Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne rolled out the red carpet for the celebrity female dancers, as the second live show of Dancing with the Stars aired on RTÉ One on Sunday night.
The professional dancers opened the show with a Ballroom dance to Elton John's Tiny Dancer featuring large jewellery ballerina boxes, including a ballerina performance from pro dancer Laura Nolan.
All six celebrity female dancers made their solo debut on the dance floor for a striking second live show.
First to grace the dance floor was Glenda Gilson with the cha cha cha to Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now. Partnered with Robert Rowinski, Glenda’s first solo performance was lively and playful throughout the energetic pop track.
Commenting afterwards Glenda said: "I'm relieved that it’s done! We call ourselves 'GlenRo’ or ‘GGRR’ I was very nervous but when I saw the lads last week, I just wanted to get out and do it."
Loraine Barry kicked off the judges' comments, "This was a very good cha cha. It was very sexy, Sultry. I’m very impressed but a tip - move down into the floor, more hip action, more earthy."
Brian Redmond said: "Everyone is talking about how long your legs are but you have to use those legs! I thought you were going to wrap your legs around Robert twice! You need to bring more commitment. It was better that I was expecting it to be!"
Julian Benson added: "It was a cha cha’licouis start to the show. It was a no frills start to the show. Robert played to your strengths. Overall, week 1 for a girl that was nervous, you did really well."
Glenda earned a score of 17 from the judges.
Second to take to the dance floor was Donegal native Gráinne Gallanagh who is partnered with Kai Widdrington. The pair was the first to take on the Tango to the track Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.
Following the performance Gráinne said: "I'm so happy the relief!" Kai added "She has been working so hard - I’m really proud of her."
Loraine said: "For me the content of the tango was absolutely on-point. I think it was a great tango. The skaters walk was done very well and it was a bad ass girl song so you need to get the passion out there -you’ve got it in you, we want more."
Brian said: "That was soft, it was elegant, it was pretty - it’s everything I don’t want from a tango! I thought the frame was really, really good. It needs to be lower in the legs with more power, it was lacking in character but not a bad start overall."
Julian added: "Who would have thought - from Buncranna to the dancefloor. For week one, you gave it your all. Great co-ordination. You need to dog deep and bring your inner actress. You work as a very good partnership with Kai."
Gráinne scored a total of 18 from the judges.
The third performance saw Sinéad O’Carroll and pro dance partner Ryan McShane brought some 1950s Brooklyn street sensations to the floor with an American Smooth to Steve Lawrence’s Bewitched.
After her routine Sinéad said: "I've watched these programmes for years and it felt amazing. I’m so chuffed that we got through it. To have all those comments - I’m delighted for week one. My kids are chuffed that I’m doing it."
Loraine said: "I think there a star in the making. For me you really did dance with all the body, the feet – the arms. It was really, really lovely. I think you’re a leading lady."
Brian said: "I thought it was exactly what we wanted to see from that. I was a little bit bothered by the arms and the feet were a little bit all over the place. I was bewildered by the characterisation and the storytelling."
Julian added: "Girl you put a spell on me. This was graceful, smooth and elegant. You beamed through the whole thing. I’m excited for you moving forward. I wanted more. It was magical for me, keep up the good work."
Sinéad received a score of 21 from the judges.
Audiences were also treated to a guest performance from former pro dancer Ksenia Zsikhotska, who made a return to the Irish dance floor after spending three years with the Dancing with the Stars Ireland family. She performed a fiery Argentinean Tango to La Cumparsita by Ensemble Contraste with Strictly star Vincent Simone.
Next up was former Love Island contestant Yewande Biala and newcomer Stephen Vincent, who wowed the audience with a Salsa routine to Solo Dance by Martin Jensen.
Afterwards Yewande said: "I've been training really hard and I bruised my right rib and I had it x-rayed yesterday. Curtis did try and show me how to salsa on Love Island but I didn’t really get it! The guys on Love Island are really looking forward to watching it and they're surprised I’m on it!"
