Annabel Croft lifts lid on Strictly ‘malfunction’ as she speaks out on exit

Annabel Croft says goodbye to Strictly

Annabel Croft took to Instagram on Monday morning to speak out about her emotional exit from Strictly Come Dancing and narrowly missing out on a place in the grand finale. The tennis ace and partner Johannes Radebe were beaten by Bobby Brazier in the dance-off after landing at the bottom of the leaderboard following their Viennese Waltz and Salsa.

In her first post since her elimination, Annabel, 57, revealed that her first semi-final routine was almost thrown into chaos due to a technical malfunction behind the scenes.

She told her 61k followers: “What an amazing semi-final and congratulations to all three finalists – you are all so talented and deserving of your place in what’s going to be a wonderful final.

“Dancing a Salsa on Saturday night and being flung around like a rag doll was not something I will ever forget. I spent half the dance in hysterics, after skidding on the floor and landing on my back, with out of control legs in the air ha ha ha.

“Thank goodness for the super strong @johannesradebe who was able to pick me up and land me on my feet, just in time, to hit the beat and carry on partying. What a blast!

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“The last video was taken in rehearsals when I practised the entrance from the sky, however, seconds before we danced live, the mechanics broke down, so confetti was thrown from a stationary position, instead of the air.”

Despite the mishap, the routine went off without a hitch and Annabel says it was one of her favourite dances of the whole series.

In a second post, Annabel reflected on her second semi-final dance, the Viennese Waltz, describing it as “fitting” and “so special”.

She penned of the emotional routine: “This incredible experience has sadly come to an end and what a very fitting last dance it was. Getting to dance this beautiful Viennese Waltz, twice, back in ‘hold’ with @johannesradebe was SO special.

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“I have learnt to love ballroom and that’s all down to Johannes for being such an amazing, patient and genius teacher.

“Strictly really has been so life changing! When I think back to week 1, I was apprehensive and terrified… a bit like a rabbit in the headlights. But Strictly has brought me out of my shell and allowed me to discover things about myself that I never knew.

“I went through a lot of different emotions and I thank EVERYONE who has supported us both, along the way, because it’s all of you, who have kept us going and enabled us to get this far. We really appreciate it.”

Annabel added that she is “not sure where she would be mentally” had she not taken on Strictly following the tragic death of her husband, Mel, in January of this year. She concluded: “I am so appreciative that Strictly gave me this opportunity, at this time in my life… I feel incredibly grateful.”

This weekend, Bobby Brazier, Ellie Leach and Layton Williams will battle it out to lift the coveted Glitterball trophy.

Strictly: The Final airs Saturday and 9pm on BBC One.

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