Shocked Hughie is first to get boot as 'Deserado' steals show
Former 'Big Brother' star Hughie Maughan said he was sad his time on 'Dancing with the Stars' had come to an end as he became the first to be booted off the show.
The 22-year-old was visibly shocked as he was voted out of the RTÉ show last night.
Hughie and dance partner Emily Barker found themselves in the bottom three following the public vote, alongside Dr Eva Ormonde and model Thalia Heffernan.
"I'm so sad to go home but so thankful to have gotten the opportunity. I feel like it would have been brilliant to stay a few weeks," Hughie told the Irish Independent backstage.
"I don't know if it was because the dance I did tonight was really boring or what. At the end of the day, I don't choose the performances or the songs, I just put my best into it."
Hughie went on to tip Denise McCormack to win the series and insisted: "I went out on a high."
He also shrugged off any backlash from "Tangate" last week, when his over-use of fake tan was controversial. "I don't think that would have affected the voting. I think people just like me being myself and maybe I just wasn't being myself dancing. I've been doing this since November so I think I'll take off on holiday."
RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill stole the show with his "bullish" Spanish Paso Doble that had the crowd calling for more.
Des, sporting a matador look, complete with cape, started the routine on his knees before slowly rising as his partner Karen Byrne took to the stage.
Good-natured Des admitted there was a "hint of sympathy" from the audience for he and partner Karen's efforts. His dance earned him the nickname 'Deserado'.
The judges were not quite as enthusiastic as the crowd, though, as they awarded him 16 points.
Meanwhile, 'Love/Hate' actress McCormack received the highest score of 'Dancing with the Stars' last night with a show-stopping tango to the music of 'Roxanne'.
The star, who is partnered with champion dancer Ryan McShane, scored 26 out of 30 points for her performance at Ardmore Studios.
Last night saw all 11 contestants battle it out for the first time together on the same night in a bid to go further on the talent series.
Scores from the past two weeks were added to the public vote before the first celebrity was sent home.
RTÉ news reporter Teresa Mannion impressed with her performance of 'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger', which she dedicated to cancer patients.
"It resonates with me because I had breast cancer and I hope it resonates with other women out there," Teresa revealed.
Hometown star Dayl Cronin was dubbed a "leading man" by judge Julian Benson following his tango, notching up 19 points, but twinkle-toed Kerry footballer Aidan O'Mahony was disappointed to score just 16 out of 30 points following his quickstep.
Comedian Katherine Lynch Cha Cha Cha'd to 'Express Yourself' by Madonna with partner Kai Widdrington, and breathless Dr Orsmond earned 18 points for her foxtrot.
Model Heffernan battled through a rib injury and crippling nerves to dance the rumba to Kodaline's 'High Hopes', getting the judges' seal of approval with an impressive 21 points.
Des Bishop's dance to 'Club Tropicana' got a rousing reception, while 'Fair City' actress Aoibhin Garrihy was told she had "the best topline among the girls".