After an incredible nine weeks, sadly Michael Vaughan left Strictly after facing his third and final dance off against Nicky Byrne. In a unique Strictly journey that saw highs in ballroom but lows in latin, it was finally a Samba that killed-off Michael's ability to stay any longer in the competition.

With typical alomb that he had showed throughout the series, Michael said...

“I’ve had a ball. Nine weeks ago I had never been on a shiny floor, and I’ve got to December. September, October, November and still dancing in December. I’ve drained every ouce of dance ability out of my body because of this lady… everything about this show, the judges and everyone backstage, all the contestants have been great, I’ve got new friends that I’ve made for life. Nicky thoroughly deserved that win, he wiped the floor with me! I’ve had a ball, and the real winner for me is this one [Natalie]. She got me to the ninth week, which is quite remarkable.”

Here's how his fellow celebrities felt about his departure...

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  • Comment number 59. Posted by SCDFanatic

    on 5 Dec 2012 19:17

    Why did she even compete in the show? I am wondering if now former Team GB team-mate Louis Smith had any bearing. I am wondering if he actually had decided to appear before she did and got in her ear about a joint effort. Because I am struggling to imagine what she, perhaps, thought was left to prove to us to encourage us to think more of her than what we already do. It is impossible to think any more of her. For me she exceeded all expectations in that Velodrome. She utterly blew me away with amazement by how much she displayed all the traits of a true athlete. She never gave up and was gracious throughout.

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  • Comment number 58. Posted by MrsArcanum

    on 5 Dec 2012 15:59

    @Judith Post 54 & 57

    I suspect that Victoria wanted to leave far earlier than public votes allowed. Nor do I think she was that worried by the judges comments. She was far more aware of how much she was struggling than ever the harshest judges comments would indicate. However, being the consummate sports person she is she carried on regardless. So those sensitive to her struggles with dancing were glad when she was finally set free. Michael on the other hand was still thoroughly enjoying the whole SCD experience which is why folks are sorry to see him go.

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  • Comment number 57. Posted by JudithToo

    on 5 Dec 2012 15:48

    @SCDfanatic. Agree, and in her interview just after the judges voted her out she said 'it's been a tough four years.' I think for her, getting hammered by the judges immediately following all that training just wasn't the right thing to do. Not that she could have know that in advance, unfortunately.

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  • Comment number 56. Posted by SCDFanatic

    on 5 Dec 2012 15:16

    @ 54. Judith

    Good point. And maybe you can see why she wanted to leave. Nothing she really could do was good enough and also I think she just looked so done in it was painful to see. I can imagine she said to herself ,"Look girl! Is it really worth continuing? You have had a brilliant 2012 but you now are tired and is it worth staying in a dance show to become even more tired"? And the relief on Monday on ITT was palpable. She was far happier which told me she was relieved. She did the right thing at the right time.

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by Issfan

    on 5 Dec 2012 14:04

    Michael did well and it was his time to go. Next to go should definitely be Lisa. At last people are starting to talk about her mistakes and technique problems. I will never understand why she was above Nicky on Sat. Karen Hardy talked about how good his footwork was on Sat. Shame the he didn't get any credit for it. Double standards from the judges. Karen Hardy expected high marks for Nicky. If the judges had been fairer Nicky may not have been in the bottom 2

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by JudithToo

    on 5 Dec 2012 13:03

    "I fail to see why so many could be so sad to see Michael leave, yet were glad to see the back of Victoria"

    I wouldn't personally say I was glad to see the back of Victoria - but it seemed to me that she really was not enjoying herself any more. Her Latin had improved but was still poor and whilst her ballroom was good I think her fear and lack of confidence got the better of her almost all the time. I agree that some people have been unnecessarily rude about her but basically she pretty much seemed to want to go herself.

    In contrast, Michael's attitude seemed to be 'I may not be good at this, but I'm going to work very hard and enjoy it whilst it lasts'. On a logical level, I know it was his time to leave. He acknowledged himself that he was the weakest dancer left. On an emotional level I'm sorry to see him go because he was doing what I'd like to do myself - he was learning to dance and having a great time doing it. And I could aspire to be like him because I know I can work hard even if I'm not the most natural dancer in the world.

    Logic and emotion are not always in agreement with each other!

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  • Comment number 53. Posted by SCDFanatic

    on 5 Dec 2012 11:00

    Also maggiemalone, what I have noticed from the other couples is the average scores among the top 4 have been brilliant and the way they have been performing I am not so sure they won't do as well or even better than the couples who finished in the top 4 last year. The are all in the 30's already and with about 3 more weeks to go to the end of the scores, surely theirs time to do even better.

    History has shown that the best couples over the 10 series of SCD have attained finishing average scores well in the mid 30's. Could you see Michael doing that? I am afraid I don't. For me you can't fault Michael's endeavour at all. Nor can you fault his application. He has done very well indeed to embody the plucky underdog who gives 110% at all times. But in terms of quality a gap seemed to exist between him and someone like Dani for example that I am afraid to think he couldn't close.

    That said 7th place, when you look at the others, is very very very very very good indeed.

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  • Comment number 52. Posted by maggiemalone

    on 5 Dec 2012 08:59

    I quite agree SCDFanatic, Michael had peaked. The shame would be if he had stayed in and made no more progress. He gave it all he had to give. I agree with lots of other comments Lisa has also peaked, you can only "do" jolly so many times. When she is serious her routines are nowhere near as good as the other finalists and we have surely seen the extent of wide eyes, zany face, jazz hands and tricks for the series. Let her go while we still like her and don't think of her as a one trick pony. Nicky has shown that he can improve and cope with lots of different dance styles.

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  • Comment number 51. Posted by SCDFanatic

    on 5 Dec 2012 08:35

    I fail to see why so many could be so sad to see Michael leave, yet were glad to see the back of Victoria. For me whilst he did have his good points he was no more likely to go on and become stronger in an increasingly strengthening group of partnerships as Victoria. I think we saw Michael's peak on most occasions. The best we could hope for from Michael.

    It was his time to go for me.

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  • Comment number 50. Posted by JudithToo

    on 4 Dec 2012 17:24

    "There are 3 judges that preceed him after the dance-off so how can there ever be a tie?"

    If Craig and Darcey had voted for Nicky and Bruno and Len had voted for Michael, that would have been a tie (2 votes to each dancer). So Len's vote is given more weight and if that had happened, Michael would have gone through.

    Basically, since there are four judges, it's actually quite easy for there to be a tie.

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