Got To Dance 2014 starts this weekend - and it's tougher than ever

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Got To Dance is back for its fifth series on Sky1 this weekend - and we're not exaggerating when we say it's tougher than ever.

Thanks to the bosses' decision to shift it to the summer, it's been sixteen months since the talent contest was on our screens. So, being the huge fans that we are here at Tellymix, we jumped at the chance to attend filming for the new run in May.

This time, the iconic 'dance domes' have been ditched, with London's Roundhouse being the new venue of choice for the audition stages.

But that's not the only change, as the new series brings with it a new format. The judges now have to choose six acts each to form their own teams, with each being featured in their own live show.

There's also been a tweak to the panel itself, as Adam Garcia has been welcomed back a one-series break, joining originals Ashley Banjo and Kimberly Wyatt.

We're particularly pleased about this, as although we have a soft spot for JLS's Aston Merrygold, last year's panel didn't cover as many bases - and we can't think of anyone better to represent the classical side of dance than Adam.

However, it seems presenter Davina McCall has taken on a reduced role , as we were told she wasn't present on the day we attended - meaning she wasn't there to support the acts as she headed out on stage.

Got to Dance - Series 05

And they needed all the support they could get, as after four years - with the previous run dubbed the 'series of excellence' - the competition is now incomprehensibly tough.

Hopefuls still required three gold stars to make it on to the judges' shortlist, but they have to work harder than ever to get them.

Some of the performers we saw completely blew us away as we watched from the sidelines - but just when as thought they had aced their try-outs, the judges dished out the reds. Acts that would be considered outstanding on Britain's Got Talent fail to make the grade here.

Despite this, Adam, Ashley and Kimberly always provide constructive, technical feedback, so the rejects can go away at least knowing they've learned something from the experience - and when they feel an act has been wronged, they plead their case for the others to change their mind.

This is where Got To Dance really shines, despite its derivative format. The talent is (almost) always top-notch. The judges get along very well - their expertise and the chemistry between them makes them the best judging panel on telly. And even though they don't sugar-coat their comments, the show maintains a feel-good vibe.

In our book, Got To Dance is unmissable viewing - so make sure you tune in to Sky1 HD this Saturday and Sunday at 8.00pm to catch the first two episodes.

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