Dancing with the Stars to introduce 'Dance Off' from next week limiting public vote impact
RTÉ series Dancing with the Stars will see the introduction of a "Dance Off" next weekend, limiting the influence of the controversial public vote on the show.
From Sunday next, the bottom two acts will have to take to the dance floor for a second time and it’s the judges who will have the final say over whether they stay or go.
Until now, the judges votes were coupled with those of the public, and the pair with the lowest score found themselves sent home. From next weekend on, following in the format of Strictly Come Dancing, the weakest pair will battle it out in front of the show’s judges at the end of the night.
There were no eliminations tonight as the remaining acts swapped dance partners and aimed to wow the judges at Ardmore Studios in Wicklow.
Star of the night was boy bander Dayl Cronin who got the first top score of the series so far. Dayl teamed up with Valeria Milova for a fast-paced salsa to Give Me Everything by Pitbull that wowed the judging panel and audience alike, earning them a standing ovation.
“I did not think in a million years we would get top marks,” Dayl revealed. “It was all down to Valeria’s choreography - it was just amazing.”
Judge Loraine Barry dubbed the performance “sensational” and concluded: “if it was Oscar week you would win an Oscar for a winning performance."
Earlier in the show, sportscaster Des Cahill was first to take to the stage, having battled illness all week. Des, who needed a cortisone shot to his knee before the dance, undertook a samba with new partner Ksenia Zsikhotska to Quando, Quando, Quando by Engelbert Humperdinck.
“It was a difficult week because I couldn’t do a lot, but Ksenia was fantastic and made me focus,” Des revealed, and the judges agreed, with Loraine Barry saying: “You certainly put in a commendable amount of effort and I award you for that.” Brian Redmond added: “Dancing Dessie is back”.
Cahill scored 17 points from the judges.
Next up, Denise McCormack and John Nolan performed a Viennese Waltz to Powerful by Major Lazer. Denise’s usual dance partner Ryan McShane was keeping a close eye on her performance backstage and had jokingly warned Kilkenny dancer John not to ruin all of his good work.
McShane need not have worried as the new pairing got a standing ovation, with judge Darren Bennett praising the “amazing job” with “amazing choreography”.
Brian Redmond told Denise: “You did great this week, when you get back to Ryan next week, up the game.” They scored an impressive 26 points.
Comedian Katherine Lynch then gave a dramatic performance to the paso doble with new partner Vitali Kozmin. Katherine admitted she had spent the week arguing with Vitali, saying: “We had an argument in rehearsals all week, but that’s what the paso doble is all about.”
The judges awarded Katherine and Vitali 21 points.
Boyband star Dayl Cronin teamed up with Valeria Milova for a fast-paced salsa to Give Me Everything by Pitbull that wowed the judging panel and earned them a score of
Fair City actress Aoibhín Garrihy was paired with Kai Widdrington this week and the danced the foxtrot to Big Bad Handsome Man by Imelda May. Kai gave Aoibhín a content heavy routine and afterwards, she called the routine “a total joy”. Brian Redmond called the performance “immaculate” and the couple got an impressive 28 points.
Journalist Teresa Mannion found herself jiving with Ryan McShane to Tutti Frutti by Little Richard. Teresa admitted she was “terrified” at the prospect of dancing with champion dancer Ryan. Brian Redmond told Teresa: “I’m quite happy with you tonight” and the pair got 18 points.
Finally, it was a Kerry/ Dublin mash up as Aidan O’Mahony and Karen Byrne got to samba to Mass Que Nada by Sergio Mendes. The performance failed to win over the judges, and was described as "lacking". They got just 15 points.
There were plenty of celebs present at the performance with Twink and Mrs Brown’s Boy’s actor Rory Cowan catching up with the dancers backstage before the show went on air. Twink had her beloved dog Teddy with her, and brought him into the studio to watch the performance.
“They were worried about him coming but he’s a showbiz dog,” she revealed. “He’s used to lights and dramatics, he will be good as gold.”
Other familiar faces in the audience included former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and daughter Georgina who were there to support presenter Nicky Byrne. Yvonne Connolly was also at the show. Former contestants Thalia Heffernan and Eva Orsmond were also in the audience.
Show judge Julian Benson, who has been missing off the panel for three weeks now, is expected to get out of hospital early this week. Benson is being treated for pneumonia and has been replaced on the panel by Darren Bennett until his return.
The judges and public votes from tonight's show will all be carried over to next week.