'Show was a massive success' - Aidan O'Mahony fires back at Louis Walsh's 'no stars' jibe
Aidan O'Mahony has fired back at Louis Walsh, who claimed there were no real celebrities on RTE's Dancing With The Stars.
The X Factor judge said he did not think there were any A-listers in the show and thought the programme should have been called "Dancing With The Staff".
However, series winner Aidan disagrees. The former GAA star admitted he was told by many that the show would not be a success when he agreed to do it, but he believes the audience reaction speaks for itself.
"Before I went into it, people said it wouldn't succeed. People said it should just be called 'Dancing' and that there were no stars, but I think the ratings kind of speak for themselves.
"Anywhere I go in the country, people talk about it. It attracted people of every age and I think they kind of fell in love with it. It was a massive success."
Aidan was a favourite from the beginning and sailed through to the final, where he beat actresses Aoibhin Garrihy and Denise McCormack. RTE is still said to be nailing down the celebrity contestants for next year's series. Rehearsals are set to begin either this month or in November.
Aidan said he enjoyed his time on the show, but admitted that it became harder towards the end.
"It's tough. You start off doing maybe 12 hours a week but you end up doing nearly 12 hours a day.
"It gets competitive as the weeks go on. No one wants to be knocked out first."
Speaking at the launch of Base London's autumn/winter footwear range, the former Kerry footballer said he did not enjoy the weeks of the show when he got negative feedback from the judges.
"People need to enjoy themselves, but there were weeks I didn't," he said. "All you need to do these days is turn on social media and you will know what people think of your dancing skills straight away."
Former Mrs Brown's Boys actor Rory Cowan recently admitted he had turned down Dancing With The Stars, saying he did not think contestants would stand a chance against a GAA player with their county's fans behind them.
But Aidan thinks there was more to his win than just being a sports star.
"I just did my best and I went out and performed to the best I could on the night," he said.