Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter
Sun, 9 October 2022 at 9:30 pm
Richie Anderson has been revealed as the second celebrity to depart the Strictly dance floor.
After the second public vote, the 34-year-old TV and radio personality found himself up against Fleur East in the dance-off.
Anderson then performed his routine with partner Giovanni Pernice for the second time after Saturday evening’s live show.
The pair danced their head-turning samba to Hakuna Matata from the much-loved Disney movie The Lion King.
During the judges’ comments on Saturday, head judge Shirley Ballas joked: “I don’t think I’ll ever look at Giovanni the same again,” after the pair donned Lion King costumes for their performance.
Anderson dressed as mischievous meerkat Timon, while Pernice, 32, was dressed as warthog Pumbaa.
The dancing show’s 14 celebrity contestants took to the dancefloor for the third time on Saturday for the traditional movie-themed edition.
Up against Anderson in the dance-off, former The X Factor contestant East, 34, performed the American smooth to Part Of Your World from The Little Mermaid with her dance partner Vito Coppola.
East’s performance was enough to save her from elimination, and after the celebrities had both danced for a second time the judges delivered their feedback.
Craig Revel Horwood commented: “I would like to save the most accomplished technician, and that is Fleur and Vito.”
Motsi Mabuse said: “I think it’s heart-breaking actually because I think both of you do not deserve to be here, but this is how the public voted and based on this dance-off I’m going to save Fleur and Vito.”
Anton Du Beke also opted to save East, saying: “Well I thought that was a well-danced dance-off. I thought both couples performed well, I thought one couple was a bit more sure-footed about their performance and had a slightly better level of artistry about what they were doing, so the couple I would like to save is Fleur and Vito.”
After receiving three votes, giving them a majority, East and Coppola were safe, however Ballas, 62, said she would have opted to save Anderson.
Reflecting on his departure, Anderson told host Tess Daly: “As a Strictly fan I always thought it was a magical thing to be a part of, and being here it really is and it’s not just the people that you see on camera, the judges, and you and (co-host Claudia Winkleman) Claud and the amazing people that I’ve got to meet on this show.
“The people behind the scenes in hair, make-up, costume, Tasha our runner, Stef, Jas, everybody. I also want to thank this guy [Giovanni] as well, he’s been so amazing, and I feel so lucky that I’ve got to dance with you every day.
“Not only are you a fantastic dancer but you are also a fantastic guy on top of that. I want to thank all my family and friends and my other half Dean, who is in the audience, I love you so much.”
Pernice added: “I have to say it’s been an honour to be able to dance with you because I know how much you love Strictly Come Dancing, you really are a superfan.
“I’m glad that you got to do this experience and glad that I got to do it with you. It’s been a shame it’s been too short for us, but I hope you’ve enjoyed every single second of it, and it stays in your heart forever.
“Look at us we’ve gone out dressed as Timon and Pumbaa. So lovely jubbly, well done Richie.”
Sunday’s results show also saw a lively dance by the Strictly professionals, inspired by 2022 film Elvis, as well as a performance from Adam Lambert singing Mad About The Boy.