Strictly Come Dancing professional Nikita Kuzmin has rubbished the inevitable romance rumours that have sprung up around him and celebrity partner Tilly Ramsay, revealing that the pair just ‘laugh about it’.
With the couple speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Nikita also described himself and 19-year-old Tilly as ‘best friends’ and lucky enough to have the ‘perfect partnership’.
He said: ‘We’re just laughing about it, it’s nothing serious. I mean, we’re professional dancers here [on Strictly] and we’re here to make and have an amazing journey on Strictly and to have fun.
‘Tilly and me – I don’t know how Strictly managed to make such a perfect partnership because we’re just like two best friends having to dance together.’
Going into more detail over what contributes to their chemistry as a dance couple, the 23-year-old revealed that it was all about trust.
‘I think you can see across [sic] the camera the fact that we just go so well together. We have this trust – we trust each other. I trust Tilly that she’s going to be amazing and Tilly trusts me completely [with] whatever I say, whatever I’m trying to teach her.
He concluded: ‘It’s all about trust – trust and friendship’, with Tilly agreeing ‘absolutely’.
Touching on the fun beef that Nikita and Tilly’s dad, chef Gordon Ramsay, have sustained surrounding Nikita’s fondness for an unbuttoned shirt, the Ukrainian pro revealed his grand plans for if Tilly and he reach the final.
‘Oh the shirt – completely off!’
He added: ‘Who needs a shirt in the final?’
Confirming that those exchanges are all for the cameras though, Nikita labelled the Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares star ‘so supportive’ of the pair.
‘I’ve met him just once because he’s working in the States, but he’s video-calling all the time. And he’s just so supportive, he has so much love for Tilly. And he’s just happy to see his daughter just doing so well.’
Tilly agreed: ‘He’s always joking around and having a laugh. He loves trying to embarrass me or annoy me, but it’s all love and it’s all friendly.’
Talking about their recent high scores, with last week’s Frankenstein-themed cha-cha-cha nabbing them 35, neither allows them to affect their approach in training the following week.
Tilly explained: ‘When you get in the training room on Monday, you don’t get an advantage from having a good score on the weekend. You’ve just got to take each week as a brand-new, fresh start and just try and beat your score and do as well as possible.’
Nikita added: ‘We just take it as a new complete journey, and we don’t focus too much on the score. We tried – to be honest – once to do it after the Charleston and we thought, ‘Oh my God, that was such a good night!’, and it was a bit overwhelming.’
The couple are determined to stick to a ‘week by week’ approach and not get ahead of themselves, although Nikita mentions that they ‘obviously want to get to the final and win it’.
Tilly revealed that she never set a goal for which week she wanted to reach in the competition, although she did share that it was ‘amazing’ to get to Halloween Week, as she’s ‘always loved it’.
‘I definitely just had [in my head] ‘I want to do as well as I can’. I had no idea what my dancing ability was going be like, how far it would take me, how amazing everyone else would be.’
She added: ‘But I always said to myself, ‘As far as I can’ really. I never set a benchmark.’
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 6.45pm on BBC One.
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