Master illusionist Cosentino has performed one of his greatest escapes, progressing to the third week of the Dancing With The Stars competition despite losing his partner Jessica Raffa to a serious back injury late last week.
After earning a perfect 10 for their opening routine, Jess was rushed to hospital on Thursday with a bulged disc in her back, which doctors have said will prevent her from dancing for at least six weeks.
In her place, Cosentino was paired with Sriani Argaet, and with just two days rehearsal the couple performed remarkably well in their Viennese Waltz to “If I ain’t got you” by Alicia Keys and Usher, a routine which had been choreographed by Jess. “I’m so happy that’s over. I want to savour each moment but was really tough to get through this. With Jess I had five weeks to get to know and understand her; we’ve had two days,” Cosentino said.
The judges praised the performance, but Todd McKenney said he feared Cosentino could become a “one-trick pony”. “I worry that you’ve got the goods to go all the way but you’ll be let down by your personality,” he said. However Kym Johnson disagreed, saying: “I’ve seen some really impressing things on Dancing With the Stars over the years but you really impressed me tonight. But more than that you really touched my heart.”
In another stunning night of dancing form the celebrities, it was the Sydney model Jordan Stenmark and partner Jessica Prince her were the first couple eliminated after the judges’ scores were combined with the viewers’ vote. ”It is upsetting but that’s the way the competition is. I’ve had seven weeks of training and I’ve learnt something new,” Jordan said.
Among those to impress the judges were swimmer Libby Trickett, Home and Away star Rhiannon Fish and world champion pole vaulter Steve Hooker, who leapt up the leaderboard with an athletic Jazz routine featuring a series of stunning lifts. Judge Helen Richey said: “You really make people feel very happy when they watch you – so you’ve got to be the happy Hooker!”
TV veteran Tony Barber and partner Melanie Hooper took an unscripted tumble but brought the crowd to their feet playing vagabonds in a Jazz routine set to Robbie William’s version of ‘Mack the Knife’. The judges were largely forgiving. “I loved you tonight. You had a stumble, you picked yourself off, you got on with it,” said judge Kym Johnson. Added Adam Garcia: “It was two drunk tramps, you can fall over. It worked perfectly in the story.”
Meanwhile Tina Arena danced strongly but the judges encouraged her to let herself go. Todd McKenney described it as “hit and miss”. “You’ve got to step outside your emotional comfort zone. There were times you looked like a bored housewife doing the shopping to be honest.”
It was also announced tonight that the acclaimed filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, whose credits include The Great Gatsby and Strictly Ballroom, will be a special guest on the show next week.
Steve Hooker & Ash-Leigh Hunter 34
Rhiannon Fish & Aric Yegudkin 34
Cosentino & Sriani Argaet 31
Tina Arena & Damian Whitewood 30
Sophia Pou & Michael Miziner 30
Libby Trickett & Dannial Gosper 29
Zac Stenmark & Jade Hatcher 28
Jordan Stenmark & Jessica Prince 27
Tony Barber & Melanie Hooper 26
Jesinta Campbell & Jarryd Bryne 24
Sally Obermeder & Carmelo Pizzino 20
Jonesy & Alana Patience 15
Now the judges’ scores are final, it is up to the public to vote for their celebrity and dance partner to keep them dancing.