Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Ben Cohen voted off as Mark Benton is saved

Mark Benton survived his third dance-off as Ben and Kristina were sent home

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The Independent Culture

It was third time lucky for actor Mark Benton after former England rugby player 'Big Ben' Cohen was given the boot from Strictly Come Dancing.

Viewers tuning into Sunday's results show may have wondered why The Great British Bake-Off seemed to be on-air instead, as the show's professional dancers whisked across the dancefloor in candy-floss tutus and bakers' hats.

Queen of the Victoria Sponge, Mary Berry, even emerged from the top tier of a wedding cake to close the performance.

Mary Berry popped out of a wedding cake to open the Strictly results show

Back in London following last weekend's sequined stunner at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom, Saturday night saw the remaining eight celebrities perform a glitzy cocktail of dances, from the Rumba and Foxtrot to the Viennese Waltz and the Tango. But as usual, one contestant had to leave tonight.

Unsurprisingly given his established status as 'most likely to leave the competition', Mark and his professional partner Iveta Lukosiute were called to the dancefloor by hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman to battle Ben and Kristina Rihanoff.

Mark faced the fancy footwork battle for the third time, while Ben was a newcomer to the show's dance-off.

Both couples performed Saturday's routines again, with Mark and Iveta revving up their Foxtrot when it mattered to the smooth beat of ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’ by Michael Buble.

Ben and Kristina performed their Charleston to ‘No Diggity’ by Minimatic, but failed to seduce judges Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioi with sparkle, instead letting nerves get the better of them.

Only Craig Revel-Horwood chose to save Ben, with head judge Len recognising that the sportsman had "made two blatant mistakes" while Mark and Iveta had slipped up only slightly once.

Mark and Iveta stepped up their game to stay in the competition

Ben thanked his tearful dance tutor Kristina and the "amazing" support from the audience. "When would I get to dress like this every day, wear all the lycra and maybe not a top!" he said. "Now I can dance at my kid's parties. Kristina has been great, I've thrown her into walls, dropped her a few times and she has been great - thanks ever so much for putting up with me!"

Classical quartet Il Divo also featured on the results show for a performance of "Tonight" from their Broadway album.

Kristina paid tribute to her partner for improving each week having "started at zero". "You make me so proud and I've had the best, most rewarding time on Strictly," she gushed. "If there was a trophy for the most improved person it would go to you."

Next week, the remaining celebrities will dance in a musicals special, a theme that suggests even more sequins than usual, should that be humanely possible.