Cheryl moved to tears by performer with Down's Syndrome on Greatest Dancer
A freestyle performer with Down’s Syndrome left Cheryl in tears after his audition on BBC One’s new dancing competition show.
Andrew, 21, dazzled the audience with his energetic performance on The Greatest Dancer.
The former Girls Aloud star told him: “I just feel really moved by the whole thing.
“That was amazing and to watch you and see your excitement and see how much you thrive from an audience is such a special moment.
“You clearly need to be doing this more because it does something for your soul, you’re in your element.”
Hopefuls competed in the audition stage in the first episode of the show, performing in front of a mirror hiding the audience and dance captains Cheryl, Oti Mabuse and Matthew Morrison.
Following the audition stage, the three dance captains will then whittle down the contestants to just nine acts, who they will mentor through live shows.
At least 75% of the audience must vote for an act through the secret mirror for them to progress to the next stage.
Once three-quarters have pressed their buttons the mirror will open and the performer can continue their dance in front of the crowd.
The winner, voted for by viewers, will take home a £50,000 prize and the opportunity to perform as a guest on Strictly later in the year.
After the mirror opened, Morrison told Andrew: “That was absolutely incredible, I think you’re going to inspire a lot of people with that performance you just gave us, so thank you so much.”
Mabuse said: “You are amazing, I think you’re a total showman and once the mirror opened you were a whole different person.”
The performer, who was accompanied to his audition by his mother Donna, reassured her before the audition that he would not fall over, telling her: “I’m a balanced boy, like Billy Elliot.”
Afterwards, she told host Alesha Dixon: “I’m beyond proud, he just comes to life with dance.”
Also scoring 75% of the audience’s approval was Welsh all-girl Latin formation group KLA.
After the mirror opened Mabuse, a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, joined them on stage to cha-cha with them.
There was disappointment for ballet dancer Yassaui Mergaliyev from Kazakhstan, who only secured 72% of the vote.
The audience’s decision came as a disappointment for the judges, with one audience member saying: “They got it wrong, it’s like Brexit part two.”
After his audition, Mergaliyev said: “I don’t know what happened, I tried my best.
“I finished and I was actually thinking maybe they opened up the doors but obviously not.”
It prompted host Jordan Banjo to go up on stage and ask the crowd: “Just out of curiosity, what are you actually looking for? I’m really confused.”
Morrison said: “I wish I had an override button, everything was so amazing, I don’t understand.”
Cheryl added: “People in the audience that are maybe not technically minded don’t see the quality that we just had on the stage, which is then frustrating for us.”
Mabuse was also distressed he did not make it through saying: “Thirteen pirouettes just for us and he’s like ‘come on’ and it didn’t open. I’m really disappointed.”
There was also disappointment for Pan’s People co-founder Dee Wilde, who auditioned with her troupe Dee Dee Wilde and Pan’s Fans.
The group of flares-wearing disco dancers, who unrolled a banner saying “it’s never too late to dance”, failed to curry favour with the crowd and Mabuse said: “It felt like a fun aerobics class.”
More successful was street dance group The Frobacks, who left Cheryl flustered when one performer ripped his shirt off in the middle of their routine.
Mabuse and Dixon were also tickled by the performance, with the host telling the dance captain: “If we weren’t black we would be red right now.”
Also scoring a place at the callbacks was Cheryl super-fan James Clifton, 23, who spoke of his dream of coming face-to-face with his idol.
After the mirrors opened during his performance to her hit Crazy Stupid Love, Cheryl joined him on stage to dance and she told him: “You put in so much energy. As soon as it started everyone was like ‘Yes James’ and was on your side, including the captains.”
She added: “Thank you so much for the love and appreciation, i really appreciate that.”
Morrison was less convinced by his moves, telling him: “The dance vocabulary wasn’t there for me, I don’t think you’re going to win £50,000 but you got what you wanted so I’m happy for you.”
They crowd was also impressed by contemporary dancer Ellie, who left Mabuse in tears with her soulful performance.
She told the hopeful: “I loved how emotional that was. I would love to work with you because I feel we could take it up a notch.”
The Greatest Dancer continues next Saturday on BBC One.