Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo host The Greatest Dancer, featuring performers from a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, street, ballroom, contemporary and disco, competing for a chance to showcase their skills on Strictly Come Dancing
Hosted by Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Diversity’s Jordan Banjo, the series sees hopefuls audition in a dance studio with a difference. Behind the studio mirror sit the Greatest Dancer captains – singer and former The X Factor judge Cheryl, Glee star Matthew Morrison and Strictly professional Oti Mabuse – who will be observing their every move.
An audience is watching, too, and they have the power to vote for their favourite acts. If 75 per cent of the audience like what they see, the mirror opens to reveal the dance studio and that act is through to the next round: the callbacks.
That’s when the captains will each choose three acts to mentor through to the final, where nine acts will compete for £50,000 and the chance to perform on Strictly.
TV Times rating: ****
TV Times headed off to the ICC in Birmingham to watch some of the auditions for The Greatest Dancer and caught up with mentors Oti, 28, Cheryl, 35, and
The audience decides which dancers go through. How do you feel when they don’t pick an act you think deserves a shot?
Matthew: It’s hard to sit there as someone who’s studied dance and watch someone not get through because the general public maybe don’t understand the time, pain, commitment and sacrifice that it takes to be a great dancer. But, at the same time, there’s probably something missing in those dancers if they didn’t connect with people.
In this Saturday’s The Greatest Dancer, hopefuls include an all-female group led by Dee Dee Wilde of 1970s dance troupe Pan’s People, and Cheryl’s biggest fan, James. Are there other standout moments?
Cheryl: Oti dragged me up on stage to jive… in six-inch heels! I could have killed her!
Matthew: There was a young man in a wheelchair who danced and a group with autism. Those acts stood out for me because it highlights what dance is all about. It helps people to find a way of expression.