SHEFFIELD cricketer Michael Vaughan bowled over even himself - with a third place ranking on Strictly Come Dancing.
An American Smooth packed with lifts, set to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, earned him 35 points out of a possible 40, and praise from all four judges in a show beamed live from Wembley Arena in London.
The 38-year-old dad-of-three’s chances of winning have almost doubled from last week, with bookmakers now offering odds of 28/1, from a previous 50/1.
Head judge Len Goodman told Vaughan, who lives in Baslow: “You put the ‘oo’ in smooth. I thought the whole thing was a proper production.”
Bruno Tonioli said Vaughan’s routine with professional dance partner Natalie Lowe was ‘a fitting finale for a fantastic night’.
Ballerina Darcey Bussell told the couple: “You were the perfect Fred and Ginger. You impressed me with those lifts.”
Even resident Mr Nasty Craig Revel-Horwood acknowledged Vaughan’s progress, saying: “It shows clearly you’ve been working hard in the rehearsal room - what an improvement.
“From the dance gutters to that. Fantastic.”
GMTV showbiz presenter Richard Arnold went home last night.
The favourites to win are Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, and Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh who performed on the results show with her band.