So let’s wrap this up then.
So I’m not going to write up all the couples separately, because at some point about midway through the final, when I realised that yes, they were both going to be doing contempowaft showdances, Aoibhin and Denise actually merged into one person for me. Apparently it wasn’t enough that Aidan had a regional vote, a pro-police vote and a SPORTSMAN! vote all behind him, our two female contestants had to actually merge into one, thereby absolutely assuring his victory at the hands of PURITY OF DAHNCE voters sitting at home, staring at their phones, trying to remember which one of the two of them it is that they actually like. A merging of bodies driven home by the fact that, like those on the mothership, the DWTS : Ireland producers decided that they needn’t bother read out who finished 2nd and who finished 3rd, so we’ll never know whether Ryan & Denise’s sudden drive to tell one another every 2 minutes that other was the GREATEST PERSON THEY’VE EVER MET had an effect on the result or not. For my part, as it has been throughout the series, it was Aoibhin who had a slight edge with me, taking the final two rounds (romantic rumba and melodramatic contempowaft showdance) to Denise’s one (fiery Roxanne tango) although you could make a fair argument that Aoibhin’s two victories there are with the same basic dance so *shrug*
But cometh the hour, cometh the O’Mahony, and the first series of Dancing With The Stars : Ireland was won by not only one of the worst dancers in the cast (he was definitely better than Des and Teresa and…that’s about it. Maybe Dr Eva as well) but probably the worst dancer of any of the major Strictly franchises. There’s one winner in the Australian version who was notoriously bad, managing to score for one dance in particular a Quentin Wilson level score of 9, but I’ve watched his dances and even he seems to have more about him than a Superman showdance that was almost entirely walking about and awkward static dead lifts. I’ve seen a few people say that they doubt the show’s ability to continue given such a counter-intuitive result but…well at least it’s different? Aidan was one of my least favourite cast members, and there’s only so much I can excuse in my enjoyment of Valeria’s wacky choreography, but in a sea of increasingly samey 20something competent winners on Strictly has left me with a taste for a bit of a spanner in the works and Aidan certainly was that.
As for the show as a whole? I’ve enjoyed it. Other than the odd casting of both Aoibhin and Denise in the same run, it was pretty well cast, and the hosts (particularly Nicky) settled in nicely after a stilted start. The lack of budget showed often, we didn’t need “Contemporary Ballroom” oh at all, and the judging panel needs urgent tinkering with so I can remember what they think of any one contestant on a week to week basis, but there was a charming freshness to it all, watching it without the established furrows and tropes of a Strictly series. I’ve seen a few people claim the show was about getting back to what the show originally was about which…not so much (did I mention “Contemporary Ballroom”? Or the dance where Curtis Pritchard got an inflatable banana up the ‘arris whilst dressed as a Minion?) but it was refreshing to see a different angle on things. And there’s a handful of pros I’ve definitely scoped out for a potential run on the British version (a list topped by, but not limited to, sarcastic surly Ballyfermot wench Karen Byrne) in the not so distant future. All in all? A success, I think.