We have been waiting for this and our Sundays are complete now as Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne are back to host the fourth series of Dancing with the Stars. The new series got off to a fantastic start last night as the show opened with a group dance featuring all of the celebrity and professional dancers. They danced through 100 years in time, to a medley of music, with various styles from the roaring 1920’s to the present day.
The five celebrity male dancers took to the floor in spectacular fashion for the first live show. First to take to the dance floor was former eight time All-Ireland winning Kilkenny Hurler Aidan Fogarty with his dance partner Emily Barker.
Aidan’s first live performance was an energetic Jive, paying homage to his black and amber roots, dancing to ‘Tiger Feet.’ Commenting after the dance Aidan said: “I’m a half a stone down! It was some experience, fantastic, great buzz. It was easier to play in Croke Park on All Ireland final day than it was to do that! It was the same buzz though." Loraine Barry began the judges comments: "Wow! You deffo don’t need your hurley anymore – it was a full-on jive. It was a great Jive - really, really well done. What a sensational start to the show! When I see you, it was the passion and the drive that drove you – you’re one to watch!” Julian continued: “It was a jumin’ jivi’elicious to the show. Never mind tiger feet, you have dancing feet." Brian added: “Everyone in Kilkenny calls you ‘Taggy’ but your feet was a little bit ‘flappy’, but I think you could be a cat that could be roaring for a few weeks!”
He scored a total of 18 from the judges.
Next up was former Olympic boxer Michael Carruth who is partnered with Karen Byrne. Michael’s first dance was an American Smooth, which incorporated an Irish jig, dancing to ‘I’m Shipping Up to Boston. ’ Michael said: “There was good and bad points - you have to take the good with the bad. I call (Karen) the Ballyfermot Bruiser! Karen said “Tonight he’s definitely Little Michael twinkle toes." Julian said: “I thought I was watching Michael Flatley ‘Lord of the Dance’ it was something fresh. A little bit more jollity across the floor but I know you have it because you gave a great punch!” Loraine added: “You’ve got to knuckle down and learn the routine – I know you can do it. Brian said: “Although there’s supposed to be smooth, there was so much jigging around, but your frame and posture wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.”
Michael received a score of 12 from the judges
Fair City star, Ryan Andrews was straight off the panto stage and onto the dancefloor with partner, Giulia Dotta. They performed the cha cha cha to the hit ‘If I can’t have you’. Afterwards Ryan said “You get so much into it and you don’t want to let your partner down so I kept going and going in training until I split my trousers! I’m a huge fan so to walk down those stairs tonight was like a dream come true.” Brian said: “I thought it lacked a little bit of hip action! But the way you used your feet was phenomenal. This is a good start and bodes very well for the future!” Loraine: You used a lot of space I would like to see the body go a little more into space. A little bit choppy at times but the steps and rhythm were there.”Julian added: “A cha cha boom baby! Chemistry of the two of you was bouncing. You’ve great foot work. I’m very excited about you – you’ve huge potential.”
He scored a total of 21 from the judges.
Not to be outdone, the female celebrities also took to the floor for a group dance when they danced among beach scenes to ‘California Gurls’ by Katy Perry. Following a group chat with the girls, it was back to the male dancers.
Fr. Ray Kelly teamed up with his pro dance partner, Kylee Vincent. They danced a foxtrot to ‘A Spirit in the Sky’. After they finished Fr Ray Said: "It felt really good. I think Buddy (his dog) was watching and really proud. (He joked) I said a little prayer for myself personally but not for these guys!”
Loraine began the comments with: “You’ll have to forgive me but it wasn’t the foxtrot we wanted to see. A gliding step across the floor would have helped. You did your very best, you worked very hard and I believe you really enjoyed it.” Julian: “Never mind the spirit in the sky, you are my ray of sunshine! You danced with heart, your face came alive and you were even singing the song. Where’s there’s a will, there’s way!”
Brian added: “The dance was a mystery to me and I think even at times, it was to you. You got most of the steps wrong in the 2nd half but it can only get better.”
He scored a total 8 of from the judges
Last up was Big Brother winner, Brian Dowling. Brian was accompanied by his pro dancer, Irish newcomer, Laura Nolan. They danced a salsa to ‘Juice’. Brian Said: “So relieved it’s over - going last you get to see everyone go first. I liked the Salsa cause it’s quick, it’s all face and hands – I can do that. You don’t want to be disappointing your partner, she has so much creativity and vision - Dancing is not easy. My husband Arthur is a choreographer and there could be a few arguments tonight!!” Julian began: “That was one sexy salsa! You were giving it loads – we got lots of arms, lots of face, lots of movement. You’re a born entertainer, a showman. I want to see lots of top and lots of bottom! I want more hip action. Practice makes perfect. You’ve got potential Brian.” Brian Redmond continued: “You sang that song from start to finish! Some sections of it, I actually quite enjoyed. You don’t need any practicing with the posing! A little fidgety at times but overall, not a bad start.” Loraine: “It felt so good didn’t it? It didn’t come out like that. You’ve got it but you didn’t let it out of your body. There is something special about you which we will see over the next few weeks.”
He scored a total 16 of from the judges.
Viewers also got another chance to see the Dancing with the Stars 2019 reigning champions Mairéad Ronan and John Nolan. They performed their beautiful Vienesse Waltz to ‘You Are The Reason’ by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis from last year’s semi-final once again. The night ended on a high as the pro-dancers took to trampolines to perform a Charleston to ‘The Bounce.’ Next week it’s the turn of the female celebrity dancers to shine on the dance floor and the first elimination will take place in show 3. There will be even more exclusive Dancing with the Stars content to enjoy as RTÉ’s social channels cover all the backstage antics with the effervescent James Patrice at the helm. For all the latest news and backstage gossip follow RTÉ One on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER
RTÉjr Goes Dancing with the Stars is back 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!
In a new addition this year, James Patrice will bring you extra behind-the-scenes news in a brand new weekly podcast. Including chats with stars, their professional partners and the judges, it will be available every Monday to keep the Dancing with the Stars buzz going after the main show has aired.
Finally Dancing with the Stars will be available to watch live on RTÉ Player with the opportunity to catch up on each individual dance.
Dancing with the Stars is produced by ShinAwiL for RTÉ.