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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sophie Collins

Dancing With The Stars pro dancer quits 24 hours before live show amid 'private problem'

Many questions were being asked on Sunday night with the absence of one professional dancer from Dancing with the Stars, as leaderboard topper Brooke Scullion had to find a replacement last minute.

Her partner, Maurizio Benenato, had to quit the show mid-season in order to return to Italy due to what he described as a “private problem”.

The 31-year-old talent took to Instagram to reveal the heartbreaking news to his followers but promised to return if issues could be resolved in Italy.

READ MORE: Dancing with the Stars viewers all say the same thing after Leah O'Rourke's exit

Keeping quiet on the details of the issue, Maurizio said he had worries in the week leading up to the show that he may have to drop everything and leave, as revealed to the Irish Sun.

He said: “I want people to know it’s really painful. This has been the worst time of my life.

“I don’t deserve this problem, I don’t deserve to be dealing with it. It is a terrible thing to have to leave the show like this.

“I was trying and trying to find a solution to a problem I had in Italy and I had to leave.

“It’s a private problem, I don’t want to talk about, I had to resolve and the reason I had to leave the show very quickly.”

Despite having left the show, he said he would definitely come back if the problem in Italy could be sorted.

Speaking about the effect this had on his songstress partner Brooke, he said: “I know she is devastated as well, I am so grateful to the people on the show”.

Brooke survived the first elimination of the new season as Leah O’Rourke became the first celebrity to leave Dancing with the Stars following tonight’s episode on RTÉ One.

Leah O'Rourke (RTE)

Leah and her professional partner John Nolan danced the Cha, Cha, Cha and scored just 11 points from the judges.

Tonight was the third show of the series and the first of the eliminations, although votes from the first two shows were carried over to tonight.

Afterward, Leah commented: “I'm feeling okay with my limited dancing abilities, this was always a real possibility for me. I came on and I gave it a shot and I had the best time with John. John is a legend.”

John thanked Leah for the laughs, adding: "We've had more fun in the last couple of weeks. You are an absolute legend."

You can catch up on the RTE Player with the show returning to screens on Sunday, January 29 on RTE One.


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