Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing: Anastacia injury forces her out of dance-off

Anastacia and Brendan Cole Image copyright Guy Levy/BBC
Image caption Anastacia (centre) said she would 'miss Melvin's unique spirit and beautiful smile'

Singer Anastacia has pulled out of the Strictly dance-off due to an injury, meaning DJ Melvin Odoom became the first to leave the new series.

The Kiss FM presenter and his partner Janette Manrara were the first to leave Strictly Come Dancing in the opening rounds without a dance-off.

Anastacia was unable to dance due to a tear to a cancer surgery scar.

So the result reverted to the viewers' vote. Odoom said: "It was unexpected but... Anastacia's health comes first."

Anastacia's injury - a tear to a scar from a double mastectomy - had forced the singer to perform a modified routine during her initial dance. The performance aggravated her injury.

After hearing she was in the dance-off, she initially said she would dance although she was "scared" of hurting herself. She later changed her mind and pulled out.

Odoom said after the show: "I love Anastacia, I think she's a great woman, she's a great role model and her health comes first before everything else.

"As much as this is a great show and competition, her health comes first. It's the way it is."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Melvin Odoom said that Anastacia's health must come first

Anastacia, who had a double mastectomy in 2013 after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, said she was sorry to see Odoom leave Strictly.

"I danced on Saturday even though the doctor had advised me to rest after I ripped the scar tissue around where I had my double mastectomy," she said.

"After that, I was unable to dance again and I was devastated that I couldn't take part in the dance-off.

"I am so very sad to see Melvin and Janette go, they are the most the most wonderful pair and I will miss Melvin's unique spirit and beautiful smile."

A Strictly Come Dancing spokesman said: "There was no dance-off tonight due to a confirmed injury.

"As per the Strictly Come Dancing rules, if the dance-off cannot go ahead then the result reverts to the viewer vote."

On Twitter, some fans were unimpressed that Odoom had to leave.

One tweeted: "That's terrible and mean. Judges should have decided. Scandal. #Strictly he would have won the dance off."

Another said: "As much as I love #Anastasia if she couldn't dance off then she should have gone home not #Melvin #Strictly."

It was not the only controversial event during Strictly's second weekend on air.

Judge Bruno Tonioli was heard uttering a mild swear word after disagreeing with Craig Revel Horwood's accusation that Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane was "hyper-extending a little bit".

Host Tess Daly apologised later in the show.

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