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Strictly Come Dancing pro ‘gutted’ after failing to fully recreate iconic lift: ‘A low for us’

Strictly Come Dancing professional Dianne Buswell has admitted that she was “gutted” after she and partner Bobby Brazier failed to recreate the iconic Dirty Dancing lift.

The dance competition series is reaching its final stages, with Saturday night seeing the remaining contestants performing routines inspired by the biggest musical theatre shows.

Brazier and Buswell performed a Salsa to “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. The dance has featured on Strictly twice previously, with the celebrities attempting the lift made famous by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the 1987 film.

Unfortunately, the pair struggled to recreate the lift to its highest potential, with Buswell wobbling and struggling to keep her legs fully in the air, parallel to the floor. Judge Craig Revel Horwood said this was due to Brazier lifting her from the wrong position on her hips.

On Sunday, Buswell shared a photo of Brazier lifting her straight in the air in rehearsals. Captioning the post, the Australian dancer admitted that she was disappointed the routine hadn’t gone entirely to plan, as in rehearsals.

“Gutted the LIFT didn’t go to plan like it had in most rehearsals, but I do have to say we took a risk and didn’t play it safe,” Buswell wrote. “That dance was hard and so iconic that, of course, there was pressure to do it justice, and the feeling of just not quite getting it was a bit low for us.”

Buswell and Brazier during the live show (BBC/Guy Levy)
Buswell and Brazier during the live show (BBC/Guy Levy)

She continued: “HOWEVER Bobby wanted to challenge himself and so did I and that is success and growth in itself... let’s focus on the amazing parts of the dance: the fact Bobby was leading me around the floor, his hips, footwork, expression and just overall improvement for a guy who started dancing only 11 weeks ago is incredible ! Your strength, your movement has improved so, so much and I’m sure so many people agree.”

Speaking to The Independent ahead of the quarter-final, Buswell said that Brazier had got the hand of the lift in rehearsals and been showing it to anyone who asked to see.

“He’s like ‘show and tell’ at the moment,” she said. “Anyone we meet, there’s a screenshot on your phone and he’s showing everyone this lift! Even if he’s met them for two minutes, he will show them.”

However, Brazier remained calm about if things didn’t play out as planned. “It’s one of them things where it happens on the night or it doesn’t,” he said. “It’s a balancing act.”

Strictly’s Musicals Week spectacular faced a major hurdle on Saturday, after it was announced just hours before the live show began that Nigel Harman had sustained an injury in final rehearsals and had been forced to pull out of the competition completely.

As a result, there was no public vote on Saturday, with all four of the remaining couples going straight through to next week’s semi-final.

Harman still made an appearance on the show, and held back tears as he explained: “I was leaping off a rostrum and was about to be caught by some very handsome men and, as I flew I was Peter Pan and as I landed, I was in A&E.”

He added: “I’ve done something to my rib and it’s quite painful.”

One more couple will be eliminated before the grand final. While four couples usually compete for the Glitterball Trophy in the final episode, Amanda Abbington’s exit earlier in the series means only three will compete this time.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Sunday 3 December at 7.20pm on BBC One.