Strictly star ‘grateful’ to get to semi-finals as they leave the competition

Mollie King has thanked her dance partner AJ Pritchard for getting her to the semi-final as she became the 11th celebrity to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing.

The Saturdays star narrowly missed out on a place in the final after losing the dance-off to Gemma Atkinson.

King, 30, had come at the bottom of the leaderboard on Saturday night after failing to impress the judges with her samba, despite having gained her highest score of the series so far for her other other dance, a waltz.

Mollie King and AJ Pritchard (Guy Levy/BBC)

King and Pritchard took to the dancefloor again, repeating their waltz to Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, while Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec performed their tango to The Knack’s My Sharona.

The judges voted unanimously to save Atkinson, meaning King’s time in the competition came to an end.

King told Strictly presenter Tess Daly that Atkinson and Skorjanec “totally deserved” their place in the show as they had “danced their socks off”.

Speaking after the show, she said: “It has been the most incredible experience and I feel so grateful to have got to the semi-finals, it has literally been the most fun I could ever have had.”

While not referring to the rumours of a romance between herself and 23-year-old Pritchard, King said: “Spending all this time with AJ I feel so lucky.

“So just a huge thank you to everyone who has voted us through, and to AJ who has got somebody who has got two left feet to this point – he is an absolute legend.”

King added that Pritchard was the “best teacher ever”.

Pritchard said: “Mollie has been the best partner ever, willing to train non-stop with me and put up with me all the time.

“And who would have thought that we would make it to the semi-finals. Week one and that jive and I thought ‘oh my, it’s going to take a lot’ and then endless hours of training have produced fantastic performances and I am sorry I didn’t get you to the final.”

King and Pritchard have said they will continue dancing together, and that they are determined to learn the Argentine tango, one of the styles they had yet to try on the series.

Atkinson will now appear in the Strictly final along with Joe McFadden, Debbie McGee and Alexandra Burke.

The Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final airs at 6.30pm on Saturday, on BBC One.


 

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