Belfast Telegraph

'Nervy' Daniel hoping to give his Strictly hopes a major lift

By Claire Williamson

Daniel O'Donnell has revealed his fears for this week's Strictly Come Dancing live show as he attempts to do lifts in the routine for the first time.

The Donegal crooner, who has sold more than 10 million records around the globe and has a legion of dedicated fans, has made it through to week four of the BBC show with his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff.

Last week the 53-year-old took on the Cha Cha Cha for Movie Week - where he became Grease's Danny Zuko, dancing to Summer Nights.

Speaking on Strictly Come Dancing's BBC2 spin-off show It Takes Two, Daniel revealed that this week he was dancing the American Smooth and was worried about the lifts, which are part of the routine.

However, partner Kristina batted away any worries, telling the Irish singer to "believe in himself" as she spoke of her pride for him.

"I'm a bit worried for Kristina because there are lifts and I'm afraid maybe come Sunday she won't be alive," said Daniel.

"But I will try to keep her safe."

He added: "It's not about the lifting, it's the landing that's the problem."

Reflecting on last week's performance, Daniel quipped that his John Travolta quiff was worth 10 points alone.

He admitted the amount of nerves he felt each week had been the biggest shock.

He said: "I'm so nervous when I get on the floor. I hope this week I won't be as nervous.

"I thought about many things that might happen when I did Strictly. Would it be difficult? Would I remember the routines? I had not accounted for being so nervous. I'm just taken by surprise."

Kristina quickly jumped to his defence and told him to "stop listening to negative things and believe in yourself".

She said: "It's (the nerves) a normal thing for everyone, it doesn't matter who is doing it. I'm so proud of you, Daniel. I think you are incredible. You need to stop listening to negative things and believe in yourself, because you are fantastic."

She added: "I know Cha Cha Cha was very out of your comfort zone and the whole Danny Zuko look as well. On Tuesday he said: 'I don't know if I can do it, I'm not that kind of arrogant guy, I don't know if I can act it out'.

"Then he came on Wednesday and was a completely different person. He went home and thought about it and this is why I'm so impressed. You always rise to the occasion. I think you are fantastic. You are absolutely wonderful, you need to forget all these other crazy comments."

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC 1 tonight at 6.30pm.

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