Tuesday 24 September 2019

Ashley Roberts is motivated for Strictly final after ‘battle’ to get there

Joe Sugg also revealed his red hair was just a temporary spray-on.

Ashley Roberts is motivated for Strictly final after her ‘battle’ to get there (Guy Levy/BBC)
Ashley Roberts is motivated for Strictly final after her ‘battle’ to get there (Guy Levy/BBC)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Ashley Roberts has said she is more motivated to perform in the Strictly Come Dancing grand final as she has had to “battle” her way to get there.

The former Pussycat Dolls star and her dance partner Pasha Kovalev have been in the bottom two and in the dance-off for the last three weeks after failing to secure enough votes from the public, despite receiving high scores from the judges.

Asked how she is going to “win over” viewers, Roberts told Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show: “We’re doing a big number. We’re going to give it our all, we do that every week, but it’s the final, so we’ve got to go big, we’ve got tonnes of moving parts to this showdance.

Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev (left) have been in the dance-off three weeks running (Guy Levy/BBC)

“I think the fact we had to battle our way there makes me more motivated to go out there and have some fun, just enjoy it, and give them a good show.”

Evans described Roberts’ string of dance-offs as the “elephant in the room” and that he thinks it has been “unfair” that she was repeatedly not backed by the public.

Roberts said her showdance for Saturday’s final, to Birdy’s Keeping Your Head Up, is a “fun, uplifting one”.

“We just wanted to do something strong and empowering with the whole journey that we’ve been through,” she added.

All of the Strictly finalists and their dance partners appeared on the radio show, two days ahead of the last episode of the series.

Joe Sugg revealed that the red hair he debuted on the previous evening’s Strictly: It Takes Two was just a temporary “spray -on cheaty” red hair, but that he will dye it properly for the Grand Final.

The YouTube star previously pledged that he would colour his hair the same bright red as his dance partner Dianne Buswell if he made it to the final.

Sugg told Evans: “It was a practice run last night with the spray, but it will be the full thing on the night.”

He said he will not have a spray-on colour on the night, because “if I start sweating, which I will do, you’ll see it running down my face – it’s got to be the real deal.”

Fellow finalist Stacey Dooley was praised by her dance partner Kevin Clifton as the most improved celebrity he has danced with during his years on the show.

Broadcaster Dooley joked: “I was rubbish at the start, the others had something.”

Clifton said: “If you go and look at week two, the cha cha, you’ll see that it wasn’t so hot at the beginning.

“But then after that week we upped our hours, we’ve been doing 14-hour days of training ever since, that’s the difference. She’s just got better and better.”

Clifton, who has previously been in the final four times but has never won the show, joked that he is “already panicking” about this weekend’s final, and the pressure to finally take home the Glitterball trophy.

Talking about her Strictly journey, final finalist Faye Tozer said that she “literally broke down in tears” when she first learned she was invited to take part in the series, after years of hoping to appear.

The Steps star said that, early on, she was angling to be partnered with Giovanni Pernice.

“When we first started, we had a speed dating dance-off where we had to join in and dance with the boys, which was quite fun,” she said.

“It’s nice being passed around stuff, and I actually felt the strongest with Giovanni.”

Strictly Come Dancing’s Grand Final airs on Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One.

PA Media

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