Dancing With The Stars NZ: Goodbye Gilda, watch out Robert

The stakes were high for the first elimination episode of this year's Dancing With The Stars NZ.

Dances were danced, votes would be cast and someone's newly-refreshed spray-tan was about to go to waste.

Suzy Kato and Matt - Viennese Waltz 

Sassy Suzy came out "saucy and stroppy" last week, which - apart from being great alliteration - was a tiny bit difficult for my inner child to process. What was easy to see, however, is that the lady who taught us toilet training with sock puppets can bloody dance. 

Last night she glided around the dance floor in a romantic Viennese waltz routine, which was just delightful. Thanks to partner Matt's tutelage, Suzy's 'frame' was stronger, but her trademark frames were gone - presumably thanks to some saucy, stroppy contact lenses. 

Judge Julz said he "liked it better", but told Suzy she needed more tone in her back. Yes, I understand this is special dancing speak, but the idea that Suzy's back is anything other than toned, tanned and awe-inspiring is just a bit upsetting. 

Suzy Kato's Viennese Waltz
Photo credit: MediaWorks

Robert Rakete and Nicole - Jive 

My nails were already bitten raw before the Brown Wiggle started. We saw some difficulties in rehearsals, namely that time Nicole plummeted in slow-motion to her doom when Robert was meant to catch her. 

Concerningly, we were also privy to the fact that the pair were attempting a death-defying "flip upside-down" to finish the routine, in which it was up to Rob to avoid giving Nicole a traumatic brain injury. 

"WE'RE GONNA BE FINE!" Amelia trilled manically at Robert. And they were, but Robert forgot a few steps, at which point I did wonder if I should pre-emptively call an ambulance. Points for Rob's extremely cute 'the show must go on face', though. 

Robert Rakete flips Nicole upside-down
The gasp-inducing final flip Photo credit: MediaWorks

David Seymour and Amelia - Tango 

Guess who's back? David's back, wearing a purple velvet shirt and grin, staring gormlessly into your soul.  

Dance partner Amelia really tried to get David riled up for his tango, asking him to be "an a**hole" and challenging: "If you were a man that was in love with a woman, would you bend your knees and kind of creep backwards?". 

As it turns out, yes, yes he would creep backwards - and forwards, too, a bit like a knock-kneed crab under attack. 

Julz told David he should be more of an emotional pie. Or was a technical pie? I didn't know really, but I was hungry. 

Rachel had some tough but fair criticism, but I was almost blinded by the generous dusting of glitter on her upper torso, so I'm not totally sure what she said either. 

David Seymour and partner Amelia
Photo credit: Mediaworks

Gilda Kirkpatrick and Shae - Samba 

Gilda and Shae looked like they came to win - Shae even had 'Vote Gilda' bedazzled on his underpants. They had been rehearsing hard in the studio and also back at Gilda's place, which was fitting because she appears to have AN ACTUAL BALLROOM in her living room. 

While she was able to bring new life to the phrase 'shake your tail feather', thanks to her costume's resplendent bum plumage, the performance was a little shaky in other ways, too. 

Camilla praised Gilda's "bounce action" and called her brilliant. Julz reckoned she could have been holding a cup of a tea and a croissant while dancing. I felt hungry again, as the judges break into a brief argument - it was all go. 

Gilda and Shae's final dance - the samba
Photo credit: MediaWorks

The Moment of Truth

Then came time for the first elimination. It was also time I noticed a make-up person had snuck in and muted the intensity of Rachel's upper-torso glitter, which was actually a bit of a shame. 

Gilda and Shae were announced as the first to go, and it while it may not have been a shock, it did cause some unexpected feels. 

My heartstrings were well and truly tugged when the Real Housewife apologised to Starship Hospital, with a defeated "I tried". I felt like clutching her to my glitter-dusted upper torso. 

She may not be a dancer - by her own admission - but she's unapologetic, quite brave, and certainly still not to be messed with. 

In the end, Gilda left the competition with the air of a cool mum who'd had one too many RTDs spilled on her white carpet at a teenage party. She'd tolerated it until now, but it was time to go home. 

Viewers can help keep their favourite dancer in the competition by texting their first name to 3333 - each text costs 99c and net proceeds go to that star's chosen charity.

The next episode of DWTS NZ will air on Sunday at 7pm on Three and all episodes can be viewed again on ThreeNow.