Saturday 26 May 2018

'Tonight was about me' - Erin McGregor on Conor's absence as she tops leaderboard on ladies night after DWTS debut performance

Erin McGregor and Ryan McShane
Erin McGregor and Ryan McShane
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Erin McGregor delivered a knock-out punch to her competitors tonight after topping the leaderboard with her first solo performance.

It was ladies night at Ardmore film factory in Bray as it was the female competitors time to shine on RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. 

Despite rumours that he was going to be cheering her on ring-side for her opening performance, her superstar brother Conor was a noticeable absentee from the venue with show insiders saying he was sick.

After the show Erin said, "Tonight was about me, Tonight was about my dancing and we let that dancing show tonight.

Model Alannah Berine and Vitali Kozmin dancing a Waltz to ‘Moon River’ by Andrea Ross Credit: kobpix
Model Alannah Berine and Vitali Kozmin dancing a Waltz to ‘Moon River’ by Andrea Ross Credit: kobpix
Erin McGregor and Ryan McShane dancing a Salsa to ‘Instruction ‘by Jax Jones during the second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
Former Cork Camogie Player and Broadcaster Anna Geary and Kai Widdrington dancing a Tango to ‘Rebel Rebel ‘by David Bowie during the second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
Brendan Cole and Faye Huddleston during the second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
Singer and Brother of Nathan Jake Carter and Karen Byrne during the second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
RTE’s Marty Morrissey and Ksenia Zsikhotska during the Second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. kobpix/NO FEE for repro.
Singer and Brother of Nathan Jake Carter and Karen Byrne during the Second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
Former Rugby Player Tomás O’Leary and Giulia Dotta during the second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
RTE’s Marty Morrissey and Ksenia Zsikhotska during the Second show of RTE’s Dancing with the Stars. Credit: kobpix
Deirdre O’Kane and John Nolan Credit: kobpix
Broadcaster Maia Dunphy and Robert Rowiński Credit: kobpix
Norah Casey and Curtis Pritchard Credit: kobpix
Comedienne Deirdre O’Kane and John Edward Nolan Credit: kobpix

"Look, he's not here.  In the end it's about my dancing. Look, I've got lots of gifts. I've my Cartier bracelet on, the first time to wear it."

Erin revealed that Conor had splashed out on her entire outfit for backstage after the show including a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes and a Dolce & Gabanna dress.

"He's such an amazing brother and I take such inspiration from him," she said.

Conor's girlfriend Dee Devlin was spotted backstage, looking stunning in a red Gucci printed dress alongside his dad Tony and mum Margaret alongside sister Aoife. 

Team McGregor were given some ring-side seats of the action as they waited to see the fitness model performing as the last contestant on the show. 

And the fitness model (36) put the rest of the ladies in the shade as she topped the judges’ leaderboard on the second live show with a massive 23 points.

She added some serious sparkle to week two along with partner Ryan McShane, as they performed a Salsa to the tune of ‘Instruction’ by Jax Jones.

And she said she did it for “all the mams out there in their house-coats” cheering her on. 

The emotional mum-of-two told Amanda Byram afterwards that she was so relieved she had put herself out in the limelight. 

“Ever since I had the baby I was so afraid to get out there and so many times I wanted to walk away. I was trying to bring out the inner fighter but I hope I brought her out tonight,” she said. 

“I feel like I’m in a dream...I actually feel amazing, I am actually really proud of myself. I did it for all the mams out there across Ireland who supported me when I didn’t think I could do it, they are at home tonight with their house coats on cheering on team Erin and team Ryan. 

“I wouldn’t have signed that contract and got back out there without them.”

She was described by judges afterwards as a “Lioness” and told how the McGregor family has some talent as a whole. 

“You are a strong, determined woman and that’s what I like,” said Darren Bennett.

When asked by Nicky Byrne what advice her MMA superstar brother Conor had given her, she said that they were a “huge family of positive affirmations.” 

“He has done so much with his life and I would never have tried anything like that except from looking at him,” she said.

“He just went in and followed a dream and closed out all the doubt and that to me is inspirational. I just want to live my life the best I can live.” 

Opening the show was lady-in-red Anna Geary, with the former All-Ireland captain scoring a strong performance as she wielded a matching Camogie stick. 

Dubbed the ‘First lady of Camogie’ by host Amanda Byram, the Cork sportswoman admitted that she was a “tad competitive”, scoring 21 points.

Next up to strut her stuff was Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model finalist Alannah Beirne who put in a graceful performance to the tune of Moon River.

She said afterwards how she dedicated performance to her late grand-dad was looking down on her from heaven and was proud of her. 

Judge Loraine Barry said her dance was “exquisite” while Brian Redmond said it was a “classic waltz from start to finish.” 

Hot on the heels of Anna, she earned herself an impressive 20 marks from the trio of judges. 

TV presenter Maia Dunphy performed the Cha-Cha to the tune of ‘Don’t be So Hard on Yourself’ and said afterwards how she was “so relieved” to get through her first solo dance.

Judge Brian said she had the “perfect dancer’s physique” and wanted to see more from her in coming weeks, with her scoring just 13 points for her turn on the floor. 

Former Dragon’s Den star Norah Casey breathed fire into the competition with a capable Foxtrot to the tune of ‘Nora’ by Tara O’Grady. 

Looking suitably glam in a sparkly navy dress, she said afterwards how her late husband Richard Hannaford was in her mind the whole time as it was a song that was extra-special for her as it was the first song that he ever sang to her. 

“A little bit of me was dancing with Richard too,” she said.

She received glowing comments from the judges, who described her efforts as “soft and endearing”, awarding her 15 points. 

Closing out the show was comedian Deirdre O’Kane and John Nolan, who performed an energetic Jive to the tune of Mayhem by Imelda May, earning 18 points.

Not to be outdone, the male contestants performed a group dance dressed in army gear to the tune of ‘Rock this Party’ by Bob Sinclair.

'Why can’t they just give Marty Morrissey his own show?' And six other questions raised by tonight’s Dancing with the Stars…

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