Thomas illness means ice vote axed
Published 04/03/2013 | 01:31
Gareth Thomas had to dramatically withdraw from Dancing On Ice after being taken ill - meaning that the latest viewers' vote was cancelled at the end of the semi final.
The former rugby player had been sick and dizzy all week while performing flying moves on a harness.
His illness meant the muscle-bound celebrity could only perform one of his two planned routines with partner Robin Johnstone, before being led away to be checked by medics.
Gareth's withdrawal meant the three remaining celebrities - EastEnders actor Matt Lapinskas, boxer Luke Campbell and gymnast Beth Tweddle progressed to the final.
Matt said of his pal Gareth: "He is my brother and I love him to pieces."
Despite feeling sick, Gareth was still able to score 33.5 out of 40 for his first spin round the rink with partner Robin. The Welshman finished his dance, to Coldplay's Viva La Vida, and won praise from judge Ashley Roberts, the former Pussycat Doll, with her applauding his "transformation" during the course of the show.
Despite the encouragement, he left the stage unable to talk. He saw medical staff, and supported by his mother, the decision was taken to withdraw him from the competition.
Former soap star Matt and his partner Brianne Delcourt wowed the judges during the semi final to finish top of the leader board. The pair scored 39 out of 40 for their Swing-inspired flying routine to Robbie Williams' Straighten Up And Fly Right, before equalling their top score with a second dance to Michael Jackson's Bad.
The three finalists all performed an extra routine at the end of the show, because the usual skate-off had been cancelled.
Viewers who had already voted for their favourites before the vote was called off were told to check the Dancing On Ice website for refund details.