It was a mixed weekend for Cork competitors on tv, with joy for Midleton's RDC dancers but an unexpected defeat for Anna Geary.
The 31 dancers from Billie-Jean’s Rhythm Dance Company won a cash prize of €50,000 when they were crowned the winners of Ireland's Got Talent on Saturday night. They will also star in their own tv special on TV3 later this year.
Dance teacher Billie-Jean Sargent said they were 'overjoyed' with the win. The group returned home to a hero's welcome in Midleton, with crowds gathering to greet them at Market Green Shopping Centre on Sunday evening.
"We are over the moon," a very hoarse Billie Jean told the Evening Echo. "We were screaming when we won and it has been constant talking since so I lost my voice! We didn’t get to bed until about four in the morning.
"We are overjoyed and so proud and just trying to absorb it all."
The group, whose dancers range in age from from 12 to 22, won out against thousands of acts who auditioned over a period of months before the live shows.
"It has been going on awhile and we couldn’t even tell people we were in the competition until we were on the telly, Billie Jean said. "We are delighted with the support from all over Ireland, not just Cork."
Three of her children perform in the group, including 14-year-old Nell, who has been battling an inoperable brain tumour since she was three. The excitement of the tv show was made all the sweeter when the family found out in January that the tumour has gotten smaller.
For now, the focus is on the excitement of the win. Billie Jean said they have plans for the prize money but won't reveal them until they discuss it with all the dancers and their families.
Tv presenter and former camogie star Anna Geary was hot favourite going into the final of Dancing With The Stars on Sunday night but was pipped at the post by singer Jake Carter.
The Milford native impressed the judges with her tango and charleston but it was 19-year-old Jake who took home the Glitterball trophy.