There was a lack of Donegal dancers on the first show of Dancing with the Stars tonight, but that didn't stop us tuning in to see how Ireland's stars shined on the dancefloor.

Razzle-dazzle was the order of the day as one of RTE’s most-anticipated reality shows yet came to our screens. Dancing with the Stars, or ‘Irish Strictly’, began with a burst of colour, sparkle and smiles. For the next 12 weeks, we will see nine Irish celebrities taking to the floor to dance their best and avoid elimination.

Naturally, the show would be held up in comparison to the BBC’s revered Strictly Come Dancing – but did it do enough to step up to the mark?

The overall consensus seems to say yes. Twitter users loved the high-quality production levels and had fun cheering on (or jeering at) the five men who took to the floor first tonight. The biggest talking point of the night was the tan. There could well be a national shortage until the summer if the celebrities keep up the dark shades that they gleamed in tonight.

Presenters Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne guided us through the introductions, with Amanda’s professional skills shining through all night long.

First up was Des Bishop, who left his comedy face backstage and strutted his stuff in a serious tango routine.


Hold the tan Hughie


Image: RTE Snapchat

Hughie Maughan is no stranger to reality shows – he was runner-up in last year’s Big Brother. He will be a stranger to many viewers who didn’t watch BB, but you’ll never forget him after tonight.

Hughie upped his bronze game to the max. His dancing left much to be desired. We can’t see him lasting very long in the contest unless he rises to the standard set by the other men tonight.

Hughie seemed proud of his golden glow, joking that there is “No more fake tan left in the country” – it was all on his face, but his pale hands showed his true colour.

Dark Horse

Aidan O Mahony won’t be the most well-known man up here in Donegal, but we quickly took note when he sizzled on the stage. The Kerry footballer did his Kingdom proud – his physical prowess was so steamy he knocked the straps off his partners’ dress!

Darling Des

Des Cahill danced his way into the hearts of many tonight. The sports broadcaster swept his partner Karen Byrne across the dancefloor in a graceful foxtrot. To be with such a beautiful lady appeared to make him happy as Larry – or Dancing Des as he called himself.


The Judges

The judges, as with every contestant, were hugely complimentary to Des. Judges Julian Benson, Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond were uncontroversial this evening in their politeness towards every dancer – we need a bit of fiery feedback to keep thing interesting as the show goes on. Plus, their low scores failed to match up with their wonderful comments.


Bright Young Thing

Boyband member Dayl Cronin is well practised for this contest, but he will definitely be the one to make the other men work that little bit harder. The singer from Hometown was a buzz of energy during a Charleston number that earned the highest score of the night.

The first two hours of the Dancing with the Stars premiere seems to have been enough to impress the audience. The six women will have their chance to dance next week. They performed a group routine tonight as a teaser for what’s to come. We’re very excited to see Teresa Mannion make her ‘necessary journey’ across the dancefloor, while model Thalia Heffernan caught our eye as one to watch.

The professional dancers had a hugely impressive routine too and their mentoring skills worked a charm with the men tonight. Eliminations do not begin until week three of the competition, so it will be interesting to see how things heat up in the coming weeks.

What did you think of tonight’s first episode of Dancing with the Stars? Will you tune in again next week?