Well, the bookies were right, weren’t they? After another tense weekend on Strictly, rank outsiders Ruth Langsford and Anton du Beke were booted off the series.
But although viewers clearly didn’t vote for the This Morning host and her professional partner in their droves – and that’s hardly surprising considering the quality of dancers left in the competition – they were still very popular.
And many were up in arms over comments made by Bruno Tonioli in the build-up to the duo’s dance-off performance in last night’s show, branding the Italian judge “rude” and “disrespectful”.
Ruth and Anton had scored just 18 points from the judges after dancing the Foxtrot to Mack the Knife on Saturday.
So it came as no surprise that they ended up in the dance-off, against Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse.
And Tess Daly introduced their performance by asking Bruno how they could “put the fox back in their trot”.
Bruno’s response was less than charitable. The 61-year-old seemed to suggest that Ruth might have to bluff her way through the dance.
He laughed: “It’s Strictly Come Dancing, it’s not Ascot, darling. Try not to go wrong. And if you go wrong, just try to mask it very well. Smoke and mirrors, darling!”
And some viewers at home felt that Bruno’s advice was condescending, with Twitter soon buzzing with scathing remarks.
One slammed: “Bruno’s advice to Ruth and Anton not helpful – in fact rather disrespectful! I know it’s their time to go but still… Sorry, I know it’s only a TV show!!”
“Don’t think Bruno should be so rude who laughs at someone in the dance off??
#idiot #strictly,” said someone else.
Another wrote: “Can someone buy Bruno Tonioli a newspaper or sit him down and force him to watch the news? How unbelievably rude was he to Ruth Langsford? He laughed in her face LIVE on TV. What a rude LITTLE man he is.”
And a fourth viewer agreed, adding: “Bruno so rude to Ruth – no need.”
“Have to say, I thought Bruno’s comment to Ruth there was below the belt… reference to a horse really? No need,” said someone else.
All credit to Ruth, though – she responded to her exit with dignity, and had no bad words for the judging panel.
She beamed: “I’ve absolutely loved it, even the judges’ comments – even Craig’s. He knows I love him really!
“And you, Anton du Beke, are just the most fabulous man – so funny, and you are a beautiful dancer. I hope we will be friends for a very long time.”
Ruth and Anton’s popularity was summed up as they performed their farewell dance. In a touching (and hilarious) moment, the rest of the competitors ran towards them and piled on top of them on the dancefloor.
But one person who isn’t too upset about Ruth being voted out is her husband and This Morning co-star Eamonn Holmes.
The 57-year-old later posted a comment on Twitter, saying: “I am feeling a lot of love for her out there, but I am also looking forward to having my wife & our life back.”
Ahh, what a sweetie!