DANCING With The Stars contestants Erica Cody and Billy McGuinness have revealed how the dance show RTE has brought them a lifeline after Covid shut down its live stream.
Two leading musicians – who are used to performing at Dublin’s Vicar Street or The Olympia – make their debut on dance floor tonight.
Erica’s decision to sign up for DWTS came as a shock as she quickly became Ireland’s most popular R&B singer before Covid hit.
Erica, 26, told the Irish Sun on Sunday: “Before the pandemic, you didn’t get a minute to be a musician, it was festival after festival – then suddenly it stopped.
“So when I got the call about Dancing With The Stars, with everything going on and not knowing when we’d be able to do what we did, I thought this was kind of a big deal. great chance. I’ve always appreciated dancing and I had the time of my life. “
Guitarist Aslan Billy, 61, is the oldest dancer in the competition. But he says he and Erica are both performers and that DWTS is “an entertainment show” that gives them a chance to make money.
Billy, rocker Crazy Word said: “We’re not working right now, we can’t perform. With the 50% capacity rule, it costs us money to put on performances.
“I’m on the moon doing Dancing With The Stars. From Monday to Friday, I get up, go to the dance studio and dance to the music.
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“If it weren’t for that, I would have turned my thumb at home to write songs.”
Two dancers went missing from last week’s opening show after they tested positive for Covid.
And Billy revealed that he and Erica did their own bubble training in different dance studios and only met this week.
But after quickly becoming friends on the dance floor, they were even able to collaborate in the recording studio.
“We talked about this,” says Erica.
Billy added: “Because Erica was the only musician out of 12, I told her we needed to talk about music and what we were both doing.”
But for now, the musicians are focusing on their opening dance with Erica and professional partner Denys Samson performing samba to Kiss My (Uh Oh) by Anne-Marie and Little Mix.
And Billy will perform Monty Python’s hit Always Look on the Bright Side of Life with new professional dancer Hannah Kelly.
But Erica stresses that striding in front of a TV camera is a whole new ball game, from singing to stunt athletes.
“One of the most important parts of what we are doing is connecting with people and seeing their faces,” she said.
“This is a whole new world for me. I’m not performing for everyone here, I’m performing with my partner. We come here for fun but in a different way.”
Black lives are worth it too
Erica, who grew up in Baldoyle, north of Dublin, said she suffered a certain amount of racism which led to her becoming a strong supporter of Black Lives Matter.
She said: “I’m black and I’m Irish, and anti-racist so when it comes to anything about racism, I’m going to talk about it. And for the past two years, I’ve been very vocal when it comes to racism.
“All I can do is talk about my experience and hope that it reaches at least one person to make them understand what people of color go through every day.
“It’s still pretty bad, I’ve turned off a lot of words on Twitter.”
But she stressed that with the tragic death of Ashling Murphy this week, there are other issues that need to be addressed in Ireland.
“Whether it’s racism or attitudes towards women,” says Erica. It starts with hate and it ends with death. There is definitely a cloud over Ireland this week. ”
More than 500,000 people watched DWTS last weekend. It airs at 18:30 on RTE One tonight.
https://www.thesun.ie/tv/8206173/rte-dwts-covid-lifeline-erica-cody-billy-mcguinness/ Singers Erica Cody & Billy McGuinness Reveal That Dancing With The Stars Has Brought Us A Lifetime Of Covid