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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Martina Hingis waltzes off in first week of Strictly Come Dancing

Martina Hingis and Matthew Cutler

The nation's favourite dance extravaganza returned this weekend on BBC One and BBC HD and former professional tennis player and women's world No. 1 Martina Hingis was voted off Strictly Come Dancing – the first celebrity to leave the competition.

For the first time, Strictly Come Dancing kicked off with a live show on both Friday and Saturday nights.

This year, couples have to perform two dances in their first week – one Ballroom and one Latin – making this the toughest Strictly ever!

After performing a waltz on Friday night and a rumba tonight (Saturday), the combination of the judges' scores and viewer votes left Martina Hingis and partner Matthew Cutler in the bottom two and facing the dance off with Rav Wilding and Aliona Vilani.

Both Martina Hingis and Rav Wilding then both performed their rumba a second time for the judges' deciding vote.

Of Martina Hingis and Rav Wilding's dance, the judges said –

Craig Revel Horwood: "Both couples actually improved dramatically in that dance-off so it made that decision very, very difficult. But, for me, the best couple on that dance-off was Martina and Matthew."

Alesha Dixon: "Again, I do think both couples came out with fighting spirit but, for me, the best was Martina and Matt."

Bruno Tonioli: "Very difficult, very close because it's right, they're both right, they both improved. For me though, it's Rav and Aliona."

Head judge Len Goodman then had the deciding vote.

He said: "Unlike Craig, they were very close during the competition, but here in this dance-off I thought one did improve and one under-performed. And the one I'm saving is Rav and Aliona."

On Friday night, Martina and Matthew were awarded 22 points for their waltz by the judges and tonight they were given a total of 24 points for their rumba.

After her and Matthew's elimination, Martina said: "It was a great experience, I learnt so much and while I wish it could continue here we are, but maybe I'll come back to London for some more lessons."

Matthew Cutler said of Martina: "She's worked really hard and we had great fun together. And I learnt something about tennis from you and I'm gutted that I'm going to miss out on that now!"

The celebrities who also competed this week and escaped elimination were: Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna; Lynda Bellingham and Darren Bennett; Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff; Ricky Groves and Erin Boag; Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan; Jade Johnson and Ian Waite and Rav Wilding and Aliona Vilani.

On Friday, the couples not competing performed a group mambo to Tequila by The Champs and Maria by Ricky Martin, ahead of their first solo performances next week.

Tonight's show also saw a guest performance from last year's winners, Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup, and from Katherine Jenkins who performed I Believe.

Next week, the tables will turn – tonight's couples will not be competing but will perform a group number and will stay safe from elimination for another week, while the other group of celebrities will compete to stay in the competition.

Dancing next week are: Natalie Cassidy and Vincent Simone; Richard Dunwoody and Lilia Kopylova; Craig Kelly and Flavia Cacace; Zoe Lucker and James Jordan; Laila Rouass and Anton Du Beke; Phil Tufnell and Katya Virshilas; Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe and Jo Wood and Brendon Cole.

Notes to Editors

Strictly Come Dancing is available on BBC One and BBC HD.

Don't forget you can get all the up-to-date gossip on Strictly Come Dancing's sister show It Takes Two, weekdays at 6.30pm on BBC Two.

Tune in to the next episodes of Strictly Come Dancing on Friday 25 September at 8.30pm and Saturday 26 September at 7.25pm.

For more information and gossip, visit bbc.co.uk/strictlycomedancing or follow on Twitter: bbcstrictly.

IV/RB/KS3

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