Brian Dowling was the fourth celebrity dancer to be eliminated in tonight's Dancing with the Stars. Brian lost out in the first dance off of the series. Judge Brian Redmond said Brian's performance left him feeling 'unsatisfied' and felt it was 'lacking in attack'. Julian Benson said he 'just needed a little extra something' and Loraine Barry said while it was "good dancing, it lacked impact." Speaking afterwards Brian Dowling said: "It is what it is, I said my dancing was only going to get me so far. It's been amazing. I felt the nerves, I have done it better before. It was probably the most vulnerable time of my life, like the last two years, I've laughed everyday when I wanted to cry. I have made friends for life. I got to dance in a same sex couple and that was one of the reasons why I signed up for this show."
Love was the theme for tonight’s Valentine’s weekend Dancing with the Stars.
The show opened with Gráinne Gallanagh representing the North West of the country as she and her dance partner Kai Widdrington danced a quickstep to ‘Paper Rings’ by Taylor Swift. Their backdrop was a sweetshop filled with love hearts. Grainne said: “You just have to go out every week and give it your best. There is the pressure of going first but I’m happy now it’s done, and I can relax. My dad is here fro the first time because the cows are calfing at home!”
Brian said: “You ceased the initiative, most of it I loved, great start to the show and probably one of the best ballroom dances this season.”
Julian said: “What a start to the show! I loved the runs, the hops, the steps across the floor. This was a real Valentine’s time, quick step. Last week may not have been your week but this week was a perfect partnership.”
Loraine said I thought it was a sweet quick step, you gave it a lot of time and was brilliantly choreographed. I think this is a solid start tonight.
Gráinne scored 25 from the judges.
Former Kilkenny hurler Aidan Fogarty and his pro partner Emily Barker danced contemporary ballroom to Lewis Capaldi’s beautiful song ‘Someone You Loved’ this week. Speaking afterwards Aidan said: “I’m happy enough.”
Brian said: “I liked the lifts. I think the contemporary section was a bit harsh, a little but more whack, whack, whack, whack! Not quite the best but I think you’re getting back to your best.”
Julian said: “You’re melting my heart tonight. It was such a romantic piece. There was a lot of content to deal with. You conveyed the emotion of the dance. You’re going from strength to strength – keep up the good work.”
Loraine said: “For me you show great adaptability. Love the foxtrot, great footwork, when in hold you show great fame. You’re so versatile in all that you do – great job!.”
Aidan scored 23 from the judges.
Television presenter Mary Kennedy got to live out a dream tonight as she and John Nolan danced a Viennese waltz to her nephew Dermot Kennedy’s track ‘What Have I Done.’ Afterwards the proud auntie said: “It was great to watch Dermot go from busking to prefect his craft.”
Brian said: “For a Viennese waltz to work well – you need positive movement. There was great positive strides and could have benefited with the shoulders. Another very consistent performance.”
Julian said: “You are definitely back in your comfort zone tonight. Great choreography and great coverage but a little bit more swing in the upper body. Mary you looked beautiful tonight and lit up the floor – take those notes and keep going.”
Loraine said: “The energy of this music was swaying energy. The lower part of your body was excellent, with your upper area, you needed to let the shoulders sway to get the fullness of the action.”
Mary scored 16 from the judges.
Fellow television presenter Brian Dowling was next on the dancefloor. He and Laura Nolan performed a glam-rock filled tango to Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry.’ Commenting after they finished Brian said: “I’m flamboyant and sexy! It’s week 7 and we are all trying our best. When I started this competition, I had zero rhythm. The fact that I’m live on TV a Tango, I’m delighted. I’m doing my best like everyone is.”
Brian said “It left me feeling unsatisfied. Lacking in attack. You did attack in the very last position, but it was a little bit too late by then. Intensity was there but it was internal – it needed more attack.”
Julian said: “You gave us a full on Prince experience. Lots of content, lost of choreography, lots of steps. I would like to have seen more attack into the routine. A good performance – I just needed that little extra something.”
Loraine said “The timing and most of the steps you got right. Posture and poise were needed. It was good dancing but lacked impact.”
Brian scored 15 from the judges.
After another break, it was time to meet actor Ryan Andrews and Giulia Dotta as they were back dancing together again this week. The acted the parts of perfect nerds as the backdrop to their salsa was a library. This week they danced to ‘Perfect Strangers’ by Jonas Blue feat. JP Cooper. Ryan said: “It was my favourite dance so far, I had so much fun and that was the main thing. The only thing that was going through my mind was ‘don’t let her fall’!”
