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Adam Peaty said he'd never faced a challenge like Strictly as he became the sixth celebrity to be eliminated from the competition.
The Olympic swimming champ was given his marching orders in Sunday night's instalment of the BBC show, after ending up in the dreaded dance-off against Tilly Ramsay.
Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke all chose to save Tilly – meaning Adam and his pro partner Katya Jones got the boot.
Talking about his time on the dancefloor, Adam said: "I have absolutely loved every single challenge.
"I've never had a challenge like this. As an Olympian for 16 years, I've pushed my body to places that I never thought it could be pushed.
"This is just a whole new ballgame and I’ve got so much respect for everyone that dances across the world and to all of these contestants and pros that put themselves on the line every single week.
"It's just been a great experience."
"I just want to say thank you to Katya, everyone behind the scenes, all the judges, wardrobe, make-up artists… absolutely everyone," he added.
Katya said she hadn't been prepared for the duo to be eliminated.
"I was not ready to be in this position today," she said.
"But looking back, this is you, you have done all of this. None of us expected you to come from the Olympics."
The dancer said she had looked at Adam after the dance-off and that he'd had "tears in his eyes".
"Someone who's an absolute unbeatable machine that we see defending his titles for seven years non-stop, being emotional about dancing," she said.
"I really think you deserve a lot more appreciation for what you've done and I was not ready for this."
The dance-off saw Adam and Katya perform their jive to Little Bitty Pretty One by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, while Tilly and Nikita Kuzmin gave the panel another look at their tango.
Craig said he wouldn't have put either of the couples in the bottom two.
"I'm finding it really difficult tonight and this isn't like me," he said, before choosing to save Tilly.
Motsi said both had performed well, but also chose to save Tilly.
Anton also thought both pairs gave it their all.
"I found it so equal I was desperate for something to happen to make me choose and there was a moment in one of the dances that made me decide and that was Tilly and Nikita," he said.
However, head Judge Shirley Ballas said she would have saved Adam and Katya.
Strictly returns on Saturday 13th November at 6.40pm, with the results show on Sunday 14th November at 7.20pm on BBC One.
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- Strictly Come Dancing
- Adam Peaty
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