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Zara McDermott's boyfriend Sam Thompson speaks out on 'tough' Strictly journey

The Strictly star found herself in the bottom two last week

Zara McDermott and Sam Thompson
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
10 October 2023
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Zara McDermott was left heartbroken after she found herself in the Strictly Come Dancing dance-off this weekend. 

On Monday evening, her supportive boyfriend Sam Thompson opened up about the latest results and how it's taken a toll on her journey. 

Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott© getty
Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott have been dating since 2019

"It was really horrible to see her there," he said on Hits Radio. "I voted like you wouldn't believe! I literally called the number a thousand times - my arm hurt the amount I was calling, but to no avail."

Former Love Island star Zara and Graziano Di Prima found themselves in the bottom two alongside Nikita Kanda and Gorka Marquez after her Paso Doble failed to impress viewers. Luckily for Zara, the judges decided to save her from elimination. 

Sharing a more candid insight with listeners, Sam added: "It's tough. When someone trains that hard - you literally train for like eight hours a day, every single day - and after all of that you get told you're not good enough or you feel like you're not good enough and it must really, really suck. 

Zara McDermott and Graziano Di Prima, Nikita Kanda and Gorka Marquez in Sunday's results show© Guy Levy
Zara McDermott and Graziano Di Prima, Nikita Kanda and Gorka Marquez in Sunday's results show

"She didn't come back with tears flooding down her cheeks or anything, but she was visibly really upset, and I feel really bad for her. 

"You've got to be so brave to do a show like that, you really do. You can go again and next week you can be in the bottom two again and you've got to pick yourself back up, move forward and keep training with the same intensity." 

Trying to keep her spirits up, Sam concluded: "She came home and they always go, 'Come back better and stronger next week' and all that’s true, but if you do follow her on Instagram send her a little message and say, 'Hey keep your head up you’re going to be OK.'" 

WATCH: Zara McDermott's boyfriend looks awkward during Strictly talk

After the results were revealed on Sunday night's show, Zara took to Instagram to share how determined she is to stay in the competition. "We were totally gutted to be in the dance off this week," she wrote. "Especially after putting our heart and soul and so many hours into our routine. 

"Bless Graz, I have started with literally no dance or performance experience whatsoever and he has been putting all of his energy into teaching me, with so much kindness, patience and passion. For a moment I felt like I let him, myself and my family down but I reminded myself, this is what Strictly is all about!!" 

Zara McDermott and Graziano Di Prima during movie week© BBC
Zara and Graziano danced the Paso Doble on the weekend

She added: "You don't have to be the best dancer, you just have to be willing to learn and have fun. And that’s exactly what I am. I am beyond grateful to the judges for saving us, and I am going into next week with a positive mindset that I can turn this around and do even better next week. 

"I am going to dedicate myself to learning our next routine and I cannot wait for tomorrow, for training to begin and to be back on that dance floor with my best friend. I am doing this for myself and for those that have felt their confidence knocked, to show that we can come back stronger than before."

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