For the first time, the two couples with the lowest combined scores from the judges and public vote were pitted against each other in a dance off, with Love/Hate star Denise McCormack receiving the unanimous backing from the three judges, saving her for another week.
While Teresa admitted mixed feelings about her elimination, the news may be favourable with some in the Mannion household, as she revealed her two sons may not be so sorry to see their mother off the dancefloor. “Twitter tells me they’re mortified,” she said.
The judges, however, were full of praise for the progress Teresa had made over the eight weeks of the show and gave her a score of 16 for last night’s paso doble routine, set to ‘Habanera’.
“Your confidence has been developing week after week and that was another step in that direction,” said Brian Redmond.
There were tears as Des Cahill overcame knee troubles to dance a Viennese Waltz to the Dubliners’ ‘Marino Waltz’ — and the sports broadcaster was emotional as he revealed how dance partner Karen Byrne surprised him during the week by bringing the band’s fiddle player John Sheahan to play while they rehearsed.
“There’s been a lot of lovely moments for me, in my life, it’s a small thing but it’s a special thing,” Des said.
“John Sheahan turning up on a Tuesday afternoon and playing to us as she tried to teach me to dance, that’s a lifetime memory,” he said.
Even the panel’s toughest taskmaster, Brian, was moved by the experience.
“Technically it was a bit more ‘Whiskey in the Jar’,” he said to a chorus of pantomime-villain boos from the audience. “But emotionally for me, it was all Black Velvet Band. It took me back to a simpler time in Ireland where at home as a child we would all cuddle up in front of the fire and watch Sunday night TV.”
Having scored a perfect 30 last week, Dayl Cronin and his partner Ksenia Zsikhotska impressed again, receiving 28 points from the judges for their contemporary ballroom dance to ‘Hall of Fame’ by The Script.
Denise McCormack finished in the bottom two, despite receiving the second highest score from the judges on the night — scoring 27 for her Salsa with Ryan McShane to ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ by Marc Anthony.
Katherine Lynch and Kai Widderington brought us back to the 1920s with their take on the Charleston to ‘Life is a Cabaret’ by Liza Minelli.
Former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony waltzed to ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ by Buddy Greco.
The final set of the night was another paso doble, performed by former Fair City actress Aoibhín Garrihy and partner Vitali Kozmin.
The night, however, belonged to Teresa, who admitted she was surprised to have made it so far in the contest.
“I honestly can’t believe I got to week eight.
“I truly was a complete newbie, I really didn’t ever do a dance step. There were different levels of experience and ability on this show and I was really down in Division Two,” she said.