“After the dance off with Pixie, when she went, and then that was my third dance off, I thought ‘it looks like curtains for me’. I’d like to think that the audience will get behind us in Liverpool, but I’m not sure, being from Manchester.” The live tour audiences get to vote on the best dancer of the evening, meaning the singer might finally get his hands on the title which just eluded him after a hard-fought final before Christmas that many thought was too close to call. I like someone who believes in their choreography, and she did. It was also Craig who told him ‘if you win or lose, you will go on from this point somewhere brilliant’. “Actually going on the tour is allowing me to have another chance to go out there and dance again with Kristina, and try and get as far as possible in this competition and win it.” Strictly Come Dancing Live comes to the ECHO arena on February 3-4.
“But that’s why I love this show, because you don’t know what’s going to happen. “Getting that close was heartbreaking as well,” he admits. And it made me a better dancer as well.” Judge Craig Revel Horwood was a hard task master, and it took until the final the weekend before Christmas for him to produce a 10 for Simon’s Argentine tango. And when I finally got the 10 at the end it felt like I’d made it.
All you can do is your best.” The 36-year-old Mancunian will be doing his best too when he and professional dance partner Kristina Rihanoff join other Strictly celebrities and pros in Liverpool for two nights next week. “It would be nice to win it on one of the evenings. It’s a popularity contest and there’s not a lot you can do as well. ” Simon is quick to pay tribute to his professional partner however. “Right from the beginning I said to her, ‘look I want you to know that I want to work hard and want to make you proud as well, and I want to go as far as possible’.
It’s a well-worn word in the TV talent show world that has the rest of us rolling our eyes.
But of all the Saturday night entertainers to go on a ‘journey’ in recent months, Simon Webbe must surely have travelled the furthest?
The Blue star’s Strictly Come Dancing arc took him from dance-off regular (he was saved by the judges no fewer than three times, including a shock quarter final head-to-head with Pixie Lott) to competition runner-up, losing out in the final moments to TV presenter Caroline Flack.
“I lived the fairytale,” he agrees during a catch-up ahead of the Strictly live shows at the ECHO arena next week. It will be nice to get back there because of the reception you get.
And there’s always debate about Strictly competitors who might have had some kind of perceived unfair advantage by using previous dance experience. You just jump into each week.” So at what point did he think he was in with a chance?
“You think to yourself – OK I’ve got a little bit of rhythm from being in a band,” says Simon. “But Latin and ballroom, I’d never done those in my life, and it was an experience. Blue singer Simon Webbe has strongly denied any romantic link with his Strictly Come Dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff.There have been persistent reports that the couple are dating off-stage, but Simon has dismissed them as “stupid”.Speaking just before the Strictly live tour kicks off at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, Simon said: “We are both passionate about dancing and we have a chemistry on the dancefloor but we are just great friends.” And Kristina said firmly: “We really enjoy working with one another but it’s unfair when the dancing gets overshadowed by these silly rumours.” The couple will be dancing their salsa and Argentine tango during the show. I can’t deny that it was disappointing to get so close to winning in the Strictly final but not take home the trophy.Simon, who grew up in Bordesley, said: “I feel this is a homecoming for me. “There’s less pressure on the tour but it’s still a competition and I want to win!