Johnny Ruffo makes an emotional return to Dancing With The Stars amid cancer battle

"I just want to dance again."
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Johnny Ruffo, 34, has delighted his fans by making a surprise special appearance on the Dancing With The Stars: All Stars grand final amid his five-year cancer battle.

WATCH: Johnny Ruffo returns as special guest on Dancing With The Stars: All Stars

As he was introduced back to the ballroom, the singer and actor was described as the “cheekiest” and “most popular” star to ever grace the dance floor.

It’s certainly an apt description, considering the now-34-year-old won the coveted mirror ball trophy back in 2012.

For tonight’s grand final, the Home & Away alum reclaimed a spot on the dance floor as a special guest. But a lot has changed since he first stepped foot in the studio.

“Since I was last on the show, I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017. They said ‘there’s a 20% chance he might die from the operation’,” Johnny said. “If I didn’t have the operation there was an 100% chance I’d die, so it’s not really much of a choice.”

Johnny returned to Dancing With The Stars for the second season of its All Stars spin off. (Credit: Seven)

In raw footage shared by Seven, Johnny happily told his girlfriend Tahnee Sims that the tumour in his right frontal lobe was stable.

“You’re happy,” Tahnee said to him after he relayed the news.

“I’m so happy,” he concurred.

The singer continued: “Now I have been lucky enough to have been invited back as a special guest on Dancing With The Stars: All Stars. I’m really glad to be back performing; I just want to dance again.”

Sporting an all-black ensemble, complete with a suit and tie and top-hat, Johnny then took to the floor with his dance partner Masha Belash, who was donning a stunning green dress.

The couple elicited a standing ovation following their jazzy routine, performed to the song The Business of Love by Domino.

Johnny suggested Todd give him an ’11’ after his routine. (Credit: Seven)

Afterwards, a humble Johnny told host Daryl Somers he’d forgotten how equally hard and fun the show was, while crediting Masha for doing “97%” of the work.

Though the plan was never to receive scores from the judges, when asked what number judge Todd McKenney should rate the routine, the X Factor alum cheekily held up his own DIY ‘11’ paddle.

Todd quickly disagreed before ducking under the judging bench to hold up every paddle at once saying, “It was brilliant; it was inspirational. It was so great to see you back up there, you’re such a champion mate, we love you to bits.”

Daryl agreed with Todd’s sentiments, adding that they were “very proud” of the performer before he was tackled by a group hug from the grand finalists.

Johnny was originally diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 and again in 2020. (Credit: Instagram)

Johnny was originally diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 and later revealed he was all-clear of the disease in 2019.

But in an Instagram post in November 2020, Johnny shared the devastating news that his cancer had returned.

“After an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches it is with a heavy heart that i have to let you know i now have another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned,” he wrote alongside a photo of himself and Tahnee.

He continued: “Though i will dig deep and beat this sh*t disease again #f*ckcancer”.

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