12:24 21 September 2009
Tennis star Martina Hingis became the first dancer to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, in a shock departure.
The former Wimbledon champion was axed on Saturday night's show after judge Len Goodman made the final choice to give Hingis the boot.
The two pairs at the bottom of the voting scoreboard were Hingis and her partner Matthew Cutler, and 'Crimewatch' presenter Rav Wilding and his dance partner Aliona Vilani. Both parties were forced to dance again to maintain their spot in the competition, but Hingis was axed.
Hingis stated: "It was a great experience, I learned so much. I wish it would continue but here we are. Maybe I will come back for a few more lessons to London."
Hingis was somewhat of a controversial contestant for the BBC show, as she is currently banned from playing professional tennis for cocaine abuse.
The BBC has also caused a stir on the judging panel. Former Strictly contestant Alesha Dixon drew criticism from fans of the show stating that it was an ageist move to bring in younger, less experienced judges to pass comment on the performances.
However, the singer turned judge has fought back, insisting that she will fill former judge Arlene Phillips' shoes to an even higher standard, thanks to her turn as a contestant on the show.
Speaking to The Mirror yesterday, Alesha firmly said: "I am not a quitter. It's not in my nature to consider quitting.
"We are just starting on a long road and I know I can help make the path smoother for some of the celebs."
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