‘Clearly I Have No Pride’: Claudia Karvan Is Ready To Take On Dancing With The Stars’ Final Challenges

From the very first week, Claudia Karvan has taken on every challenge the show has thrown her.

Last week saw her and professional dance partner Aric Yegudkin in the bottom two, facing off in a dance-off with Dami Im. And Claudia was thrilled about it.

“I said from the beginning I’ve been desperate to get on that elimination floor,” she told 10 daily, adding, “You want to run the whole gamut of experiences. I didn’t know how I’d respond but I just loved it. [Dami and I] were both just swept away by it.”

Sailing through to the finale, Claudia faces her biggest challenge yet, but it doesn’t come from the judges at all, it’s from Aric.



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“Aric told me today ‘I haven’t got three 10s once in this series'. That’s unprecedented for Aric, I’m like oh no, I’m the weakest link! I haven’t gotten him his perfect score.”

Heading into the finale alongside Celia Pacquola, Ed Kavalee and Christian Wilkins in the final push to the mirrorball trophy, Claudia has her work cut out for her to deliver Aric his perfect set of 10s, but her time in the competition has proven she’s always striving for perfection.

Embracing the whole experience, Claudia said she had expected to get sick, rundown or injured throughout the competition but instead found herself stronger, developing her stamina and finding her energy a lot more consistent even after eight hours of rehearsal.

“You’ve basically got permanently bruised ribs, which is a necessary dancer’s sensation,” she added, “but on the whole it’s been more pleasurable, and maybe I’ve just been lazy. Clearly I haven’t been pushing myself enough,” she said, laughing.

Surprisingly it was the emotional side of the performances that Claudia found a lot more intense than the physical nature of learning the dances.

“The emotion and the psychology of the dance, that’s where you have to break down so many emotional barriers,” she said, adding, “that's more challenging than the physical.”

Each week the stars push themselves out of their comfort zones to perform, then open themselves up to the often blunt criticism from the judges. Like all aspects of the show, Claudia embraces the feedback wholeheartedly.

“I had a friend who was invited to go on the show and they said, ‘I couldn’t bear to be criticised while I’m sweating and hyperventilating, it’s so humiliating!’” Claudia said.

“Clearly I have no pride because I don’t care at all! This whole experience for me is about learning as much as I possibly can about dance. [The judges] are consummate professionals. The feedback they have is constructive and it helps.

“You don’t take these things personally, you leave your ego at the door and it’s one of those circumstances where things are completely out of your control,” she added.



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Heading into the finale, Claudia has been pushing to take out the top spot and take home the mirrorball trophy, but it wont stay at home for long.

“If [Aric and I] won the mirrorball I’d be putting it in the Wayside Chapel,” she said. Claudia -- along with Christian Wilkins -- nominated Wayside as the chosen charity she’s dancing for.

An ambassador to Wayside for 14 years, Claudia spends Christmas there every day with her family.

“If they could get the $50,000 they could keep their doors open. A lot of services like Wayside closed their doors a few weeks ago. It would be a bit of a godsend to get that money,” she said.



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Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the measures that have been undertaken by most organisations to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, Wayside have reduced their opening hours but continue to serve the community.

“That’s where it would live,” Claudia said, “so the visitors would be able to soak up a bit of light, the mirrorball glimmer. Bringing a little bit of disco to Kings Cross.”

Dancing With The Stars Grand Finale will air Sunday, March 29 at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play.