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Monday 18 November 2019

Where did it all go wrong? 5 reasons behind Daniel O'Donnell's shock Strictly departure

Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff during a live recording for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing
Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff during a live recording for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing
Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff (centre) with the show’s host Tess Daly after the singer became the third celebrity to be voted off this year’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Photo: Guy Levy

Ed Power

Wee Daniel O'Donnell is packing his bags for Donegal after being booted off Strictly Come Dancing. Among Strictly die-hards his ejection after just four episodes will be regarded as a surprise.

While the Donegal singer was by no means a favourite with bookies, it was assumed his understated charm and decent hand-eye co-ordination would take him reasonably far. How to explain his relatively early exit? Here are five reasons for O'Donnell's Strictly departure.  


1: One too Many Mistakes On the Night.

Having finished in the bottom two in the public vote, Daniel and dance partner Kristina Rihanoff were required to engage in a "dance off" with sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole. But Daniel's slickness deserted him and his error-strewn performance sealed his fate. As he reflected: "I forgot everything in the dance-off, my feel stuck to the floor."


2: An Bad Case of The Jitters.

Daniel was visibly rigid with terror on the first episode of Strictly but rather than growing in confidence, with each passing week he seemed to turn more brittle and unsure of himself. The effortless grace he brings to his musical performances appeared to have deserted him entirely. He did not look at ease up there.


3: That Scary Smile.

Daniel chose to face the world with a pasted-on grin that looked like something a scary clown might wear in a horror movie. Worryingly, the smile never wavered, regardless of circumstance. With each passing week, Daniel's "disarming" countenance thus grew increasingly unnerving. It wasn't the reason the judges ultimately voted for his removal - but it can't have helped.


4: His Dance Routines Were A Bad Fit For His Fanbase.

Daniel's following skews older than that of many of his Strictly competitors , and the sight of him dancing the Cha Cha Cha to Summer Night from Grease, as he did last week, may not have gone down particularly well with the base. By the time he debuted his American Smooth routine to the strains of Sinatra's Fly Me To The Moon at the weekend, the cause was probably lost.


5: He Wasn't Well Enough Known In The UK to Attract Floating Votes.

A disturbing thought but there are places on this earth where O'Donnell is not a household name. Such as across the Irish Sea, where his inclusion on Strictly was met with much waggling of eye-brows. For sure, his fanbase is truly international. Yet among the wider public, his fame ends resoundingly at Ireland's borders.

Here's his last hurrah on the Strictly dancefloor:

'I was so nervous, my feet stuck to floor' - Daniel O'Donnell waltzes off 'Strictly'

'Daniel O'Donnell is great craic', says Irish Strictly dance star Tristan MacManus 

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