Public vote proves a Maia extinguisher

And then there were eight. Maia Dunphy was the latest contestant on Dancing with the Stars to exit stage left, with the Marty Party still going strong.

Public vote proves a Maia extinguisher

The nine remaining couples were put through their paces on RTÉ’s dance bash, with the standard

improving week-by-week and the axe dangling over the lowest-ranked

performer.

Anna Geary and dance partner Kai kicked things off with a paso doble, essentially the Rachmaninoff 3 of Dancing with the Stars, as it had seen two previous contestants get the chop after taking it on. The Cork woman had little trouble, however, bagging a healthy 22 points and copious praise from the three judges.

Next up it was Bernard O’Shea and dance partner Valeria taking on the foxtrot. It opened and ended with Bernard under a duvet, but he applied himself diligently in the moments when he wasn’t in the scratcher, and got 14 points for his troubles.

Deirdre O’Kane and partner John took on the salsa, giving a performance that had judge Julian

Benson raving almost to the point of hyperventilation. They got 19 points for their efforts.

Erin McGregor had brother Conor in her corner as she and dance partner Ryan took on the foxtrot, claiming 24 points from the judging panel, who were unanimous in their praise.

Maia Dunphy and dance partner Robert took on the tango and had some extra

tuition from Argentina in the run-up to this week’s show. The extra training seemed to have paid off as they scored 19 points.

Next up were Robert Heffernan and dance partner Emily, the pair channelling all kinds of emotions as they did a Viennese waltz to the tearjerking soundtrack of ‘Perfect Night’. It resulted in quivering lips and 25 points — the second highest score of the evening.

Alannah Beirne and Vitali, it turns out, had a sticky week preparing for their performance of the cha-cha-chá. The model sustained bruised ribs in practice but despite being urged to take three days off, the show must go on. Their dance bagged 23 points.

Then it was time for the now-weekly Marty Party as Marty Morrissey and dance partner Ksenia lashed into the Charleston. Judge Julian Benson remarked that Marty “could have done with a double espresso” beforehand, but handed over a generous five points to

contribute to the duo’s overall panel score of 12.

Predictably, Brian Redmond was the most scathing of the judging panel, prompting Julian to stick up for everyone’s favourite Clareman, pleading: “Give him a break.” Loraine Barry said she’d give Marty a 10 for effort, but in real scores, it was merely a four.

That left Jake Carter and dance partner Karen to wrap up proceedings, their contemporary ballroom sashay to Harry Styles’ ‘Sign of the Times’ scoring a table-topping 27 points from the judges.

Benson declared the performance “box office” and the Liverpudlian seems best placed to win the technical element of the show, although there’s strong competition in the popularity contest.

After the judges had delivered their verdicts it left Marty and Ksenia propping up the table, with Bernard and Valeria above them, but as usual, the public vote was the deciding factor.

With the abacus put away, it meant a final three of Deirdre, Maia, and Anna, with one facing the exit. Maia faced the music, dancing out of the show to Madonna’s ‘Vogue’.

Next week the contestants will switch dance partners as new challenges are presented to the eight remaining contenders. Will that turn out the lights on the Marty Party? Don’t bet on it.

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