Standing in front of the judges and waiting for their verdict is the most daunting experience. It’s not as bad as the results show — that’s just hideous — but those few seconds when you’re waiting for them to say what they think are agonising. I feel like I want to be sick.
Behind our backs Gorka and I have our fingers crossed, hoping the feedback will be good! After I’ve danced, I’m on such a massive high that hearing something negative really hits me hard.
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Shirley, Bruno, Craig and Darcey enjoying my dance means the world to me and I work so hard every week to impress them. But if there is something negative or critical, I have worked in this industry too long to take it personally or hold it against them.
They’re doing their jobs and as long as they explain how I can improve then I’m happy, because all I want is to keep becoming a better dancer.
If I make the smallest mistake, Shirley will spot it. When I’m dancing ballroom, I need to make sure I place my heel first and then the ball of my foot, because she will definitely point that out if I get it wrong. She is technical, but as a ballroom novice that is exactly what I need, so I love her for it.
Craig Revel Horwood
All my friends and family were getting annoyed with him for not giving me a ten, but everyone knows that Craig is the hardest judge to please! If he doesn’t award me with a ten it’s for a reason, and if he explains where I went wrong it gives me something to work on and improve — having said that, a ten from Craig would probably make me cry!
Bruno is the funniest man I’ve ever known! When we went to sell poppies at Paddington Station for Remembrance Day, he lit up the whole place with his energy. I thought that perhaps he turned it on for the cameras and couldn’t possibly be that enthusiastic every day, but he is! He’s just a bright, colourful bundle of love.
She is a princess: flawless, even down to the way she walks and holds a room. She and Shirley are the Queens of Strictly. They are both so elegant — I wish I could be like that! And yet they’ve got time for joking around and having a chat — they’re like two girlfriends. I’ve never seen anything apart from love from either of them for the other, despite the rumours otherwise.