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 January 11

by Carolina

Six couples took to the floor for the first show of the new series of Dancing with the Stars on RTÉ One on Sunday night.

Neil Delamere, Missy Keating, Nicolas Roche, Cathy Kelly, Nina Carberry, and Gráinne Seoige took a spin under the glitter ball, while Erica Cody, Aengus Mac Grianna, Matthew Mac Nabb, Ellen Keane, and Jordan Conroy are set to perform on show two next Sunday evening.

Kicking off the show, a selection of the pro-dancers performed a routine to Clean Bandit’s Symphony.

Presenters Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne were back at the helm, and tonight was the first show for new judge, Arthur Gourounlian, who joined the panel alongside returning judges Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond.

Neil Delamere tripped the light fantastic with his partner Kylee Vincent

First to take to the stage for the new series was comedian Neil Delamere and his professional partner, Kylee Vincent. The pair hit the ground running with a paso doble performed to the music of I Believe in the Thing Called Love by The Darkness.

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”

Brian said: “It wouldn’t be week one without them booing me already… The intensity is great, it just needs to be a little bit calmer, a little bit more relaxed.”

Judges Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Arthur Gourounlian

Neil and Kylee scored a total of 17 from the judges.

Next up were Missy Keating and her partner Ervinas Merfeldas, who danced an American Smooth to Baby Love by The Supremes.

Arthur said: “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.”

Brian said: “Taking on the lifts in week one is a real challenge, and all of the lifts independently you nailed them all. Try and make that flow a little better.”

Missy and Ervinas scored 16 from the judges.

Nicolas Roche and partner, former DWTS champion, Karen Byrne

The third couple to take to the floor were pro-cyclist Nicolas Roche and partner, former DWTS champion, Karen Byrne, who danced a jive to Blinding Lights by The Weeknd.

Loraine said: “To get jive, it is a tough dance but it’s also a great dance. It just needed a bit more foot pressure – keep it going with Karen and keep it going with the music – back to the floorboards on Monday…”

Brian said: “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.”

Nicolas and Karen scored 11 from the judges.

Next up were author Cathy Kelly and pro-dancer Maurizio Benenato who danced the Cha Cha Cha to Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know?

Arthur said: “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.”

Brian said: “I did love your character – your characterisation – you have got all that going on already.”

Cathy and Maurizio scored 14 from the judges.

Nina Carberry and partner Pasquale La Rocca

Couple five tonight were Nina Carberry and partner Pasquale La Rocca who danced the quickstep to KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.

Loraine said: “There is something here, I can’t quite put my finger on it yet…I’m agreeing with Arthur – I think you are the dark horse.”

Arthur said: “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!”

Nina and Pasquale scored 19 points.

Missy Keating and her partner Ervinas Merfeldas

And finally, it was the turn of TV presenter Gráinne Seoige with partner John Nolan, who danced a waltz to With You I’m Born Again by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright.

Arthur said: “This reminded me of a scene from an old French movie – think of Grace Kelly. I can tell you really enjoyed it – you could be my femme fatale.”

Grainne Seoige and John Nolan

Dance partner John Nolan said: “I couldn’t be more proud of Grainne.”

Gráinne and John scored 14 from the judges.

There was a surprise in store for the audience as the reigning Dancing with the Stars champion Lottie Ryan made a sensational comeback with her former dance partner Pasquale La Rocca to perform their Dora the Explorer inspired salsa, which was a huge hit for the pair during the last season of the show.

Speaking before taking to the stage, 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”

Viewers were also treated to a contemporary pro-dance from couple Stephen and Kylee Vincent to Dermot Kennedy’s Better Days.

Votes from show one and show two of Dancing with the Stars will be carried over to show three, the first show where one of the dancers will be eliminated.

Original posted at www.rte.ie

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