Zara McDermott’s beau Sam Thompson brands Strictly star a ‘terrible dancer’

Strictly: Zara McDermott performs first dance of the series

Zara McDermott’s boyfriend, Made in Chelsea star Sam Thompson, raised eyebrows at the Pride of Britain Awards on Sunday when he branded the former Love Islander a “terrible dancer”.

The 26-year-old has wowed the nation by shimmying on stage with Sicilian pro partner Graziano Di Prima over the past two weeks and even braved unpleasant foot injuries in the process – but Sam isn’t sure she makes the grade.

“I couldn’t wait to see Zara perform, because I’ve done the TikTok dances with her,” he began of her Strictly Come Dancing star girlfriend.

Then he caused surprise by continuing: “She’s perfect to the viewer because she is a terrible dancer.

“This is the whole point of Strictly, you get people from different backgrounds who can’t dance. You want to see the journey.”

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The 31-year-old insisted: “I don’t want to see someone who’s ready-made, because what’s the point in that? I’ll go and see a show instead.”

In spite of his words, Zara doubled her score from judge Craig Revel-Horwood between weeks one and two, after impressing on Saturday with her quickstep to George Ezra’s ‘Anyone For You (Tiger Lily)’.

The pressure had been piled on for her to succeed after an underwhelming start last week and performing poorly on the leaderboard, but she avoided the bottom two.

When she discovered she and Graziano would be going through to the next round, she was reduced to tears and immediately fell into her dance partner’s arms for a relieved embrace.

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On Instagram, the stunned star admitted the results show had been a “magical moment” for her, and earnestly declared: “GRATEFUL doesn’t even cut it.”

She continued in view of 1.8 million followers: “We are so humbled and overwhelmed that you guys voted for us.

“I have honestly not felt that emotional in a long time, my tears definitely got the better of me… even though they were the happiest tears you’ve ever seen!”

Instead, it was Nikita Kanda and Gorka Marquez who faced elimination unless they could see off Les Dennis and Nancy Xu in the dance-off.

The pair succeeded, and on Sunday, it was Les who became the first celebrity contestant to be sent home.

The announcement was made the same day that Les learnt his former co-star, the Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Jake Abraham, had lost his battle with prostate cancer aged just 56.

Zara now has her mind on the Glitterball Trophy, having practised her steps with beau Sam prior to her big debut.

The Made in Chelsea reality TV star revealed on Hits Radio at the time that the pair had been waltzing around the kitchen together in preparation.

He also candidly exclaimed that he was “terrified” by Graziano partnering with his girlfriend.

“What a beautiful man… Big muscles, about 6 foot 4, jacked and a year younger than me as well, which is terrifying!” Sam declared.

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