Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Sunday, 14 December 2008

Strictly semi hit by scoring tie

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Strictly's surprising semi-final result

All three couples in BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing semi-final have gone through to the final after two were tied following the judges' scoring.

Presenter Lisa Snowdon and singer Rachel Stevens and their partners were given the maximum points available.

But that meant that whatever happened in the audience vote, actor Tom Chambers could not be saved from the dance-off and that was deemed "unfair".

Viewers were assured their votes would be included in next Saturday's final.

Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup
All kinds of people wanted to put Tom through, but if their vote didn't count, well that's not fair to them
Choreographer Kele Baker
A statement issued following Saturday's live show said: "Due to the unprecedented outcome of the judges' vote, the audience vote could not have saved one of our couples from the dance-off.

"We took the decision that all the votes cast tonight should stand and be carried through to next week's final.

"So the audience has had the usual chance to vote on the performances of all our semi-finalists. All the votes cast tonight will be rolled over. Tonight's vote has been independently verified."

When the series started back in the autumn, with 16 couples, the original plan was to have three in the final.

But after broadcaster John Sergeant quit the show last month in controversial circumstances, it was decided to continue voting one couple off each week until just two were left to compete in the final.

Voting mathematics

A BBC spokeswoman added that the decision was considered to be "the fairest option to all of our dancers".

The programme's choreographer Kele Baker said she supported the producers' decision.

"It wouldn't have been fair any other way," she said.

"All kinds of people wanted to put Tom through, but if their vote didn't count, well that's not fair to them, they would have felt, I think, even more hard done by."

Stevens, dancing with Vincent Simone, and Snowdon, partnered by Brendan Cole, had both been awarded 75 marks out of a possible 80 by the judges after their two dances, with Snowdon achieving a perfect score on her ballroom round.

That meant both couples were awarded three points to take into the audience vote, with Holby city star Chambers and partner Camilla Dallerup awarded just one.

In the audience vote, a further three would have been the most points Chambers and Dallerup could have won and a further one would have been the least either of the other couples could have got.

Therefore, whatever the outcome of how the audience voted, Chambers and Dallerup would have been one of the two lowest-scoring couples and facing a dance-off for a place in the final against the other lowest scorers.

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