Melvin Odoom left Strictly Come Dancing without the opportunity to perform to keep his place after injury left tearful Anastacia too “scared” to take part in the dance off.
Melvin and professional partner Janette Manrara were due to face Anastacia and partner Brendan Cole in the competition’s first dance off after the public vote was combined with the judges’ scores.
When breast cancer survivor Anastacia was unable to dance due to a tear to scar tissue from a double mastectomy, Melvin and Janette became the first pair to leave the show as Strictly rules state the couple with the fewest viewer votes should be eliminated.
The DJ and presenter became the first contestant to leave Strictly without a dance off in the opening rounds.
Injury had forced Anastacia to perform a modified routine during Saturday’s show and, after hearing she was in the bottom two, Anastacia tearfully said she would dance, although she was “scared” she would hurt herself. However, she later pulled out of the dance off.
Speaking after the show, Melvin said: “It was unexpected but I care about the people before everything else.
“I love Anastacia, I think she’s a great woman, she’s a great role model and her health comes first before everything else.
“As much as this is a great show and competition, her health comes first; it’s the way it is.”
Anastacia, who underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, said she was sorry to see Melvin leave the competition.
“I danced on Saturday even though the doctor had advised me to rest after I ripped the scar tissue around where I had my double mastectomy,” she said.
“After that, I was unable to dance again and I was devastated that I couldn’t take part in the dance off.
“I am so very sad to see Melvin and Janette go, they are the most the most wonderful pair and I will miss Melvin’s unique spirit and beautiful smile.”
A Strictly Come Dancing spokesman said: “There was no dance off tonight due to a confirmed injury.
“As per the Strictly Come Dancing rules, if the dance off cannot go ahead then the result reverts to the viewer vote.”
On Twitter, some fans were unimpressed that Melvin had to leave.
As much as I love #Anastasia if she couldn't dance off then she should have gone home not #Melvin #Strictly
— sue bagnall (@suebaggy) October 2, 2016
That's terrible and mean. Judges should have decided. Scandal #Strictly he would have won the dance off.
— Oriane Messina (@orianemessina) October 2, 2016
Melvin and Janette will join Zoe Ball for their first exclusive live interview on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two on Monday October 3 at 6.30pm on BBC Two.