End of the #DWTSSA Journey for Liesl

02 April 2018
The former Miss SA is eliminated.

Radio host and former beauty queen Liesl Laurie and her dance partner, three-time British Show Dance champion Ryan Hammond, had to bid Dancing with the Stars SA farewell tonight [1 April] after three out of the four judges opted to save netball champ Vanes-Mari du Toit in her third dance-off.

Bryan Watson remarked on what a difficult choice this was – “both ladies left their hearts on the floor”, he noted. “But on this occasion I will save Liesl and Ryan,” he reluctantly concluded. Debbie agreed that both ladies had implemented the judges’ comments from tonight’s show in their dance-off performances, and she elected to keep Vanes-Mari and Johannes.

Judge Tebogo also decided to save Vanes-Mari, and that left the deciding vote to head judge Jason Gilkison, who declared that for him, Vanes-Mari had given the “more committed and more positive performance” in the dance-off.  

The former Miss SA and radio host Liesl opened her run on Dancing with the Stars SA with the very first dance of the season, a cha-cha-chá in Week 1, and judge Debbie Turner predicted then that as her confidence grew over the weeks, Liesl would be “stunning”. In the two months since then, Debbie’s prediction turned out to be true.

Despite having to perform with a back injury in Week 3, Liesl powered through the pain and bounced back the following week with a scintillating quickstep, after which Bryan Watson thought that she “lit up the floor”.

The judges had some issues with Liesl’s Week 5 salsa, with head judge Jason cautioning her to try to have the same amazing communication with her partner as she had with the camera, but they were all blown away by her passionate headbanging rock-inspired Paso Doble in Week 6. “Now we see a completely different side of you! I really, really enjoyed it,” Debbie commented then.

In Week 7 Debbie was equally impressed with Liesl’s American Smooth, complimenting the way that she managed to communicate energy through the tips of her fingers, and last week she commented on the musicality of Liesl’s salsa. But unfortunately this week Debbie didn’t think that Liesl sufficiently portrayed the characterisation behind the song to which she and Ryan performed the foxtrot, Beyoncé’s Listen, and Jason agreed. “You’ve got to do the dancing from the inside,” he gently chided Liesl.

“There’s been a lot of tears, but I did warn everyone in the beginning that there would be!” Liesl smiled tonight after the result was announced. “I don’t leave this competition with any losses,” she said graciously. “Maybe the loss of my beautiful toes!” she joked.

The vote count and ranking of contestants is done according to the international format rules and was independently computed by Deloitte and Touche and confirmed against the vote results determined by M-Net. 

Next week, 8 April, these 5 couples remaining in the competition will each perform two numbers:

Screen and stage personality Frank Opperman and his partner, Jeanné Swart,

Television actress Zola Nombona and her partner, Tebogo Mashilo,

Actor and model Eden Classens and his partner, Ash-Leigh Hunter,

Protea netball goal shooter Vanes-Mari du Toit and her partner, Johannes Radebe,

Singer and songwriter Connell Cruise and his partner, Marcella Solimeo.

Viewers have to register at mnet.tv/dwtssavote to participate in the live Dancing with the Stars SA voting. Voting registration opened again at 20:30 tonight and will close at 16:30 on Sunday 8 April, ahead of the next live episode. Viewers only need to register once to be able to vote in every episode of the season.