Zara McDermott has opened up about her relationship with boyfriend Sam Thompson and his feelings about her doing Strictly Come Dancing, revealing that it's "not always completely balanced" for the couple.
The 26-year-old Love Island star is currently partnered up with Italian professional Graziano Di Prima on the BBC One show and spends most of her time in training for Saturday night.
When asked how she's balanced her relationship with the Strictly experience, Zara told OK! in an exclusive interview that Made in Chelsea 's Sam has been "amazing" throughout.
“I feel like there’s just a level of understanding from every side that Strictly is all encompassing, and it has to be if you want to do well in the competition,” she said.
“You have to put the hours into training. You have to be really dedicated. Even when I get home, I’m watching my routine over and over again. Sam is amazing, he literally watches with me and I show him videos from the day.”
Zara added Sam, who hosted a Channel 4 documentary on his ADHD diagnosis last year, is fully supportive of her dancing dreams.
“I think relationships are not always completely balanced,” she said. “Sometimes someone needs a bit more support, sometimes the other one does – and that’s how I see relationships in general to be honest. It’s all about communication, you know? You only get to do Strictly once!”
As for Graziano, his pro dancer wife Giada Lini is also busy training Italian celebs. “My wife is in Rome and she does the same show in Italy,” he said. Zara added, “We’re talking to Giada all through the day as well, we video call her.”
Outside of training, the two couples have grown close. “She’s part of my family,” Graziano said of Zara. “I think she sends more messages to my wife than me.”
“The other day, Graziano texted, ‘Where are you?’ and I was like, ‘I’m on the phone to Giada – soz!’” Zara chuckled.
“We are part of each other’s families and each other’s lives, and I think we will be for the foreseeable. You build such a close bond and partnership, you get to know each other so quickly that it’s like a really unbreakable bond.”
The pair landed in the bottom two during Movie Week despite scoring an impressive 25 points from the judges.
She went up against radio presenter Nikita Kanda in the dance-off but was ultimately saved by the judges.
Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturdays at 6:30pm on BBC One.
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