Brookie’s favourite | 

Dancing With The Stars judge gives verdict on finalists – Brooke Scullion one to beat

The hard-hitting panellist says that millionaire businesswoman, blogger and TV presenter Suzanne Jackson is also a hot contender

Setting the standard: Brooke Scullion, Damian McGinty, Suzanne Jackson and Carl Mullan

Brooke Scullion - 7/4

Damian McGinty - 5/2

Suzanne Jackson - 5/2

Carl Mullan - 7/2

Brian Redmond is full of praise for the four finalists

Eddie RowleySunday World

Dancing With The Stars judge Brian Redmond has tipped last year’s Eurovision representative Brooke Scullion as the front runner of the four celebrity contestants in tonight big TV final.

But the hard-hitting panellist says that millionaire businesswoman, blogger and TV presenter Suzanne Jackson is also a hot contender to take home the glitterball.

Redmond recalled that Jackson pulled off “the moment of the season” with her rumba dance, which he described as “exquisite”.

Brian Redmond is full of praise for the four finalists

Dazzling dancers Brooke and Suzanne will be in an exciting dancefloor battle with 2fm breakfast show co-presenter Carl Mullan and former Glee star Damian McGinty.

“I can’t remember a final as close and they’ve all brought something special to the show,” Brian tells the Sunday World.

“We always have great dancers, and certainly by the time they get to the final most of them are really, really good quality dancers. But, this year, a more genuine four finalists I don’t think we’ve ever had.”

This year’s Dancing With The Stars has been a massive ratings boost for RTE, drawing more viewers than the Late Late Show and Tommy Tiernan along the way.

However, Redmond said that RTE haven’t confirmed if it will be back for another season and he doesn’t expect to be told until June or July.

“The best thing that we can have in our favour to make the show come back is great numbers — and we’ve had great numbers this year, so we’ll wait and see what happens,” he says.

He predicted that this year’s series will be memorable for Rory O’Neill’s performances as Panti Bliss, as well as out of drag. Rory and professional dancer Denys Sampson were also the show’s first male duo.

He said it was “so well accepted” by Irish viewers. “I have not had one person come up to me on the street and go, ‘this shouldn’t be happening.’ It’s been absolutely phenomenal.

“That is the type of stuff that will be on Reeling in the Years in 20 or 25 years time. The conversations that that started at home all around the country.

“And that’s the weird thing about this festival of glitz and glamour and sequins that goes out every Sunday night on Irish TV — it actually means a lot more than just two hours of escapism.

“It means parents, grandparents, young children sitting around and on very occasional moments talking about things that are much bigger than the Dancing With The Stars show. So for me, I would say that has been the moment of all six seasons so far.”

Sharing his views on tonight’s four finalists, the normally tough-talking judge Redmond heaps praise on the last celebrities standing.

Brooke Scullion - 7/4


“Brooke had a very, very high standard from very early on.

“She is somebody, from a dance perspective, who came in at a high level from week one and that makes improvement difficult to gain because the last yard is always the hardest yard.

“She has managed to make smaller improvements.

“But it’s always refreshing when you meet someone like Brooke, who is young and embraces their youth.

“Brooke is giddy, she’s fun, intelligent, and it’s great to see that somebody that has had the success she’s had maintain that youthfulness in her life.”

Suzanne Jackson - 5/2


“Suzanne, dance-wise, has been really, really good and, for me, the only one who has seriously got close to Brooke.

“She has managed to do something dance-wise that even some of the similar sort of characters that we’ve had or seen in previous years haven’t done…those long, slender, elegant sort of body frames can often struggle with the dynamics, the energy involved in dancing. She has done that really, really well.

“I think she will find it refreshing that she has got to the final because we know that the public play a large role in this and often people that are as prolific in the public eye as Suzanne Jackson can often be quite heavily critiqued in the public domain.

“So I think she will take some solace from the fact that she made the final.”

Carl Mullan - 7/2


“A bit like Brooke, Carl is what he is and there’s something nice about coming across a celebrity who is as it says on the tin.

“He’s great fun, he’s humble and he deserves all the success that he’s had on the TV show and in his radio career… and Carl Mullan is going to be somebody that we’re going to be looking at for years to come on both Irish TV and radio.”

Damian McGinty - 5/2


“Damian is probably one of the most genuine people I’ve come across on the show. Despite the fact that he had success in Glee for all those years in the States, and it’s a massive market compared to Ireland, he has totally embraced the process that he’s going through and being grateful and humble all the way through.

“And I don’t mean humble or grateful because I’ve given him an eight or nine, or grateful to have enjoyed the experience being on the show. You can see that particularly in the last two weeks where he avoided the dance off, there’s always a genuine scream of relief.”

  • Dancing With The Stars, RTE One, tonight at 6.30pm.

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