Kara Tointon Interview: “If Artem Asks Me Out After Strictly? We’ll See..”

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, that’s forward thinking! It seems like such a marathon. We’re only on the fourth dance and I’m shattered. When you watch the Saturday show from your sofa, you just think: “Oh, doesn’t that look like fun!â€? I mean it is the funnest thing I’ve ever done, but my god, it is the toughest thing I’ve ever done as well.

What are you dancing this week?
K: The Charleston!

Sexy outfit?
K: Errrmmm, yes it is quite. I’m 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 more…
Artem: We’re trying to go for different stuff.
K: Yeah, different stuff every week.

So how sexy is it?
K: It’s just small this week. There’s not much going on, it’s just skirt and top.

Is that coming off by any chance? I’m not sure if that happens in the Charleston?
K: No, no! I hope it won’t be coming off! I don’t want any more wardrobe malfunctions. It’s 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 don’t think like that. All the jobs I’ve ever done I’ve got used to wearing quite small things so it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. I’m not too worried about that really. I’m 27 and I’m not too worried about wearing anything. I’ve got my limits, but as long as I’m comfortable, I’m fine.

In a way you’re kind of a sex symbol aren’t you?
K: I think when you’re a young girl in the industry I’m in, you tend to go for the similar roles, but you don’t look at yourself that way. If you go for the roles, you get the roles I guess you are right for. But I’ve always played different things. I guess it’s lovely to be told that, but you don’t look at yourself like that..

You two are getting on famously. Kara, you’ve said he’s gorgeous. I presume this is mutual and works both ways? Do you think Kara’s gorgeous?
A: Who wouldn’t?
K: *laughs* Well we’ve both come into the show single. We’ve known each other only 6 weeks, but dancing is so intense. I haven’t seen any of my friends, or family, you’re kind of in this bubble.

I’m guessing it’s easier to dance with someone if they’re sexy or you fancy them?
K: If you get on, it absolutely makes it easier. It’d be a hard going slog if you didn’t 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, he’s my instructor, I have to be taught by him everyday, but until the show’s over it’s all professional. If he asked me out afterwards, we’ll see.

How are you getting on with the other girls in the competition?
I’m really close to Tina and Patsy, and all of them actually! Michelle’s lovely! She’s got that American wild side and that’s 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, she’s amazing, and Scott, oh my god, last week! Every week someone else does something that makes you think “Wow!â€? Matt’s incredible! You know, everyone has a different personality, and brings something different. We always have to follow Ann, and we’ve said we can’t follow her anymore. It’s hard to follow her because you’re just laughing your head off, she’s so funny! And her routine last week was really hard, and she did it!

Has she passed any comments on your outfits?
K: She hasn’t. I get on really well with Ann, and she hasn’t said anything to me personally.

Do you think there’s 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 that’s what it’s about. It’s about the public keeping in who they want to see, for whatever reason. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong in it. If Ann wins it’ll be brilliant.

Do you think it can be a curse you’ve 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 can’t think, you just have to have fun, have a laugh and get on with it. That’s the only weird thing about this show, you go into it thinking “if I’m there a couple of weeks, brilliant…â€? but then you realise, “actually, I’d quite like to learn another dance.â€? It’s like a weird drug! You’re shattered, you’re body is killing you, but you really want to learn another dance! I think if the judges’ comments are good, that’s lovely, if they’re 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 that’s 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 you’re far too tired to do anymore the next day.
K: That’s the frustrating thing. You say “right, tomorrow we’ll 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. I’ve walked out a couple of times. He’ll keep saying “Hands! This! That!â€? and list off 20 things, and I get a bit agitated and frustrated if I just can’t take it all in. By the Friday it’s 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, I’ve heard of people being sick at the side of the stage before going on, but luckily enough I’ve managed to deal with the nerves in a good way.

What about Bruce Forsyth? There’s 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 wouldn’t be the same without Bruce. He’s still got his energy. He goes on every Saturday to do the warm-up, so he doesn’t just do the show. He’s 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: You’ll have to wait to find out! I’m hoping to do something more sort of younger. I don’t really want to cover up her. I think we’d go for the more revealing stuff, shall we say…
K: To be honest though, until the Monday of the next week we don’t really know what we’re dancing to. It’s 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 don’t have much of a say. How much of it is your own style?
K: It’s more him really *points at Artem*. He does it all. Obviously Artem might put some music forward and they can’t clear certain things, but then we choose something else.
A: If you can get the song you want cleared, then good, but sometimes you’re given a choice. If you’re 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, you’re so in your own little world when you’re getting ready, I don’t notice things around me before the performance. Gavin and I do pull-ups and push-ups before going on…

Who can do more pull-ups or press-ups?
A: I can’t say that. Gavin’s massive, probably about 100 pounds bigger than me, so I wouldn’t want to say anything about that..