Tears of happiness as North East performers Lily and Joseph survive first Greatest Dancer live show

Dedicated performers Lily Straughan, 11 and eight-year-old Joseph Chow who train in Sunderland will dance in next week’s The Greatest Dancer live show.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 4:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 1:56 pm
Lily & Joseph performed on The Greatest Dancer on Saturday, February 1.
Copyright: BBC/Thames/Syco - Photographer: Tom Dymond
Lily & Joseph performed on The Greatest Dancer on Saturday, February 1. Copyright: BBC/Thames/Syco - Photographer: Tom Dymond

On Saturday, February 1, the Greatest Dancer contestants had their home city’s backing as they performed live for the first time on BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer.

When Geordie dance captain Cheryl, of Girls Aloud fame, picked the pair as one of her top three acts, she secured them their place in the competition's live rounds.

Competing to win £50,000, a chance to dance on Strictly Come Dancing and to become The Greatest Dancer, they will perform a different routine with a different theme each week.

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This week’s theme was Best of British and Lily Straughan, from Sunderland, and Joseph Chow, of Boldon, took on ‘The Seaside’ as their challenge.

In the VT, viewers saw them take a trip to the beach with Lily saying making it to the live shows “was like a dream come true.”

Cheryl reminisced on her dancing journey from age three and said she thought it was important that viewers saw “their fun side.”

They performed an energetic routine to Bruno Mars’ Runaway Baby surrounded by beach huts, deckchairs and ice creams ending with cheeky smiles and a thumbs up.

Lily and Joseph behind the scenes during rehearsals. Photo: Dino Georgiou Credit: BBC/Thames/Syco Copyright: ©FreemantleMedia Ltd/Simco Ltd 2020

Afterwards, Lily said “it was the best thing ever” and Joseph had tears of happiness as the mentors shared their comments.

Cheryl shared those tears and got on stage to give them a hug saying they were “really amazing” and that they are her “two other children.”

Oti Mabuse added that they went “full out” and that she “absolutely loved it.”

The dance couple scored 95.2% but it was down to the public to decide who should stay and it was The Queens and Ryan who were eliminated.

Lily and Joseph rehearse for The Greatest Dancer on BBC One.

The children have been training hard at The Worx – Dance Theatre Arts, in Sunderland and have continued to gain support from our city as their parents watch on with pride.

We can see more of Lily and Joseph on BBC One on Saturday, February 8 when the remaining ten acts will dance to stay in the competition.

Lily and Joseph pictured with teacher Keeran Greener at The Worx in Sunderland, where they train.