Thursday 18 July 2019

'I'm taking the outfits with me' - Rugby legend Peter Stringer becomes fifth celebrity to leave DWTS

Peter Stringer and Ksenia Zsikhotska dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Peter Stringer and Ksenia Zsikhotska dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Munster rugby star Peter Stringer has been ejected from DWTS Ireland after the sportsman lost out to Fair City actress Clelia Murphy on the dancefloor.

The dance off saw two of the show’s most talented performers, Peter Stringer and Clelia Murphy, go toe-to-toe on the dancefloor but the sports star couldn’t compete against the actress’ superior dancing ability on the night.

“I was terrified of dancing with two left feet,” Peter said after he was voted off. 

But he admitted:  “My wife is in trouble,” as he intends to carry on dancing after the show.

Clelia Murphy and Vitali Kozmin during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Clelia Murphy and Vitali Kozmin during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

“I said I couldn’t physically wear the pink outfit (when I first went on the show.)

“And then I saw everyone else’s outfits. I said once you’re in it, you put yourself out there, you embrace the pink and sequins and if you don’t, you will look uncomfortable.

“It took a while to settle in and become comfortable but you know what, I enjoyed every minute of it.”

The former player admitted he was delighted Ireland had reigned victorious over Italy in the Six Nations but the match had somewhat distracted him during rehearsals and he was bitterly disappointed he was leaving the show.

Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

“It was so far out of my comfort zone and an environment I’m not used to,” Peter said.

“And coming from where I had at a top sports level and sometimes it's easier to settle for that and not be vulnerable but I said go for it, my wife said go for it.

“I’d never set foot on a dancefloor and to get to this point I'm incredibly proud of myself.

“I’ve become so close to these people and it’s exceeded everything...I’ve asked to keep all the outfits, their staying in my wardrobe.”

Cliona Hagan and Robert Rowinski during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Cliona Hagan and Robert Rowinski during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Mr Nasty, judge Brian Redmond, told Peter he’d never seen such a “change” from a main performance to a dance off but still he opted to save Clelia.

Peter and pro dance partner, Ksenia Zsikhotska, had performed an almost flawless American Smooth to New York, New York but the sportsman’s leg almost strayed into his partner at one point.

Brian said the performance had “resembled a dance at an Irish wedding at 4am,” adding the routine had been “out of time, out of sync and out of balance.”

The couple scored the lowest points of the night of just 20.

Denis Bastick with Valeria Milova dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Denis Bastick with Valeria Milova dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Clelia Murphy and dance partner Vitali Kozmin danced the Paso Doble to Funiculi, Funiculá

Ricordi with the actress admitting she’s “more a bull than a lady,” when talking about the masterful Spanish routine which saw her dressed in full Flamenco finery complete with a red rose pinning her hair back. 

The Fair City actress said it suited her to look “frustrated and angry” for the dance.

Mairead Ronan and John Nolan during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Mairead Ronan and John Nolan during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

But after the performance, Clelia was forced to hold back tears, as she revealed her pet dog, Charlie, had died during the week.

“I had to put Charlie dog down,” she said.  “He’s been running away since 2004. My kitchen has never been cleaner or sadder.” 

But the show had to go on and the actress admitted DWTS had given her focus at a time she really needed distraction as she dealt with the loss of her beloved pet. 

“There’s magic in the air, we are all very lucky to be here.”  The couple scored 25.

Johnny Ward and dance partner Emily Barker did a flawless Tango to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.  Darren said the performance was “explosive” and Brian, the former Love/Hate actor’s biggest critic, said he “absolutely loved it.” 

And judge Loraine Barry labelled it a “mighty tango.”  Johnny said afterwards: “I’d like to dedicate it (the dance) to my father and everyone in Tallaght hospital.”

Fred Cooke and Giulia Dotta dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Kyran O'Brien
Fred Cooke and Giulia Dotta dancing during show Eight of Dancing With The Stars. Kyran O'Brien

Host Nicky Byrne told him:  “Your dad is going to be so proud of you tonight.”

The actor spoke last week about how guilty he felt having dedicated so much time to the RTE show when his father has been in hospital in recent days due to cancer but the celebrity revealed his dad had been encouraging him to carry on.

Brian gave the couple an outstanding 29 points, the second highest score of the series and the actor and his partner managed to score the first two 10s in a series gifted by Loraine and Darren.

Cliona Hagan and Robert Rowinski danced an emotional Waltz to A Time for Us by Nino Rota.  The country singer, dressed in beautiful ivory gown, had wept earlier when describing how much of a “fairytale” it had been to dance for an orchestra.

The judges scored the couple three tens, the first 30 of the season and the highest total. Brian labelled the dance “emotional”.

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