Why I’m in love with Sam Hayes and David Seymour

Don’t get me wrong, I also love the other finalists. Jess has such an inspiring and amazing story. Chris has been brilliant and it’s fantastic to see how he has translated his skills from the cricket world into the dancing world with such apparent ease. Shav is cool too. But I am in love with Sam and David. Apparently I’m not the only one.

Sam is cool, sophisticated, and stunning. So, less of a surprise I have a girl crush on her. But the reason I think New Zealand has fallen for the beautiful news presenter is her refreshing honesty, slight initial awkwardness and the fact that we’ve been able to come along for the ride and watch her transform into the confident, sexy, dancer she has become. She has stretched so far past her comfort zone that she is almost a different person. She looks so calm, and confident in her new skin. PS, what DOES happen behind that hat?!

And David! David could probably win an election off the back of his performance on Dancing with the Stars – for everything except his dancing, that is. Yes, he has had detractors. Let’s see those detractors put themselves out there the way David has and then – and only then - they can have something to say about it! Of course those same people are never the ones that would do such a brave thing.

The way David has consistently picked himself up despite the judge’s usually kind (occasionally condescending) criticism, is admirable. It is a dancing competition, so of course the judges couldn’t pretend he was a brilliant dancer. In fact, I admire them for coming up with many different ways of politely awarding an A for effort, F for technique.

No matter what was thrown at him, David always had a smile on his face, tried harder the next time, and continued to surprise us. He always had a witty comeback, a plug for his charity, or a political soundbite on hand to dial down the tension. His desire to show everyone that with determination and consistent effort, you can achieve anything, is quite simply, a gorgeous thing.

We’ve watched all the dancers publicly go on very personal journeys.  I love the dancing, but probably more importantly, I love watching people grow and develop and show New Zealand what’s possible. We’ve seen the celebrities be everything from brave and vulnerable to resilient and tenacious. From being fun (and funny) to sexy and fierce. We’ve watched men be able to be masculine while being told to wiggle their hips more. We’ve watched women show that while you can be one personality for work, you can bring out an entirely different persona when you dance. We can all relate to someone on the show.

Congratulations to all the finalists and all the dancers brave enough to let us in to this part of their lives. It’s inspiring and reminds us all how we can all achieve amazing things when we want to. We can all take knockbacks, setbacks and falls and still get up and do it again. We can fail and be loved even more when we get up and fail again – and then maybe, just maybe, improve a bit with more hard work. Hopefully we don’t need to twerk on public telly to do it….but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!