Adam Peaty has said he “got so into the character” and felt “amazing” during his steamy Argentine tango with his professional partner Katya Jones on Strictly Come Dancing last week.
The Olympic swimmer, 26, and the dancer secured joint second place with their performance to Fleetwood Mac’s Tango In The Night, and the routine ended with the pair posing with their faces just inches apart.
On this Saturday’s live show, they will try to remain at the top of the leaderboard with a samba to Faith by George Michael.
Discussing what it meant to him to bounce back from the bottom of the leaderboard the previous week, Peaty told Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two: “Oh, absolutely everything, the Argentine tango was a hard dance, especially with the lifts.”
Host Rylan Clark joked that the performance was “so saucy” to which Peaty replied: “Exactly, it was the feel, the character, and I got so into the character and it was amazing, I really felt at home there.”
Jones added: “We kept getting different comments from the judges and we were working on technique really hard on all the dances, but they kept saying ‘You’re just not connecting to the music or to the emotion’.
“So we started it completely differently, we thought (about) every move, what does it mean, why are you grabbing my hand, what’s the emotion attached to it. So I think we definitely improved on that level.”
However, the Olympian admitted that his arm did suffer from the high kicks within the dance, adding: “It’s all part of the game and I’m going to give it absolutely everything.
“I don’t want to look back and go ‘I could have given a bit more, I’m all in.’”
The three-time Olympic champion, who specialises in breaststroke, also confessed that his competitive side has got “carried away now” and he is pushing himself further than before.
“Right now my strategy is, yes have fun of course, but it’s all about execution now, and entertaining people”, he added.
The pair explained that their rehearsal schedule had been difficult this week with Jones changing the routine on Tuesday as Peaty was struggling to connect to the dance.
However, Jones revealed that she had surprised her partner on Tuesday evening by ordering a Chinese takeaway and dressing up in an inflatable dinosaur T-Rex costume to brighten up his night.
Peaty said: “Yes, we’ve had ups and downs and I’ve struggled on some parts… but that’s dancing, it’s going to be a challenge and if you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not pushing yourself further and not growing.
“Tomorrow the key objective for me is yes, execute the dance, but giving people a smile as well.”