Grant hoping to avoid 'Strictly' axe

Portly astrologer Russell Grant will need public support to avoid becoming the latest contestant to leave 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Portly astrologer Russell Grant will need public support to avoid becoming the latest contestant to leave 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

He got the lowest score from the judges after starting his routine last night onboard a bucking bronco.

His attempt at performing the Paso Doble with partner Flavia Cacace failed to impress judge Craig Revel Horwood, who deemed it worth just four out of 10 and the only word he could muster in his critique was "astonished".

Grant's total score was a lowly 24, but 'Dirty Dancing' actress Jennifer Grey, who was standing in for head judge Len Goodman, suggested his poor performance did not automatically mean his run in 'Strictly' would be over soon.

"I'm looking at your stars Russell and if you keep entertaining everyone like that you'll be here for a while," she said.

Four out of the top five performances came from the female contestants.

Actress Chelsee Healey came out on top, receiving four scores of nine for her Charleston with dance partner Pasha Kovalev.

Judge Alesha Dixon told her: "Your musicality is wonderful. You're a natural dancer."

Grey added: "From one Baby to another, you keep dancing like that and nobody's going to put Baby in the corner."

The second highest score of the evening went to Holly Valance, whose partner Artem Chigvintsev nearly failed to make it to the dance floor and was left limping after their performance.

They were marked 34 out of a possible 40 for their jive, and Revel Horwood praised their routine, which saw the pair dressed in pinstripe suits.

"I absolutely loved that concept. I thought it was brilliant.

"Finally, Holly, some energy from you. You're normally very laid back, Australian. We need to see a lot more of that," he said.

Popstar Harry Judd, who showed off his chest with an open shirt, was the only man to score over 30 points.

Judge Bruno Tonioli said his samba contained "intriguing glimpses of what your hips can do".

But Judd and partner Aliona Vilani were left in third place with 33.

The strong performance from the female celebrities was completed with 'One Show' presenter Alex Jones and former 'EastEnders' actress Anita Dobson both scoring 31 for their quickstep and Charleston respectively.

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