Former X Factor star Saara Aalto has said she struggled to sleep in recent weeks over fears of performing lifts on Dancing On Ice.
The Finnish singer, who represented her home country at the Eurovision Song Contest this year after coming in second place on the British singing show in 2016, is among the 12 celebrities taking part in ITV’s ice skating show in January.
She said she is revelling in the challenge, but that she has been left covered in bruises from training and that she is suffering sleepless nights.
Aalto said, of her skating partner Hamish Gaman: “My partner loves lifting, maybe he’s really strong and wants to show it off.
“I thought it was going to be easy because he’s so strong, I was like ‘yeah, I can just stay up there and look beautiful’, but it’s not like that.
“I’ve not been able to sleep well in the last three weeks because I’m so scared. Every night I’m just thinking about the lifts I have to do on the ice.”
She added: “It’s so much scarier than I thought.”
Aalto, 31, said the professional skater is “grabbing me so tightly”, she is covered in “many big, big bruises”.
However, for all of her fears over taking to the ice for the live shows, Aalto is excited to bring out her “showgirl” side on the ice.
She said: “I skated when I was a child, but we would go outdoors with friends and parents. We didn’t learn any proper techniques, so now I’ve had to learn skating from scratch again.
“It’s so difficult, every single muscle in your body is like, ‘where do you go?’.
“But I love a challenge and I love performing. I love to do crazy performances and I can’t wait to see what I can do on the ice, what kind of outfits and how I’ll bring the showgirl in me alive.”
Aalto will compete in the new series, hosted by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, against the likes of Grease star Didi Conn, former Westlife singer Brian McFadden, Coronation Street actress Jane Danson, The Only Way Is Essex’s Gemma Collins, Love Island finalist Wes Nelson and Loose Women panellist Saira Khan.
Dancing on Ice starts on ITV on January 6.