St Patrick’s night on RTÉ’s Dancing With The Stars but the rub of the green was absent for funnyman Fred Cooke as he exited the show.
All the contestants had to dance on the double, with the St Patrick’s Day special featuring one dance apiece to contemporary Irish music.
Cliona Hagan and Robert Rowinski kicked things off with a Viennese Waltz to ‘Runaway’ by the Corrs.
There was a scarf malfunction, the cloth getting caught under the feet, and the judges couldn’t but mention it, although Brian praised the way the duo adapted to the mishap. It resulted in an opening score of 22.
Fred Cooke and Giulia Dotta danced the Foxtrot to Van Morrison’s ‘Brown-eyed Girl’, Fred playing the role of the lovestruck postman.
As the survivor of two dance-offs, you could argue that he always delivers (apologies) but it was mostly a case of first-class male (sorry), with Brian paying tribute to Fred’s ‘frame’ and how it has developed over the course of the series. It all resulted in 21 points being returned to sender (I’m gone).
Máiréad Ronan and John Nolan performed the jive to ‘Perfect on Paper’ by the Blizzards. On stage it was slightly different, with Brian zoning in on Máiréad’s standing leg and a lack of bounce. For Loraine the real problem was Máiréad was not living the jive — or as she put it “jive it to survive it”. Yet despite the slightly negative comments, they landed 24 points.
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker scored top marks last week and this week started with the American smooth to Dermot Kennedy’s ‘Power Over Me’. The performance garnered general praise from the judges, even though Brain said Johnny did display the occasional Desperate Dan chin. It was all fine and dandy in the end, with 27 points.
The second round got underway with Cliona and Robert performing a cha cha cha, or as Julian — looking more like a matador than ever — put it: “cha cha boom”. The “dominant” performance scored 28 points.
Then it was Fred and Giulia with a salsa, with the pair scoring 24 points from an impressed judging panel who may have been getting on board with the #nofrexit social media campaign of the past week.
Yet as admirable as that may have been, it all took a back seat to Máiréad and John’s Viennese waltz, described as “exceptional” and a “crowning performance” by Loraine. The other judges felt the same way, resulting in a perfect score of 30.
After that. Johnny and Emily’s 29 for their cinematic paso doble felt ever-so-slightly underwhelming, but meant they were top of the leader board.
By the time the public votes were totted up, it meant yet another dance-off for Fred, this time up against Johnny. The latter won the day, with Fred finally leaving the dancefloor.
On to the grand final on March 24.