Belfast Telegraph

Gemma Atkinson: I have public to thank for Strictly semi-final place

She can’t quite believe how far she’s come.

Gemma Atkinson has shared her disbelief that Strictly Come Dancing viewers have kept her in the competition long enough to land a place in the semi-final.

The Emmerdale actress and her dance partner Aljaz Skorjanec were in joint last place on the leaderboard last Saturday along with Davood Ghadami, who ended up waltzing out of the competition.

However, despite not completely winning over the judges with her quickstep, Atkinson avoided the dreaded dance-off due to the public’s support.

She told Strictly spin-off programme It Takes Two how grateful she is to have the backing of viewers.

Atkinson said: “It’s horrible because when you’re at the bottom as well, you think obviously the judges didn’t like the dance as much as we felt we liked it, so you do get panicked.

“But when your name is called it’s such a relief because it literally is the public who put us in the semi-final. It means so so much.

“I can’t believe people have enjoyed watching me try and dance, watching (Skorjanec’s) choreography, they’ve enjoyed it with us and that’s what we wanted to do.”

Skorjanec said: “To get to this stage of the competition, for Gemma who gets up at 4.30 every morning, sees me and then we rehearse for eight hours, she never complains.

“It’s just incredible how much you’ve improved from week one, to be in the semi-final, it’s amazing for anyone.”

Atkinson, who has yet to land in the bottom two on the BBC One show, said that despite being so near to the end of the series, she is still wracked with nerves every Saturday night.

Speaking of her quickstep, she said: “I did love it, I loved the song, the concept, I loved the fact that we just went for it, and I had a really good night on Saturday.

“I mean, the nerves were still there – they always are – but it was fun.”

Atkinson will face the semi-final alongside Debbie McGee, Alexandra Burke, Joe McFadden and Mollie King.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday at 6.45pm.

From Belfast Telegraph