April 25, 2024

‘It’s surreal’ – Kilkenny’s John Nolan and partner Mairéad waltz their way into final of Dancing with the Stars

KILKENNY’s John Nolan and his celebrity partner Mairéad Ronan have waltzed their way into the final of RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars.

It’s a fantastic achievement for John, who also made it through to last year’s finale with his then partner, the comedian and actress Deirdre O’Kane.

But the down-to-earth Kilkenny man, as usual, was happy for Mairéad to take the plaudits after the presenter gave her finest performance so far.

A delighted but exhausted John told KilkennyNow.ie this morning: “It’s absolutely surreal to get to the final again.

“I’m just so happy and proud of Mairéad. She has worked her arse off – from day one she has worked so hard, and now she’s got her reward. She really deserves to be in the final. Last night, for me, she stole the show. She was magnificent.

“I’m just so happy the judges could see what I have seen from day one. She’s never danced in her life, and for her to dance like she did last night, in such a short space of time, I’ve never seen it in all my years of teaching. I’ve never seen someone to improve and work so hard and take on what I’m saying. It’s spectacular and I’m beyond proud of her this morning.”

John and Mairéad again thanked the people of Kilkenny for the massive support they have given to them throughout the show, and the dancing couple plan to return to the Marble City again this week as a show of appreciation ahead of next week’s final.

Speaking to KilkennyNow.ie ahead of last night’s semis, John said he believes he and Mairéad can go all the way and win the coveted Glitter Ball on this year’s series.

And they are in with every chance of doing so if they can conjure up another performance to match last night’s routines, which earned them 54 points out of 60, the second highest total of the night and just one behind Johnny Ward and Emily Barker.

For their second performance, John and Mairéad danced the Viennese Waltz to Calum Scott and Leona Lewis’ You Are the Reason, earning them a maximum score of 30 – their first on the show.

Loraine Barry said they performed the routine “outstandingly”, describing it as “a crowning performance”. She concluded by saying she was jealous she wasn’t dancing it herself.

Julian Benson said it was Mairéad’s moment. “I felt tonight I was looking at a professional couple,” he beamed. “This was your best dance of the series.”

“Dancers like you are the reason I love my job,” Brian Redmond told Mairéad, stressing that he used the word “dancers”. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Earlier in the show, John and Mairéad danced the Jive to Perfect on Paper by The Blizzards, earning a combined score of 24.

Brian Redmond said Mairead “maintained the control of the power”, but said the routine “lacked a little bit of bounce”.

Loraine Barry commented that it was “a good Jive”, but said there needed to be more “foot and ankle” and sexiness.

In the end, John and Mairéad did more than enough to secure their way to final stages of the competition.

This week it was the turn of comedian Fred Cooke and his professional partner Giulia Dotta’s to say goodbye to the show after they lost out in dance-off to Ward and Barker.

Singer Cliona Hagan and her professional partner Robert Rowiński have also made it through to next week final.


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