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Strictly’s Seann Walsh and Katya Jones pull off first dance since kiss drama

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The pair ignored the furore of the past seven days, and were even cheered by the audience for their lifts.

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones

Strictly Come Dancing’s Seann Walsh and Katya Jones landed in the top half of the leaderboard for their first dance since their controversial kiss, making no reference to the scandal at all.

The duo had been at the centre of a media storm over the past week after being pictured locking lips in The Sun newspaper, despite Jones being married and Walsh being in a relationship.

They had both previously apologised for their actions, which had prompted speculation they might leave the programme, but they returned to face the music on Saturday night with a cheeky Charleston to Bills by Lunchmoney Lewis.

Comedian Walsh, who was publicly dumped by his long-term girlfriend days ago, admitted in the VT that he was struggling with the routine, but the pair made no reference to the events of the past week.

The couple received cheers from the audience as they attempted tricky lifts, one which saw Jones swing around Walsh’s shoulders and another where she stood on top of his shoulders, although they struggled with the final lift.

The judges were largely impressed, with Dame Darcey Bussell commenting: “That was a full routine, you delivered a great energy, strong vibrant character, there were some really tricky lifts in there, I enjoyed one of the first ones where you took one arm and one leg where you swung her around.

“How you saved that last one…”

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Head judge Shirley Ballas said Walsh “gets an extra point” for saving the last lift, and she said the “whole routine was totally entertaining, you got one tiny kick wrong in the middle, but I loved it”.

They were given 28 points from the judges, one of the highest scores of the episode, putting them in fourth place overall.

Although the programme largely ignored the drama, hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly did make a light-hearted reference to it as they opened the show.

Daly told the audience: “For the last seven days, our couples have been eating, sleeping, breathing, dancing.”

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Winkleman chipped in: “Apart from that, it’s been a quiet week…”

Daly added: “Other than the odd headline.”

Presenter Stacey Dooley and her partner Kevin Clifton topped the leaderboard for their foxtrot, which was highly-praised by the judges and saw them take their first nine points of the competition.

The couple danced a 1960s-themed routine to Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining.

Ballas told Dooley: “It was just a bottle of Champagne, it was bubbly, it was sparkly, the frame is improving, and for a non-dancer I applaud you.”

They won their highest score of the series, 33 points.

Former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, who has topped the leaderboard in previous weeks, was in second place with 32 points for her tango with Pasha Kovalev.

Radio DJ Vick Hope and Steps star Faye Tozer were in joint third place with 29 points each for their routines, a quickstep to You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes for Hope and a rumba to Chandelier by Sia for Tozer.

In danger of being eliminated this week are Katie Piper, who is at the bottom of the leaderboard with 18 points for her jive, and Kate Silverton, whose unsatisfying samba scored her 20 points.

Viewers have the chance to vote for who they want to keep in the competition, with the votes being combined with the judges’ scores.

Strictly Come Dancing’s results show airs at 7.45pm on Sunday on BBC One.

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