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Strictly Come Dancing: How the show has changed the lives of its finalists

Gemma Atkinson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McFadden, Debbie McGeePicture copyright
Man Levy/BBC

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The unbelievable 4: Gemma Atkinson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McFadden and Debbie McGee

“It is a actually life-changing factor that we have finished. It appears like we have been altered, in a very great way.”

Joe McFadden is musing on his Strictly expertise earlier than he steps on to the dance ground for the final time through the present’s grand ultimate at 18:30 GMT on BBC One on Saturday.

“It is made me a lot braver and extra adventurous than I used to be earlier than,” he says, speaking concerning the 13-week curler coaster that is taken him from ballroom newbie to debonair dancer.

Adventurous is one phrase for the daring cantilever transfer he dance accomplice Katya Jones executed within the semi-final.

‘Past thrilled’

Jones hoisted the previous Holby Metropolis actor to his ft in a difficult stability throughout their Argentine Tango which McFadden jokes has seen “medical doctors’ appointments go up 300%”, due to followers trying it.

“We’re past thrilled,” he beams, talking forward of the finalists’ press convention on their final day of rehearsals. “It is unbelievable to nonetheless be right here. It is beautiful to have that arduous work recognised.”

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Man Levy/BBC

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Joe McFadden’s gravity-defying transfer

He isn’t the one one of many 4 finalists to be pinching themselves at getting via – and to really feel that the present is life-changing.

Actress and radio host Gemma Atkinson, singer Alexandra Burke and presenter Debbie McGee are additionally within the ultimate 4.

Former X Issue winner Burke recollects that when she discovered she was to be on Strictly, she screamed a lot she misplaced her voice – and she or he was showing in a present in Cardiff that evening.

The singer has maybe has had to deal with greater than most, as her mom Melissa Bell died shortly after it was introduced she was showing on the present.

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Man Levy/BBC

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Alexandra offers Debbie “Flexie” McGee a run for her cash

“On the time I used to be going via a lot, after which after all, as quickly as we began, that was a really laborious time for me,” she says.

“However to have this as an incredible distraction, a blessing in disguise, one thing I have been in a position to give attention to and likewise as effectively to get probably the most superb friendship with Gorka out of it, has been completely out of this world.”

Burke says Strictly was her mum’s “favorite present”, and provides: “My mum was simply probably the most superb lady who gave me a lot power and she or he nonetheless does to at the present time. Every part I do is for my household, so I believe she’d be proud.”

She admits to being “fairly emotional” at reaching the ultimate, including: “My spotlight has been assembly Gorka and making a good friend.”

‘You are a group’

Gemma Atkinson, the actress and radio presenter, says: “It has been much more than I anticipated. I did not assume it might be so mentally concerned – I believed I might simply be taught to bop.

“Since assembly Aljaz [Skorjanec], and him being my dance accomplice, I really feel like there’s much more to it. Each week, we have gone out desirous to do greater than what you are bodily able to, not letting him down. You are feeling such as you’re a group. I by no means anticipated to be that concerned in it.”

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Man Levy/BBC

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Gemma and Aljaz danced to Downtown within the Blackpool Tower ballroom

She provides: “Being on Strictly has simply been probably the greatest, most pleasurable experiences of my life. Me and Aljaz have been the primary couple to bop on the Strictly dance ground of 2017. The strain was on to begin the sequence with a bang. On the finish of the dance, I bear in mind he whispered in my ear – ‘you have finished it child, first one down’.

“I’ve by no means danced in my life. I by no means did stage college or drama college. Placing on a present each Saturday is new to me. I hope I encourage different girls to assume, ‘if she will be able to do it, I can do it and all’.”

‘I misplaced who I used to be’

And McGee says that her expertise has introduced her “nothing however happiness”.

“I’ve beloved every part about it – largely due to Giovanni [Pernice, her dance partner],” she explains. “He is taught me much more than simply studying to bop. He has nurtured me via so much. I could not think about having finished it with out having him as a accomplice.

“After [husband] Paul [Daniels] died, I sort of misplaced who I used to be. And I believe Strictly has given me my confidence again. I am going to bear in mind my Strictly expertise as being a time that introduced happiness again into my life.”

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Man Levy/BBC

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Debbie and Giovanni did a routine to Reminiscence from Cats in Musicals week

She describes Strictly as “a household” – and that any unfavourable press or social media feedback “just isn’t even 1%” of the general expertise.

“Every part else is so optimistic and completely happy that it does not have an effect on you a lot. Every part about Strictly is a contented expertise.”

All of them say they hope to hold on dancing after the ultimate – regardless that after all, solely one among them can carry the glitterball trophy on Saturday evening.

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