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Daniel O'Donnell's the one that we want, despite hair-raising turn from Grease

Belfast Telegraph sports columnist Billy Weir turns his attention to Strictly Come Dancing

Published 12/10/2015

Danny ploy: Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
Danny ploy: Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
Danny ploy: Daniel O’Donnell and Kristina Rihanoff
Voted off: Anthony Ogogo and Oti Mabuse

The lights have gone out, the cameras have been switched off and there will be no more action on the dance floor for boxer Anthony Agogo after he was knocked out in movies week in Strictly.

Middleweight Agogo may have won a bronze medal for Team GB in the 2012 Olympics, but he found heavyweight chef Ainsley Harriot too hot to handle in last night's dance-off, falling foul of all four of the judges' cards and joining fellow sports star Iwan Thomas for an early bath.

And it was quite a sweat too for our own Daniel O'Donnell, who was forced to wait until the final bell to see if he and partner Kristina Rihanoff could follow up their 10th place finish on Saturday night by capturing the hearts of the voting public.

Just when you thought Greece hadn't suffered enough at the hands of boys in green this week, the Irish crooning legend threw off his country and western shackles and pulled on a leather jacket to become Danny Zuko, John Travolta's alter ego in hit Seventies flick, Grease.

Daniel is quickly becoming the show's anti-hero (or maybe that should be auntie-hero?) attempting to throw off his image of an old-fashioned Irish crooner and bounding onto the screen with a curled-up lip, bags of attitude and hairline so tall it was more Malin Head than forehead.

Yes, he may have looked like the Fonz's long-lost cousin from Kincasslagh as he began his Cha Cha Cha to Summer Nights, but after some mixed reviews and 21 points, it seemed that it would be happy days and enough to secure him a few more autumn evenings.

Senior judge Len Goodman joked that O'Donnell "lacked a bit of greased lightning" and it was a "mix between Summer Nights and Last of the Summer Wine" but, despite being the final performer to be spared the dreaded dance-off, he will be back next week - minus the quiff, although dressed like Compo and dancing with Nora Batty.

Saturday night's most hair-raising moment, though, was provided by another singer, although a little different from his more senior colleague, as Jay McGuiness of The Wanted saved the best for last with his jive along with partner Aliona Vilani in a homage to Uma Thurman and John Travolta's famous scene in Pulp Fiction.

Unlike most of Quentin Tarantino's films there was to be a happy ending, as the judges joined the raucous reception from the studio audience, Bruno Tonioli screaming that it was "the total blockbuster everyone was waiting for - the best dance ever".

Craig Revel-Horwood was so shocked he was reduced to just four words - a-maaaaaz-ing darling - while Goodman added "Never mind Pulp Fiction, I'll tell you a fact - that was the best dance of this season."

It gained him a whopping 37 points, three nines and the first 10 of the series from Tonioli, putting him five points clear of the chasing pack led by EastEnders' actress Kellie Bright and Call The Midwife's Helen George, who had come for the evening dressed as Princess Leia from Star Wars and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot.

But it wouldn't be Strictly without a bit of the ridiculous joining the sublime, with Sky Sports News presenter Kirsty Gallacher joining partner Brendan Cole dressed as dogs for an American Smooth number from The Lady and The Tramp and it was all going spiffingly until she stood on her tail. Probably had canine points docked as a result…

No such problems for Peter Andre, who came as Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Caribbean and a pirate hasn't caused such a commotion on early evening TV since Captain Pugwash was in his pomp. Andre got four sevens for his 28 points - it really should have been pieces of eight.

However, it was to be Agogo who was to walk the plank. He may have danced to Eye of the Tiger, but the boxer was certainly no survivor.

He may float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, but unfortunately he can't dance as well as a chef dressed as a penguin.

Belfast Telegraph

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