Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant unveils behind the scenes tensions Competitive

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Actress Ali Bastian, 39, took part in the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing, where she and professional partner Brian Fortuna made it to the semi-final, finishing in third place. Ali experienced it all while on the show: an injury, the semi-finals and even a romantic relationship with Brian. Speaking exclusively to, Ali talked about what it was really like to be on one of Britain’s favourite shows.

Probed on any major behind-the-scenes secrets, Ali confessed: “It’s actually extremely competitive.”

She explained: “Well, I don’t know if it’s still this way, because I think it was when I was on it.

“The professionals are – it’s not so much that it’s competitive between the celebrities, but the dancers come from sport.

“So they don’t necessarily come from showbiz performance backgrounds.”

The former Hollyoaks star continued: “So there can be a lot of tension because they really want to win it.

“So as much as it can all come across very much like we’re one big, happy family, I think people are actually extremely focused on what they’re doing and on the competition.

“But I don’t know that that’s true now, because actually a lot of the dancers that have come into it later who came from Burn The Floor had really had that showbiz performance kind of background instilled in them.”

Recalling her experience of being on the hit show, Ali explained: “It just absorbs your entire life and being while you’re on it.

“I think there’s a point during that competition where everyone just seems to commit just wholeheartedly to the show and to the process.

“I can’t remember how many weeks in that was, but really just head down and run – just in it.

“I think it’s the point things click into place and you just kind of end up going for it.


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“And we didn’t even take a day off.

“We’d work, Brian would choreograph and we’d dance on a Sunday after the show, and then we’d rehearse all week and so it’s a hell of a treadmill.

“But a really sparkly, shiny one to be part of.

“And it’s just hard to find the words, it’s amazing, it’s life-changing.”

Ali found love on the show and dated Brian for over a year before they called it a day.

The American ballroom dancer appeared as a professional in the fifth, sixth and seventh series of Strictly.

In 2010, it was announced that Brian has decided not to return to the show for the eighth instalment due to format changes.

Strictly Come Dancing continues tomorrow at 6.40pm on BBC One.

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