What would you say is your biggest fear about doing a show like this?
Maybe that I just push myself too far! I love new challenges and I’m very ambitious. I have been skating before because I grew up in Finland and we just skated a lot when we grew up. So, I might think because I’ve skated before, I need to be really good and then I’m doing too much and then I could hurt myself or something.
Would you say you’re quite a competitive person?
Mostly I am competing with myself. I’m like “Saara, you need to push yourself” and that’s how I’ve always been, I just want to challenge myself.
On the flipside, what excites you the most about doing the show?
Learning something new, I love learning and also challenging myself. I love to face new things and I love the fact this isn’t going to be easy, it’s going to be quite hard but I kind of like to torture my body! I’m super excited, of course about all the performances and all the outfits and doing the routines. I love to dance and skating is almost like dancing but just more difficult! I love to perform so I’m very looking forward to performing and meeting my partner. This whole process is going to be so much fun.
In terms of dancing, how much of a dancer would you say you are? What is the extent of your dancing capabilities?
Well, I do dance a lot. When I was a child I went to dance lessons so I basically started dancing when I was 4 years old. Since then I’ve always taken lessons so I love to dance on stage as well and I think I have developed a lot since X Factor, I’ve danced more than ever since then! Compared to professional dancers, I’m obviously not professional but I do love to dance so much.
Would you say as you have done another live TV show, it will help you overcome things like nerves as you’ll be performing for the public every week?
I think I have quite a lot of experience in TV competitions because I did a lot of them in Finland before X Factor, so I think it is my advantage. I’m not afraid of cameras at all or anything when it comes to TV work, I really enjoy it actually. Of course, it’s going to take my energy but I’m not nervous about it so I get to concentrate on skating!
What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve faced before doing this?
I think it happened on The X Factor actually, because in Finland I was never really accepted the way I wanted to be, and I was always the flamboyant one and the one who wanted to be really bubbly and wanted to perform in a big way, but it’s not very typical in Finland. When I came to The X Factor and I worked with Brian Friedman, he was so over the top and we had this connection. He started really pushing me and I feel like every single week I had to push myself and do stuff that I loved, but because I was bullied in Finland for being who I was, there was a bit of wall and I thought it was too much. It was a relief to get that support on The X Factor, and I think every week I had to be braver than I was but I did it and I grew and grew.
Are you nervous about the criticism you’ll face each week from both judges and viewers?
I haven’t really thought about it, because all of us are learning a new thing. Of course, we’re not going to be perfect…no way! It’s natural and normal to get advice and criticism. I think you shouldn’t take it too personally so I think I’ll be fine. I’ve got some harsh criticism on these TV shows. I was dropped on The X Factor – Sharon dropped me at the Six Chair Challenge, it was terrible but then I was brought back as a wild card!
How prepared are you for the sparkles and sequins and the costumes side of it?
I’m so ready, that’s so me! I want to have diamonds and glitter everywhere. No limits of course.
Previous contestants have remarked on what the show has done body-wise and fitness wise. Have you got any goals when it comes to staying in shape on the show?
I am actually very looking forward to training. I’ve been so busy after X Factor, I’ve been travelling around the world for the last two years now and I haven’t had time to exercise. I go to dance lessons whenever I can but not enough and I feel like I am starting to lose the fitness side of me and I am so excited to start training and get my health and physique even better. I think this is a perfect way to do it, you have to train everyday so I really hope to get fitter!
A show like this is a big commitment, it could be potentially six months if you go all the way to the final. How prepared are you for the discipline and the hard-work that goes with it?
I love discipline. I’m very strict, when I do something I concentrate on it very much and my work ethic is really good. I think it’ll be my advantage in this show because I will be so focused.
I don’t know how much you’ve watched the show before?
We had it once in Finland so I saw some episodes but I haven’t seen the UK version.
From the last show you did over here you did very well. Does that put pressure on you to do even better this time around?
In my history, I’ve always come 2nd in TV competitions. So, I have to do it again, I have to be here until the end. I’m not going to give up!