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Dancing with the Stars week 5: A one-way trip to light entertainment purgatory

Television: Paul Brogan may have just been voted off the show – but he sounds like the happiest person under the disco ball

Former Dublin ofotballer Paul Brogan and his dance partner Salome Chachua, with presenters Jennifer Zamparelli and Doireann Garrihy, after they were voted off Dancing With The Stars. Photograph:  Damien Eagers

It’s a last tango for former Dublin footballer Paul Brogan, who becomes the latest celebrity eliminated from Dancing with the Stars (RTÉ One, Sunday, 6.30pm).

Brogan has been an eager learner but rarely set the floor alight in his time on the competition. This week he huffs through an over-the-top routine with pro partner Salome Chachua. Their tango is soundtracked to Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars. Sadly, it’s a one-way trip to light entertainment purgatory with Brogan relying more on brawn than balletic grace.

“Eight lifts in the tango – that’s pushing it a bit,” says judge Brian Redmond. “A bit stompy – relax,” agrees Arthur Gourounlian.

Brogan scores 16 – two points ahead of the season’s other big straggler, soccer player Stephanie Roche. Still, it isn’t enough to keep him in the contest and he is eliminated by public vote.


The other big story of “Ballroom Blitz” night is a much improved twirl by Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill. Panti and partner Denys Samson whizz to the top of the leader board with a fiery Charleston that finishes with the drag queen collapsing to the floor.

“I’m the oldest person in this contest,” says Panti (54). “I feel my age every single moment.”

The judges, though, appreciate the blood sweat and cheers. “Ridiculously brilliant,” says Brian Redmond. “Madness ... in the best possible way,” agrees Arthur Gourounlian.

Panti may be the surprise front-runner. But the evening is otherwise lacking in surprises. Eurovision singer Brooke Scullion and influencer Suzanne Jackson remain the most consistent performers on DWTS 2023. Scullion and Robert Rowiński score 26 with their samba to SloMo by fellow Eurovision 2022 contestant Chanel.

“If it was Eurovision, douze points,” says Gourounlian. “We all know samba is the celebrity killer. Obviously samba never met Brooke Scullion.”

Jackson, meanwhile, puts in another solid turn. She scores 25 for her contemporary ballroom with Michael Danilczuk to Keeping Your Head Up by Birdy. Not that there isn’t room for improvement. “The heart, the upper body needs to come out more. It’s on it’s way,” says Loraine Barry.

Next Sunday, contestants can breathe easy. It’s “Dedication Week”, in which they will be spared elimination and where they create dances inspired by important people in their lives. It’s sure to be weepy.

One person not shedding tears, however, is Brogan. He has had his fun. Still, he isn’t even slightly devastated to be leaving. “Will you keep up the dancing?” asks presenter Jennifer Zamparelli. “Not a chance,” shoots back Brogan. He may have just got the boot – but he sounds like the happiest person under the DWTS disco ball.