Well, this is my tenth, and final Strictly Come Dancing diary entry, which means that this amazing, and “fablass” (as Russell would say) journey must nearly be over.
I never in my wildest dreams expected to get as far as I have in this competition, and neither did my partner James – especially thinking back to those first training sessions, where I literally looked like a newborn calf as I stumbled clumsily across the studio floor.
James definitely put in some hard graft when it came to teaching me, and for his sake I’m so glad that all the work paid off and we had the chance to dance in Wembley.
Even Mr Jordan’s tough-guy image gave way to a girlie scream when we found out that we were through! All eight of us were thrilled to get through to this pivotal point in the competition, but on the flip side we were now down to the “nitty gritty”, as my mother would say.
Russ, Robbie and I looked at each other as if to say, “Here we go then, we’re up against the big boys now.”
James and I worked tirelessly on our tango, as we whipped our heads back and forth in a dramatic fashion. What’s interesting is that even James, who had been quite laidback about the whole competition, was now starting to up the ante.
Of course, we needed to pull a showstopper out of the bag for Wembley, but also, the famous glitterball trophy was suddenly in sight.
I have no idea how much longer this brilliant journey will last, but I will savour every second because I know that in years to come, whenever I think back to this incredibly happy time in my life, it will always give me a warm feeling inside. I honestly don’t know how I’ll adjust to a normal, sequin-free life.
What will I do with all those spare hours that I now spend training? How will Saturdays without the Strictly dance floor ever be glamorous? Will I get used to seeing myself in the mirror without the Strictly tan? And above all else, what will I do without James?
We have become incredibly close; he’s seen me at my best and worst, at my highest and at my most vulnerable. We rode every twist and turn of this rollercoaster together and I’ll miss him dearly.
And I’ve now made myself cry! I’d like to thank you all for your support so far; it really has meant the world. Keeep dancing! X
Strictly Come Dancing is on tonight at 7pm on BBC1.
This is an edited version of an article from the issue of Radio Times magazine that went on sale Tuesday 22 November.