'I couldn't believe it could all go wrong, so fast' - Laura Whitmore 'upset' by Strictly romance rumours
Laura Whitmore has scraped through to the next week on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing after a tense dance-off with rival Tameka Epsom.
The Bray native (31) and her partner Giovanni Pernice performed a fiery salsa routine to Rhythm of the Night from the movie Moulin Rouge as they fought to stay in the competition.
While clearly delighted to get through to the next round, Laura also admitted that all the publicity speculating on a romance between herself and her dance partner has left her "so upset".
She finally broke her silence on how difficult the stories about herself and hunky Giovanni have been, given that she's good friends with his former fiancée Georgia May Foote.
"My problem is that people have no idea who I am. To them, I'm this TV presenter with blonde hair who gets linked to every single man I interview or stand next to," she said.
She said the reason she signed up for the popular BBC show was in an attempt to throw off her "sex kitten" image.
"I wanted to do Strictly because it's a family audience - there will be a lot of people who don't know anything about me," she said.
"It's the one show where people get a chance to see you for who you are. Then this whole thing with Giovanni blew up in my face. I couldn't believe it could all go so wrong, so fast.
"Georgia - who is a good friend of mine - has been lovely but I felt things had been spoilt before I'd even got a chance to start."
She said that she is currently dating but definitely hasn't got any romantic feelings towards Giovanni as apart from being her friend's ex, he is too young for her at 26 years old.
Saturday's dance-off proved a tough test for the judges as EastEnders star Tameka Empson and her partner Gorka Marquez danced Tango to The Heat is On from the movie Beverly Hills Cop and had plenty of support from the public.
But it was clearly a close call for judges Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood.
Craig described it as "a bit of a nightmare" as both couples were extraordinary.
"One couple really flew through the routine better than they had previously and the other couple I thought even bettered that.
"The couple I thought bettered that was Laura and Giovanni," he said.
Laura will now join the remaining 12 celebrities who'll perform once more for the public's entertainment in next Saturday's programme.
After being eliminated last night, Tameka said it "feels gutting" to leave the competition in the third week, and she was "really enjoying" the experience.
"I did have injuries today but I didn't really want to focus on that. It was always going to be tough in the whole competition but I'm really gutted that I'm leaving today," she said.