In the first half of tonight's show, Lisa Snowdon and her professional dance partner Brendan Cole became joint top of the leaderboard alongside Rachel Stevens and her partner Vincent Simone, with both couples having earned a total of 75 points. Former Holby City actor Tom Chambers and his partner Camilla Dallerup, who achieved 67 points. These point tallies translated into a single judges' score being assigned to Tom, and 3 each to Rachel and Camilla. Despite there being no scenario in which a phone vote for Tom could make any difference to the outcome of the subsequent dance-off - a fact discussed on the Strictly Come Dancing forum within seconds of the leaderboard being shown on-screen - phone lines were opened as normal at the close of the performances, and remained open during the transmission of Merlin and Casualty.
"Tom supporters: don't bother voting," wrote Strictly forum member pasodabble as the programme went off-air. "Your vote won't count with a Lisa/Rachel tie. He'll be in the dance off and out tonight."
Others posted that they felt "misled" at there being no warning on the air that votes for Tom would make no difference to the outcome of the semi-final result.
At the opening of the results show, co-host Tess Daly announced that the lines had been "frozen" and told viewers not to vote. It was subsequently revealed at the end of the show, which was shortened by 10 minutes, that all couples will compete in next week's final and that all the votes cast up to the suspension of voting would be "rolled over".
There was a mostly positive reaction to the news on the Strictly forum.
"Good decision - well done BBC for reacting so quickly," wrote gritty. Another member, Zeus, said of the outcome: "Common sense appears to have prevailed."
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