Thursday 17 January 2019

Fred Cooke is sexy and 11 other things we learned from Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars night one
Dancing with the Stars night one

Chris Wasser

12 things we learned from the return of Dancing with the Stars

Bling it on! That was the message tonight as Ireland’s most glamorous and glitziest television show, Dancing with the Stars, returned to our screens for its long-awaited third season. And oh, what a start. Things got funky. Things got emotional. One of our hosts worried they might throw up on live television. Yep, it was eventful. Let’s take a look at the highlights…

The first live show of Dancing With The Stars
The first live show of Dancing With The Stars
Presenter Jennifer Zamparelli during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars
Fred Cooke and Giulia Dotta dancing a Cha Cha to LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It’ during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars . Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Holly Carpenter with Trent Whiddon
Denis Bastick with Valeria Milo dancing an American Smooth to Michael Buble ‘Its A Beautiful Day ‘during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Darren Kennedy and Karen Byrne dancing a Tango to ZZ Top ‘Sharp Dressed Man’during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Eilish O’Carroll during the first live show of Dancing With The Stars
Denis Bastick with Valeria Milo dancing an American Smooth to Michael Buble ‘Its A Beautiful Day ‘during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Peter Stringer and Ksenia Zsikhotska dancing a Salsa to Ricky Martin’s ‘Come With Me” during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing a Jive to Leif Garrett’s ‘Johnny B Goode’ during the First live show of Dancing With The Stars Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Judges Brian Redmond Lorraine Barry and Julian Benson during the first live show of Dancing With The Stars

The new host got a bit of stick

And Nicky was straight in with the jokes for poor Jennifer Zamparelli – who, by the way, admitted she felt so nervous on her first night, she was genuinely concerned that she might puke on the dance floor (no, really). But throwing up on the telly was the least of Jennifer’s worries. Indeed, the shnazzy Westlifer beside her was ready with the gags. “Look what I got from Santa Claus,” chuckled Mr Byrne (resplendent in a fitted red blazer and Jedward quiff). “Shiny; new; perfect timing - I was talking about my new watch.” Oh! You’d be doing well to visit the emergency room with that burn, Jennifer…

Julian Benson wore the Glitterball

How else do you explain Judge Julian’s fabulous sci-fi get-up this week? Heck, it was so shiny, and so blingin’, we had to apply sun cream and shades from our living room. You can call him RoboJulian.

Returning Champion Jake Carter and Karen Byrne dancing a contemporary to Harry Styles ‘Sign Of The Times “ during the first live show of Dancing With The Stars .
Returning Champion Jake Carter and Karen Byrne dancing a contemporary to Harry Styles ‘Sign Of The Times “ during the first live show of Dancing With The Stars .

Brian v Nicky is very, very real

We were barely five minutes in when Nicky, the rascal, decided to poke fun at his favourite judge, Mr Brian Redmond. “Brian, you’re used to winning, but we won’t mention Ireland’s Fittest Family,” he scoffed (jaypers, Nicky). And then what about Brian’s response? “Remember the Eurovision, what was the name of that song?” he laughed. OMG. Nicky, head to the ER with Jennifer…

Darren and Karen could go all the way

Listen, Darren Kennedy is only getting started. Sure, his tango with Karen was a bit creaky – a bit stiff, even. But he’s got the current DWTS champion by his side. He looks the part (obviously). His topline is exquisite (we’re learning from Brian, lads). Give him a couple of weeks and things could start to get magical. Plus, they’ve got the likeability factor. Darren and Karen for the win.

Former GAA player, Denis Bastick, has no dancing experience

Other than winning the All-Ireland and breaking out the moves in Coppers, that is. His joke, folks. His joke.

Eilish O’Carroll during the first live show of Dancing With The Stars
Eilish O’Carroll during the first live show of Dancing With The Stars

‘Fred Cooke’ is pronounced ‘Fred Cooke’

Okay, maybe that line doesn’t work in print. What we mean is that Fred Cooke pronounces his named Fred Coo-ooke (try it with a thick Dublin accent). Get it now? No? Okay, listen, if you watched the thing, then you’ll know what we mean. It’s important.

Fred Cooke is sexy, and everybody knows it

He brought the purple tracksuit (and a towel). He brought the Michael Jackson moves. He had the perfect song (LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It). He has an understanding partner in the brilliant Giulia. And, Mr Fred Cooke is the only celeb that genuinely looks as though he is having the time of his life on that floor. Judge Brian – who can feck off with his three points - reckoned poor Fred looked like a “French farmer at harvest time.” Fred’s performance was a bit too “stompy”, apparently – BUT, he does have a “natural rhythm”, and that has to count for something! Judge Loraine wanted more cha, cha, cha. I just want more Fred Cooke in my life.

The ladies showed us what they’re made of

But it was only a teaser. Basically, it was blokes only in the first episode, but the female celebrities will have the floor to themselves next week. They did, however, get together for a big group performance. How was it? Um, it started off grand (the jewel heist theme was pretty clever). We, er, had better leave it there. It’s only the first week. We don’t want to be mean. Not yet.

Johnny Ward is on fire

Our acting man from Fair City and Love/Hate knocked it out of the park on his first week – and, he delivered his jive to the strains of Johnny B Goode. Jennifer asked a breathless Johnny (who looked like he might drop dead after that energetic display), how he felt. “I’m wrecked,” he responded. But whaddaya know? He only went and walked away with a high score of 22. Go, Johnny, go, go, go - go sit down.

Peter ‘The Incredible Hulk’ Stringer won over Julian

“Peter Stringer, you certainly pulled my strings tonight!” Oo-er, Julian. But my goodness, the muscles on that man. Did he just lift his dance partner, Ksenia, with one arm? He did, didn’t he? Jaysus.

It’s not the same without Marty

It’s not, though. And, it’s Nicky and Jennifer’s fault for reminding us. Right at the opening, Marty Morrissey was pictured trying to get into the DWTS building (it was all part of a skit – bear with me here). Nicky Byrne played the bouncer. Bernard O’Shea tried to get in, too. But they weren’t on the list. Even with Marty wearing his technicolour dream cloak (with the words ‘Marty Godfather of Dance’ emblazoned on the back), Marty was left in the cold, to scrap with Nicky Byrne. We’d pay good money to see that fight.

Jake ‘Snake Hips’ Carter will always be in our hearts

Last year’s celeb champ, the great Jake Carter, returned for a victory lap, reuniting with his former dance partner, Karen. And do you know what? He forgot to button up his shirt again. Still, they were fabulous, so they were. Jake and Karen 4 Life.

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