Thank you for all the great questions you have sent in for Tristan - here, on Twitter, and on the Facebook Fan Page. As always, Tristan took time out of his very busy schedule on Sunday to interact with his supporters once again by answering some very thought-provoking questions. Enjoy!
We had some laughs watching your Prom Queen/Nerd themedSamba which inspired this question. When you were in school, were you more like the prom king, nerd, party boy having a good time type, or the rebel – a la James Dean?
I wasn't really any kind of way to be honest. We all loved sports so we all wanted to play most of my mates from school. We were all together from preschool growing up through Irish speaking schools. I was pretty lazy in school. I wasn't really into many subjects but I always loved history. I used to just spend most days talking. I always 'had potential if he would just apply himself'!!! I was a bit of a smartarse but I was never the worst. I probably was a bit into myself in school and attention seeking but sure I snapped out of that!! I was just happy as I was. I think it’s very important to be educated but I think the focus sometimes is on the wrong things in my opinion. I’d have liked more opinions in school. What do you think about this? What do you think about that? What would you do? But then again at that age I didn't really give a rats. You go to school and you spend the day hoping they don't ask for your homework that you didn't do or wanting to get home!!! I spent all my time thinking ‘I need to remember this date, that date, when am I ever going to use that?’ I think first aid should be compulsory in schools and also exercise. I wish I had paid more attention to languages but to be honest I think we all look back and wish we paid more attention. I’m assuming this is adults reading this and not impressionable children..... Education is very, very important but I think it starts at home.
We probably know the answer to this already, but your Week 8 costume was perfection – in a nerdy kind of way. Did you ever have anything in your closet that resembled that pink ruffled shirt?
No chance. I’m sure I’ve had a few costumes not far off when I was younger but sure that’s why I walked away from that madness. Anytime I put glasses on people think I’m Austin Powers.
You’re a pro and have been asked to create dances to all kinds of music – good and bad – but do you recall one time in particular when you were presented your music and dance type and thought “now what am I supposed to do with this”?
No comment........haha - yeah always. Again when we were on DWTS you could a lot of the time choose a lot more but here not so much. For sure they try help you out but ultimately it comes down to a boss’s preference. You get songs that you never heard of and you get songs you wish you will never hear again and then you now and again get lucky and get a song you always wanted. The fact of the matter is it’s not about me and what I want. I make a dance to make my partner enjoy herself and I do it to a song that someone has decided the audience will love. I’ve had a few for sure, and the fact is a great idea in your head doesn’t always play out the way you want it to and that has to be accepted across the board in every department. You can't just take the credit when it goes right. The producers need to put on a collective show. Sometimes you get the raw deal but other times you get that helping hand, but people just don't like to see it that way. People love songs and people hate songs. You hear a lot of songs being re-used but you have to remember that every celebrity is doing the show for the first time and their 'experience' is the only shot they get so you have to say ‘I like it’ or ‘I don't like it’ and if they can help, they help and if they won’t, you step back and do your job. Our music guy, Matt, is great with me though. We love a lot of the same songs.
We think that the people behind the scenes don't get nearly enough credit. Obviously lots of people work together to make Strictly run smoothly but are there any behind the scenes staff and crew that you work with regularly that you would like to mention?
You know what? Unfortunately not enough people in any walk of life get the credit they deserve, and we are very lucky that we have a dedicated bunch who work their socks off regardless! We have all the stage crew and props and lighting and camera departments that are there much longer than we are on a show day and make the show as amazing as it is and take earfulls from every Tom, Dick and Harry who have an air of ego or entitlement about them and still they rock up and do their jobs without looking for a pat on the back from anyone. I make sure I go out of my way to thank them all. We can get caught up in our own mini-dramatics of show days and all that garb but at the end of the day everyone takes pride in what they do - however big or small the job may seem. We have the greatest crew in the business and it’s down to them that the show runs as well as it does and has done since day dot. The banter from the prop boys is great and the hair and make up and costume departments craic me up. The security firm are top notch and obviously our coordinaters take all the flak for the ridiculous early call times but they keep us in check. Sophie Halsey is the best - haha.
You seem to have a gift to be able to talk to anybody about anything, and we think you would make a brilliant presenter/interviewer/host. If you could ask Craig, Darcey, Len, and Bruno each one question, what would it be?
The judges are great. I talk to most of them on show days at different times of the day be it passing in the corridor or in the tent after the shows. They are all great. They have a show to put on as well as we do and their characters for sure are part of their personalities but it’s not all they are. I talk football with Len and I have jokes and drinks with Craig and now and again I’ll spin Darcey around and grab a cuddle but they are very pleasant, nice people so all questions stay between us I’m afraid. I’d imagine Craig loves being that judge I think would be the best just slamming people – haha. Obviously it’s very different when you are on the receiving end but being the villain of anything is more fun. Everyone gets on with the judges off camera. I think Bruno is trying to take his nastiness this season – haha.
Speaking of the judges, do they watch your performance for the first time when you dance it live or do they get a preview at dress run?
Ah, who knows? Officially, yes. Realistically....I don't know.
What will training be like this week for Week 9 and Blackpool? Will things be different in rehearsal because of the massiveness of the Tower Ballroom itself?
Yeah, the first major change with Blackpool is that we lose our day off. We have been in all day rehearsing the two group numbers for next week and fitting in all the extra dancers and celebs into a group dance so already the week has rolled into two. We have a lot more work on and less sleep and even less time to rest the brain which is the most important. We all get on great on the show but I think everyone needs a day off and to not see everyone else for at least one day – ha. We will still travel and rehearse but we will more than likely go to Blackpool Thursday evening - some maybe earlier - and be there Friday and Saturday and Sunday I’d imagine. Your rehearsal rooms are still the same as most other weeks but, yeah, you have to plan for the massiveness of Blackpool which can be quite difficult to do but sure what else can you do!!?? Probably spend the week doing more VTs about how amazing Blackpool is and the sacrifices you made to get there, how many children you sold for that shot at the mirrorball!!!! It’s a fun week but it’s mental - busy usually with it in the end. It’s a special event for a lot of people you know so it’s just best to get your head down and enjoy the ride.
We saw Kym Johnson in the audience Saturday. Did you get a chance to catch up?
Yeah, Kym and Robert were there passing through so we caught up before the show which is always nice. I didn't see them after. It’s pretty full on show day and you are getting pulled here, there, and everywhere but I’m sure we will catch up again soon enough.
Here is a question from Lisa from your Facebook Fan Page: “One of the things I like most about you, Tristan, is the fact that you come across as an ordinary bloke who does have other interests. What advice would you give to young boys who are afraid to dance for fear of being bullied?”
The thing is that unfortunately bullies will always take their insecurities and whatever they are missing in their lives out on others. I think all we can do is teach each other to be strong enough to follow through on what we want to do. You can't affect other people but we can reassure our kids that being yourself is most important and standing up for yourself and what you believe in is the only thing that’s important. Kids will be kids. We all act the maggot at some stage of our lives. Some grow out of it and some just stay assholes but as individuals we need to find what makes us happy and do that. Giving someone a smack feels great but it doesn't get you anywhere. People are just finding their way and trying to fit in. Unfortunately, they feel the need to alienate someone else to do that but when the individual they alienate is confident and very content as themselves, then they almost feel what's the point?! I don't have the answers and I don't really like giving advice on it because every situation is different. For me I took a few digs and smacks and I gave back double but that’s not always the answer. I think nurturing a strong willed individual boy or girl with a mind of their own will set them up for making the right decisions based on their own convictions.