Strictly pro Graziano and Zara McDermott address ‘relationships’ on Strictly

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Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima and Love Island star Zara McDermott have addressed building “relationships” behind-the-scenes and getting over the “awkward stage” with one another.

Ahead of their next live performance on Saturday night, the duo recently sat down with Zara’s boyfriend, Sam Thompson, and spoke candidly on his Hits Radio show.

Opening up to Sam, 31, Graziano, 29, said he likes to make sure every single one of his Strictly partners will feel “comfortable” coming into the series.

“In a way you need to start a relationship. Each person is different every season and I try to make a friend because the person needs to feel comfortable in a room with me,” he explained.

“We don’t know each other but we are forced to spend all day together.”

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Agreeing with her professional partner, Zara, 26, said: “You have to bypass all the awkward stage when you don’t know each other very well.

“It’s really crazy, the bond and the relationship you build,” she added.

Elsewhere in the interview, the documentary maker revealed how finding herself in the bottom two during Movie Week made her feel.

She likened the sensation to being “dumped from Love Island.”

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“That was a similar feeling,” Zara explained. “Being stood up when people haven’t voted for you.”

The comments come after the pair survived their first brutal dance-off earlier this month, where they came up against Nikita Kanda and Gorka Marquez.

All four judges opted to keep Zara and Graziano in the competition and last week, they redeemed themselves by earning sevens across the board for their Viennese Waltz to Brenda Lee’s ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’.

At the time, Craig Revel Horwood said the dance was slightly “skippy”, while Shirley Ballas claimed it was the duo’s “best dance so far”.

“Coming from the bottom two, you deserve an extra tick for that. Well done,” the 63-year-old added.

Speaking after her performance, Zara admitted that it had been a “difficult week” following her position in the dance-off but revealed she had managed to keep her head held high.

“Yes, I think I could have let it get me down this week, or I could have used it as a way to find a bit more fire and I have worked so hard this week.

“I feel really relieved to have got the dance done because it is my favourite in the world ever,” the ex-Made In Chelsea star added.

This weekend, the pair will be hoping to impress Craig, 58, and Shirley again, as well as Anton du Beke and Motsi Mabuse with their American Smooth routine to LeAnn Rimes’ ‘Can’t Fight The Moonlight’.

You can tune into Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One this Saturday at 6.35pm.

Hits UK with Sam Thompson. Listen live at

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