Oti Mabuse addresses Ugo Monye’s injury as couple booted off Strictly ‘Was a challenge’

Strictly: Ugo Monye discusses his back injury

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Ugo Monye and professional dance partner Oti Mabuse were the fourth couple to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing after landing themselves in the dreaded dance-off on Sunday. The rugby star was up against presenter Rhys Stephenson in the dance-off, but all four of the judges chose to save Rhys. After being voted off the BBC show, Ugo took the time to praise Oti for “putting up with me” over the past month and joked about her “wanting a challenge”. 

The Strictly experience has been a turbulent one for former England rugby player Ugo. 

Last weekend, the 38-year-old was forced to withdraw from the show as a result of an old back injury flaring up. 

However, the star managed to get some well-needed rest and returned to the ballroom on Saturday night with his partner Oti. 

Despite his best efforts, the Question Of Sport team captain ended up getting voted off the show by the judges following the dance-off.

Rhys and Ugo had to perform their routines from Saturday night in Sunday’s dance-off. 

Ugo and Oti performed their Rumba to Leave The Door Open by Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak and Silk Sonic. 

Then Rhys and his partner Nancy Xu performed their American Smooth to I’ve Got The World On A String by Michael Bublé, in a bid to impress the judges and remain in the competition.

After both couples had danced a second time, the judges delivered their verdicts – and it wasn’t a good result for Ugo. 

Craig Revel Horwood chose to save Rhys and Nancy, saying: “I just want to say I have the greatest respect for every celebrity who is brave enough to come on this show and bare their heart and soul to the nation, it takes guts. But, the couple I’d like to save is Rhys and Nancy.”

Motsi Mabuse, who also chose to save Rhys and Nancy, added: “One couple was definitely stronger in this performance and I will save Rhys and Nancy.”

Anton Du Beke commented: “Well, it so often turns out that the dance-off seems to instil something in the couples and they’ve produced their best performances. So, on that performance alone, I’m going to give it to Rhys and Nancy.”

With three votes to Rhys and Nancy, it meant they had won the majority vote and Ugo and Oti would be leaving the competition regardless, however, Head Judge Shirley Ballas said she would have also decided to save Rhys and Nancy.

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Despite the crushing blow for Ugo, he told host Tess Daly that he’d “loved” his short time on the show performing with Oti. 

Ugo explained: “It’s an absolute privilege to be on this show and all I’ve wanted to do every week is just get a little bit better and I’ve done that. 

“There are lots of people that I would love to say thank you to. Oti, firstly, just for putting up with me. She said she wanted a challenge and she got one! 

“To everyone else that’s in the competition, it’s truly incredible and I wish you all the very best of luck.”

The star also thanked Craig for all of his comments – both the negative ones and the positive ones. 

Oti, who won the Glitterball Trophy last year with celebrity partner Bill Baily, added: “I stand here in this very moment feeling very, very grateful. 

“I am so grateful to be partnered with you. Thank you for having me as a teacher, as a trainer. 

“Seeing you through your injury, I appreciate every single moment that you’ve given to me. I am grateful for the show. 

“To say I work on the best show in the whole country, with the best celebrities is a privilege and I am very grateful to [Ugo], thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Sunday’s result show opened with a vibrant and glamourous routine from the Strictly professionals. 

There was also a special performance from Craig David and MNEK who performed their new single Who You Are to the audience. 

The remaining 10 couples will take to the dancefloor next weekend for Halloween Week. 

Ugo and Oti will appear on It Takes Two on Monday (October 25) at 6.30pm on BBC Two for their first interview about their elimination. 

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