Strictly Come Dancing finalists confirmed – as CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson falls at the final hurdle

THIS year's Strictly Come Dancing finalists have been confirmed – as CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson fell at the final hurdle.

The kids telly host was sent home in Sunday's show after losing out in the dance off to Bake Off winner John Whaite.

The judging panel voted unanimously to boot out Rhys, 28, and partner Nancy Xu, 30, and save John, 32, and Johannes Radebe, 34.

It means next weekend's grand final will be contested by TV host AJ Odudu, 33, EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, 27, and John.

Acid-tongued judge Craig Revel Horwood even struggled to make the decision in Sunday's show.

Craig, 56, said: “In all the years I’ve been doing the show since 2004, I really do not want to make this decision tonight.

"This has been one of the most amazing dance offs I’ve ever witnessed.

"Both couples are equal and both couples deserve to go through and I just want to put both couples through. I know I’m not allowed to do that so I have to choose."

While his colleague Motsi Mabuse, 40, added: "I think both couples deserve to stay in the competition but that is not how it works.

When asked by host Tess Daly about their time on the show, Rhys said: “I might not have gotten to the final but I learnt so much from just being on this show, from everyone here who’s just supported us in this new family.

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"To have the time to spend with this champion of a dancer [Nancy] who’s put so much into me.

"Thank you for just letting my energy shine. Thank you for being that partner.

"I should use your actual name which is Xu YouJie.

"Thank you so much Nancy Xu YouJie, for just being there, being my rock and everything I needed to get through this. Thank you.”

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