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The Greatest Dancer is a British dance competition television series created by Simon Cowell and produced by Syco Entertainment. The first BBC programme created by Cowell, The Greatest Dancer sees previously undiscovered dance acts perform live weekly for Cheryl, Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison (the "Dance Captains") and a studio audience in a competition to win £50,000 and a chance to perform on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Greatest Dancer
The Greatest Dancer.jpeg
GenreDance competition
Created bySimon Cowell
Directed byJulia Knowles
Presented by
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes8 (as of 23 February 2019)
Executive producer(s)
  • Amelia Brown
  • Nigel Hall
  • Louise Hutchinson
  • Iain Peckham
  • Clara Marshall
Production location(s)ICC Birmingham (auditions)
LH2 Studios (live shows)
Running time60–70 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkBBC One
Picture formatHDTV: 1080i
Original release5 January 2019 (2019-01-05) –
Related showsRising Star
External links

The first series aired on BBC One on Saturdays from 5 January to 23 February 2019 and was won by 14-year-old solo dancer Ellie Fergusson from Livingston, West Lothian, who was mentored by Mabuse.[1] A second series is scheduled to air in 2020.[2] On 8 August 2019, it was confirmed that Curtis Pritchard will join the 2020 series as the new receptionist.[3] Also in 2020, Todrick Hall will join the show as the fourth Dance Captain.

Series 1 (2019)Edit


A non-televised pilot for the show was filmed in February 2018 at Hammersmith Apollo in London.[4]


The auditions took place at ICC Birmingham in August 2018[5] and were divided into three episodes, with one episode aired each Saturday from 5 to 19 January 2019. Auditioning acts were allowed to consist of any number of members, and each person participating was required to be at least 7 years old.[6] Each auditioning act performed in front of a one-way mirror and each audience member had a light to turn on during each audition that they liked; only acts for whom at least 75 percent of the audience turned on their lights would qualify for the callbacks.[7] The format was adapted from the Israeli television music competition franchise Rising Star.[8]


The callbacks episode aired on 26 January. From the acts that had qualified for the callbacks, the Dance Captains selected nine as finalists, with each Dance Captain mentoring three acts.

Live ChallengeEdit

Each Saturday from 2 to 16 February, the remaining acts performed to stay in the competition. Each act was assigned a different theme of dance, while each audience member had a light to turn on during each performance that they liked. After all acts had performed, the public were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite acts. The first live show saw the act that received the fewest votes eliminated, while the second and third shows each saw the two least popular acts eliminated, leaving four to compete in the final show.


The final took place on 23 February. Each of the four remaining acts made a collaboration with their respective Dance Captain, and the act that received the fewest votes from the public was eliminated. The three remaining acts then each performed a reprise of the dance they performed in the auditions stage. The act that received the most votes from the public was crowned the winner and received £50,000 and a chance to perform on the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Live show detailsEdit


Act[9] No. of
Hometown Genre Dance Captain Result
Ellie 1 Livingston Contemporary Oti Mabuse Winner
on 23 February 2019
Harry & Eleiyah 2 Various Contemporary Cheryl Runner-up
on 23 February 2019
KLA 8 South Wales Latin formation Oti Mabuse Runner-up
on 23 February 2019
James & Oliver 2 Hatfield, Hertfordshire Contemporary Matthew Morrison Fourth place
on 23 February 2019
Dane Bates Collective 9 Various Contemporary Cheryl Eliminated
on 16 February 2019
Frobacks 4 London Street Cheryl Eliminated
on 16 February 2019
Company Jinks 14 Various Commercial Matthew Morrison Eliminated
on 9 February 2019
Prospects Fraternity 13 London Street Matthew Morrison Eliminated
on 9 February 2019
The Globe Girls 5 London Commercial Oti Mabuse Eliminated
on 2 February 2019

Week 1 (2 February)Edit

Week 2 (9 February)Edit

Week 3: Semi-final (16 February)Edit

Week 4: Final (23 February)Edit

Dance 1: Performance with Dance Captain (one act eliminated)
Dance 2: Reprise of audition dance

Presenters and captainsEdit


     Main presenter of The Greatest Dancer
     Receptionist of The Greatest Dancer
     Dance Captain of The Greatest Dancer
Cast member Series
1 2
Alesha Dixon
Jordan Banjo
Amelia Wilson
Curtis Pritchard
Matthew Morrison
Oti Mabuse
Todrick Hall


On 19 July 2018, it was announced that Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo would host the programme.


On 10 August 2018, it was announced that the show mentors ("Dance Captains") were Cheryl, Matthew Morrison and Oti Mabuse. For the 2020 series, dancer Todrick Hall joined as the fourth captain.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Millions tune in to watch Lothians teenager Ellie Fergusson win The Greatest Dancer". Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  2. ^ Warner, Sam (23 February 2019). "The Greatest Dancer will return for a second series on BBC One". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Curtis Pritchard joins BBC One's The Greatest Dancer". Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Cheryl stars in BBC talent show pilot". BBC News. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2019 – via
  5. ^ Probert, Sarah (10 August 2018). "Why people are queuing outside ICC in Birmingham this morning". birminghammail. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  6. ^ "About the Show". BBC. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  7. ^ Warner, Sam (12 January 2019). "The Greatest Dancer's Jordan Banjo tells off audience". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  8. ^ "The Greatest Dancer: How does it work? Everything you need to know about Cheryl's new show". 5 January 2019.
  9. ^ "The Final 9". BBC. Retrieved 24 February 2019.

External linksEdit