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Simon Barnett's backstage secrets

Newly-crowned Dancing with the Stars champion, Simon Barnett, reveals what really went on behind the scenes of the popular show.

By Donna Fleming
Newly-crowned Dancing with the Stars champion, Simon Barnett, 48, reveals what really went on behind the scenes of the popular show. The More FM host shares his struggle to let go - on the dance floor and in life.
"For me, Dancing with the Stars has been about overcoming my self-consciousness. I've always worried about people thinking I'm up myself, but dancing involves a certain amount of showing off, and that's a real challenge for me.
"Vanessa [Cole] always tells me to put my head up and my chest high, but I've always done the opposite, so it's been hard learning to do that on the dance floor. I also struggle with letting myself go, probably because I'm such a control freak. When we did the samba, for instance, Vanessa told me to cut loose and I said, 'How do you do that?' But funnily enough, once I put on the Bon Jovi wig and the string singlet, I found it a lot easier. That costume helped me to let go for the first time.
"After the first week, I wanted out. I was terrible. All of that dancing around with my mouth open. I've always known I can't dance and that just proved it. All I could think was, 'I look like a goon, get me out of here.' I wanted to fake a sickie.
"But thanks to Vanessa, I've got better, and I've learned that if you're going to commit to something, and are prepared to put in the hours of work, you can improve and achieve to a certain level. I'd go as far as to say there's nothing you can't do if you put in the work. I'm not a great dancer by any means, but I can move a bit now, and I would never have thought that was possible before Dancing with the Stars. Never say never!
"I've always told my kids [Simon has four daughters, Sam (21), Sophie (20), Isabella (16) and Lily (15)] that if you try something you risk failure, but if you never try, then you guarantee it. I feel good that I've stuck with it and tried hard because that's a good example to them. They're so into me being in this show. They're always texting me, 'Good luck, Dad', 'You were awesome, Dad', 'Put some clothes on, Dad.'
"My wife Jodi has simply been amazing. I haven't been around so she has had to do everything at home on her own. She loves dancing and is keen for us to have lessons [now that] Dancing with the Stars is over so we can dance together. I'm really looking forward to that. I've learned to just go with the costumes I wear – they're a significant part of the whole feel of the dance. My favourite was the tails I wore for the foxtrot – I love the era and I felt quite comfortable in that. The bolero with no shirt was challenging, that's not really me. I didn't want people to go, 'Oh, put it away,' like my kids did.
"Getting a 10 for the paso doble was my best moment. I couldn't believe how much it meant to me. I'm a guy with two left feet and I got a 10! Dislocating my knee during the tango was the worst thing. The moment I felt my kneecap slide, I thought, 'I'm going to collapse on national TV and have to be carted off on a stretcher.' It was such a huge relief when it popped back in and I could keep on going."

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