Dedication week is always a tear jerker on Dancing With The Stars, and really it is a good thing that there was no elimination this week as every single couple put their hearts out there on the dance floor for the viewers pressure.
Carl Mullan opened the show, before he even danced though, he was crying about his beautiful little boy Daibhí, while Kevin McGahern also danced for his daughter Wallis.
Suzanne Jackson and Brooke Scullion dedicated their performances to their parents while Stephanie Roche wouldn’t be drawn on whether she will be drawn on whether or not she’ll be playing in the upcoming World Cup- but she wanted people to see what her team mates mean to her with her dance, while Damian McGinty also dedicated his routine to his Glee ensemble.
The most powerful performances though have to go to Shane Byrne and Rory O’Neil a.k.a. Panti Bliss, who both managed to send an incredibly powerful performance on the show.
Earning 23 points and in joint fourth place, Shane and partner Karen Byrne waltzed in honour of Anthony Axel Foley, watched by the rugby player’s wife Olive and two sons.
The sporting world was rocked by Anthony’s sudden death in 2016, and it was clear that Shane still feels very raw about his friend’s death.
Before taking to the floor, Shane tweeted ‘Week 6 Dedication Week. Happy to dedicate this week to my pal Anthony ‘Axel’ Foley, devastating when he left us, legacy continues!
‘Although not sure what he’ll think of me doing a dance for him!! 😁 But we’ll do our best!’
The audience seemed to agree with many crying along with the dancing pair.
One tweeted ‘Shane Byrne and Karen Byrne you are not meant to do this to me 😭’ while another said ‘teared up watching that dance from Shane Byrne dedicated to Axel Foley & with “We Are Champions” AND in front of Axel’s family 😭😭🏈🏈’
But the top scoring couple on the night, Rory (dancing as himself and not his alter ego Panti) and Denys Sampson performing a passionate paso doble who dedicated his routine to Dr Fiona Mulcahy, who helped him when he was diagnosed with HIV.
That particular dance is strong and powerful and Denys felt it represented the way in which Rory dealt with his initial diagnosis as a 27-year-old, when he was originally told his life expectancy was around five to ten years.
Happily, Rory said ‘This is a happy story with a happy ending… I think it’s important to realise that you can be a 54-year-old person living with HIV and still be dancing on live television on Sunday night and making a fool of yourself like everybody else!’
Twitter was alive as viewers watched his performance.
One viewer said ‘WHAT.A.MOMENT Wow Wow Wow @PantiBliss just amazing 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻in tears watching’.
Another went a step further, when they said ‘I can’t think of a single person I’m more grateful to than @PantiBliss. I was a closeted kid during Pantigate + the marriage referendum and she was that presence on Irish TV that showed me you could grow up to be beautiful, happy, Irish and gay.Thank you Panti ❤️ ‘.
It seems that Panti’s performance has illustrated just how far we as a country have come, and the judges were blown away by the story being told on the dancefloor.
They awarded Panti and Denys a sum total of 29 (thanks Brian, for ruining the potential perfect score!), and viewers agreed they were the best of the night, nominating them for immunity from next week’s elimination.