Luba Mushtuk speaks out on ‘sacrifice’ as Jason Bell booted off Strictly Come Dancing

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Luba, 30, has made yet another early exit from Strictly Come Dancing after American football star Jason, 42, failed to win over the viewing public and the judges. The pair went head-to-head with Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, 38, and her dance partner Katya Jones, 31, who also received a low number of votes from those watching at home. Discussing her short time on the BBC dance show, the departing professional explained she was amazed by the “sacrifices” she and the rest of the team have made this year, despite the restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jason and Luba performed a Paso Doble for Movie week, basing their routine around the Star Wars theme tune and dressing as characters from the franchise.

Despite their best efforts in trying to better their performance in the dance-off, the panel was unanimous as all three judges chose to send them home.

Craig Revel Horwood, 55, was the first to cast his vote and he said of his decision: “Well there was a marked improvement in both performances this evening and both couples actually took the notes that we gave them which was brilliant.”

He opted to save Nicola, with Motsi Mabuse, 39, doing the same, as she said: “I definitely saw that one couple was stronger – stronger performance, stronger technique, stronger intention.”

Head judge Shirley Ballas, 60, was in agreement with her co-stars, which led to host Tess Daly, 51, to ask the eliminated contestants if they’d enjoyed their time in the competition.

“You really bring joy to my life, and I am so honoured and proud to be partnered with you. I now have a friend for life,” Luba began as she commended Jason.

The professional dancer then heaped praise for the crew behind-the-scenes who had managed to bring the show to life.

“I just want to say, to be actually able to do this show – shout out to everyone who has made sacrifices to make this happen.

“It is such an honour to be here and I’m very proud of you,” she told the American football star, who also spoke fondly of his dance partner.

It is such an honour to be here

Luba Mushtuk

Jason told Tess: “It was an opportunity of a lifetime. I had so much fun, thank you, Luba.

“You have worked so hard with me, you’re a great friend for life and I appreciate all that you’ve done, I really do.”

“I’ve had such a good time here. Everybody is wonderful. I mean really this is amazing – this is a brilliant place!

“This is the best group of people ever, this is amazing,” he explained, before the couple took to the dance floor for one final performance.

In terms of leaderboard position following Saturday night’s live show, Jason and Luba did place last after receiving a score of 12 out of 30 from the judges.

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The pair did receive some tough critique from the likes of Shirley, who praised the American football star for getting in the spirit, but he failed to capture the style of the Paso Doble.

Stating the performance was “very flat-footed,” the head judge was booed by the audience of celebrities who had also been watching the performance.

Hitting back, the former professional dancer told the remaining 10 contestants in the competition: “I have to just say what I see, darling.”

Motsi defended her colleague as she was heard saying: “Say it, say it,” wanting Jason to take the comments on board.

Discussing how he wanted to do well to thank Luba for all the patience she had with him during training, Jason said: “I’ve been around a lot of coaches in my life.

“The ones that want you to be successful all have similar traits: they really care about your performance and want to help you achieve to your highest ability.

“Luba is one of those coaches. I don’t want to let her down because she spends so much time trying to help me get ready,” he told iNews.

Next week, the remaining 10 couples will have to dance again to keep their place in the competition.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 7:10pm on BBC One.

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