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“My eyes went black and I was throwing up.” Angie Kent’s first week on Dancing With The Stars.

“I’ve never been so nervous and I have lived in a jungle and dated 20 dudes at the same time before.”

This is how Angie Kent described her first appearance on Dancing With The Stars to me, just moments after the cameras had finished capturing her foxtrot with pro-partner Julian Caillon. 

We’re standing in the middle of a dancefloor still flecked with rogue pieces of glitter that have escaped the post-performance clean-up. On one side of us Olivia Newtown John is embracing her daughter Chloe Lattanzi, on the other Claudia Karvan and Samuel Johnson are having an animated conversation that would make fans of The Secret Life of Us swoon.

There’s a general feeling of euphoric relief in the room now that the premiere episode has wrapped without a hitch but Angie Kent, who has already performed a quick change worthy of Clark Kent/Superman by swapping out her glitzy black swing dress for some activewear, is feeling less certain about her success.

The 30-year-old performer and author, who launched her career on Gogglebox Australia before starring on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and then finding love with Carlin Sterritt on the 2019 season of The Bachelorette, is open about the fact that despite her extensive TV background, Dancing is a whole different (and very stressful) ballgame.

"Angie Kent and her Dancing With The Stars partner Julian Caillon." Source: Network Ten.

"The anxiety I had around performing tonight was a lot," she tells me. "I can talk to a camera, I did that a lot last year with Bachelorette. I love to make people laugh and entertain and I don’t care if you’re laughing at me as long as you’re laughing.

"But the anxiety I had surrounding dancing, because I’m not a dancer, was debilitating. My eyes went black and I had food poisoning today so off and on all day today I was throwing up. I’m not making excuses for anything, I would have danced regardless, but I was very shaky.

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"During my practices with Julian I get so into it and I feel no fear. But then you get here and you know everyone is staring at you, you’re about to get judged by three people you’ve never met in your life. As a human, it just sets off your flight or fight response.

"I tried really hard tonight but it was definitely not my best performance," she continues. "It’s so hard because I can go out there and do every dance move, but no one wants to see just that, just the moves. So I need to go out there and also perform. But then they say your form is shit...so I just can’t win. But practice makes perfect."

"During practices with Julian I get so into it and I feel no fear” Angie Kent said of her Dancing With The Stars rehearsals. Source: Network Ten.

For Angie, who is starring on the series along with a cast of fellow beloved Australian celebrities including Dami Im, Beau Ryan and Celia Pacquola, said the emotional stress of appearing on Dancing With The Stars was the reason why her family and boyfriend Carlin were not at the premiere.

"In terms of physical and mental stress, this show is the hardest one I've ever done," she said. "The Bachelorette was emotionally and mentally challenging and beyond anything I could ever imagine. With all the long hours I had to do and with putting my heart on the line, but that really paid off.

"This time I'm really being judged, and you’re not usually being judged right to your face. I know Australia has judged me a thousand times while I’ve been on TV in the past, but I didn't know about it unless I searched for it. So that’s hardcore.

"I didn’t want anybody to travel to watch me on my first show. The stress alone of being judged by three beautiful judges, an entire live audience and all of Australia, was enough for me. I didn’t then want the pressure of my family flying all the way from Queensland, and Carlin coming all the way from Sydney.

"I said to them all ‘just let me get through this week because I am already struggling mentally, physically and emotionally. Next week I think he’ll (Carlin) come."

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Angie, who is dancing in support of the charity SANE Australia, a charity focusing on mental health, said that her biggest hope for the show going forward is that views will be kind, and remember that the people dancing their hearts out on screen are just like them.

"I know people can be ruthless," she said about the criticism that appears on social media. "I don’t know any happy people who sit at home and write really awful things to people. So I need to remember that, and I also think to myself would they have the same attitude to me if they had just gone through something like this? Everyone is just doing what they can.

"In terms of what people say about me online, ignorance is bliss. I learned that while doing  The Bachelorette. I know I need to look after myself more and start saying 'no' because I’m a very big people pleaser.

"I’m going to try and have a good time on this show and the cast is amazing, I love them all. I’m trying my hardest, so please be kind. We’re just everyday people who happen to be on television and we have our own personal lives.

"We’re people's daughters and brothers and family. Just please be kind because we’re having fun."

To vote for Angie Kent or your favourite Dancing With The Stars star SMS their names to 1995 1010 or log onto www.10play.com.au/dancing .

Dancing With The Stars airs Sundays at 7.30pm on 10 And WIN Network.


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