Finally, Dancing with the Stars is back! After a long hiatus, due to the pandemic, on Sunday we got to see the glitz and glamour of the show return to our screens, and it was exactly what we needed to brighten up a grey January evening.
This week we saw the first six Irish celebrities take to the floor, and next Sunday will see group two perform.
It was great to see hosting duo Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne back in their presenting roles, and we also got to meet our brand new judge.
Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond have returned and this year they are joined by. Arthur Gourounlian, a professional choreographer.
First to take to the floor was Irish comedian, Neil Delamere who is paired with pro-dancer, Kylee Vincent. The couple performed a paso doble to the sounds of I Believe in the Thing Called Love, to great reviews from the judges scoring a 17.
Loraine said; “You, me, and the whole nation have been waiting for the first dance on series five of Dancing with the Stars, and what a powerful number you have. There’s a lot of power here and a lot of strength. First dance out, at the beginning of the season, I’m very impressed.”
Second out was model and influencer, Missy Keating and her partner, Ervinas Merfeldas who danced an American Smooth to the song, Baby Love and the pair scored a 16 from the judges.
Arthur love the routine saying; “Oh my God, that was so cute, I really enjoyed that. I can tell there’s a little chemistry forming, you are like the high school sweethearts. As a refugee, I never went to prom, so that was my prom.”
Third to hit the floor was pro-cyclist Nicolas Roche who is paired with professional dancer and former DWTS champion, Karen Byrne. The couple danced a jive to Blinding Lights and scored an 11 from the judges.
Brian’s comments were ;”When you are out on the bike at your own, you can pedal at your own pace, when you are on a tandem, if you are out of sync, you are going nowhere. A lot of work to do technically in terms to trying to improve that dancing.”
Irish author, Cathy Kelly was the fourth celebrity out on the dancer floor and she was joined by pro-dancer, Maurizio Benenato. They danced the Cha Cha Cha to the classic How Will I Know by Whitney Houston.
The couple scored a 14 from the judges with Arthur praising Cathy’s personality on the floor; “We all felt the sass in the room, honestly, that was brilliant. I have a new title for your book ‘The Girl in the Pink Dress’, welcome to your new chapter.”
Second to last, was Nina Carberry who is paired up with professional dancer and former DWTS winner, Pasquale La Rocca. They scored an impressive 19 points from the judges dancing the quickstep to KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.
The judges loved Nina and Pasquale’s performance with Arthur commenting; “Oh Nina, you are definitely the dark horse of the night, that was beautiful. You said you are not girly? I completely disagree. The only thing I will say, work on your upper body…relax more, enjoy!”
Finally, we saw TV presenter Gráinne Seoige take to the floor with her partner John Nolan. The pair danced a waltz to With You I’m Born Again and scored a 14 from the judges.
Her partner John was full of praise for her as he shared; “I couldn’t be more proud of Gráinne.”
There was also a surprise for viewers as 2020 winner, Lottie Ryan picked up her dancing shoes once again as she performed with her old partner, and friend Pasquale La Rocca, to their Dora the Explorer inspired salsa which was a massive hit on the last series of the show.
Speaking about how she felt to return Lottie said; “I’m absolutely thrilled to be back performing with Pasquale, it’s such an honour to have the opportunity to return to the ballroom – I didn’t have to be asked twice. Dora was one of our favourite routines, albeit the hardest. I’m so so grateful to be able to be back”
Next week we will see Erica Cody, Aengus Mac Grianna, Matthew Mac Nabb, Ellen Keane, and Jordan Conroy performing for the first time, and week three will see the very first of the eliminations take place.