aston-merrygold

Aston Merrygold speaks out after shock Strictly exit

Judges voted to save Mollie King over the JLS singer

Ainhoa Barcelona

Aston Merrygold has revealed he is "gutted" to leave Strictly Come Dancing, although he isn't sad it's over. The JLS singer, 29, was voted off the competition on Sunday night, with the judges choosing to save Mollie King and AJ Pritchard. After the shock exit – which was hailed one of the biggest surprises in the show's history – Aston took to Instagram to share a lengthy post. The singer thanked Strictly fans, his fellow celebrity contestants and the cast, giving a special shout out to his professional dance partner Janette Manrara.

"Ok so lemme do this properly!!" wrote Aston, uploading a video of the pair dancing. "@bbcstrictly thank you so much for letting me be a part of such a great year. I've made some amazing new homies!! Class of 17 you are all brilliant, can't wait for our catch up night out… good luck to you all!! Every single person that commented, posted, voted every week thank you so much for the love and chance to do what I love to do most… ENTERTAIN!!

aston-merrygold-and-janette-manrara-on-strictly-come-dancingVIEW GALLERY

"Guys life is great, I'm gutted obviously but... I'm not sad that it's over," he wrote

The truth behind Strictly's Alexandra and Gorka 'feud' rumours

"All you strictly pros... you are all ridiculously talented and I've loved watching and learning from you all. But the biggest shout out and thank you to my dance partner @jmanrara also known as the Latin sensation! You have made this whole experience perfect! From AMAZING routines every week, to fun and help in rehearsals, to being a great friend from it take 2 to chill time with team45!"

aston-merrygold-mollie-king-dance-offVIEW GALLERY

Aston and Janette lost out in a dance-off with Mollie and AJ

He concluded his post by sharing his excitement for the next chapter in his life – fatherhood. "Guys life is great, I'm gutted obviously but... I'm not sad that it's over, I'm happy that it got to happen! Next stop and adventure being a daddy, oh and some music n tours... But daddy first ha!" he wrote.

Aston and his girlfriend Sarah Lou Richards confirmed their baby news in September. The Strictly star shared a series of photos showing him and Sarah sat at a table with a spare seat 'reserved' for their baby, along with a photo of their child's scan. He wrote: "On May 29th 2017 we found out that our lives were going to change forever this secret has been so hard to keep, but I'm so excited to finally be able to share the news with everybody that me and my beautiful lady are going to be parents!!!!!! I'm NEVER speechless but words can't describe how I feel… All I know is there's no feeling like it!"