Bobby Brazier, a Strictly Come Dancing finalist, has spoken up about his time on the programme and how it has shaped him.
The EastEnders star, 20, will compete against Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola, as well as Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin, for the glitterball trophy with partner Dianne Buswell.
And, after being in the bottom two twice and experiencing some really emotional moments, Bobby has claimed that Strictly and Dianne have caused him to lose his ‘zen,’ but he’s acquired a lot in the process.
‘I like to believe that perhaps I’ve taken a little bit of Dianne, the resilience and determination and visionariness and creativeness and dancery-ness,’ Bobby told Metro.co.uk and other reporters before of the final.
‘It’s more than just being able to move so well, it’s the resilience and determination and all those things and I really hope that I can take those things with me too.’
Dianne chimed in: ‘And I’ve definitely taken a little bit of zen from Bobby, it works both ways!’
‘I think I’ve lost a little bit of zen,’ he hit back.
Bobby is taking more than Dianne’s’resilience and resolve’ with him, as he described how some of her’subtleties’ have created some of his fondest memories.
He said: ‘Her subtle kind of things that make her an individual that you start to notice after spending so much time with someone, there’s things that I’ll never forget that I can’t put my finger on but it’s just Dianne.’
‘I’m a little weirdo!’ she laughed, before giving her answer to her favourite moments: ‘I actually think sometimes even the moments that we don’t think are such a highlight make this whole experience what it is because it makes the highs even higher.
‘Like when we have our not so peak-ish moments, for me, there’s this drive and resilience and work ethic to make the next thing better, so even those moments make the highs really special.
‘For me it’s not only about those high moments, it is also about the low moments that create this magical experience, that is a once in a lifetime.’
Dianne previously discussed the significance of their show dance in the final to a La La Land Medley, claiming it is related to her projections for Bobby’s future.
She said: ‘When I first met Bobby, he was just something really, really special and I thought, a star in the making.
‘For me, this is showing that anything is possible and it’s Bobby going to Hollywood basically and I truly believe that one day Bobby will be in Hollywood.
‘I do believe he’s going to be something massive because just knowing him and seeing his hard work, just the way he is with people, just everything about him.
‘It’s the small things for me that makes him this beautiful star and even if he doesn’t see it now I truly believe he will be something magical and this is a little journey to get him to Hollywood.
‘If I can play a small part in helping him achieve a bigger goal in the future, whenever that is, then I think it’s going to be something we’ll remember together.’
Bobby, on the other hand, isn’t so confident about his future in Hollywood, admitting that he’s not sure Hollywood is on his bucket list.
‘I don’t know, I just want to be good at what I do and that’s what’s next for me, just learning and mastering a craft,’ he said.
In addition to their La La Land performance, Bobby and Dianne will sing their couple’s choice, This Woman’s Work by Maxwell, as an homage to his mother, Jade Goody.
Bobby’s father Jeff, who also shares son Freddie Brazier, 19, with the late Big Brother star, wrote a poignant statement about how pleased he was after they first performed the emotive act.
Speaking about the impact his Strictly journey has had on his family and loved ones, Bobby said: ‘I realised the other day, which I’m really grateful to have re-remembered, it’s that the reason doing stuff like this is so fun and so cool is because it’s not just me that experiences it.
‘It’s my team, my friends and family, my nearest and dearest that all experience it to the same level I do – I’m in the final so they’re in the final, and that’s the best thing in the world, I love that so much.
‘To get to bring my best friends to cool things I’m able to do, that’s what makes it fun.’
Talking about being in the final, Bobby admitted he feels ‘lucky’ and said ‘it would be the cherry on top’ to win.
He added: ‘This is what I wanted, I wanted to experience all of Strictly, and to know that I’m not going to miss out on a dance and I get to do as many dances as I possibly could’ve with Dianne, that’s what I wanted.’
Dianne echoed his sentiment, saying she feels ‘lucky’ and ‘honoured’ being a part of the final three, ‘who are all incredible’.
She went on: ‘I also feel really, really proud, I feel just so proud of how far Bobby has come and to make it in the final with such an incredible dancer is a really lovely feeling.’
Talking about the chance to win, she added: ‘It would be a real magical moment, I’ve dreamt of this moment many, many times, and I feel like there’s been many times that I’ve gone, “Oh, maybe not this year, maybe not this year, maybe not this year,” seventh year, possibly it could happen!
‘Seven is a good number, and for Bobby because it’s his only chance to to do this, and also I’ve just had such a brilliant time with Bobby and I feel like he really deserves it. It would be an absolute dream come true.’
The Strictly Come Dancing final airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer.