Strictly’s Zara McDermott opens up on imposter syndrome ahead of live performance

The fifth live show of Strictly Come Dancing 2023 is set to take place on Saturday, and contestant Zara McDermott has admitted she's experiencing imposter syndrome and "can't stop pinching" herself.

Former Love Islander Zara, 26, is competing on this year's Strictly with professional dancer Graziano Di Prima, 29, with the duo so far impressing viewers and the judges with their performances.

Zara, who has been open about her lack of dance experience, has shared a message with fans ahead of Saturday's show, saying she "can't believe" she's made it to the fifth week of Strictly and is excited to show viewers the results of her hard work on the dance floor.

"On my way to the studio to start getting ready for tonight!" Zara penned alongside a make-up free selfie. "I cannot believe we are in week 5, I have slight imposter syndrome for sure. I can't stop pinching myself every single moment of the day."

She added: "I cannot believe I've made it to week 5 as someone who's never danced before, and I am praying that tonight you will all see how hard we have worked this week to keep improving from last week".

Zara is the first ever former Love Island contestant to appear on Strictly. She found fame on the ITV2 show in 2019 and has gone on to carve out a career as a documentary-maker on BBC Three.

Speaking to OK! in an exclusive interview, Zara said that she's "grateful, humbled and flattered" to be Strictly's first Love Island contestant.

"I did Love Island for 10, 11 days and I've been making documentaries for nearly four years now but I recognise that obviously, that's where I got my platform from initially," she said.

"I didn't leave with millions and millions of followers but I recognise that that was my beginning. I'm grateful that the Strictly casting team saw that I'm more than just a Love Island contestant.

"I have done so much with my platform and I will continue to do this even after Strictly finishes," she added. "That's my passion. My dream is to be a documentary-maker forever."

She added that despite her career change, she's not embarrassed by her Love Island beginnings, saying: "It’s not something that I’m particularly ashamed of – I love the show, I'm a massive fan. I've watched it since series one.

"But it does feel like a lifetime ago when people bring it up. I was a different person back then and it feels like it’s just a completely different time in my life."

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 6:40pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

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