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No Strictly joy for Danny O'Donnell joy as dashing pilot's flight of fancy crashes to earth with a bump

By Billy Weir

Published 19/10/2015

Daniel O’Donnell - dancing with Kristina Rihanoff
Daniel O’Donnell - dancing with Kristina Rihanoff
Daniel O’Donnell - dancing with Kristina Rihanoff
Daniel O’Donnell with Kristina Rihanoff and presenter Tess Daly

In the prophetic and wise words of Kermit the Frog "it's not easy being green" and never was a truer word spoken, or croaked, yesterday.

Just as Ireland fans began the long trudge home to find a lilypad in Athenry on which to hide, any hopes of a little bit of solace on the dance floor were dismissed quicker than a northern hemisphere team at the World Cup.

Daniel O'Donnell is no more, he has ceased to be, he is an ex-dancer.

Or rather that should be Captain O'Donnell whose stint as a dashing pilot ended with an all too rapid descent back to earth with his partner, Kristina Rihanoff.

He was dancing the American Smooth - which I thought was an ironing service offered in US hotels - to Fly Me To The Moon which was quite apt as he was supposed to be a pilot but did a more than passing impression of a Thunderbirds puppet.

Saturday night's dance was relatively free of turbulence, earning him 23 points and 10th spot on the leaderboard, but it didn't save him as the public vote ushered him into the departure lounge along with Sky Sports News presenter Kirsty Gallacher.

She and partner Brendan Cole danced the paso doble to U2's Beautiful Day, but judge Craig Revel Horwood clearly still hadn't found what he was looking for as he moaned that "it had as much shape as a broomstick". Clearly she should have danced to B*Witched, but c'est la vie.

If it's Irish rock gods you're looking for then Daniel's the boy, but while he may be smoother than a freshly-shaven chin when he took to the skies again in the dance-off, he failed to hit Mach Three.

Too many crucial mistakes meant a bumpy landing and before you could utter "doors to manual" he was off, all four judges deciding that it was time for O'Donnell to be grounded once and for all.

If that was a newsflash it wasn't as big as the headlines at the other end of the league table, with former newsreader Katie Derham, who may well be the poshest person alive in the UK today, upsetting the odds to Viennese Waltz her way to the top with partner, Anton Du Beke, who may well be the most annoying person alive in the UK today.

The Radio Three presenter (see, I told you she was posh) notched up a total of 33 points, which put her one ahead of Helen George, Jamelia, Peter Andre and Kellie Bright, and won her lavish praise from Darcey Bussell.

Line of the week though belonged to Horwood, referring to Radio Two's Jeremy Vine's jive as "like watching a stork that had been hit by lightning". The stork's solicitor is believed to have been in touch.

On reflection, Bussell may be the poshest person in the UK today, her real name is Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pemberton Crittle, who, if I'm not mistaken were Blue Watch in Trumpton, and they would have been handy to have around as she's getting a little hot under the collar, or ball gown equivalent, with the alarming propensity of the male dancers to whip their kit off in the blink of an eye.

Thankfully Daniel did not follow suit, keeping all his on, like the good Donegal boy he is, which could have been a fatal error on his part and meant he ended up in the terminal rather than having to resuscitate Darcey and most of the viewing public.

He's gone but not forgotten, he may not have flown us to the moon but he'll always be a shining star in this part of the world, and look on the bright side, at least he'll be able to give Joe Schmidt and the boys a lift back home on the plane.

Belfast Telegraph

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