We caught up with the well-fancied Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev as they prepared for the fourth weekend of Strictly Come Dancing to see how their routine was shaping up. When we say “well-fancied”, we mean by the judges and each other, of course. They talked sexy outfits, vain contestants and dating opportunities…
So are you gonna win?
Kara: Are we gonna win? Oh my goodness, thatâs forward thinking! It seems like such a marathon. We’re only on the fourth dance and Iâm shattered. When you watch the Saturday show from your sofa, you just think: âOh, doesnât that look like fun!â? I mean it is the funnest thing Iâve ever done, but my god, it is the toughest thing Iâve ever done as well.
What are you dancing this week?
K: The Charleston!
K: Errrmmm, yes it is quite. Iâm trying to do some sit-ups in between the breaks today. The last two weeks have been quite elegant, so yeah this is a bit moreâ¦
Artem: Weâre trying to go for different stuff.
K: Yeah, different stuff every week.
So how sexy is it?
K: Itâs just small this week. Thereâs not much going on, itâs just skirt and top.
Is that coming off by any chance? Iâm not sure if that happens in the Charleston?
K: No, no! I hope it wonât be coming off! I donât want any more wardrobe malfunctions. Itâs just a Charleston dress this week, so sort of tassely…
You do often wear quite sexy outfits. How does it feel being the eye candy of the show?
K: Oh my goodness, I dunno. I guess you donât think like that. All the jobs Iâve ever done Iâve got used to wearing quite small things so it doesnât seem so daunting anymore. Iâm not too worried about that really. Iâm 27 and Iâm not too worried about wearing anything. Iâve got my limits, but as long as Iâm comfortable, Iâm fine.
In a way youâre kind of a sex symbol arenât you?
K: I think when youâre a young girl in the industry Iâm in, you tend to go for the similar roles, but you donât look at yourself that way. If you go for the roles, you get the roles I guess you are right for. But Iâve always played different things. I guess itâs lovely to be told that, but you donât look at yourself like that..
You two are getting on famously. Kara, youâve said heâs gorgeous. I presume this is mutual and works both ways? Do you think Karaâs gorgeous?
A: Who wouldnât?
K: *laughs* Well weâve both come into the show single. Weâve known each other only 6 weeks, but dancing is so intense. I havenât seen any of my friends, or family, youâre kind of in this bubble.
Iâm guessing itâs easier to dance with someone if theyâre sexy or you fancy them?
K: If you get on, it absolutely makes it easier. Itâd be a hard going slog if you didnât get on.
Can you tell us anything about the rumours that you two might have a possible romance?
K: I dunno what to say to that right now. I mean, heâs my instructor, I have to be taught by him everyday, but until the showâs over itâs all professional. If he asked me out afterwards, weâll see.
How are you getting on with the other girls in the competition?
Iâm really close to Tina and Patsy, and all of them actually! Michelleâs lovely! Sheâs got that American wild side and thatâs really good to have around. She says hilarious things.
Who do you think are your main rivals?
K: My main rivals? Hmm, I think my favourite to watch at home is Pamela, sheâs amazing, and Scott, oh my god, last week! Every week someone else does something that makes you think âWow!â? Mattâs incredible! You know, everyone has a different personality, and brings something different. We always have to follow Ann, and weâve said we canât follow her anymore. Itâs hard to follow her because youâre just laughing your head off, sheâs so funny! And her routine last week was really hard, and she did it!
Has she passed any comments on your outfits?
K: She hasnât. I get on really well with Ann, and she hasnât said anything to me personally.
Do you think thereâs a genuine chance she might win? If that did happen, would it be a bad thing for the show?
K: I think every entertainment show has a reason for it to be an entertainment show. This is just us 14 giving it a go, so thatâs what itâs about. Itâs about the public keeping in who they want to see, for whatever reason. I donât think thereâs any right or wrong in it. If Ann wins itâll be brilliant.
Do you think it can be a curse youâve had some really great comments from the judges, considering Britain has a habit of favouring the underdog?
K: *laughs* I decided going into this, you canât think, you just have to have fun, have a laugh and get on with it. Thatâs the only weird thing about this show, you go into it thinking âif Iâm there a couple of weeks, brilliantâ¦â? but then you realise, âactually, Iâd quite like to learn another dance.â? Itâs like a weird drug! Youâre shattered, youâre body is killing you, but you really want to learn another dance! I think if the judgesâ comments are good, thatâs lovely, if theyâre bad, you take them on and learn from them as much as possible.
How real are all the smiles and stuff on the Saturday show, considering how knackered you must be from training all week?
K: Well my friend Ricky Whittle told me to work really hard during the week so you can just enjoy the Saturday show, and thatâs what I do.
Are you training long hours?
A: Probably about 4 or 5 hours a day. The human brain can only take in so much, so if you overdo it youâre far too tired to do anymore the next day.
K: Thatâs the frustrating thing. You say âright, tomorrow weâll train from ten till sixâ?, but mentally after two hours I shut down. After two hours you need to go chill out for an hour and then come back to it, or it all goes downhill from there.
Have there been any tears?
K: Oh yes, it gets quite emotional at times. Iâve walked out a couple of times. Heâll keep saying âHands! This! That!â? and list off 20 things, and I get a bit agitated and frustrated if I just canât take it all in. By the Friday itâs easier though. By that point, if you get a hand wrong or something, you just have to enjoy the dancing. To go out there live is the scariest thing, Iâve heard of people being sick at the side of the stage before going on, but luckily enough Iâve managed to deal with the nerves in a good way.
What about Bruce Forsyth? Thereâs been lots of speculation about his role on the show. Do you think this could be his last dance?
K: I hope not! I love Bruce on this show. It wouldnât be the same without Bruce. Heâs still got his energy. He goes on every Saturday to do the warm-up, so he doesnât just do the show. Heâs still amazing at what he does.
As the weeks go by, how are you gonna sex it up? Or would you go for a more elegant finish if, say, you reached the final?
A: Youâll have to wait to find out! Iâm hoping to do something more sort of younger. I donât really want to cover up her. I think weâd go for the more revealing stuff, shall we sayâ¦
K: To be honest though, until the Monday of the next week we donât really know what weâre dancing to. Itâs then they give us the option of the tunes.
How much of your input goes into an act? With other shows like X-Factor the contestants obviously donât have much of a say. How much of it is your own style?
K: Itâs more him really *points at Artem*. He does it all. Obviously Artem might put some music forward and they canât clear certain things, but then we choose something else.
A: If you can get the song you want cleared, then good, but sometimes youâre given a choice. If youâre given a choice, you just choose the one that suits you both the best.
How vain are the other male contestants? Who takes the longest to get ready?
A: You see, youâre so in your own little world when youâre getting ready, I donât notice things around me before the performance. Gavin and I do pull-ups and push-ups before going onâ¦
Who can do more pull-ups or press-ups?
A: I canât say that. Gavinâs massive, probably about 100 pounds bigger than me, so I wouldnât want to say anything about that..