AFTER A FANTASTIC LAST SHOW WITH OUR FINAL FOUR CELEBRITY DANCERS, LOTTIE RYAN AND HER DANCE PARTENER PASQUALE LA ROCCA HAS WON SERIES FOUR OF DANCING WITH THE STARS
After 11 fun filled weeks, with highs and lows, the four finalists took to the dance floor for the final time tonight. After careful consideration and due to the current situation and adhering to recommended guidance around coronavirus Covid-19 - Dancing with the Stars hosted the final tonight instead of the scheduled semi-final. And what a show it was!
Aidan Fogarty, Lottie Ryan, Ryan Andrews and Gráinne Gallanagh all competed tonight in the hope of being crowned champions of Dancing with the Stars.
After wowing the judges and viewers alike throughout the series, it was all down to the public vote tonight and it was Lottie Ryan and Pasquale La Rocca’s dances that were most popular with audiences at home when they were crowned champions of series four of Dancing with the Stars.
Speaking about winning the hotly contested Glitterball trophy, Lottie Ryan said: “I actually have no words. This journey has been the best thing I have ever said yes to. This man has just been life changing, the things he has taught me, how he has pushed me, and I just can’t thank you enough for everything you have done.”
Pasqulae said: “I have gained a friend for life and everything you have taught me as well will always stay forever in my heart.”
Each couple had to learn two new dances this week and another pro dancer was introduced to each couple’s second performance. This extra layer of complexity meant there was no easy route to the end.
First to take to the dance floor tonight was former Kilkenny hurler Aidan Fogarty with his dance partner Emily Barker. Their first performance tonight was a slow Viennese Waltz to ‘Another Life’ by Westlife. Afterwards Aidan said: “It felt amazing to dance with but a little bit surreal without an audience. I never imagined to be here on the final night.”
Head judge Loraine commented: “This was just pure beautiful Viennese Waltz. Overall what a fantastic start for the final tonight.”
Darren said: “Tonight’s not just the hardest show, this is the hardest show of the whole season. Coming out with no audience. They say Dance like nobody’s watching, you’ve really set the standard for tonight’s final – well done.”
Brian said: “It was classical Viennese waltz content from start to finish, you have that power of movement and you’ve had that since day one. This is now the final and I think you almost try harder on a final but what you’ve had up to now is a winning combination and you never change a winning combination.”
Aidan scored 26 from the judges.
Next up was Fair City actor Ryan Andrews. He and Giulia Dotta danced a colourful samba for their first routine tonight. They danced to ‘Lo-Lo Dzama’ by Šum svistu. After they finished Ryan said: “It was brilliant – great un, intense but with samba like that you have to give it 110%. We worked twelve hours a day to get this right.”
Darren: “You pulsated, gyrated and rotated all the way through that dance. You couldn’t have got a more authentic samba even if you tried. The bounce action and the movements, amazing changes of the rhythm and coordination. Absolutely outstanding.”
Brian: “This samba went right back to it’s African roots. You really brought that brilliant rhythmical feel to it. I think as samba it takes a great dancer to show us those small little musical nuances and that’s something that’s testament to you because you are a great dancer.”
Loraine: “I thought it was fantastic. I don’t know how you pulled this off in one week. The eye of the tiger was there, and you are hungry for this and you really pulled this off.”
Ryan scored 29 from the judges.
It was a quickstep for radio presenter Lottie Ryan and her pro partner Pasquale La Rocca. They danced to Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s duet ‘Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing.’) Commenting afterwards Lottie said “I’m so happy with the comments as we worked so hard on the detail of that dance. It was a really, really tough dance. Strangely I think it was one of my favourites now. I really enjoyed performing it and I think the chorography was just magic. I loved every second of it – it was just brilliant.”
Brian said: “We talked a lot about your power, we’ve talked a lot about your skill, we’ve even talked a lot about the entertainment value that you bring but tonight I’m going to talk about your attention to detail, your attention to detail is just absolutely phenomenal. They say the devil is often in the detail, but you looked like an absolute angel”
Loraine said: “You didn’t miss a beat there. I thought Lottie you put Pasquale in the perfect position. The storyline is so good, you didn’t just play it out – you danced it out. That’s a powerful performance.”
Darren said: “We all like a woman in control and tonight you controlled this whole dancefloor. Everything you want in a quickstep in a final. It was fast, furious and fun. And you had such composure under pressure tonight. You managed to keep that composure all around the floor. Brilliant job guys, well done.”
Lottie scored 30 from the judges.
Former Miss Universe Ireland Gráinne Gallanagh and Kai Widdrington danced a foxtrot to Harry Styles’ track ‘Falling.’ Gráinne said: “I love this dance. It’ s harder than it looks, it’s very technical. I love ballroom. It took a lot of effort, we worked really hard.”
Loraine: “I think the ballroom girl is back and you looked like you really enjoyed it. You said it is difficult, but you made it look so easy. There’s no one here and yet I couldn’t hear the footwork on that dancefloor. This is the way to put your mark on the final tonight.”
Darren: “We’ve all fallen for you this season. Your love affair with dance continues. It was so beautiful to watch, you just glided around the floor so effortlessly. It had all the steps. The whole technique book was there. Great framing, swing across the floor. Beautiful, well done.”
Brian: “Kai choreographed the foxtrot he wanted and that was a testament to you. He trusts your ability. We’ve seen you become a fabulous ballroom bell and that’s what you’ve become tonight. You really did give a great example of what is my favourite dance – the slow foxtrot.”
