Despite being told he danced like a building, gay former rugby player Ian Roberts rode into the grand final of Dancing With The Stars on the votes of his adoring TV-viewing public.
And that, he said, is the most gratifying thing, personally, that I’ve ever experienced.
So he doesn’t mind that he didn’t walk away with the trophy on Tuesday night -“ first place went to The Great Outdoors host Tom Williams.
His 10 weeks on the show re-established my faith in people.
The public warmed to him, he believed, because he never tried to be someone he wasn’t.
I realised it’s not just about dancing. It’s about being real. The public have a pretty good bullshit meter, and a lot of people in the entertainment industry have a persona that doesn’t fit their personality. With me what you see is what you get.
Roberts said he sometimes had heated words behind the scenes when they tried to make him wear a pink suit, a leather skirt and once when they wanted him to go shirtless.
I’m not going to portray a stereotype for some cheap laugh for anyone, ever, he said of the requests. It’s not who I am.
It’s much more valuable to just be yourself, regardless of anything else.
The only disappointment he will carry from the show was when, in the final episode, he wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to the audience as all the other contestants did.
I don’t want to sound like I’m bitter, because I’m not. But I was hurt that I wasn’t given a chance to say goodbye to the audience like everyone else. I was deeply hurt.
In December Roberts begins work on a new Australian feature film.
But until then, like most actors in this country I’m unemployed. So I’ll do windows, vacuum, do dishes, I’ll do anything, he joked.
What about dancing?
There’s not much work for dancing buildings, he laughed.