Daniel O'Donnell

Daniel’s Strictly Diary Week 6

STANDING at the top of the stairs waiting for the Strictly results to come through is the worst feeling in the world.
I love Strictly, but it’s very traumatic waiting to know your fate. Even if it’s not you that’s leaving it’s going to be one of your friends, and that’s just as difficult.
As luck would have it, Kristina and myself were the first to be put through to this weekend. It was a huge relief. In a moment of euphoria I screamed and lifted Kristina off her feet.
Craig, the toughest judge on the panel, said I have a dancer lurking inside me. Even if I can’t find him, the fact that he’s lurking is good enough for me.
Then came the blow when we lost Iwan Thomas. Iwan, Peter Andre and myself were the three amigos. We struck up a bond straight away on the show.

After the high of surviving the Charleston, I’m back to earth with a bang. This week I have to learn the Cha Cha Cha because Kristina and myself are performing as Sandy and Danny from Grease. My touring partner Mary Duff and myself did this routine in my rock ‘n’ roll show. But now I’ve got to do the Cha Cha Cha at the same time and it’s overwhelming.

The Cha Cha Cha is not going well. I can’t get the moves into my head never mind my feet. When I get nervous my legs go weak and that makes it worse. I feel like running away. Later in the evening I put on my dancing shoes at home and practise, practise, practise.

What I need to master this week is so difficult, but I’m getting a handle on it. I realise that the start of every week is going to be the same because every week is a new dance. Kristina tells me not to be so hard on myself. I’ll just have to learn to deal with it and keep telling myself that I can do it.

I’m feeling a lot better about myself as the rehearsals go well. That night Kristina takes me to the International Ballroom Dancing Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. I love watching everyone dancing in their beautiful costumes. The audience is invited up to dance and Kristina and myself take to the floor. People recognise us from Strictly and wish us luck.
My niece, Trish, fills me in on the reaction I’m getting back home. I’m absolutely amazed at the response. There are banners displayed everywhere around Donegal wishing me luck. I hear that locals have even made trips to the North asking people to vote for me. I didn’t anticipate this level of interest, but I’m absolutely delighted that the people at home are enjoying the fun of it.