Monday 21 October 2019

Johnny Ward fulfills father's wish with powerful Dancing With The Stars performance one day after his death

Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during Dancing With The Stars
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during Dancing With The Stars kobpix
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Denis Bastick was voted off RTE’s Dancing With The Stars despite an athletic performance while actor Johnny Ward gave an astounding performance just one day after his father passed away.

Judge Loraine Barry had the deciding vote on the show after the former Dublin GAA player ended up in a dance off with former Fair City actress, Clelia Murphy. And she chose to save Clelia.

“It's all been said, this is the tightest competition. You both danced extremely well, but I’m going to save Clelia and Vitali.”

Denis said: “It’s been an unbelievable experience, as the weeks went on it's been more and more enjoyable, thanks for the support at home.”

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Denis Bastick with Valeria Milova voted out of the dance off with Clelia Murphy and Vitali Kozmin kobpix

Denis showed what a sporting powerhouse he was on the dance floor, as he became a footballer turned bullfighter, for the night.

He had perfected a very masculine paso doble with dance partner Valeria Milova, as they stormed the stage with a song synonymous with global soccer fans, ‘Carnival de Paris’.

Donning a black and red bull fighter’s costume and showing off his muscular torso, the athlete displayed not only how many hours he’s spent in the gym and in his dancing shoes.

Despite his towering performance, the footballer only scored 24 on the leaderboard and wound up in the dance off with former Fair City star Clelia Murphy, who scored 26.

Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during show nine of Dancing With The Stars kobpix
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during show nine of Dancing With The Stars kobpix

And it was the second week in a row for the deflated actress to end up in the bottom two.

Former Love/Hate actor Johnny Ward took to the stage and gave not only the dance of the night but also “of your life,” according to judge Julian Benson.

Johnny’s father, John Ward, 72, passed away in his sleep at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin on Saturday and the actor said it had been his father’s dying wish that he carry on dancing.

Johnny and dance partner, Emily Barker, performed a stunning Samba to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You,’ with the performer proving he was a true professional, putting his own personal grief to one side to achieve his father’s dying wish.

An emotional Johnny told viewers: “It’s been a very difficult week. I want to say a big thank you to everyone: the doctors and nurses in Tallaght Hospital and all the people in Harold’s Cross hospice for trying to keep my father alive and thank you so much to Emily.

“I had a very difficult decision to make. I was in the rehearsal room and I was saying to Emily ‘What’s the point?’

“As much as I enjoy competing in this competition, it comes second and family comes first.

“I love competing in this competition but to go into the hospice and talk to him (his father) and he said ‘Please don’t disappoint me, stay in the competition.’

“It’s a very difficult thing to do but we did it for him and I’m so happy.

“It’s not like competing against anyone, it’s a family. Everyone was sending me messages, not one person in this competition didn’t send me a message of support - that’s why we are like family.”

The couple were praised for their performance and they gained the highest score of the night, 28.

Judge Brian Redmond said: “We wanted to pass our condolences to your family. The bravery you showed.

“As a father myself and a son, this is something I know. Your father would be really proud of you, so congratulations.”

Judge Loraine Barry said Johnny had given “a striking” performance and he had danced to a “very high standard.”

While Julian Benson, who returned to TV after a period of sickness, told Johnny he was “In love with your dancing.”

“I know the strength and courage it took for you to get on the floor tonight, you danced for your life Johnny.

“You gave everything, you should be so proud of yourself, you are a wonderful dancer Johnny and tonight you did a super job.”

John Ward, from Walkinstown, Dublin, had stage four cancer. He’d been sick for some time.

The actor tweeted on Saturday: “Thank you for all your supportive messages regarding my father at this very difficult time.

“He is now pain free. Thanks you dad for being the kindest, most supportive, incredible father anyone could ever ask for.

“They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind xxx.”

Johnny sailed through the show after such an astounding performance.

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