Eastenders’ Tameka Empson leaves Strictly Come Dancing
EastEnders star Tameka Empson has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing.
The Kim Fox actress and her dance partner Gorka Marquez found themselves in the dance-off on Sunday night alongside Laura Whitmore and Giovannie Pernice. They had performed a tango on Saturday evening, where Empson and Marquez scored an acceptable 28 points, leaving them six places off the bottom spot.
The shock dance-off saw Empson and Marquez dance to “The Heat Is On” again, but the judges ultimately decided to save Whitmore and Pernice instead for their salsa to “Rhythm of the Night”.
Only Darcey Bussell opted to save Empson and Marquez, saying: “I marked them both exactly in the main show and seeing them again tonight they’ve both made an improvement. Incredibly difficult to make a choice but for me, because it was a stronger focus and intent performance, I’m going to save Tameka and Gorka.”
The judges had mixed feelings on sending Empson home, with Craig Revel-Horwood admitting choosing between the two performances was a “nightmare”.
He said: “This is a nightmare, I don’t feel like I’ve been in this position before, I can normally make a clear decision but both couples were extraordinary.”
Bruno Toniolo said: “These girls are fantastic, you both shouldn’t be here. I think out of the two performances the stand-out one was from Laura and Giovanni.”
Head judge Len Goodman echoed the sentiment, saying: “As my colleagues have said, they both came out and really went for the dance. In my opinion, neither should be in the dance off but it’s the nature of the thing.”
Speaking after her departure from the ballroom dancing competition, Empson said: “It has been [brief]. I have enjoyed my time immensely, I really have. It’s lovely to be a part of it, I’m grateful so thank you…”
The news will be a shock to EastEnders fans, as stars from the show have generally performed well on Strictly Come Dancing. Last year, Linda Carter actress Kellie Bright was a runner-up, while the year before Max Branning actor Jake Wood made it all the way to week 12.