Tony Adams felt that 'Strictly Come Dancing' had been getting "tough" in the weeks leading up to his exit.
The 56-year-old former footballer - who has been married to Poppy Teacher, 49, since 2004 - had been taking part in the BBC Latin and ballroom competition with professional partner Katya Jones but was unable to take part in the dance off on Sunday (13.11.22) because of an injury so withdrew from the competition and admitted that he only took to the stage in the first place because his wife and mother-in-law were in the audience.
He said: "It’s been getting tough for the last couple of weeks, I had a little bit of a hammy last week and I went out there and danced, and then on Thursday I pointed my toe down, bit of retraction and went 'oof'. We didn’t do anything on Friday and then they gave me the choice, they were very professional the BBC, the physio was first class, they said 'It’s your decision Tony, do you want to go for it?' My wife said “my mum’s coming, you’ve got to dance!' I looked into her eyes and she went 'Come on!'"
Meanwhile, the former Arsenal player - whose last performance on the BBC Saturday night favourite was a Jive to 'Land of a Thousand Dances' - explained he was not sure he was going to get through his final dance but joked that he had "fallen in love" with Head Judge Shirley Ballas after weeks of receiving "very constructive criticism" from her.
Speaking during his first interview since his exit on 'Strictly - It Takes Two', he told presenters Rylan Clark and : "I’ve loved it all to be honest with you. I’ve thrown myself into it all. I was not sure that I was going to get through that [the jive] to be completely honest with you, roly polys are for six-year-olds not 56 year olds!
"It’s a bizarre show isn’t it, let’s be honest, we’re all different age groups, different standards, and you come in and you just do your best. I really listened. The week before she’d been very complimentary as well, and very constructive with her criticism at the times when she was. I’ve fallen in love with Shirley, she’s my favourite!”
In the joint interview, Kaya explained that because the Jive was the first time he had looked at her properly, she ended up "forgetting all the steps" and joked that he will now think it is her fault they are out of the competition.
She said: "For the first time he actually looked at me like, “I’m dancing with you Kat!” I so wanted him to get every single step right I think I forgot all my steps if I’m honest with you, watching it back… he’s going to blame me for us leaving the competition now!"
However, Tony assured Katya that he "absolutely loved" being partnered with her and believes he has gained a "friend for life."
He added: "I have too much to say but I’ve absolutely loved it, I’ve gained a friend for life!”
'Strictly - It Takes Two' continues every weeknight at 6:30pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer and 'Strictly Come Dancing' airs on Saturday and Sunday nights on BBC One and BBC iPlayer