Dancing With The Stars came to an end on Sunday with a glamorous and truly emotional finale! This year's winners Nina Carberry & Pasquale La Rocca joined Ryan Tubridy first thing Monday morning (sore heads and all) to talk about the experience and of course their big glitter ball win!
This now being a hat trick for him (having been the professional partner to win the competition for the past three consecutive years) Pasquale talked about his choreography style, how he likes to study the song and make sure the musicality is on point but most importantly how he constructs the dance routine like a seamstress would approach creating a dress: it needs to fit so that she is 'happy mentally and physically’ and then we practice, practice!
Ryan pondered why Nina, a professional jockey and someone he thinks of as gracious and humble, would do something so far out of her comfort zone. Nina explained at the start, it was a bit of a push from her agent and she was very reluctant as dancing is not something she would ever have thought she could do, however once she got started something clicked and she decided to give it her all.
Despite the challenges Pasquale faced in the year leading up to the competition from Covid to losing grandparents on both sides of his family, he said there were many times he wished he had stayed at home to support his family, but in hindsight sees that his grandparents were supporting him from beyond.
After Nina thanked her husband Ted and babysitters Jolena and Imelda without whom her win would never have been possible, Ryan took a call from runners up Ellen Keane, Jordan Conroy and Erica Cody.
Jordan talked about what an unbelievable experience it was, Ellen agreeing saying it was ‘so amazing’ while Erica reflected on how each of the finalists represented minority communities.
"We all represented someone or something last night and like across the board especially with me and Jordan the first two black Irish people on the Dancing With The Stars Final and we’ve Ellen with that visibility for people with disabilities and Nina who’s a working Mam in a male dominated industry to do what she’s done is incredible and yeah I just feel like everyone was a winner in some way last night and it was truly special and incredible to be a part of."
The standard was so high, that the competition could have been won by any of the finalists. Choosing the 2022 Champ was never going to be an easy task, but based on the stunningly inclusive finale, it is clear that everyones’ a winner!
And with a very large hat tip to their professional dancing partners for bringing them so far in the competition, Ryan acknowledged that the closing comments of the show reminded him of the last day of Irish College... which most of us can certainly relate to.
Word has it that they headed to the chipper for a feed of curry chips to help sort out last nights heads! You can hear Ryan's full chat with Nina and Pasquale by going here.