz and ballroom in there and I loved that you showed her off.”

TV judge Judge Rinder followed his performance by paying tribute to members of the armed forces and those who had survived both world wars.

His foxtrot with professional partner Oksana Platero to You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra was tracked under the watchful eye of his grandparents Frances and Harry Rinder, from Whetstone.

He said: “It means the world to me they are here. Whatever is going on in the world we are here having this fun because that generation were here for us.”

Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane’s Viennese waltz to Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson collected 36 points whilst BBC Sports presenter Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton’s rumba to Ordinary People by John Legend received 35 points.

Long jumper Greg Rutherford and model Daisy Lowe were both awarded 31 points for their dances with respective partners Natalie Lowe and Aljaz Skorjanec.

:: Strictly Come Dancing returns for the results show on Sunday at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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