Dancing with the Stars: hair flicks and swinging hips fail to save Alannah Beirne

Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Alannah Beirne voted off by judges

A bouncy samba was not enough to save model Alannah Beirne as she bows out of Dancing with the Stars on week nine. Video: RTÉ

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The ninth week of Dancing with the Stars brought us tears, tension, snow-ins, drama and a thing called Team Dance but when it came down to the Dreaded Dance Off, Britain’s Next Top Model finalist and all round deadly gal Alannah Beirne was shown the door.

Like her opponent in the dance off, Erin McGregor, this was Beirne’s second time to face the judge’s final say. With her partner Vitali Milova, she gave her samba everything – hair flicks, bounce and swinging hips galore – but the judges sided with McGregor.

While the country was on wether red alert during the week, the dancers were placed on “glitter alert”. Put up in different hotels in Dublin so they could fit in their rehearsals for their individual and team routines, there is no sign of cabin fever rustiness – this was one of the highest scoring weeks yet.

As it’s Team Dance Week, the dancers are split into teams Party Rockers, consisting of McGregor, Anna Geary, and Robert Heffernan, and the Floor Fillers with Beirne, Deirdre O’Kane and Jake Carter, with their team score being added to their overall individual score.

“This is a massive challenge for everybody involved,” exhales McGregor. Sure, it’s a good way to fill up the two hours and to let the camera crew show off their skills. Dancing to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, The Party Rockers score 25 points but the Floor Fillers stole the show with their salsa-rific – things have gone a bit Benson around here – routine and score a perfect 30.

Erin McGregor and Ryan McShane: routine moves judge Julian Benson to tears. Photograph: Kyrna O’Brien/RTE
Erin McGregor and Ryan McShane: routine moves judge Julian Benson to tears. Photograph: Kyrna O’Brien/RTE

With a new whoosh of energy, McGregor and Ryan McShane dazzle this week with their waltz to Des’ree’s Kissing You, scoring 29 points. Even though the public seem to be not so keen, the routine moves judge Julian Benson to tears. When Brian Redmond dares to criticise one heel that went out of place, Loraine Barry and Benson are quick to shut him up.

Dolled up like Eddie Rockets staff, pop singer Carter and Karen Byrne sweat it out for their jive to a remix of Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock. Carter’s legs run loose and fast, working in a move called the drunken sailor, and the beads of sweat on his forehead do a good job catching up, earning him 27 points.

Less impressive was Olympic race walker Heffernan. Missing a few moves in his contemporary ballroom, his routine feels underrehearsed but Barry refers to it as a work of art. With an overly generous 24 points, maybe the judges are just being sound because it’s his 40th birthday. Camogie player Geary also scored 24 points for her rumba. By injecting strong character and working in complicated lifts with her partner Kai Widdrington, Barry says that the intensity of the routine made her feel like she was dancing there with them.

Comedian and actor Deirdre O’Kane performing on Dancing with the Stars. Photograph: Kyran O’Brien
Comedian and actor Deirdre O’Kane performing on Dancing with the Stars. Photograph: Kyran O’Brien

But the showstopper performance of the night goes to O’Kane and her partner John Nolan. Working in her best Marilyn Monroe impression, which fits in well with her claims on Friday’s Late Late Show that she had to drink prosecco in the Gibson Hotel because they ran out of milk, she earns 26 points for her near-perfect Charleston to Sparkling Diamonds from Moulin Rouge. According to Barry, her only problem was that she was left wanting more.

Losing Beirne will be a big loss to Dancing with the Stars as her routines were always energetic and youthful. But at least next week’s swing-a-thon, where the remaining couples dance simultaneously on the dance floor, promises much – no doubt, just like the dancers, we’ll be struggling to keep up.

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