Despite a lively cha-cha-cha, it was the end of the Dancing With The Stars journey for “queen of the ballroom” Mary Kennedy.
Mary and her dance partner John Nolan ended their run in the competition as the judges decided to send them home following a dance-off with model Gráinne Gallanagh.
“Mary, you have been our queen of the ballroom with elegance, class, and grace for nine weeks,” said guest judge Darren Bennett.
Judge Loraine Barry told the former Nationwide presenter: “You’ve been an inspiration to me, and I also think to many other people watching the programme.”
Following her elimination Mary said: “It was a wonderful opportunity; I’ve learnt so much. I’ve been out of my comfort zone. It was a great challenge.
“I really do hope that people of my age, and stage, who have been watching us would kind of say ‘Yeah, I could do that, or I’ll try something different or something new’, so that would be nice.”
Dancing the cha-cha-cha to ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ by Candi Staton, Mary and John scored 18 from the judges.
Mary said: “I did enjoy it. The cha-cha-cha is hard and we worked really really hard on it.
“It took until about Thursday to get it right. I really enjoyed the challenge and the dance.”
Her pro partner John Nolan, who won the show last year, said he loved working with the RTÉ star.
“She’s been the best pupil that I could have ever asked for,” he said.
“We have laughed more times and people don’t get to see that side of Mary. I’ve been lucky. She’s one of the funniest people ever and I just loved every single minute of our journey.”
Fair City actor Ryan Andrews opened the show. Fresh from scoring 30 points from the judges, he and partner Giulia Dotta danced a quickstep to ‘What a Man Gotta Do’ by the Jonas Brothers.
“I felt a lot of expectations off all people but as well as myself,” Ryan said. “I just have to keep doing the best I can week after week.”
Former Kilkenny hurler Aidan Fogarty was praised for his “romantic rumba” while Lottie Ryan was lauded for a “phenomenal” samba. But the judges were less than impressed with fan favourite Fr Ray Kelly’s quickstep.
Fr Kelly and his pro partner Kylee Vincent danced to ‘I’m a Believer’ by the Monkees.
After their performance he said: “Yeah I was happy.
“I knew I lost it but I just said I have to get it back on track.”