Model Abbey Clancy and actress Natalie Gumede are the queens of the dance floor - for now - as they received the joint best scores of the 'Strictly Come Dancing' semi-final.

The five remaining celebrities performed two routines each, with the two women both winning 78 points and each getting a maximum 40 out of 40 for their first dance.

Bottom of the leader board after tonight's show was 'Casualty' actor Patrick Robinson and professional partner Anya Garnis with 69 points.

But ahead of the dancing, head judge Len Goodman said: "This is the tightest semi-final we've ever had. Any one of you five remaining ones could win it and anyone could go home tomorrow night."

First on the floor was former 'Coronation Street' star Gumede and her partner Artem Chigvintsev, who wowed the judges with their salsa to Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Starting Something.

Bruno Tonioli told them: "You just had that sense of teasy and flirty fun - all the ingredients for a fantastic salsa."

Craig Revel Horwood said: "That's the most animated I think I've ever seen you. Just wonderful to watch, it was brilliant." While Darcey Bussell described the routine as a "fabulous performance".

Gumede, who said she had "never felt so alive" since being part of the BBC1 show, got 38 points for her second routine, an Argentine tango, described as a "wonderful dance" by Tonioli. Goodman told her: "You sizzled out there".

Clancy began with a salsa before being swept across the floor by partner Aljaz Skorjanec in an American Smooth.

The model-turned-TV presenter, who ahead of tonight's show said she was nervous to the point of being ''hysterical', said she was now "desperate to be in the final".

"I just don't want it to end, it's just been the most amazing, amazing experience of my life," she added.

But she should have been reassured, as Tonioli told her: "You've got the whole package," while Revel Horwood said of her second dance: "It was full of charisma and you really have an enormous amount of style. You're so watchable, I adore watching you."

Goodman added: "I'll see you in the final."

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor's paso doble and American Smooth earned her and partner Brendan Cole 71 points.

Her paso doble, to Dance Of The Knights by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev - well known as the opening music to Sir Alan Sugar's the Apprentice, was criticised as being "starchy and stiff" by Revel Horwood.

But Bussell said: "That music is so close to me and to be able to equal that passion and drama is so difficult, but for me you gave power that I haven't seen you bring to a dance before. I wanted to be on there with you."

She received a 35 while her American Smooth impressed the judges more, earning the pair 36 points.

Although Revel Horwood received boos from the audience as he said that Ellis-Bextor looked like she only felt confident when she was being led in Cole's arms.

BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid achieved 70 points, describing the requirement to learn two dances this week as "twice the fun".

Her first with partner Kevin Clifton earned them 38 points, with Bussell telling her: "You are shining again".

Revel Horwood said it was "sickly, saccarine, sweet - all the things I detest darling, but I have to say the dancing was magnificent", while Tonioli, described her as "the nation's sweetheart at her charming best".

Goodman added that the TV host was "what this show is all about".

Later her salsa was praised by the head judge for its "energy" but criticised for being a "tad messy", earning her a score of just 32.

Robinson's first routine was "gorgeous" and "absolutely magnificent" according to Revel Horwood and described as a "charming waltz" by Bussell, winning him 36 points.

But his Argentine tango did not earn him such high praise from the judges, with Bussell telling him: "There was attack there but there was no grrrrr."

With a cheeky smile, she added: "You've got a nice bottom but you've got to tuck it in."

Among those in the audience was Jack Osbourne, despite his mother, Sharon Osbourne being a judge in tonight's X Factor, which is now in its final weekend.

Other Strictly fans include Prime Minister David Cameron, who tweeted his support ahead of tonight's semi-final. "Best of luck to @bbcstrictly semi-finalists. I welcomed @SophieEB @OfficialClancy & @susannareid100 to No10 this week," he wrote.

huffpost awards

Loading Slideshow...
  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 1 / 2004</strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Natasha Kaplinsky <strong>Partner:</strong> Brendan Cole <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Jason Wood, David Dickinson, Verona Joseph, Claire Sweeney, Martin Offiah, Lesley Garrett, Christopher Parker

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 2 / 2004 </strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Jill Halfpenny <strong>Partner:</strong> Darren Bennett <strong>Also Starring: </strong>Quentin Wilson, Carol Vorderman, Esther Rantzen, Diarmuid Gavin, Sarah Manners, Roger Black, Aled Jones, Julian Clary, Denise Lewis

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 3 / 2005</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Darren Gough <strong>Partner:</strong> Lilia Kopylova <strong>Also Starring: </strong>Siobhan Hayes, Jaye Jacobs, Gloria Hunniford, Fiona Phillips, Dennis Taylor, Will Thorp, Bill Turnbull, Patsy Palmer, James Martin, Zoe Ball, Colin Jackson

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 4 / 2006 </strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Mark Ramprakash <strong>Partner: </strong>Karen Hardy <strong>Also Starring: </strong>Nicholas Owen, Jimmy Tarbuck, Mica Paris, DJ Spoony, Georgina Bouzova, Jan Ravens, Ray Fearon, Peter Schmeichel, Claire King, Carol Smillie, Louisa Lytton , Emma Bunton, Matt Dawson

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 5 / 2007</strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Alesha Dixon <strong>Partner:</strong> Matthew Cutler <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Brian Capron, Stephanie Beacham, Willie Thorne, Gabby Logan, Dominic Littlewood, Penny Lancaster Stewart, Kate Garraway, John Barnes, Kelly Brook, Kenny Logan, Letitia Dean, Gethin Jones, Matt Di Angelo

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 6 / 2008</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Tom Chambers <strong>Partner:</strong> Camilla Dallerup <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Phil Daniels, Gillian Taylforth, Gary Rhodes, Jessie Wallace, Don Warrington, Mark Foster, Andrew Castle, Heather Small, Cherie Lunghi, John Sergeant, Jodie Kidd, Christine Bleakley, Austin Healey, Lisa Snowdon, Rachel Stevens

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 7 / 2009</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Chris Hollins <strong>Partner: </strong>Ola Jordan <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Martina Higgins, Richard Dunwoody, Rav Wilding, Lynda Bellingham, Joe Calzaghe, Jo Wood, Zoe Lucker, Craig Kelly, Phil Tufnell, Jade Johnson, Ricky Groves, Natalie Cassidy, Laila Rouass, Ali Bastian, Ricky Whittle

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 8 / 2010</strong> <strong>Winner: </strong>Kara Tointon <strong>Partner:</strong> Artem Chigvintsev Also Starring: Goldie, Paul Daniels, Peter Shilton, Tina O'Brien, Jimi Mistry, Michelle Williams, Felicity Kendal, Patsy Kensit, Ann Widdecombe, Gavin Henson, Scott Maslen, Pamela Stephenson, Matt Baker

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 9 / 2011</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Harry Judd <strong>Partner:</strong> Aliona Vilani <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Edwina Currie, Dan Lobb, Rory Bremner, Nancy Dell'Olio, Lulu, Audley Harrison, Russell Grant, Anita Dobson, Robbie Savage, Alex Jones, Holly Valance, Jason Donovan, Chelsee Healey

  • 'Strictly Come Dancing' Winners

    <strong>Series 10 / 2012</strong> <strong>Winner:</strong> Louis Smith <strong>Partner:</strong> Flavia Cacace <strong>Also Starring:</strong> Johnny Ball, Jerry Hall, Sid Owen, Colin Salmon, Fern Britton, Richard Arnold, Victoria Pendleton, Michael Vaughan, Nicky Byrne, Lisa Riley, Dani Harmer, Denise van Outen, Kimberley Walsh