Pasha Kovalev made sure he went out with a bang for his final performance as a Strictly Come Dancing professional, which culminated in a high-octane routine with Cheryl on Saturday’s The Greatest Dancer.
Pasha paired up with Strictly favourites Dianne Buswell, Neil Jones and Graziano Di Prima on the BBC show for one last dance, before he was joined by Cheryl for a Latin-style finale.
Following the performance, Pasha was asked by host Jordan Banjo: “Pasha, obviously this was a very special performance for you tonight. Why is that? Let everyone know?”
He replied: “Oh yes, of course. As you might know, 2018 was my last year of Strictly but I am so, so excited to be here and share the stage with my Strictly family for one more time.”
Earlier this week Pasha announced that the 2018 series of Strictly was his last as a professional dancer on the show.
He confirmed his departure on Twitter on Wednesday morning, stating he felt it was the right time for a “new challenge”.
He wrote: “I’ve had eight fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.
“The biggest thanks go to all the members of the public who’ve supported me so much over these years – I look forward to seeing you on the Strictly Pro-Tour this spring, and for many future adventures to come!”
Pasha joined Strictly in 2011, and has had a number of noteworthy partners over the years, including Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, with whom he would later start a romance, and TV personality Caroline Flack, who won the show back in 2014.
Last year, he was partnered with former Pussycat Dolls performer Ashley Roberts, who made it all the way to the final, but it was ultimately documentary host Stacey Dooley who went on to be crowned the public’s winner.
Strictly Come Dancing will return for its 17th series later in the year.