Much more of a shock was who joined them in the bottom two, with Dianne Buswell and Bobby Brazier landing in the dance-off following their Jive to Wham! hit Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.
On Sunday evening, the scarlet-haired dancer took to social media with an emotional message, accompanied by a series of sweet snaps of Bobby.
She wrote: "Extremely grateful for another chance to dance and to show you what this amazing boy can do. I don’t take any day or dance for granted. I want to thank everybody who took the time to vote for Bobby and we appreciate it more than you know. Despite a dance off, that was Bobby's highest score and he is improving week on week.
"He started this thing with zero experience so what he has achieved is pretty incredible. We have something pretty special for you all this week coming up".
The star's fans were quick to show their support, rallying behind the adorable pair. One wrote: "So so so proud of you both!! I literally SOBBED when you were announced to be in the dance-off and my heart SUNK! thank goodness the judges saved you! you deserve to be in the final…my winners, always!"
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"He will use this hiccup to come back stronger next week. Loved your jive last night," another reassuringly said. "So glad you guys are through - my heart was in my mouth," a third commented.
Bobby also posted following the dance-off, posting a hand-written note to Dianne scrawled in pencil.
"Thank you for helping me dance my 'personal best' and highest scoring dance," it read. "Opening the show in Blackpool. Thank you for humbling me."
His introspective musings were accompanied by the words, "an eventful evening". Who can blame him?
The duo had received a rapturous response from the live audience after opening the show, which saw the competition return to the iconic Tower Ballroom in Blackpool for a spectacular event complete with bigger sets and backing dancers.
Their fast-paced, fleet-footed Jive picked up 35 from the judges – the couple's highest score – placing them at the halfway point on the leaderboard. However, it wasn't enough to keep them out of the dreaded dance-off.
After the news that they were in the bottom two broke on social media site X, fans expressed their disappointment and disapproval, with one summing up the prevailing mood as they wrote: "I'm horrified at who was in the dance-off!"
Others agreed, adding: "Shocked by that, thought he was really popular," "I'm very shocked about Bobby being the bottom 2," and: "How on EARTH he was in the dance-off is beyond me. One of the best of the night!!!!!"
Both couples performed their routines again, with Angela and Kai dancing their American Smooth to Tea For Two by Ella Fitzgerald for a second time, and Bobby and Dianne were unanimously praised by the show's judges, who loved their "standout performance".
Craig Revel Horwood said: "Well, there's a standout performance for me that I can't ignore and the couple that I would like to save are Bobby and Dianne", Motsi Mabuse commented: "I felt that both couples danced so beautifully. Really one of the most beautiful dance-offs we have had. I am going to save Bobby and Dianne."
Anton Du Beke also chose to save Bobby and Dianne, adding: "Well again, I thought it was a marvellous dance off. Both couples danced very, very well. I thought Bobby and Dianne danced excellently again.
"I thought that Angela and Kai’s dance was beautiful and Angela even thanked one of the other dancers for lifting her and putting her down so gracefully which I thought was absolutely beautiful.
"For me, the couple I would like to save are Bobby and Dianne." Head judge Shirley Ballas also said she would have saved Bobby and Dianne, making the decision unanimous.
Angela was graceful in defeat, telling the show's co-host Tess Daly: "I have to tell you that the last nine weeks have probably been the most terrifying, the most fantastic, the most glorious, the most joyful that I have spent for a very long time in my profession."