‘I Think We All Need That’: Dami Im’s Dancing With The Stars Journey Comes To An End
As the world faces the global coronavirus pandemic, with more uncertainty than ever, Dami Im had to learn a paso doble.
“It’s been really bizarre,” Dami told 10 daily over the phone following her elimination from the show on Sunday night.
“It’s quite silly, while something so serious is happening, but it’s been a good distraction. And that the show was able to continue and keep going on, it’s a good distraction for people at home as well, something to cheer them up.
“It’s a real lighthearted show, and I think right now we all need that.”
The show has been unavoidably affected by the measures put in place to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. First, the live audience was taken out, and then when Christian Wilkins was at risk of exposure, he and his dance partner Lily Cornish were put into quarantine in their Melbourne hotel.
On Sunday night, Christian and Lily performed on the rooftop of their hotel, cheered on nearby neighbours, looking at the pair from their balconies. Later in the show, Grant and Amanda were caught off-guard when the Prime Minister addressed the nation, handing down new restrictions for businesses.
For Dami, it completely changed how she had been viewing the Dancing with the Stars experience.
“At the start -- even towards the middle -- I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore’. And then the last few weeks, it was the easiest, best thing I could do,” she said.
"There are so many bad things happening, everyone’s so worried all the time and all I had to do was learn a paso doble. It put everything into perspective."
“I know it’s not just me, all the dancers on the show are so grateful we can do this, that we’re still doing a job and doing something that’s meaningful, in a way.”
Performing a foxtrot and a paso doble, Dami and her professional dance partner Shae Mountain failed to impress the judges, but her final dance of the night -- a dance-off with Claudia Karvan -- was praised as her best of the season.
Dami said she felt like she knew that when it came to going up against Claudia that she was the one going home, so for the first time she felt truly unbridled by the fear of being judged.
“I felt relieved, in a way, and all I was thinking was let’s just enjoy it,” she told 10 daily.
"This is the very last dance I’ll do on the show, who knows when I’ll ever dance again on TV so I just had fun. I really just enjoyed it and I think maybe that helped.”
Since the beginning of the competition, Dami joked about how often people would assume as a singer-songwriter that dance would just be part of her performance repertoire. Pushing herself out of her comfort zone to dance on National TV was one thing, but having to face the judges after each performance was another.
“When I was learning the dance all week I knew that it wasn’t going to be incredible,” Dami said, laughing. “It wasn’t going to be perfect, I never went in going oh, this will be excellent. I had gotten used to [the judges’ feedback] because I was criticised for seven weeks.
“To have done that, I am so proud of myself,” Dami said. “Everyone around me, my friends, my family and my husband, they all know I’m the most unco person, so, to have done that. I’m really stoked with myself -- and the judges, that's their job to criticise the bad part. But I’m happy I put myself out there.”
Her support system extended further than just friends and family, with her loyal Dami Army behind her the whole way. From her time on X-Factor to representing Australia at Eurovision, her fans have stuck by the recording artist.
“Dami Army have been incredible,” she said, “they’re the reason I was able to do this for seven weeks. They kept voting me through even though I was getting low scores. I give them all the credit and love for the support they gave me.
“I have to thank them, and hopefully they enjoyed watching me try. I was pushing through my insecurities and putting myself out there, so I hope everyone enjoyed it!”
Dami was dancing in support of Compassion, an organisation she’s has personally supported for years.
“I love working with Compassion, they do such an amazing job,” she said, “they allow you to sponsor a child in poverty around the world.”
The singer has been sponsoring a child through the organisation and even had the opportunity to meet her sponsor child.
“You get to form a relationship, you can go meet them if you like. Meeting my sponsor kid, buying them lunch, talking to their family and meeting their community was one of the best times of my life and highlight of my career.
“I hope people check out Compassion and consider sponsoring a kid,” she added.