Brian said: “Great variety there. You created a charming style of movement and you did that by changing the dance styles. This was a sweet salsa well done.”
Julian said: “That was a perfectly cool Salsa. Full of content, full of tricks. Creativity was off the charts. You looked like you were having the time of your life. Going from strength to strength. You did a great job.”
Loraine said: “There’s two types of Salsa, the Cuban Salsa and LA Salsa – you blended them both together. The helicopter lift was absolutely spot on. Overall near enough perfect, really, really great.”
Ryan scored 27 from the judges.
Next to perform were Fr. Ray Kelly and his dance partner Kylee Vincent. Their sweet jive began on a park bench as they danced to ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations. Fr. Ray said: “I went for it. The dancing is certainly improving and I’m enjoying it. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with Dancing but I’m enjoying it.”
Brian said: “After last week, I thought you might be a one hit wonder but you proved me wrong as that jive wasn’t too bad. It had a nice action to it. It shows how much you improved – well done.”
Julian said: “That was a very good jive. It was simple, it was basic, it was effective. It’s great to see you dancing and moving. Rome wasn’t built in a day but Rome is coming along nicely!”
Loraine said: “Success breads confidence. A lot of swing. Very well in sync with each other. I did think it was good dancing.”
Fr. Ray scored 15 from the judges.
Fresh from topping last week’s leader board, singer Sinéad O’ Carroll danced a samba with her partner Ryan McShane. They danced to ‘La Isla Bonita’. Sinead said: “There so many things in the Samba – it was really tricky. There was loads of pressure.”
Brian said “I wouldn’t say I totally loved it but given the challenge you were given tonight; I think it was a really accomplished performance for you to bring out this week. The dance was a great Samba.”
Julian said: “Hands down a great Samba, Samba is one of the hardest dances to do. The amount of content and choreography in that routine. Ryan you need to be commended for that. Great to see a different side to you, very sexy and sultry. Well executed – great to see the other side of you tonight.”
Loraine said “That is a competitive Samba. Ryan you did not hold back at all. I would have liked to see you getting on the feet a little bit more. You have worked that body for 5 days and I salute you, well done.”
Sinéad scored 24 from the judges.
Last but not least, it was radio presenter Lottie Ryan’s turn to dance. Lottie and her pro partner Pasquale La Rocca danced the Viennese waltz to a brand new track, only released on Thursday. Ronan Keating and Emilie Sandé’s stunning new duet ‘One of a Kind’ was the song they performed to this week. Lottie said: “I’m not going to lie, my wishing note just said glitterball!”
Brian said “We had to wait 7 weeks to see you take on a challenge like this. You took a little bit of the energy off when you needed to. It was well worth waiting for.”
Julian said “Lottie Ryan, you are indeed one of a kind. This was such a beautifully executed Viennese waltz. You fused magic on the floor. Tonight, it was really truly magical.”
Loraine said: “The whole presentation for me was exquisite. A red flag for me is too much in open shadow positions. Performances like that will get you to the final.”
Lottie scored 28 from the judges.
After Nicky declared the voting lines ‘open’ the pro dancers gathered on a bandstand to dance a foxtrot to ‘All You Need is Love’ by Rae Morris. Following that Nicky caught up with all the celebrity dancers to get their take on the night so far.
After the break, Nicky caught up with the judges to hear who they feel performed well tonight and who might be in danger. Then it was results time which led into one of biggest moments of the series every year – the first dance off between the two celebrity dancers with the lowest scores.
Performing for a second time this week were Brian Dowling and Sinead O'Carroll. Afterwards the judges decided to send Brian home.
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Olympic gold medalist Michael Carruth tonight became the third celebrity dancer to leave Dancing with the Stars. Michael and his partner Karen Byrne danced a tango to Gold by Spandau Ballet, scoring 13 from the judges, who had praised him for improving this week, with Julian Benson earlier telling him: "You are on the right road so keep going. We have the glimmer of a dancer in you.
Partner Karen Byrne also praised Michael for his time on the show, stating: "We went out on a high
This week on Dancing with the Stars, the celebrities danced to a song which reminded them of a memorable year in their lives, and they each recalled the personal and often poignant stories behind their choice.
Singer Sinéad O’Carroll was the first celebrity to take to the floor along with her partner, Ryan McShane. Viewers were brought back to 1998 as they danced an energetic cha-cha to Sinéad’s debut single with B*Witched, ‘C’est la Vie’. Speaking after performing to her best-known song, Sinéad said: “It was really weird because the timing of this was completely different.”
