'It Kind Of Fell Apart': Travis Cloke Still Beaming After Tough Final Night On Dancing With The Stars
Back to school week was especially tough on AFL legend Travis Cloke.
Having to learn a quickstep, disco and a back-up cha cha routine all in one week, things had been turned up a notch.
"Obviously my three dances last night weren't up to par," Travis said to 10 daily following his elimination from the competition. "That was tough. I'm a little bit disappointed, but that's the nature of the show."
Receiving the lowest score of the evening following his quickstep, Travis and his professional dance partner Violetta Mugica fell to the bottom of the leaderboard.
A fan-favourite from the beginning, the judges were clearly frustrated.
"Trav, what's going on mate?" Sharna Burgess asked following their performance.
"I wanted you to be great because I adore you and you impressed me so much in week one and I see the potential but we're just not seeing it actually come to fruition," she continued.
"At this point in the competition my love, I don't know if it's enough."
Sadly, it wasn't enough, and after being eliminated first in the disco marathon Travis was put in the bottom two alongside Dami Im, forced to perform a third dance -- a cha cha -- in a sudden-death elimination.
"The best way to explain it was like when you're back at school, they're picking teams for sport and you're the last two kids standing there," Travis said, "That's what Dami and I felt like."
It was during the cha cha that things got very, very close with Dami seemingly overwhelmed by being in the bottom, the judges each had a difficult decision to make. Ultimately it fell to the judges to make the call, and sadly for Trav his time on the dance floor came to an end.
But throughout it all he maintained the most upbeat demeanour, never letting the harsh feedback from the judges get him down.
"It doesn't get easy," he said of their often brutal critiques, "but at the same time, that's the show. If you can't take criticism, don't be part of it.
"There's so much intricate detail in dance, you don't understand that from the outside. For us general public it might look fantastic but the actual dance techniques, you miss out." Travis said he would always take on board what the judges were saying, just that sometimes they were asking things he wasn't sure he was capable of doing.
"I think I was at capacity of my dance development, I was tapping out," he said.
The judges also took Trav to task for struggling to find the time to rehearse, not committing himself as wholly as he could in the process.
"I work full time," Trav explained, "I've got a young family and I'm trying to learn to dance. You try to spread your life but as the competition goes on you've got to commit to dance."
Though retiring from AFL in 2017, Trav has since returned to the game and works at Collingwood FC.
"In Melbourne, things are heating up for footy season, it's hard to take off work, they've been amazing but I also want to spend time with my wife and daughter," he said, adding, "it kind of fell apart."
Despite getting the boot, Trav had nothing but positive things to say about Violetta, the judges and his experience as a whole.
"There's no point being too hard on yourself," he admitted. "Being on this show was to push myself.
"I'd never get up at a nightclub or a wedding and dance. To put myself out there and in front of the general public to dance was a huge step. Everything else was a bonus," he said.
"I enjoyed the whole journey. I wanted to put on the best show I could for the viewers, but I was there to do the best I could."
As for if he's going to be hogging the dance floor at future weddings, Travis laughed and said, "Possibly, who knows!"
While he had nothing but compliments for his fellow celebs still in the competition, Travis said he had been enjoying Christian Wilkins' progression on the series so far.
"He's so open about sharing his own story and who he is, he's so true to his own character," Travis said. Celia Pacquola and Ed Kavalee were the others Travis said was one to watch, "Her week-to-week growth and his facial expressions," he joked.
"One of those three will be the winner, hopefully they're the final three. That would be an amazing final three," Travis said.
Though his time in the competition had come to an end, Travis was dancing in honour of Wildlife Victoria, a cause close to his and his wife Rebeccah's hearts.
"Obviously, off the back of the fires... Beccy and I are pretty passionate about animals, we live on a hobby farm," Travis said. "We thought, definitely with the fires, speaking for the little guys who can't speak for themselves... and continuing to raise awareness. We're not forgetting about the animals and the towns that have been affected."