Johnny’s dance ‘could have been in a Bond film’

By Aideen O'Flaherty 

ACTOR Johnny Ward, who has starred in ‘Love/Hate’ and ‘Fair City’, is still going strong in RTÉ’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ as he has consistently received high scores from the judges – and he dazzled the audience with a Eurovision-inspired performance on Sunday evening’s show.

The competition, now in its tenth week, sees a host of celebrities take on dances alongside their professional dance partners, with a different celebrity being eliminated each week after competing in a dance-off, where the bottom two performers fight to keep their place in the show.

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Greenhills man Johnny Ward has consistently impressed the judges with his performances alongside his professional dance partner Emily Barker, and he has so far avoided having to compete in a dreaded dance-off.

Sunday night’s show was a celebration of the Eurovision, with Johnny and Emily deciding to perform an emotional contemporary dance to Eurovision Song Contest 2014 winner Conchita Wurst’s triumphant song ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’.

Judge Brian Redmond said: “I thought it was excellent. I think you could represent Ireland in the next Olympics.

“That could have been the opening sequence of a Bond movie, and I absolutely loved it.”

Judge Julian Benson also heaped praise on the past pupil of Greenhills College, saying: “You smashed that performance.

“The power, the energy, the emotions, the creativity . . . it’s all about the story-telling.

“From the top to the bottom of the routine, I could see you danced the heart, and the chemistry between the two of you was box office.

“You not only rise like a phoenix, you soar like [the] superstar dancer you are.”

The judges gave Johnny 30 points for his performance, the highest number of points that were awarded on Sunday’s show.

Speaking after his performance, Johnny said: “It’s emotional, a dance like that . . . I can use it . . . put all the feeling in.”

Fair City’s Clelia Murphy was the seventh celebrity to be eliminated from the show after going head-to-head with Fred Cooke in a dance-off on Sunday evening, and now four celebrities, including Johnny, will be going forward into this Sunday’s show.

The next episode in the series, which is the semi-final, will air this Sunday, March 17, at 6.30pm on RTÉ One.

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