The four semi-finalists performed twice each, and danced one routine to an Irish song for the weekend that was in it.
Jake Carter, Anna Geary, Erin McGregor, and Deirdre O’Kane were the last four standing heading into last night’s semi-final, but it was curtains for McGregor, who lost out to Jake Carter in last night’s dance-off.
“I really didn’t believe in myself, and I got a lot of slack at the start. There were moments where I thought I couldn’t keep going, but this competition has given me a realisation that I have a stronger strength in myself than I even believed,” an emotional Erin said after she and dancing partner Ryan McShane were voted off.
“So anyone at home that wants to chase their dream, you go out and you do it and never, ever give up, no matter what anybody says,” she said.
Jake, Erin, and their dancing partners found themselves at the mercy of the judges, who were split as to who to put through to next week’s final, and who to send home. Julian Benson was the first of the three judges to deliver his verdict on the dance-off.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in this series. Both couples are fantastic — they danced phenomenally tonight.
“They are both equal; you both brought such amazing performances to the floor tonight and through both your journeys in this series,” he said, announcing that he would save Jake and his partner Karen Byrne “by a hair’s breadth”.
Brian Redmond said both were exemplary “right throughout the season and tonight” and praised how they handled the pressure of the dance-off.
“It’s really, really difficult... for me, because of the fact that technique is so important to me and I just thought one of them was slightly clearer in that regard, I’m going to save Erin and Ryan,” he said.
With Julian and Brian’s votes going either way, the decision fell to Loraine Barry.
“It’s a very difficult decision and I don’t think either one of them will be totally happy with my decision, but I have to do it based on the performance I’ve just seen, not previous performances.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to fight for it, and for me there was more energy, and I’m saving Jake and Karen,” she said.
Earlier in the show Erin and Ryan scored 27 points when they danced the samba to ‘Rain’ by The Script, and 25 for a contemporary dance to ‘Alive’ by Sia.
Jake and Karen received 26 for a rumba to ‘Slow Hands’ by Niall Horan, and 25 for their American smooth routine set to ‘Let’s Face The Music and Dance’.
Deirdre O’Kane and John Nolan paid tribute to Dolores O’Riordan with their contemporary dance take on ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries, for which they received 27 points from the judges, followed by a 22 for their cha cha cha to ‘Can You Feel It’ by The Jacksons.
“Deirdre, this was a rock star performance and Lord rest her, if Dolores was looking down she would be very proud,” Julian said of her dance to ‘Zombie’.
“You brought contemporary ballroom to life... we felt the passion, we feel the feeling, we felt the drama .....you can see you worked really, really hard to deliver such an iconic song,” he said.
But the performance of the night was delivered by Anna Geary and Kai Widdrington, whose salsa to ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ by Rhianna received a maximum 30 points from the judges.
“Slick, fast, sharp in the legs...you’ve just proved to me the competitor that you are...you should be really proud of yourself because that was a phenomenal performance,” Brian Redmond said.
The pair had earlier scored a 24 for their foxtrot to ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Thin Lizzy.
Next Sunday sees the series come to a close.