Over the last few months Lisa Riley has danced her way into the nation’s hearts, and has even been dubbed the ‘people’s champion’ by Len. But tonight she fell at the final hurdle, failing to make next week’s coveted grand final after losing out in the dance-off.
Yesterday’s semi-final saw the former Emmerdale star dance her socks off, but despite her best efforts, she ended up at the bottom of the leader board.
Her first dance of the night, a salsa, left the judges in stitches after a few hilarious mishaps. Professional partner Robin Windsor’s attempt to spin Lisa on the floor didn’t go according to plan and the bubbly star was left sprawled on the floor.
After the performance, the judges were seen to be laughing their socks off and had still not recovered when the time came to give their verdict.
Bruno had shouted: “the crash landing and the re-mount... I thought I was going to explode!” He failed to give Lisa a technical critique as he was too busy trying to subdue his laughter.
Craig meanwhile had tears in his eyes, and seemed to struggle to get his words out. He eventually managed to tell Lisa: “The floor spin did it for me darling!” before getting the giggles again. Darcy added that the dance was “just fabulous...I love it!”
The judges scored the pair 31 points, which was a pretty low score for a semi-final performance.
Their next dance scored a slightly better 32 points, with the couple performing a more serious American Smooth to ‘All that Jazz’ from the film Chicago.
Darcy commented that the “lines in all the mirroring and spacing is perfect”, whilst Len called the star the “people’s champion.”
Despite these good comments, Lisa found herself in the bottom two for the very first time alongside West End star Denise Van Outen.
Denise, who has been criticised for appearing on the show because of her performance background, looked distraught to find herself in the dance-off for the second week in a row. However, she had recovered enough to perform an outstanding Tango with partner James Jordan.
The pair looked fierce as they battled to stay in the competition, and their efforts paid off when the judges unanimously decided to keep her in the competition and send Lisa home.
Lisa was clearly emotional at the prospect of leaving the competition, and couldn’t stop the tears from flowing as she said her final goodbye.
In her emotional speech, she said that "It's been the best time of my entire life, I can't thank you enough,” She added: "From the costume to the makeup, everybody backstage is just beyond belief, and all the judges, I've had the time of my life.”
Barely able to contain her emotions, she then went on to thanks her professional partner Robin Windsor, she said: “What you don't all know is having me as a partner is a really, really tough ask and every week, week in week out he's done it...and he's helped me through one of the toughest times of my life...I owe every inch of Strictly to him, he's just amazing”
Next week sees the final four contestants, Denise, Dani, Kimberley and Louis; battle it out to take the Strictly Come Dancing crown. They’ll be expected to do three dances, including their favourite one of the whole series.
Who do you think will be crowned the Strictly Come Dancing champion 2012?
Photos: See the Strictly stars in action