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Dancing With the Stars: Rugby ace Shane Byrne is kicked to touch as he is voted off RTÉ dance show


Shane Byrne with his dance partner Karen Byrne on Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O’Brien/kobpix

Shane Byrne with his dance partner Karen Byrne on Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O’Brien/kobpix

Shane Byrne with his dance partner Karen Byrne on Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O’Brien/kobpix

Former Ireland rugby international Shane Byrne has become the latest celebrity to be voted off Dancing with the Stars after he found himself in a dance-off against drag queen Panti Bliss.

Shane and his professional dance partner Karen Byrne found themselves in the dance-off after finishing bottom of the leaderboard tonight with just 22 points.

They were up against Panti Bliss and her professional dance partner Denys Sampson who performed a Tango to Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme and were ultimately saved by the judges.

Despite being eliminated from the competition, Shane said his experience over the past eight weeks on the show was “fantastic”.

“Life is all about experiences and this was one hell of an experience. I’m really glad I did it,” he said.

Karen said: “I couldn’t have asked for somebody as kind and caring (as Shane) every single day of rehearsal.

“He shocked me every week and I think he shocked half the nation with what he could do. We went out on an absolute high.”

Meanwhile businesswoman Suzanne Jackson didn’t let excruciating pain from a rib injury get in the way of a near perfect performance in tonight’s show.

The 38-year-old beauty entrepreneur scored an impressive score of 29 out of 30 for her high octane Charleston with dance partner Michael Danilczuk to the song Hot Honey Rag from the hit musical Chicago performed live by the RTÉ Orchestra.

This was despite not being able to put on her dancing shoes until last Friday after she sustained severely bruised ribs and a condition called interchondral subluxation, in which her the ribs click in and out of place.

The social media influencer said: “I’m completely smashed up. The pain, I can’t describe it, it’s so sore,” after she suffered the injury whilst doing the American Smooth last week - a performance that ultimately saw her in the dreaded dance-off  in which footballer Stephanie Roche was eliminated.

But what a difference a week made.

“Injured ribs, smibs,” judge Brian Redmond said of her performance which he described as “phenomenal” while fellow judge Loraine Barry described it as “stunning and remarkable”.

Suzanne, meanwhile, said she was determined to “push through” despite the pain.

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“It was such a hard week, I didn’t think I’d be here tonight,” she said.

But after giving her sprightly performance, she said in retrospect: “I said, I’ll just let loose. I love this era, the Gatsby era” she said of the Roaring Twenties epitomised in F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby.

However, their performance – which placed them second on the leaderboard – was outscored by a perfect score of 30 given to Eurovision singer Brooke Scallion and her dance partner Robert Rowinski for their Contemporary Ballroom take on Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill which won universal praise from the judging panel.

“You are not running up that hill, you are on top of it,” said judge Arthur Gourounlian.

“It was quite haunting…this was breath taking,” said Loraine Barry while Brian Redmond described it as “phenomenal”.

Brooke said she was just “so, so happy” with the result which was described as “eight weeks of hard work in one week”.

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