The Greatest Dancer’s Matthew Morrison finds it “hard” when the public axe good acts

The audience controls the auditions in Simon Cowell's new BBC One show

Matthew Morrison says he gets frustrated when the all-powerful public sends talented acts home on Simon Cowell’s new BBC One show The Greatest Dancer.


The talent contest, Cowell’s first ever project for the BBC, hits our screens next weekend.

It sees ‘dance captains’ Morrison, Oti Mabuse and Cheryl lead the search for the UK’s greatest dancer across all genres.

The twist is that the panel have no say during the auditions – as the power lies entirely with the public.

Contestants initially perform in a dance studio, with an audience watching on the other side of a two-way mirror.

If three quarters of the crowd votes to approve the hopeful, the mirror opens and they advance to the callbacks.

No matter how technically adept they are, acts will go home if they fail to win over punters.


Morrison, an experienced dancer and former star of Glee, admits he sometimes struggles with the results.

“It’s hard to sit there as someone who has studied dance, but it comes down to the general population’s take on dance,” he told The Guardian.

“It can be a great thing and it can also be a bad thing because they don’t understand the hours and the commitment and the sacrifice it takes to be a great dancer.

“But perhaps there was something in them that didn’t connect.”

Nigel Hall, head of television at Cowell’s production firm Syco, made no apologies for the tough format.

“You can’t be a star in showbiz if people don’t want to see you,” he remarked.

“Often it wasn’t the best technical dancers but the dancers who had that heart and passion and dedication that received the 75% and so opened the mirrors.


“As Simon often says, you have to have the likeability factor!”

The dance captains will have some power during the callbacks, when they decide which acts progress to the live shows.

Eventually, the winner will receive a £50,000 cash prize and the chance to perform on next year’s Strictly Come Dancing.


Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Diversity member Jordan Banjo present the show.

The Greatest Dancer kicks off next Saturday at 8.00pm on BBC One.