It’s been a tough few weeks for all the Dancing With The Stars contestants but comedian Kevin McGahern and pro partner Laura Nolan have manage to enjoy it all, riddling it with laughs and a little comedy.
Speaking to VIP, Laura revealed that as a pro she enjoys taking to the stage first but she thinks it’s different for a celebrity: “They’re in the box, they’re still thinking of the routine and they don’t really know where they have to go, so they can’t really let loose because they’re in their head, so it’s nice in that way I think to go first and get it out of the way”.
That being said she thinks there’s definitely a lot of pressure going first because you don’t have time to think and go over anything, it’s all done and dusted really quickly: “For us [pros] it doesn’t really matter because we know where we are but there’s definitely a lot of pressure opening the show”.
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Kevin reveals that he likes going early so that he can “just relax in the box after”, but notes that there’s obviously a lot of stress being first out, we all agreed that “third or fourth is the sweet point because it gives you time to settle into the show as well, get a feel for the audience and everything around you and then boom your up”.
Going first didn’t seem to sway Kevin though he was raring to go and his partner was pushing for him to open the show believing he could handle the pressure – which he could.
Judges’ comments have focused hugely on the word performance. Performing the dances week in and week out not just moving to the music which Laura mentions is “very hard for a non-dancer to do”, when focusing on steps and technique to improve on their previous week.
So what is the thing that delights Laura most… not having to worry about Kevin’s timing when choreographing a routine. She says: “He opened the routine last week on his own and I just have so much faith and security in him that it’s going to be on time. His timing really is incredible, I’m so impressed with him!” Kevin relishes the praise as we watch him smiling in the corner.
Like anyone the criticism gets Kevin down at points but he mentions that they all have to keep in mind that it’s really the public vote that matters with them having the final say in who stays and who goes home. There’s been a lot of public commentary on the dancing pair being under marked and Laura says they’ve been watching because they feel the same way: “I feel like we’ve been slightly under marked each week. Like we get really positive comments…I just want the scores to reflect that.”
After a bad comment two weeks ago, Kevin had to rally and get his head into place, not take it as a bad thing but as a helpful tool to improve on his dancing, Laura noted: ” I saw it with you [Kevin], he started overthinking it and got inside his head…he really had to build himself back up”.
The thought of small kids doing impressions of him around the country is a scary thing to Kevin. He says: “When you’re finding your feet with social media, with standup it’s people you’re own age but suddenly when I see a 5-year-old girl doing an impression of me I’m like, oh my god, I’m a role model now!” He says it’s terrifying having young people looking up to him making him realise he really needs to watch what he says.
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With expectations for some hilarious moments on the show thanks to Kevin’s comedic background he was afraid that that’s all he would be looked on for and not his dancing. Laura says: “He’s a very funny man, he’s great company, he has us all in stitches in the studio but it’s finding that sweet point because he’s a great dancer too”.
McGahern came on the show wanting to be taken seriously because of the fact a lot of comedian’s go on shows like DWTS and act like comedians to gain extra ticket sales, which wasn’t what this experience was about for Kevin. According to Laura: “He takes it very seriously, but we have the craic”.
A visual learner Kevin reveals he learns best by drawing little images or hieroglyphics on the side of a script or on a piece of paper for whatever he’s trying to learn. He says: “Laura kind of gets that, she gets how I learn.” They give different dancing terms special funny names to help Kevin in remembering the steps, like ‘creepy creepy’ and ‘John Travolta’.
Laura’s partner Matthew McNabb in nothing but encouraging of the two. Having been on a similar journey a year ago Matthew had some good advice for Kevin from an ex competitors point of view. Laura thinks it’s great having him there to explain a term without a technical dance term: “He’s been through it” she says “He’s been in the exact same situation”.
The dancing duo have progressed to next weeks shows with the dedicated dance which Kevin has decided to dedicate his 2-year-old, how sweet. We can’t wait to tune in next Sunday on RTÈ.