Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Akai Osei wins Got To Dance!

The biggest national dance competition to ever hit UK TV screens concluded in a nail-biting 90 minute live final on Sky1 HD this Sunday. The ultimate dance off saw six talented dance acts compete against each other to win a life changing cash prize of £100k. It was ten year old street dancer Akai Osei who won over the public and claimed the title of Got To Dance champion 2010.

Ten year old Akai, who has only been dancing for year, wowed the viewers and judges alike with a set of sophisticated moves, including head spins, body popping and backsliding. The audience gave him standing ovations and the judges awarded him three gold stars following both of his performances.

On his win, Akai said, “I can’t believe it, this is amazing. It’s been the best night of my life, I don’t know what I’ll do with the prize money yet, but I definitely want to give some to charity. I haven’t decided which one yet.”

Our Got To Dance judging panel comprises of Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Diversity Leader Ashley Banjo and West End star and movie actor Adam Garcia, who said of Akai’s victory:

Ashley Banjo:

“Firstly, he and his family should be so proud. He sums up this competition, he’s not professional, has only been dancing for a year and is only 10 years old and has just got to dance and he beats me hands down!”

Kimberly Wyatt:

“I’m so proud of Akai, he has been on point to the max and I have so much respect for him. I love his confidence. Amazing!”

Adam Garcia:

“He has incredible stage presence and is just born to dance. I’ve always loved what he does, everyone loves what he does. Just incredible.”

Host Davina McCall commented:

“I am so thrilled for Akai, but glad the viewers voted, I couldn’t have picked a winner, all of the finalists are amazing, they have put in such hard work. I’m going to get Akai to teach me some moves now.”

Got To Dance scoured the UK and Ireland, visiting 14 cities and covering thousands of miles to seek out the best dance crews, troupes and solo dancers of all style and ages. From thousands of applicants, almost 100 dancers aged from 4 to 82 auditioned in front of a live audience and the Got To Dance judging panel. The panel then narrowed these acts down to the Final 18 who performed in a series of live semi-final shows competing for the viewers’ votes to go through to Sunday 14 February’s live final.

Acts who competed in the final against Akai were:

Jukebox Juniors, a junior Cardiff based dance troupe, Matthew Koon, a 16 year old contemporary dancer, Glaswegian junior ballet group The Box, ten year old Perthshire contemporary dancer Emily Crow and MJ Latin, a Latin American style dance group from Preston.

Charlie Bruce wins So You Think You Can Dance final

So You Think You Can Dance, the BBC's hunt for the UK's best dancer, has been won by 19-year-old Charlie Bruce.

Charlie, from Leicester, won £100,000 and the opportunity to perform on the US version of the show.

She faced competition from just two other finalists, Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzen, after Robbie White was forced to pull out with a dislocated shoulder.

The final of the BBC One show also featured a live performance by Robbie Williams on his 36th birthday.

Williams, who sang the official Sport Relief single Morning Sun, could not resist showing off some of his own dance moves.

Afterwards, he told the show's host Cat Deeley: "I thought it was a chance to do a medley of all my dance routines."

The final saw each of the contestants perform six routines. In the absence of the injured Robbie White, former contestants who had been voted off in earlier weeks returned for routines in which they were partnered with the competing finalists.

The winner burst into tears when Deeley revealed she had won the most votes from the public and said she would "never forget" the experience.

The teenager said she was "absolutely speechless" at her success and, fighting back tears, added: "Thank you so much. I did it."

Tommy was voted into second place and Lizzie came third.

Arlene Phillips, who joined the show's judging panel following her controversial departure from Strictly Come Dancing, told Charlie: "You have just changed through the night and grown through the series. What you have done tonight is mega, honey, mega."

Fellow judge Nigel Lythgoe praised Charlie's "journey" and said the teenager "grew" throughout the series. He said her trip to Hollywood to perform on the US version of the show was the "chance of a lifetime".

Although So You Think You Can Dance was on its first series for the BBC, its US equivalent - also hosted by Deeley - is hugely successful with viewing figures of 20 million and is about to start a seventh series.