Dancing with the Stars: Dayl Cronin eleminated in shock result

Boyband singer loses out in dance-off to Denise McCormack as public vote puts former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony through to final

Dayl Cronin: eliminated in the Dreaded Dance Off, to the surprise of many.   Photographs: RTE

Dayl Cronin: eliminated in the Dreaded Dance Off, to the surprise of many. Photographs: RTE


Yes it’s the Sunday of Paddy’s Day weekend, we may all have the shamrock shakes but there’s no time for festive fear – it’s the Dancing with the Stars semi-final! It’s an Irish special!

With the competition being so close, there was always going to be an upset and as the final looms next week, unlike GAA matches – there will be no replays. To the shock of many, former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony managed to nab the coveted spot, bringing boybander Dayl Cronin’s dreams to an end, which was almost like watching a puppy being scolded.

Aidan O’Mahony: his jive only managed to bag him 20 points. Photograph: RTE
Aidan O’Mahony: the Kingdom of Kerry has spoken. Photograph: RTE/Jon Barton

After last week’s hip swinging controversy, O’Mahony was told to step it up and get rid of his inherently Irish stiffness. It looked like the Kerryman could have been in trouble, especially during the first dance – a jive to Drive it Like You Stole It from Sing Street, where, dressed in full C.H.I.P.S (ask your Mam) traffic cop gear he looked like a particularly jazzy sausage in a pan, flailing about doing unco-ordinated kicks. It was not much of a joyride – instead it looked like he’d lost control behind the wheel.

Judge Julian Benson emphasised the “fun” element of the dance but fellow judge Brian Redmond lamented that O’Mahony’s head-bobbing was reminiscent of a pigeon which caused the surreal moment where Nicky Byrne turned two-bit Jeremy Paxman intensely asking O’Mahony’s dance partner Valeria did she see Aidan “as a pigeon” until the dancer blinked away the question in confused silence.

Their second dance (for there were two each tonight) was more in the footballer’s comfort zone: the traditional Viennese Waltz where his authoritative, stiff-backed style was used to his advantage – even though it still looked like he was counting the steps in his head or wondering if he’d left the oven on. He’s not the most engaged of dancers, but yet again he was saved from the DDO – Dreaded Dance Off – and we look to the kingdom of Kerry and scratch our heads.

Elsewhere there was trouble afoot (literally) for poor Dayl Cronin who was dreading the idea of having to perform two dances in the one night. Coming off his triumphant boy-to-man paso doble last week where he really surPASOED himself (arf!) you could see the nerves and apprehension come through as he took to the floor to rumba to Westlife’s What About Now, as presenter Nicky Byrne watched on silently crying (possibly) .

Dayl Cronin: another big score with 28 points for his rumba. Photograph: RTE
Dayl Cronin: another big score with 28 points for his rumba. Photograph: RTE/Jon Barton

Cronin mooched around the dancefloor in a performance of subtle passion, like a very proficient Aladdin in a West End production. The judges coo-ed over his sensual movements and it was nines and 10s all round. It was all going so well until his return to the dancefloor for the quickstep, or it should it be re-christened the quick slip, as he took an initial tumble – those shiny Confirmation shoes can be a nightmare! But the boy kept swinging and recovered well ,sliding around the dancefloor like he was part made of Mr Sheen.

Even though he managed to rack up impressive scores for the night, Cronin was for the chop. Leaving the girls to the serious competitive business.

Denise McCormack: hit the high marks with scores of 28 and 27 from the judges. Photographs: RTE
Denise McCormack: hit the high marks with scores of 28 and 27 from the judges. Photograph: RTE/Jon Barton

There is not much between Denise McCormack and Aoibhín Garrihy and tonight showed off just how far they’ve come. They both dazzled. McCormack’s dramatic almost balletic performance to Hozier’s Take Me to Church was a sensational show-opener, especially so as she was suffering from an injury which made her limber movements all the more remarkable.

Later, they fired things up with a red hot cha-cha to the Cuban La Lupe version of Fever. Sharp-footed and self assured, she looked like she was enjoying it far too much for it to be a competition, there was no semi-final nerves to be seen. So hot was it that judge Julian quipped it almost put him back in hospital.

Aoibhín Garrihy: scored maximum poits for her two dances. Photographs: RTE
Aoibhín Garrihy: scored maximum points for her two dances. Photograph: RTE/Jon Barton

Garrihy again managed to step up her game after her emoji tango last week, when she surprisingly ended up in the DDO – she made sure that this would not be a repeat performance.

The stunning spins and lifts of the contemporary ballroom routine of Nothing Compares 2 U must have had many at home wondering if they could give it a go on the floor of Coppers at 3am. It was 10s from all the judges with Brian Redmond even going so far as to say she was putting them out of a job as they had nothing to critique. Her cheeky Charleston to Basement Jaxx Do Your Thang saw her and Vitali zipping around the floor like Duracell bunnies, a pretzel of their limbs; she was a girl on fire ready to take her place in the final.

One thing is for sure, it’s going be a nail biting finale next week but will the girls be able to hold off the King of Kerry to snatch the crown or has Aidan O’Mahony waltzed away with it already?