We’re a mere few weeks away from the Dancing With the Stars final, meaning it’s all to play for as the celebrities continue to battle it out and fight for their place in this year’s semi-final.
Now, in a surprising turn of events for the series, this weekend we will see former DWTS champions Jake Carter and Lottie Ryan return to the dance floor where they will join the remaining celebrities for an epic dance showdown.
That’s right folks, the annual Team Dance is back, which will see the final six couples split into two teams of three couples for the ultimate dance-off.
But for a first in the show, this year each team will be mentored and joined on the floor by a Champion Dance Captain in the form of, Season 2 winner, Jake and Season 4 victor, Lottie.
The first team will be made up of Brooke Scullion and her partner Robert Rowiński, Damian McGinty and his partner Kylee Vincent and Panti Bliss and her partner Denys Samson – they will be known as the ‘HandClap Hustlers’ and will be mentored by captain, Jake Carter and his partner Karen Byrne.
The second team will consist of Carl Mullan and his partner Emily Barker, Kevin McGahern and his partner Laura Nolan and Suzanne Jackson and her partner Michael Danilczuk – they will be known as the ‘Disco Dazzlers’ and will be on the floor captained by Lottie Ryan with Stephen Vincent.
Speaking about their grand return, Lottie told VIP Magazine that her and Jake were just “so damn excited.”
“I don’t know how enthused they are by the level of energy that myself and Jake are bringing into the room,” Lottie joked about the remaining celebrities. “We only found out about this probably the same time last week so it’s been a quick turnaround for the two of us.”
Adding: “For us to be involved in a new twist in the show, I think is exciting for myself and Jake because it’s never been done before. I mean the day we both went and were revealed to our team, all I could think was, ‘Jesus I hope they’re happy!'”
“It’s just great to be back without the pressure of actually having to dance,” Jake chimed in. “But we can feel the pressure I think from the other dancers because obviously, it’s going towards their scores so I think that’s kind of given us a kick up the hole to do as well as we can,” he added.
So teammates aside, who can Jake and Lottie see going all the way?
“With most of the other seasons, from being on the show you can kind of see who’s going to be on the final. But I genuinely think that out of the last six couples, any one of them could win it. It’s really strange, there’s kind of no front-runner for me,” admits Jake.
Lottie on the other hand believes there are two who will no doubt make it to the final four.
“My gut says Panti and Kevin in the final anyway, they’re very strong. But like Jake said, it’s definitely one of those situations where the playing field is a little bit more even than it has been in previous seasons.
And as far as rivalry between the former contestants goes, well, it’s very much there.
“I want to win obviously,” shares Lottie.
While Jake was having none of it: “Sure look there’s no real competition anyway I know I’m the true champ.”
We’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves this weekend.
Dancing with the Stars Quarterfinal is on Sunday, 5th March at 6:30pm on RTÉ One.