After debuting with the top six dancers last week, Sunday Night’s Dancing with the Stars introduced us to six more potential winners, and one of them earned the judges’ highest opening score in history. from DWTS.
“Put on some makeup, put on some makeup. Make sure they get your good side, good side. It was a smart choice to have the Aengus Mac Grianna broadcaster open with a hi-hat to Adam Ant’s Goody Two Shoes, a cheeky nod to a certain live makeup blunder of her back in 2013.
Mac Grianna, along with her professional partner Emily Barker, impressed judges Lorraine Barry, who was smitten with her “transformation” and Arthur Gourounlian, who described the routine as genuinely fun. Brian Redmond, however, even though he always looked “a bit of a newsreader” when dancing. They got 16 points.
Fresh out of solitary confinement after being diagnosed with Covid-19, Love Island star Matthew MacNabb danced the Viennese waltz to Charlie Puth’s Dangerously, but the judges found the routine too slow.
Gourounlian said he was “out of tune” at times and warned that his size and good looks were not enough to carry him and Redmond agreed, adding that he didn’t have “enough bite”. The pair received 13 points, the lowest of the night. MacNaab said it was “really difficult” to train while in quarantine. “Anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong,” admitted dance partner Laura Nolan.
Rugby sevens player Jordan Conroy hit the dance floor with energy and enthusiasm with a salsa routine to Jason Derulo’s Take You Dancing. He impressed the judges, with Redmond saying their lifts were like those done in a final and Barry added that it was “a terrific start, wow, wow, wow!” He and his partner Salome Chachua received 22 points from the judges, the highest points of the first two episodes of the series.
Conroy’s top score was soon threatened by singer Erica Cody, who danced the samba with Denys Samson to Anne Marie’s Kiss My (Uh Oh) and Little Mix. The judges raved about her movement, energy and attitude on the dance floor. “Those hips sure don’t lie,” Gourounlian gushed while Redmond said Samba is a “celebrity killer” but Cody “killed it.” The judges awarded them 24 points, making it the highest-scoring debut dance in Dancing with the Stars history. “What a way to start the new year,” she joked.
The oldest contestant this year is Aslan’s drummer Billy McGuinness, but his merry foxtrot on Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life with Hannah Kelly pointed out to Gourounlian that “age is only ‘a number’ and Redmond said he should ‘keep bringing the fun’. and sort the frame” to last a good time in the competition. The judges’ score of 16 kept a smile on McGuinness’ face.
Closing out the show was Paralympic gold medalist Ellen Keane, who went head-to-head with Stephen Vincent to perform a tango to Harry Styles’ Golden. Keane, who has one hand, said so far she and Vincent haven’t had to adapt a dance to compensate for her disability. Redmond called her a candidate to watch and Gourounlian also said the swimmer was “definitely on the right show”, while Barry said Keane has held her own throughout and has “a lot of potential”. Their tango got 21 points from the judges.
Public voting will determine the overall results of the first two episodes, and next weekend will see the first elimination of the season.