With only four places up for grabs, our five remaining celebrities raised the bar to extraordinary new heights.
The standard was so high, in fact, that two perfect scores were not enough to save Matt Cooper from elimination. “Everyone is giving performances we expect to see in the final,” judge Todd McKenney said.
With not one but two dances to complete, the demands were great and the stakes even higher. In round one, the stars performed the same Switch Up dance style they showcased a fortnight ago, but this time with their original partner and to new music and moves. For round two, they took to the floor in a new style they’ve never danced before.
After languishing at the bottom of the leaderboard for the first time last week, Matt staged a massive comeback. The NRL legend re-visited the Foxtrot and wowed the judges scoring 38 points, including perfect 10s from Helen Richey and Adam Garcia. “That was just beautiful,” Helen said. “Your first Foxtrot was great but this was better.” His Argentine Tango was also a winner on 37 points. “Your command of choreography for a beginner is extraordinary,” Todd said.
Tai Hara’s original Paso Doble was labeled a breakthrough performance and he didn’t disappoint tonight scoring 35. Helen, who gave him a perfect score, said: “Your first Paso was excellent but you really excelled tonight.” The Home and Away star followed up with a Rumba, which earned him 34 points. Adam said: “You put the passion and emotion together beautifully.”
Ricki-Lee’s been battling it out with David Rodan for the top spot and tonight she finally claimed it. She took on the Jive again and received a near-perfect score of 36 points. Her Tango was also a winner with the judges awarding her 37 points, including a perfect score from Todd. “You’re having a cracker of a night,” he said.
The pressure was on David Rodan to repeat the magic of his last Rumba, which earned him two perfect 10s and his highest score of the series but he fell short on 33 points. His second dance – which earned 28 points – divided the judges with Helen and Todd arguing there was not enough Fox Trot in the routine while Adam and Kym disagreed. “It was a great routine but it wasn’t a Fox Trot,” Todd said.
Lynne McGranger fox-trotted her way to a score of 29, equaling her Switch Up score. Her Waltz fared better with 32 points with Todd stating: “Carmelo [Pizzino] is so good with the mature dancers and you’re the best we’ve ever had.”
Because no one was eliminated last week due to Torah Bright’s injury, the viewer votes and the judges’ scores rolled over, to determine who was eliminated tonight. Sadly, this meant goodbye for Matt despite his top score tonight.
The judges farewelled him with a standing ovation as a mark of respect, with Todd declaring it was “a crime” for anyone to go home during such an amazing night of dancing.
Dancing for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, Matt thanked his partner Masha Belash and his fellow stars. “It’s been incredible,” he said. “What a journey! Dancing With The Stars has been tremendous. It’s been a dream come true.”
The final scores:
RICKI-LEE & JARRYD BYRNE – 68 (last week’s score) + 36 + 37 = 141
DAVID RODAN & MELANIE HOOPER – 71 (last week’s score) + 33 + 28 = 132
MATT COOPER & MASHA BELASH – 56 (last week’s score) + 38 + 37 = 131
TAI HARA & JORJA FREEMAN – 58 (last week’s score) + 35 + 34 = 127
LYNNE McGRANGER & CARMELO PIZZINO – 62 (last week’s score) + 29 + 32 = 123
Now it’s up to the public to vote for their favourite celebrity to keep them dancing. For voting line information, visit the official website www.yahoo7.com.au/dancing
Next week the final four will tackle new dance styles Bollywood, Broadway and more. And in a Dancing first, our judges step in to mentor one star couple each.
Dancing With The Stars airs Tuesdays at 7:30 PM on Seven.