Kicking off the judges’ comments this week, Loraine said: "The interaction between you, with each other off each other...I thought was very good. I didn't get a lot of the actual shuffle action. I would like to see more depth. It wasn't enough for me."
Brian: "I quite enjoyed the content of this cha cha... I think you needed to get those leg actions a little bit straighter."
Julian "This was a cool, Celtic cha cha, the song came out in 1998 which brought me right back to my childhood. What I loved was the Celtic twist, I thought that was very clever. I agree with Loraine, I would like a little bit more attack and drive into the steps."
Next to take to the dance floor were television presenter Mary Kennedy and dance partner John Nolan. In 1995, Mary had a career highlight when she presented the 40th Eurovision live from the Point Theatre in Dublin. Norway won Eurovision that year, and Mary and John danced a beautiful waltz to winning entry ‘Nocturne’ by Secret Garden. Tonight, Fionnuala Sherry, who performed it for Eurovision in 1995, was in the audience to support Mary.
Following the dance, Mary said of Eurovision : "At least then, I knew what I was doing. It's about being prepared, and I think we are doing that here as well."
Loraine: "Waltz in itself is a difficult dance, but when you take on Nocturne, it becomes a very slow waltz, so it needed to be filled out with more syncopations for light and shade. It was elegant and very stylish."
Julian: "It was beautiful haunting waltz. First of all, you looked elegant and stunning. From a technical perceptive, I'd like to see a little bit more power through the routine on the floor, but Mary you are just going one way and that's up."
Brian: "I think that over the last few weeks, you have started to develop some real consistency in your performances. Overall, a pretty good attempt at a waltz."
For fellow television presenter Brian Dowling and his partner Laura Nolan, tonight was all about family. Their upbeat cha-cha-cha to ‘We are Family’ by Sister Sledge showcased Brian’s strong bond with his six younger sisters, as they popped up in a booth on the dance floor. They supported their 'Big Brother' Brian as he honoured their mother, Rosie, who passed away in 2018. After they finished the emotional performance, Brian said of his mother: “It will be two years very soon and it's just so tough because she's not here and she's my best friend. If she was here, she would be in her element."
Loraine said: "I am very excited that you get to share this memory with your sisters. What you need for the cha-cha-cha is a lot of attitude and fun and you have that. It could have been a bit better in the feet, but despite all that, you made a new memory tonight with your sisters."
Julian said: "That was a razzle-dazzle cha cha. I couldn't take my eyes off you...I am drawn to you... you are The Greatest Showman. I could see how much this meant to you tonight. If you could marry that fabulous facial work into those feet, you would be box office."
Brian said: "It's great for you to have your family here and great for us to have you here to entertain us. Great entertainment but the cha-cha technique is not quite there.
In 2008, Fair City actor Ryan Andrews was told that he would never dance due to his scoliosis diagnosis. Ryan told the harrowing story of how he overcame his obstacles and proved that he is living his dream tonight as he and Giulia Dotta danced a stunning rumba to Coldplay’s ‘Fix You.’
Ryan said: “At 14 I didn't know what I was, but to get up and do what I'm doing now...it means a lot to me. I haven't talked about it, it's still raw. To be part of the show was something I've always wanted to do but never thought I would get the chance. I have that mentality of 'get up, get out and go for it'."
Brian said: "I would have liked to see the splits a little bit lower. When I heard that story about you having scoliosis and how you were treated, I was shocked, because your posture is perfect, You are an absolute role model to young people across the country."
Julian said: "It was a beautifully masculine moving rumba. You brought out the essence of the dance tonight, you moved me on the floor. The sparks came off the two of you, for a guy who was told he would never dance, I empathise with you my friend, I was there. Tonight, you proved to the nation that anything is possible."
Loraine said: "Here we have a tale of flirtation and the ultimate connection for a man and woman. It wasn't perfect, it got a little bit footy, but the effort you put in was a tremendous effort. This was just classy."
To begin part 3 of the show, Fr. Ray Kelly and Kylee Vincent danced a Viennese Waltz to the song that propelled Fr. Ray into a viral sensation, 'Halleluljah'. In 2014 he sang ‘Hallelujah’ during a wedding ceremony, and tonight he danced to his own version of the song.
Afterwards Fr. Ray commented: “I never danced to myself singing before in my life. It was very emotional."
