Personality goes a long way for Dancing Dessie

Des Cahill and Karen Byrne dance a tango;

There was salsas, cha-chas, foxtrots, and Viennese waltzes — and at the end of it all, Dancing Dessie is still standing.

Unlike the English, we Irish don’t vote on dancing ability. We vote on personality and the public have decided that Des Cahill is their man.

Forget everyone else, Dessie is going to be the man to beat in this competition.

This week, he was in the running for a hat-trick of standing ovations and the audience didn’t disappoint. We were even treated to chants of “Dessie, Dessie, Dessie” after he gave us his best version of a tango to ‘Jealousy’ by Billy Fury, with partner Karen Byrne.

After weeks of shaky performances, this week Dancing Dessie said he “wanted a proper score for proper dancin’”. He didn’t disappoint. If poor comments from the judges don’t put a dent in his popularity, imagine what compliments will do.

This week Dessie was told he can definitely dance, with Lorraine telling him the routine was “so dynamic and so focused”. It earned him a pretty solid score of 18, including his first mark over six since the competition began.

In fact, the judges were all sweetness and light this week. With Julian ill, his chair was filled by the show’s creative producer, Darren Bennett, who was full of praise for every performer.

In fact, no one took a real hammering from the judges.

Katherine Lynch, the “one-legged kangaroo”, was back with a bit more fire in her belly. Along with her partner Kai, she bashed out the foxtrot to ‘Summertime’ by Ella Fitzgerald.

Judge Lorraine was so impressed she felt the dance “sort of gave us a glimpse into your soul”.

High praise indeed, but she only scored 22.

To get a 30, someone is going to have to ascend into heaven.

“Dashing, dapper, dancing” Dayl came pretty close. He wowed the judges with what was described as an “exceptional” Viennese waltz with partner Ksenia Zsihotska.

After a poor week last time, we were faced with ‘Storm’ Teresa Mannion doing the salsa.

The obligatory weather references aside, the judges’ comments were far more favourable this week. She’s getting better, apparently, and even managed to get on air to tell her son to be ready for his upcoming Leaving Cert mock exams.

We even had five-time All-Ireland winner Aidan O’Mahony doing a bit of ballet.

However, someone has to lose out and, despite some “nice leg actions”, Eva Orsmond brought up the rear on the leaderboard for her cha-cha with partner Sean Smullen to ‘Nowhere to Run’ by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

The plain people of Ireland decided it was the end of the road for the celebrity doctor.

Although upset, she took the decision in her stride, saying it was “a fantastic experience” and that she hopes the show carries on “forever”.

That means an eternity of Dancing Dessie. And, judging by the reaction when it was announced that he was safely through to next week’s show, it seems Ireland might just be ready for that.


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