Dancing priest’s popularity has bookies worried he could win the show

Father Kelly says it was the right time for him to leave Dancing with the Stars

Dancing priest Father Ray Kelly is giving bookmakers a scare as he defies expectations in the Dancing with the Stars competition.

The Co Meath cleric has progressed through to the final stages of the show, forcing bookies to slash his odds of winning the coveted Glitterball.

Dancing priest’s popularity has bookies worried he could win the show

In the space of a week, the odds of Father Kelly being crowned champion have plummeted from 66/1 to just 11/2.

Sarah Kinsella of Irish betting company BoyleSports said: “Fr Ray Kelly is planning to head off to Tenerife next week, but he might have to postpone that as it’s looking likely he could go all the way to the final of Dancing with the Stars.

“The cleric is now 11/2 from 8/1 to lift the Glitterball but those odds were as big as 66/1 before last Sunday’s episode.

“If the Co Meath man of God wins, he will be a big loser in the books for us as his popularity could see him win the show despite his lack of dance moves.”

Father Kelly is a popular figure in Ireland and further afield, after he has become somewhat of a celebrity in recent years.

He first rose to prominence when he sang a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to a couple he was marrying.

A video of the performance was posted online and attracted millions of viewers around the world.

Father Kelly then auditioned on Britain’s Got Talent and became a favourite of head judge Simon Cowell.

He even gained a nod of approval from US rock legends REM after singing an emotional cover of their megahit Everybody Hurts.

Could the singing priest add a Dancing with the Stars triumph to his ever-growing list of achievements?

He and his professional dancer partner Kylee Vincent are one of just five remaining dance pairs in the competition.

There could be a few big winners at the betting shop if he manages to go all the way.

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