ZB

DWTS finale hit by fresh Covid blow

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 29 May 2022, 4:48pm
Dancing with the Stars contestants. Photo / Getty Images
Dancing with the Stars contestants. Photo / Getty Images

DWTS finale hit by fresh Covid blow

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 29 May 2022, 4:48pm

Dancing With The Stars NZ has suffered yet another Covid-related blow, with one of the judges being ruled out ahead of tonight's season finale. 

In a statement, Warner Brothers Discovery confirmed Camilla Sacre-Dallerup has tested positive for Covid-19 and will be replaced by Karen Hardy. 

Hardy, who is a professional ballroom dancer, coach, teacher and adjudicator, will join James Luck and Lance Savali on the judging panel. 

Competing for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy in the grand finale set for tonight at 7pm on Three are reality TV star Alex Vaz, award-winning broadcaster Brodie Kane, former professional boxer David Letele and author and mental health advocate Jazz Thornton. 

Last week, Vaz and his dancing partner Brittany Coleman who were eliminated on Monday, returned to the show after Olympic rowing great Eric Murray had to withdraw due to Covid. 

Comedian Rhys Mathewson and his dance partner Phoebe Robb were also forced to leave the show soon after testing positive. 

"I'm so sad to miss the grand final due to Covid. But I will watch from home, cheering everyone on like the rest of the country. I wish all of the couples a magical night – I just know they are going to give it their everything and put on a sensational show," Sacre-Dallerup said. 

Hardy is a multi-title holder of various World Open dance championships including the International Latin American Dance Championship, the United Kingdom Open, British National, European and World Masters championships. 

She is best known for her dancing in Strictly Come Dancing from 2005 to 2009; she won the competition in 2006 with dance partner Mark Ramprakash. 

She's also a regular contributor to Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two. Hardy and her Kiwi husband emigrated to New Zealand at the start of 2018, from the United Kingdom. 

"It's wonderful to be back as part of the Dancing With The Stars mothership – being a part of Dancing With The Stars NZ tonight really feels like coming home," Hardy said. 

All the show's contestants were scheduled to make a return for the finals. 

But Newstalk ZB Host Kerre Woodham posted on Instagram on Saturday that her "dance partner in crime" would not be joining them. 

Jared Neame has tested positive for Covid-19, she said. 

"I was so looking forward to ending this crazy ride together, Jared – it will feel very weird to be there by myself. I couldn't have asked for a more talented, hard-working and supportive dance partner." 

Neame confirmed on social media he would not be attending the final show and thanked Woodham for a care package she had sent him. 

"Good luck to all the finalist[s], can't wait to watch you all and see who will take home the glitter ball trophy." 

Woodham and Neame made a return to the stage after Mathewson and Robb exited. 

Murray posted on Instagram on Saturday that he would not be dancing in the final this week. 

The eliminated pairs were brought back within the BBC Studios format ruling – which the show uses – that states the most recently eliminated contestant is invited back in such circumstances.