Matthew MacNabb tops the leaderboard on DWTS as he dedicates performance to his late friend, Ryan

Matthew Mac Nabb, Laura Nolan

Matthew MacNabb and pro-dancer, Laura Nolan topped the leaderboard on Sunday night’s Dancing with the Stars for the first time. It was ‘Dedicated Dance Week’ which mean that all the couples dedicated their performances to someone special in their lives.

They were the last to perform on the show this week and Matthew dedicated their performance to his close friend, Ryan who passed away last summer just days before he entered the Love Island villa.

They danced a contemporary ballroom dance to ‘See You Again’ by Charlie Puth. An emotional Matthew shared; “We had such special memories, he was such a special person. I was in Love Island quarantine when he passed away so I wasn’t able to go to his funeral so this was my dedication to him.”

Matthew Mac Nabb, Laura Nolan

Matthew and Laura scored a 26 from the judges which, when combined with the public vote, made them top of the leaderboard. The twist on Sunday night’s show was that whichever couple scored highest would have a free pass from next week’s first dreaded dance-off of series 5, fast-tracking Big Band Orchestra week which takes place in two weeks’ time.

Matthew opened up about the loss of his friend last year, sharing that it happened a so close before he appeared on Love Island, speaking about how this impacted his experience on the show he said; “My life has been crazy the past few months. From one of my best friends passing away two weeks before Love Island, to entering the villa and experiencing all that came with it.”

“I’m not going to lie, the first week in the villa I struggled a lot. I was thinking of my friend and wanted my loved ones around me. Meanwhile, I was wanting to be my usual happy, positive self to really show who I was.”

Paying tribute to his friend on social media at the time he said; “I’ve learnt a lot from Ryan. I’m a kinder, more compassionate man because of him. Ultimately I could write a book about Ryan Freeman and the lessons I’ve learnt from him but the one thing that Ive truly learnt is to be present in the moment. Life is short. It is made up of moments. Moments where you fully appreciate how lucky you are to be exactly where you are. When I look back on my time with Ryan, I look back with grateful eyes of beautiful moments and amazing adventures. I don’t look back with regret. To me that is life in its purest form.”

“I wish I could do more to celebrate Ryan. However, I’m going to honour him by living his message, loving life to its fullest, never letting fear get in the way, being kind to others and appreciating every moment I have in this life. The true Ryan Freeman way!”

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