Strictlys final three announced as Rhys Stephenson fails to make the cut

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The final three couples of Strictly Come Dancing have now been announced – with CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson narrowly missing out on a place in the final.

Rhys, 28, and his professional partner Nancy Xu became the 11th casualties of the Strictly ballroom after landing at the bottom of the leaderboard during the semi-final.

Rhys was forced to dance off with Bake Off winner John Whaite, for what was John's first time in the bottom two.

That means John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington, and Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice will all go through to the final next weekend.

And the judges were clearly distraught to see any of the couples leave the show, with Craig Revel Horwood admitting: "In all the years I've been doing the show since 2004, I really do not want to make this decision tonight.

"This has been one of the most amazing dance-offs I've ever witnessed. Both couples are equal and both couples deserve to go through and I just want to put both couples through.

"I know I'm not allowed to do that so I have to choose. I'm going on the technical side and it's to do with clean finishes. I'd like to put through to the final: John and Johannes."

Eventually, all four judges voted to save John and Johannes, with Motsi Mabuse confessing both couples "deserved to stay in the competition".

Speaking on his exit, Rhys told host Tess Daly: "I might not have gotten to the final but I learnt so much from just being on this show, from everyone here who's just supported us in this new family.

"To have the time to spend with this champion of a dancer who's put so much into me. Thank you for just letting my energy shine. Thank you for being that partner.

"I should use your actual name which is Xu YouJie. Thank you so much Nancy Xu YouJie, for just being there, being my rock and everything I needed to get through this. Thank you."

Tearing up, Rhys went on: "It's good to cry, it's good to feel. Strictly makes you feel things. You feel so much and sometimes that's overwhelming."

Nancy dubbed Rhys an "amazing dance partner" and said her first series had been "absolutely epic".

It comes after the results were leaked earlier on Sunday, with fans left fuming at spotting spoilers ahead of the official results show.

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  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • Rhys Stephenson

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