Gráinne scored 27 from the judges.
Nicky opened the voting lines after each dancer had done their first individual dance.
After another break it was time for each couple’s second dance in this final – their last chance to impress viewers. This time it was a trio dance as another pro dancer joined each couple’s routine.
Aidan Fogarty and Emily Barker were joined by Laura Nolan for their last dance. Their up-tempo salsa was to ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’ by Pitbull. Commenting afterwards Aidan said: “I’m feeling pretty good, I am feeling that I’m living my best life. I’m hoping I’ve done enough. When I started out, all I wanted to do was do myself justice and just be me and come across who I am. I thank God I’m in the final, it’s not for the glory it’s for all the hard work myself and Emily did over the last number of weeks. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Darren said: “That salsa is exactly what we want to see from a trio dance tonight. Great movement between you, great interplay between you too. It’s so difficult to lead one partner, never mind two. All I’ll say is that you’ve had a more enjoyable week than most!”
Brian said: “I can confirm that blondes do have more fun and you looked like you were having twice as much fun tonight! Your partnership has become renowned for its power, its energy, its bravery. What you’ve guys have done is really well trio. You really look like you’ve been a partnership of a trio for weeks because it worked very, very well. You looked like you’ve had the night of your dreams and fair play to you!”
Loraine said: “You look like the cat who got the cream. You definitely did. I thought it was absolutely brilliant here. It was fun, it was sassy, it had those sexy movements in there as well – everything that we would want from a salsa. The girls trusted you. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Well done.”
Aidan scored 27 from the judges.
Ryan Andrews and Giulia Dotta were joined by Karen Byrne for their American Smooth to ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’ by Michael Bublé. Ryan said: “That was absolutely brilliant and to perform the dance this week for the final.”
Brian: “Trio is a particularly difficult thing to do. It’s so difficult get that frame right and hold it. It was a challenge that you rose really well to. I really loved it; you did a great job. This is a final and for me that’s the type of performance that confirms beyond doubt that you really deserve your place in this final. “
Loraine: “It was fabulous how you were changing all the time. It was so beautifully done and creating gorgeous lines as well as you did it. There were some beautiful highlights in it. Be it in steps or be it in dance steps as well. This was a tremendous trio.”
Darren said: “The showman with a showstopper. Real collideiscope of chorography and musicality. This style was made for you, the steps, the power, the energy. Great partnering between the three of you. I really loved the interplay. It was absolutely outstanding; they say three is the magic number and this was a magical American smooth. Well done.”
Ryan scored 30 from the judges.
For their second dance Lottie Ryan and Pasquale La Rocca teamed up with Ryan McShane for their lively cha-cha-cha. They danced to ‘Turn Me On’ by Riton x Olive Heldens. Afterwards Lottie said: “I can’t believe it’s the end and this is the last dance.”
Loraine said: “Each week I try and find a new name for you and this week was ‘Lottie the hottie’. How you do this I’m not really sure. You did have the right chemistry here and you have that perfect formula together. The trio is not always here, you each had a spotlight, you all had a moment and you all danced a really good cha cha cha. For me here, it was cheeky and clever – well done. “
Darren: You turned it up and you turned it on. You know again a great cha cha cha. You really did bring this dancefloor to light. Great cheography.it was really, really seamless. I loved it. For me, by far the best cha cha cha of this season, well done.”
Brian: “I couldn’t take my eyes of you from start to finish. This is a final and this is the last dance you’ll do. On those circumstances you have to bring it your all. I have so, so much respect for you because you give it your all every single week and tonight was absolutely no exception.”
Lottie scored 30 from the judges.
Pro dancer Stephen Vincent joined Gráinne Gallanagh and Kai Widdrington for a Charleston to ‘Dance Apocalyptic’ by Janelle Monáe. After they finished Gráinne said: “It was so much fun, I really enjoyed it. It’s so surreal to think that was my last dance but I we went out with a bang – I’m so happy.”
Darren said: “What a great way to have the last dance. That trio had everything. It was very, very clever intricate chorography, the framed you really, really well, great personality. Wow – great Charleston.”
Loraine said: “They normally say, three is a crowd but for me this was a triumph. It was just a fantastic Charleston all round. It was a tremendous collaboration. What a fantastic ending.”
Brian said: “Great content, very cleverly put together. This is the happiest I’ve seen you look in any of the non-ballroom dances. It worked really well, and the Charleston was great. For me, if we could pick a number to finish on – this would be it. “
Gráinne scored 30 from the judges.
After another break, Nicky Byrne closed the voting lines. Nathan Carter and his band were the guest performers tonight. He sang ‘May the Road Rise’ and was joined by pro dancers Ryan McShane and Karen Byrne; Stephen Vincent and Laura Nolan and John Nolan and Kerri Ann Donaldson.
Nicky had a chat with the judges to see who they think shone on the dance floor tonight and who for them should walk away with the glitter-ball trophy. Then it was results time!
Lottie Ryan and Pasquale La Rocca took to the centre of the dance floor and were joined by their fellow finalists and the pro dancers as series four ended on a high!
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RTÉjr Goes Dancing with the Stars is on Thursday nights at 6.30pm. This weekly entertainment show, presented by Darcey MacGabhann (12) and Darragh Malone (14) will feature interviews with the celebrities and pro dancers as well as news reports on backstage activity and fun features with production departments. Finally, kids get their backstage pass to join the Dancing with the Stars party!