He moved Dancing With The Stars viewers to tears just weeks ago with a stunning performance in memory of his late sister, and now actor Samuel Johnson has once again stunned the crowd with an emotional dance – this time inspired by his former partner’s heartbreaking suicide.
The 41-year-old star appeared emotional as he span his professional partner Jorja Rae Freeman round the dance floor to the song ‘Shallow’ from Lady Gaga movie A Star Is Born, but only revealed the reason for the moving Rumba routine at the end.
“I had a partner… her name was Lainie and she died from a sore heart,” he told host Amanda Keller following the performance. “I’ve been thinking a lot because you told me to be romantic this week, that was the brief.”
He added: “I haven’t been able to be romantic since then, not really. So I thought I’d just try and think of her during the song and maybe that’ll make it beautiful.”
Samuel has previously been open about his heartbreak following Lainie’s sudden death, and appearing on ABC’s Anh’s Brush With Fame in 2017, he described it as his “biggest sadness”.
— Dancing With The Stars Australia (@DancingOn10) March 18, 2019
“The love of my life hanged herself,” he told Anh Do, according to the Mail Online. “And, I’m still very upset for her and for her family.”
He reportedly added at the time: “I’d definitely say it’s probably my life’s biggest sadness. And in a way, the more time goes by, the more it hurts.
“You know how they reckon that you come to terms with your grief as you go along? Not with this one. With every year it gets more profound. My sadness grows.”
Tragically, Samuel had only broken up with Lainie a few hours before she took her own life in early 2006.
Fans sent their full support to the actor online following his dance, praising his strength as one wrote: “What a beautiful human!! Taking the pain & dissolving it on the dance floor, so hard yet so powerful,” while another added: “Omg so many feels! Ugh love this man…”
Unfortunately, as he battled his emotions throughout, judge Craig Revel Horwood told Samuel that it meant his technique fell short. However, the notoriously mean judge praised the actor’s “story-telling” skills – and that was echoed by his fellow judges.
Speaking afterwards, the Aussie actor shared his advice for anyone going through an “icky” time – insisting physical exercise, particularly dance, can help and work wonders – as it has for him.
It comes after Samuel wowed crowds at the start of the month when he performed a deeply moving tribute performance for his late sister Connie who died in 2017 following a battle with breast cancer.
"Not just a cancer patient". An incredibly moving dance by Sam for his sister Connie. pic.twitter.com/uAqJVIo4XI
— Dancing With The Stars Australia (@DancingOn10) March 4, 2019
After performing the raw routine – which saw him carry and throw his partner around the dance floor before ending with a look of agony on his face, sat alone on a swing – Samuel struggled to speak as he choked up while chatting to Amanda in front of the judges.
Asked how he was feeling, Samuel managed to say: “All the feelings. Can you feel it?”
Agreeing, Amanda then asked if he felt he’d achieved his goal of summing up his life with his sister, to which an emotional Samuel said: “I reckon.”
The cameras immediately captured Amanda’s reaction as she herself choked up between words, before panning round to the audience and showing Studio 10 favourite Angela Bishop wiping away tears.