Runaway favourite | 

Nina Carberry bids to climb the last hurdle in Dancing With The Stars Ireland finale 

"I'd really like to win the Glitterball. It has just been a great journey for me and I'm just so delighted to be in the final as well, but I'm just delighted to be part of it all"

Nina Carberry

Eugene Masterson

RUNAWAY favourite to win tonight's final of Dancing With The Stars' Nina Carberry admits taking home the Glitterball would be just as good as winning the Gold Cup.

The Meath woman is full of awe for fellow jockey Rachael Blackmore's achievement of winning the famous Cheltenham jump race, but tonight Nina has her own final hurdle to climb.

"I'd really like to win the Glitterball. It has just been a great journey for me and I'm just so delighted to be in the final as well, but I'm just delighted to be part of it all," beams the mum-of-two.

"It's very similar to be honest. I got a big kick out of going on stage, and the adrenaline rush that I got as well was very similar to going in the race and it probably what I needed to get in my life again because I was missing it for about two years since I retired, so it was nice to have that feeling back again."

Nina (37) raves about Rachael's accomplishment.

"She was amazing, she is some role model. "She is absolutely an incredible woman and fair dues to her. She is getting better and better every year. I'm absolutely delighted for her. She's a good friend of mine and I'm delighted to see her doing so well.

"She would often give me the odd text. The whole industry to be honest is so supportive and I'm getting a great response from everybody and I think everyone is tuning in to watch it as well."

Nina will perform the Viennese Waltz as part of the judge's choice tonight and in the audience cheering her on will be her husband Ted, brother and fellow jockey Paul, sister in-law Rachel and mum Pamela.

"Obviously, it's all down to the votes at home," she says when asked if she can clear the final fence. Pasquale got me so far in this competition. I hope that my show dance will show how far I have come."

She has also lined up her two little daughters a treat after tonight.

"I have promised the girls we will head off to a hotel somewhere, so they are delighted. We will treat them to something nice," she smiles.

Her competitors in tonight's final are rugby player Jordan Conroy (28) , Paralympics swimmer Ellen Keane (26) and singer Erica Cody (26).

Jordan Conroy with his dance partner Salome Chachua

Earlier in the week, Jordan went down to his hometown of Tullamore, Co Offaly, with his dance partner Salome Chachua.

"It was just to get a chance to thank everyone from home because my mum and aunty have been letting me know that so many people come up and say I'm doing brilliant and they are voting for me, so I asked could I come down and do a VT there," he explains.

"In my head, I was like 'ah just a couple of people that know me will be there'. But it was a massive turnout.

"I was overwhelmed by the amount of people that came up. There were a few familiar faces. But what was really wholesome was the little kids that came up and had signs and all that and just said they are dancing when you are dancing, they are the little things that made us feel so wholesome and felt really good about."

Jordan, who is doing the paso doble tonight as the judge's choice dance, confirms he's still single.

"I am very single, because between the rugby and dancing its literally taking over my whole life," he stresses.

"To be honest I don't even have the energy to be dating right now because it's just too much, As a man I'm very bad at multi-tasking, I can barely do the dancing and the rugby. To be honest once this is over I'm just going straight back into the rugby and the love life can wait, because I'm just too wrecked!"

He'll also have a close group of supporters in the audience tonight.

"My mum has been there since show one and she has been the good luck charm," he said."

"And then I'm bringing four close friends I have since I first came to Ireland and they have been behind me, literally behind the scenes and I think it's only fair that they come to the finale because they have been there since day one."

He adds: "Whatever happens on Sunday just happens. I'm just glad I got to dance every single weekend, got to put on a show and got to meet all these lovely people as well."

"If were to win the cup, it's just the cherry on top, but the whole experience itself is what's the real winner for me. I'm just glad I got to the end and I'm allowed to do one more dance with Salome. I'm just going to have fun."

Dancing With The Stars tonight RTÉ 1, 6.30pm

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