Julian said: "Halleluljah Father, this was a beautiful and emotional and dare I say, spiritual Viennese Waltz. I could see that this meant everything to you tonight. You shone brightly and you enjoyed it. Be proud of yourself, it was a memorable moment."
Brian said: "It had the bounce of samba, flicky feet of a jive, shame it was a Viennese Waltz, I must admit, there was one thing I absolutely loved, the singing was heavenly."
Loraine said: "I think you are in your comfort zone tonight, I thought there was tremendous effort here. You didn't have the full swing, but it was there. I see a good change tonight, well done."
2011 was a very memorable year for radio presenter Lottie Ryan as she landed her dream job in RTÉ 2FM. Beyoncé’s track ‘Radio’ was a fitting choice for Lottie and Pasquale La Rocca’s tango. Lottie said she had been nervous before performing: "It was such a different style for me, it was brand new"
Lottie said that her late dad Gerry Ryan would have been in "his absolute element" watching her.
Loraine said: "The dance of the tango was very good...it was all there with great staccato energy attached to it. You are a firecracker."
Brian said: "The top line was excellent. The acceleration you showed during this tango routine was phenomenal. I am a little conflicted about it as a performance...it just needed a little more light and shade. Still a very solid tango."
Julian said: "My radio was definitely turned on after that performance. A fast, powerful tango, great commitment and I loved the contemporary twist. You have it all going on, girl. Overall a great performance, solid."
Gráinne Gallanagh and her partner Kai Widdrington reflected back on 2018, the year that Gráinne was crowned Miss Universe Ireland. Their contemporary ballroom dance to Sia’s ‘Unstoppable’ was Grainne's choice, as later that year, she was placed in the top twenty for the title of Miss Universe in Thailand.
Grainne told how she had hurt her ribs during the week and found the routine very physical, and said: "You have no choice but to try to up your game every week."
Loraine said: "I saw the glimmer of a competitor here, I feel the fire is starting to burn here."
Brian said: "I thought the variety of styles was excellent. It maybe lacked a little bit of self belief and I can understand why, up until now, you have been mid-table.I thought you weren't going to move from there, but tonight, you proved me wrong. You were top drawer."
Julian said: "It was a fierce contemporary ballroom piece, you are going from strength to strength in this competition. I'm seeing a progression from you constantly. That lift in the centre was box-office gold. If you keep going this way, you will be unstoppable."
1992 was a memorable year for Irish people, not just for Michael Carruth, as the country watched him win Ireland’s first ever Olympic Gold medal in boxing in Barcelona. His was also the first Olympic gold medalist for Ireland in nearly forty years. Michael and Karen Byrne danced a tango to ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet.
After his dance, he said: "Listen, I won an Olympic gold medal, but I didn't win it on my own, I won it with my family, the boxing club and the people of Ireland."
Julian said: "The good news is Karen definitely brought out the inner dancer in you tonight, There were moments of Carry On Dancing in there. You are on the right road so keep going. We have the glimmer of a dancer in you."
Brian: "You are getting better. For the first few weeks, you were little bit lost. It's still a bit dancing by numbers, but it's getting better. Not gold just yet"
Loraine: "It wasn't quite the gold... in those positions, I do see improvement. I think that's good for you."
The final dancer of the night was Kilkenny’s Aidan Fogarty and his partner Emily Barker. 2006 was a celebratory year for the hurler, winning his first All-Ireland medal on the field. He scored Kilkenny’s only goal of the All-Ireland final, preventing Cork from winning three in a row. To top the day off, Aidan was awarded Man of the Match. They danced the Charleston to ‘Bingo Bango’ by Basement Jaxx. Afterwards, Aidan said: “I just struggled with the Charleston, I couldn't get the swivel."
Loraine said: "We are in the 2020s but this dance came from the roaring 1920s. The Charleston is full of fun and sassiness and swivels, Yys, it was there, but there was just this element of stomping and bumping and it was just not my cup of tea."
Brian said: "This certainly had the energy and the speed that we are looking for from a Charleston. It probably could have done with a little more swivel in the feet. Maybe a bit too cool for school for a Charleston."
Julian said: "I completely disagree with both judges. This was a cool, funky Charleston and what you did was use artistic licence. We want to see innovation, new dance steps. I am a non-traditionalist, Aidan you have never danced in your life before and that was one powerful Charleston. I love people who bring us forward."
After a break, Nicky chatted to the celebrity dancers about their evening. The final dance of the night was another highlight of the show as the pro dancers performed a magnificent Paso Doble to ‘Volare’ by Gypsy Kings.
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