Strictly Come Dancing star Hamza Yassin has revealed the 'hidden' battle he faced while competing on the show. The Wildlife cameraman captured the hearts of the nation as he took to the ballroom floor each week with his dance partner Jowita Przystal.
Hamza quickly became a firm favourite to lift the Glitterball trophy, leading the way in the bookies odds for much of the 2022 run of the BBC One dance contest. He also recieved rave reviews from the judges and topped the leaderboard multiple times throughout the competition.
And during the final last month, Hamza and his dance partner faced Helen Skelton, Fleur East and Molly Rainford in the fight for the title. However, it was the 32-year-old who was left celebrating after he and Jowita were announced as the winners of the 17th series of Strictly.
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However, while Jowita had all the confidence in Hamza, and fans were loyally showing their support every week, Animal Park star Hamaza was actually plagued with self-doubt behind the scenes.
Opening up on Hamza's lack of confidence as they appeared on This Morning before heading out on the Strictly Live tour, Jowita told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "He is so not confident about himself. He still thinks he can't dance even though he won the show! So to have him in the final with me was like 'maybe now he will believe it' you know?"
Turning to Hamza, she added: "For me, when we lifted the Glitterball it was the best feeling ever, because if I can give you that little boost of confidence."
Referring to some of the things he'd read about Hamza, Phillip commented: "At no point did you think 'I've got this,' at no point did you think you'd win. Every single week you thought you'd be voted off. When you get into the semi-final 'well, that's the end of that. Does that mean that because of that self doubt, you'll be able to enjoy the tour more than you perhaps enjoyed the studio?"
Hamza replied: "I absolutely enjoyed the studio 100% but the thing for me, because every week I thought we were going out, I'd hold her thumb, we'd have this thing and I'd lean in and go 'thanks for the journey' I'll make sure I'll point my toe in the dance off' and she'd go 'have faith, you'll be OK."
Jowita, however, remarked: "I believed in him from day one and still believe," as Hamza added: "I didn't have that belief. Every week I'd go in and give it my all, so I could then say 'I'm done.'"
During an appearance on The One Show earlier this week, Jowita, who made history by becoming the first female professional dancer to lift the Glitterball in her first partnered series, said knew from the moment she met Hamza that he would succeed. "I knew straight away. I felt in bones that he would be great," she said. "I was already picturing it. I was driven by him. He was my drive."
The pair have been reunited as they prepare to head to arenas across the country on the Strictly Live tour. They'll be joined by fellow finalists Helen, Fleur, and Molly, as well as Will Mellor, Ellie Simmonds, and Tyler West.
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