Blu Hydrangea earns standing ovation after stripping out of drag on Dancing With The Stars

With a total of 29 points, drag artist Blu Hydrangea and pro partner Simone Arena earned the highest score of the season.

Drag performer Blu Hydrangea and pro partner Simone Arena performing on Dancing with the Stars, facing each other, both wearing black on a blue background.
Image: Via Instagram - @bluhydrangea_

Josh Cargill, better known by their drag persona Blu Hydrangea, earned a standing ovation from the judges and audience, as well as a near-perfect store with their latest Dancing With The Stars Ireland performance on Sunday, February 18.

Blu Hydrangea decided to strip off their drag for the first time on Dancing With The Stars, showing viewers that they have what it takes to win even when they’re performing as Josh Cargill. The Belfast performer danced an “exquisite” Viennese Waltz with pro-partner Simone Arena to ‘Lose Control’ by Teddy Swims.

Starting off the performance in drag, Blu then took off their wig and mask and continued to dance on the dancefloor as Josh, earning a standing ovation from all judges and the show‘s audience. The pair got a total of 29 points from the judges, the highest score of the season so far.



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Judge Loraine Barry commented on the emotional performance, saying: “It’s difficult to talk to be honest with you… It was raw storytelling, you really did strip back and you bared your soul. When you took off that mask and wiped away the lipstick, that’s the real Josh there. Simone, I loved how involved you are. This was a powerful story danced out on that floor.”

Brian Redmond echoed these words, saying: “This is about telling a story and your story is really powerful and all we can do is thank you for doing that. The freedom that you felt and expressed was superb.”

Arthur Gourounlian commented, “I saw a stunning dancer in control telling their story. It was exquisite. I was in awe of you, incredible.”

Taking to Instagram after the episode, Blu said they were “super proud to strip off my drag tonight & find the power and love I have for myself whenever I’m out of drag!”

They continued, “I never thought I’d be able to dance without my drag but with Simone Arena by my side I feel comfortable enough to do so.”



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A post shared by Blu Hydrangea (@bluhydrangea_)

In an interview with GCN ahead of the episode, Blu spoke about their hope that their participation in Dancing With The Stars will challenge people’s preconceived notions about drag queens. “Especially growing up in Ireland, where I was told that I shouldn’t be gay, that I shouldn’t marry someone of a different religion to me, stuff like that,” Blu said.

“But I think I’ve even kind of changed my parents’ idea of it, showing them that it’s not really a big deal to be queer,” they continued. “I hope I do make it easier for some queer people in Ireland. Whether it’s helping them to come out, or just to live their lives a little bit more authentically because they’re seeing how fun it is whenever you choose to just take that leap and be yourself.”

The next episode of Dancing with the Stars Ireland airs on RTÉ One on Sunday, February 25, with last night’s available to watch on RTÉ Player. Fans can support Blu Hydrangea by calling 1513 71 71 01 for Irish residents or 0901 133 11 01 for people in Northern Ireland. Alternatively, viewers can text BLU to 53125 to cast their vote.

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