Loraine said: "You had some really, really good salsa in there. The opening was beautiful, the hips started to go. You lost a bit of the timing, I’m impressed you kept going. A little but more work and it will be really, really good."
Brian said: "For me it was like that typical Love Island relationship - it was on, it was off, particularly when it came to the lifts. I think if you could sort those bits and pieces out we could have a long and lasting relationship."
Julian added: "For a non-dancer, come in on week one with those lifts and carrying an injury. It was very bond-girl esq. Let yourself go a little bit more. Well done girl."
She scored a total of 16 from the judges.
The penultimate performance came from Mary Kennedy and pro dancer John Nolan. They impressed viewers with a smooth Foxtrot dance to No Frontiers by Mary Black and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Julian began: "It was a beautiful song for a beautiful woman. Trust in John, you're working with a champion, together you’re box office gold. You said you wanted to dance – you’re dream has come true. So proud of you, it was elegant and sophisticated. It was so clear you enjoyed it, you had a twinkle in your eyes."
Brian said: "That was flat from start to finish. You do have that sparkle in your eyes which was fabulous to see but you do have a bit more work to do."
Loraine said: "You may have retired from a programme but that was not a retired performance. You got to work on the length, posture and go through the feet. Foxtrot is the most difficult dance."
Commenting on the performance afterwards Mary said: "I was very nervous. I was glad to get out there and do the dance as we worked so hard. I was expecting those comments from Brian – sure doesn’t everyone expect it from Brian!"
Mary received a score of 13 from the judges.
The final live performance was an energetic Jive to Nicole Scherzinger’s Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On. Lottie Ryan teamed up with pro dancer Pasquale La Rocca, who was recently crowned the champion of Dancing with the Stars Belgium.
Following the dance Lottie said: "It's really stamina driven so it took quite a while to get it into my body without getting sick! It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before."
Loraine said: "Choreographically - this was tremendously a great jive. The feet and the legs here are very good. One major missing ingredient was kick ball and change. I need articulation."
Brian said: "Wow, what a start. To bring the all that energy, the moves. That was beyond anything I’ve ever seen at the start on Dancing with the Stars. It was a little flat and I needed more bounce. Lottie you little legend."
Julian added: "There was a whole lot of Lottie going on. You were like a little pocket rocket. You don’t do it in half measures – you really go for it. Pasquale really kept you on your toes. You have all the major qualities to go a long way in this competition girl!"
She scored a total of 20 from the judges.
The show concluded on a high with a group dance from the celebrity male dancers. Fr. Ray Kelly led the crew who danced to Village People’s In the Navy, while Ryan and Aidan arm wrestled each other as part of the group dance routine.
Last week RTÉ One’s Dancing with the Stars returned for a fourth series, which saw all five celebrity male dancers perform their first solo dance. Ryan Andrews was streets ahead scoring a notable 21 however the All-Ireland winning Kilkenny Hurler Aidan Fogarty wasn’t far behind with a score of 18.
The eliminations will begin on the third week of the show, Sunday January 19.
RTÉjr Goes Dancing with the Stars continues on Thursday nights at 6.30pm. Presented by Darcey MacGabhann (12) and Darragh Malone (14), the weekly entertainment show will feature interviews with the celebrities and pro dancers as well as news reports and fun features with production. Finally, kids get their backstage pass to join the Dancing with the Stars party.
There will be additional exclusive Dancing with the Stars content as RTÉ’s social channels cover all of the behind-the-scenes antics with the effervescent James Patrice at the helm. For all the latest news and backstage gossip, follow RTÉ One on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #DWTSIrl
James Patrice will host a weekly podcast every Monday to reveal all the news, views, glitz and glamour behind the glitter ball. Listeners can expect the podcast to feature interviews with the judges, stars and their professional partners to continue the Dancing with the Stars buzz.
Dancing with the Stars continues next Sunday at 6.30pm on RTÉ One.
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