Wednesday 16 January 2019

'I found bronzer on my sleeve when I got home' - what it's like being a DWTS audience member

Model Alannah Beirne and Vitali Kozmin ,during the Live show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars.
Model Alannah Beirne and Vitali Kozmin ,during the Live show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. kobpix
RTE’s Marty Morrissey and Ksenia Zsikhotska,during the Live show of RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars. Photo: KOB Pix

Chris Wasser

We were at Dancing with the Stars last night. No messin’, lads, we were in the audience and everything. It’s quite the experience, you know. The buzz is electric. The atmosphere is intense. Things got emotional. Oh, and Nicky Byrne’s tuxedoes are twice as fabulous in the flesh. Here’s what we learned from DWTS in real life. We’ve also thrown in our favourite quips of the night. Well, they are the best parts (other than the dancing, of course)…

It’s one big happy family out there…

We’d love to tell you that the epic Rob and Jake bromance is just for show. I’d bet you be only glad to hear about all the awkward glances and snide remarks in the corridors. Or, that everyone’s favourite jivin’ celebs really, really hate each other. But that would be a lie. Plus, it would totally kill the dream. The joyous truth is that our beloved dancing stars are, like, totally into each other. They’re one big happy family out there in Dancing Star Land, and boy, does it show.

They all watch each other perform. They swap jokes, handshakes and hugs during ad breaks. They cheer on the Marty Party (or, at least, they used to) as though the great Master Morrissey is their favourite uncle, giving it loads at a family wedding. And you know what? The excitement is palpable. You don’t get that on The X Factor. They’re having the time of their lives, this lot, and it’s enough to almost bring a tear to your eye. Almost. Oh, and Jake and Karen are so bloomin’ adorable together, it almost made my heart burst. Almost.

You worry more about everyone when they’re ten feet away…

Jaypers, me nerves. I reached out to catch Deirdre after she slid through partner John Nolan’s legs (she didn’t need me in the end). I counted every one of Jake’s delicate steps during his beautiful waltz with Karen. I let out a gasp after Vitali admitted he’d never seen an episode of Friends. Oh, and I booed Brian Redmond as he tried to convince us that Anna Geary’s rollicking line-dancing routine wasn’t the best thing to happen to country music since Garth Brooks cancelled his Croker run. I don’t think I’ve ever booed anyone for anything in my entire life. This show does weird things to your brain.

The Nicky Byrne and Rob Heffernan hip-hop tour needs to happen…

I adored Rob Heffernan’s hilarious homage to the great Robert Matthew Van Winkle (that’s Vanilla Ice, to the rest of the world). Better still, I fully supported Nicky Byrne’s Ice-flavoured rhyme-off with Rob in the DWTS chatterbox (our new name for the post-dance interview podium). Hands up who wants to see these guys develop a two-man Vanilla Ice tribute act? They could perform all of the Ice man’s hits (all of them) in one amazing show. I’d pay for that.

Amanda Byram’s Westlife gag got the best laugh of the night…

From me, that is. I chuckled my head off at that bit. Basically, Amanda declared the delectable tunes of Westlife her biggest guilty pleasure (for the night that was in it). The joke was well set-up. The delivery was perfect. The punchline was everything you knew it was going to be – and Nicky Byrne’s reaction stole the show. Um, maybe you had to be there. Which I was. And I awarded it a one-man standing ovation, from beside the chatterbox.

Nicky Byrne should be the next James Bond…

Another week, another triumphant tux for the sharpest (former) boybander in town. He wears it well, does Nicky. He looks amazing in the flesh. #ByrneforBond. Make it happen.

Brian Redmond’s Marty compliment was sensational…

“I think you’re probably one of the best standing-still dancers I’ve ever seen.” Oh my. That is why they pay Mr Brian the big bucks (hopefully).

Losing a star is rough on the auld heart…

Aw, lads, the dance-off is even worse in real life. And, losing Marty was a killer - enough to almost bring a tear to your eye. Almost. Remember that big love-in at the end when Marty and Ksenia lost the dance-off to Alannah and Vitali? That went on for ages after the credits rolled. The Marty Party’s over. How are we going to go on?

There’s fake tan everywhere…

It’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory out there (think about that for a moment). Granted, everyone looks fabulous, but my goodness, there are a lot of painted bodies on that dancefloor. Heck, I found some bronzer on me sleeve when I got home. True story.

Bonus Point: We need to get Chris de Burgh’s thoughts on Marty’s exit…

Master Morrissey bowed out to the iconic sound of de Burgh’s Lady in Red. As it turns out, Marty Morrissey is part of the Chris de Burgh fan club. He has a Chris de Burgh hoodie and everything. That’s it: Get that de Burgh bloke on the phone. We need to know how he’s coping. And, if he can write a song about the Marty Party. We can hear it now. “A Marty came partying, on a ship from afar / ‘Twas eight weeks of time, since his dancin’ did start…”

No more Marty Party as RTÉ commentator given the red card by DWTS judges

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