Tony Adams sensationally quit Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening, pulling out of the contest with an injury.
The former Arsenal footballer and his professional partner Katya Jones will now miss the show’s iconic trip to Blackpool Tower, with Tyler West and Dianne Buswell automatically going through in their place.
A BBC source said: ‘After finding out he would be facing the dance off, Tony had a chat with producers and stated that both he and the physio were concerned that dancing the jive again in the dance off could cause further injury and he had therefore decided he would instead withdraw from the competition.’
The BBC refused to explain what the injury was or how it occurred, citing it as a private, medical matter, though there was speculation he had hurt his hamstring, a common complaint for footballers.
All over: Tony Adams sensationally quit Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evening, pulling out of the contest with an injury
But there were no signs of him hurting himself during his jive to Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett with partner Katya, for which he won 24 out of 40 points – the lowest of the night.
A source at the studio said that Adams looked ‘upset’ after the Saturday night show ended.
‘Something was wrong, something was going on,’ they told the Daily Mail. ‘He was struggling to walk and was holding his leg.’
Week eight is deemed on of the most crucial of the series as it is the last show before the celebrities head to Blackpool to perform world famous Tower Ballroom.
Nightmare: The former footballer and his professional partner Katya Jones will now miss the show’s iconic trip to Blackpool Tower, with Tyler West and Dianne Buswell going through
Gutted: Adams looked devastated after admitting an unexpected injury sustained during the live show left him unable to continue with the dance-off
Close: The former footballer gave dance partner Katya Jones a farewell hug following their sudden departure from the show
Mystery: The BBC refused to explain what the injury was or how it occurred, citing it as a private, medical matter
Adams was under increased pressure from Strictly fans to quit the competition after he stayed in last Sunday while Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds – a favourite to reach the final – was sent home. She had scored 12 more points the than Adams for her dance.
Her exit prompted devoted followers of the BBC dance programme to write to the Corporation’s bosses and also share their anger on social media. They insisted he leave the show to give his more talented co-stars an opportunity to stay.
They were also furious with Arsenal fans for voting for Adams, 56, to stay when he was scoring such low marks.
Gutting: Adams sustained an injury on Saturday night and was unable to participate in Sunday’s dance off
A show source said: ‘Tony remaining in the show was becoming a real problem for the BBC, they always love to have a range of abilities but usually these exits happen naturally, at the times they should early on in the series.
‘But Tony’s huge fan base meant that this wasn’t the case and while he was being voted to stay by Arsenal fans, some of whom don’t even watch the show, others were being booted off. Tony was under pressure to go and now he has.’
The remaining couples took to the Ballroom floor in the hope of impressing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Head Judge, Shirley Ballas and the voting public.
But after Adams was forced to withdraw and couldn’t fight for his place in the competition, host Tess Daly explained: ‘Due to an injury sustained on Saturday night, Tony is unable to take part in the dance off and has decided to withdraw from the competition.
Tony said: ‘It’s been emotional guys, I cried for the first month. I came in here with one message, if you’ve got an issue with mental health then please don’t suffer in silence and reach out for help’
Opening up: ‘Little did I know that I was going to learn a lot about myself in the process. I thought this ‘journey’ rubbish was nonsense, but my god the rollercoaster of emotion,’ he added
Goodbye: Adams was full of praise for the BBC show after pulling out just one week before it’s legendary Blackpool week
Well done: Head judge Shirley Ballas credited Adams for giving 100% during his time on the show
‘This means there will be no dance off tonight and Tyler and Dianne are through to Blackpool.’
When asked by Tess about his time on the show, he said: ‘It’s been emotional guys, I cried for the first month. I came in here with one message, if you’ve got an issue with mental health then please don’t suffer in silence and reach out for help.’
He continued: ‘Little did I know that I was going to learn a lot about myself in the process. I thought this ‘journey’ rubbish was nonsense, but my god the rollercoaster of emotion. I’ve got to be honest, it’s tough, physically it’s really tough out there, but dancing is really fantastic for you.
‘Go out there and enjoy it and pick up new skills and explore. I suppose I had better mention this one [Katya] hadn’t I, she is an exceptional human being, she really is.’
Asked if she had any words for her partner, Katya said: ‘Tony Adams, I will be forever grateful that I was partnered up with you, do you know what I loved?
‘I loved us, I loved that we didn’t care what people thought, we did every single dance our way! You have come here with a message, you led by example, and put yourself out there, and showed everyone you can do anything. And everyone deserves love and to be loved! I love you.’
Head judge Shirley added: ‘Tony, from the very first moment you stepped foot on the floor with your tango, to the last moment and the last kick, you have given us 100% of your heart.
‘You have grown week after week after week, you have become one of the nation’s favourite entertainers.
‘On behalf of the judges, we’ve enjoyed watching every second, you are truly what this show is all about, and we can only wish you the very best as you move forward. Please carry on dancing, carry on entertaining people, because you are a star. Well done.’
Sunday’s results show opened with a touching tribute to Remembrance Sunday in a beautiful ballroom number from our Strictly professionals and the incredible Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Zak Abel performed their single, Same Boat.
The remaining eight couples will take to the dancefloor next when Strictly Come Dancing returns to the Blackpool Tower.
Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: Coronation Street star and presenter
Kym says: ‘I’m so delighted that this year they have! I’m a huge fan of the show and can’t believe I’m going to go from watching at home in my pyjamas to actually dancing in front of the judges in a glittery dress.’
Profession: Former athlete
Ellie says: ‘To be asked to be part of the Strictly family is just so exciting and I cannot wait, it’s going to so much fun.’
Profession: Radio DJ
Tyler says: ‘It’s a show that means so much to me and my family and I can’t wait to seriously shake a leg on that shiny dance floor… with a side of sequins.’
Ellie says: ‘Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly 2022!’
TONY ADAMS MBE
Profession: Retired footballer and manager
Tony says: ‘To say I’m excited is an understatement – the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes’
Will says: ‘I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about. This is also my Mum’s favourite show and she’s had a really tough few years so I’m doing this is for her as well. Bring it on!’
Molly says: ‘I already know it’s gonna be an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Strictly family I’ll be sharing it with.’
Fleur says: ‘I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up. I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.’
Profession: Wildlife cameraman and presenter
Hamza says: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Strictly 2022. Never in a million years did I think I’d be on such a cool show.’
Profession: TV and radio broadcaster
Helen says: ‘I’m really excited to get stuck into a fun adventure. My family and friends have always loved the show and can’t wait for me to get started’