Can these former DWTS celebs still cha-cha?

Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 7 June 2018, 9:30PM
Former DWTS contestants Colin Mathura-Jeffree and Lorraine Downes. Photo / Instagram
Former DWTS contestants Colin Mathura-Jeffree and Lorraine Downes. Photo / Instagram

As any celebrity who has agreed to take part in Dancing With The Stars will attest to, the show can take over a star's life.

With the hours of practice, rehearsals and live performances, dancing completely consumes those celebrities for a brief – but intense – time. But what happens when the curtain comes down on each season of DWTS?

We checked in with a few former contestants to see if they're still tapping their toes on the dancefloor.

Monty Betham

Monty Betham broke all kinds of stereotypes when he took to the Dancing With The Stars set 10 years ago.

The former Warriors star proved his fancy footwork wasn't restricted to sidestepping the competition on the rugby league field, as he danced his way into the season four finale.

Betham and his dance partner Nerida Cortese eventually lost out to former Silver Fern Temepara Bailey and Stefano Olivieri in the final - but not before they wowed the crowds that night with their paso doble, quickstep and samba.



Betham said he had big ambitions to carry on dancing after the show, especially without the pressure of the whole country watching him.

"[But] unfortunately it came to a point where the pink mesh and vinyl pants no longer fit, nor was it possible to allocate the necessary time needed to be half decent at it," he told Spy this week.

Betham says he could still pull out a cha-cha if the occasion called for it, although he isn't sure if it would be the same quality as his 2008 vintage.

He's also seen every episode of the current DWTS season – even if it does make him nervous.

"Although it’s been 10 years since I last danced for Plunket and with the amazing Nerida, I still get butterflies and enjoy watching the progress of the dancers as they open up to the country under enormous pressure and expectation to perform live under lights."

Casting his expert eye over the current crop of celebrities on DWTS, Betham thinks former Black Cap Chris Harris is looking a likely bet for the big win.

"He's shown improvement, a strong work ethic and is a genuine, likeable person who's already improved - but you get the feeling he can go up multiple levels!"

Chrystal Chenery

Like Betham, Chrystal Chenery was also a runner-up on Dancing With The Stars, finishing second behind Simon Barnett in 2015.

The former Bachelorette stunned everyone with her very first performance on the show, an amazing jive to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off - and only got better as the season went on.



Together with her dance partner Jonny Williams (who is currently dancing with Jess Quinn), Chenery scored several 10s over the course of that season, with the judges giving her a perfect score of 30 for one of her routines.

Chenery told Spy she is backing her old DWTS partner for a win this time around.

"Jonny is a great teacher - and both Jess and Jonny are great people," she says.

As for Chenery herself, she still takes any chance she can to show off all the dance moves she's learned.

"I busted out a quickstep at a family wedding with my cousin, who is a ballroom dancer, last year," she says. "I loved learning to dance on the show and if I get the chance to dance with a man that can actually dance, I jump at it."

Currently in Australia, Chenery hasn't been watching the current season of DWTS, but jokes that she did check in to see if fellow Bachelorette Naz Khanjani "was any good".

“But seriously, [DWTS] was a very challenging experience, so good luck to all the dancers, it's all for an awesome cause. I hope they are enjoying it as much as I did."

Colin Mathura-Jeffree

Rather outrageously, Colin Mathura-Jeffree wound up being the second celebrity to be eliminated from the 2015 season of Dancing With The Stars.

Despite that, Mathura-Jeffree (who is set to host The Great NZ Dance Masala on Three from June 16) says he was inspired to dance more following the show.

"To do a show like DWTS, you realise how wonderful it is to dance," he told Spy this week.



Mathura-Jeffree isn't picking a winner this time around, saying it's all about the charities and entertainment.

"They all deserve the title, because they're trying. I also want to give a shout out to the actual 'dancers' who train the 'sillybrities' to look not so embarrassing while dragging their carcasses across the dance floor to the delight of the nation, for good or bad. They're the true heroes."

Lorraine Downes

Mathura-Jeffree says he also had lunch with former Dancing With The Stars champion Lorraine Downes last week, where the two discussed learning Argentinean tango, Milonguero style, "which is so incredibly hot".

"Lorraine dances in Argentina - if you're going to do it, do it right," he says.

Downes, who won the second season of DWTS back in 2006 with dance partner Aaron Gilmore, confirmed Mathura-Jeffree's story on her Instagram page, where she told fans she is "still very much dancing".

"Every dance is different and a new story is told between the two partners and that is what I love about Argentinean tango," she wrote.



Suzanne Paul

Infomercial queen and TV presenter Suzanne Paul captured the nation's hearts back in 2007, when she and Stefano Olivieri won Dancing With The Stars (even after Paul fractured a rib!)

She had fended off the last challenge from fellow finalist Megan Alatini, after already dancing past April Ieremia, Greer Robson, Frank Bunce, Paul Holmes, Michael Laws and Brendon Pongia.

Despite that winning run, Paul told Spy she hasn't continued dancing, saying she has "no one to dance with".

"[The] problem is, you learn those dances with your dance partner and no one else knows them.

"But I can still do all the moves if the occasion arises!"

Paul says she's enjoying watching the current season of DWTS.

"I love to see how they improve each week and see their personalities come through."

And while she would like to see Chris Harris win this time ("he's great to watch and obviously spends a lot of time rehearsing"), she is tipping Suzy Cato to take the title.

"She has the bigger fan base to begin with."