Kevin Kilbane revealed he was fine with leaving Dancing On Ice as he was eliminated, agreeing that finding love with his partner Brianne Delcourt was the real prize.
The pair received their marching orders on Sunday night’s show following a skate-off against Ian “H” Watkins and his professional partner Matt Evers.
However, both agreed with hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that, having found each other on the ITV programme, they were not leaving as losers.
Willoughby suggested Kilbane was going home with “the ultimate prize” and he agreed, adding: “I didn’t even need to come on the show.
“As soon as we started, it’s been an incredible run.”
The former footballer said the couple had been hoping to remain in the competition until their birthdays, with Kilbane’s on February 1 and Delcourt’s on February 2.
“I’m delighted anyway, regardless of how it’s gone,” he added.
Schofield told Delcourt that she had won a prize in Kilbane, and she replied: “I did, I did. A life-changer.”
The pair found themselves in the bottom two after their Fairytale Week routine failed to wow viewers.
They went head to head with Watkins and Evers, who judges John Barrowman, Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean chose to save.
Earlier in the show, viewers were told that Caprice Bourret had left the competition.
The US model returned to the ice last weekend with her new partner Oscar Peter, a week after it was announced that she and her original skating partner Hamish Gaman had parted ways.
But at the start of Sunday’s episode, Willoughby confirmed that Bourret had left the series for good.
She also announced that Paralympian Libby Clegg would not skate due to illness.
The presenter said: “We wanted to let you know that unfortunately Caprice will not be taking any further part in the series and sadly Libby Clegg won’t be skating tonight because she’s unwell but she will be back next week.
“We send them both our best wishes.”
A statement issued by Bourret’s publicist Billie Dee Gianfrancesco, on her behalf, said: “It’s true that Caprice is no longer participating in Dancing On Ice.
“It’s been a hard few months and she’s had to keep silent for contractual reasons.
“Her mental well-being has been affected over the last two months and recent stories leaked to the press are not only salacious but extremely hurtful. Now she’s taking some time to recover and look after herself and her family.”
ITV also said in a statement: “Caprice will not be taking any further part in the series.”
Dancing On Ice continues on ITV2.