He and professional partner Oti Mabuse were picked by all four judges to be sent home, after failing to impress them or the public with his Quickstep routine.
Even Graeme admitted he was surprised to see Ashley in the bottom, saying: “I’d have voted [to save] Ashley and Pasha as well. I can’t quite believe I was put against them to be honest.”
He added: “This show and what you’ve got is something special and thank you for letting me be a part of it. Secretly I’ve had 25 years of ballroom experience but I kept that to myself! No, I was a novice coming in to this.
“This woman Oti is, this girl sorry, she’s not old enough to be a woman obviously... has just made me fall in love with this whole dance nonsense that I thought it was before. I absolutely adore you for that, I’ll never forget everything you taught and shouted at me for weeks and weeks.
“To be honest let’s face it when you get down to the nitty gritty of this competition, I was on borrowed time, unless I learnt to fly or something I wasn’t going to past here.”
Oti told Graeme that this had been her favourite series of ‘Strictly’ to be a part of, noting: “I have never laughed so much, I’ve never been so angry so much. I have the best friend in you.
“We might not have been the best dancers but you have the spirit of Strictly. The show is such a nice family to be a part of the judges are amazing, the pros and the celebs are such a great support because they are lovely so thank you guys.”
Ashley’s placement in the bottom might come as a surprise to some viewers as she’s never been far away from the top of the leaderboard throughout the competition, and last week became the first celebrity to land a perfect score.
And while Oti is now out of the running, she’ll be back on our screens in the spring, as a Dance Captain on the BBC’s new talent search, ‘The Greatest Dancer’.
‘Strictly’ returns on Saturday night at 6.50pm on BBC One.