Andy Akinwolere has become the first celebrity to leave this year’s series of Dancing on Ice.
The ex-Blue Peter host was eliminated by the panel after having to perform in the skate-off with Sugababes star Heidi Range.
Andy Whyment, Charlene Tilton, Jorgie Porter, Chemmy Alcott and Mark Rhodes were earlier granted spots in the the next stage of the competition.
In the vote, Louie Spence backed the “more refined and polished” performance given by Range, but Katarina Witt saved Akinwolere after being impressed with how he managed his challenging routine.
Addressing Range, she said: “Your second performance was more steady and better, but Andy as a celebrity and a non-skater it’s more difficult to cover a fast number, to keep the rhythm… I still feel you are the better skater.”
The deciding vote went down to Robin Cousins, who plumped for Range’s “cleaner” display over the “great energy” evident in Akinwolere, voting to save Range, he quipped: “I like a little sugar with my babe.”
Speaking to hosts Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley after the result, Akinwolere admitted: “[I'm] gutted actually, really gutted. We put so much into that, but it’s cool.” His partner Maria Filippov added: “It was sweet and short, but I loved every minute of it. I’m really gutted that we couldn’t show more.”
The remaining eight celebrities will skate for the first time when Dancing on Ice returns next Sunday (January 15) at 6.30pm on ITV1.