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Singer Brooke Scullion says ‘I don’t have time for romance’ after turning down First Dates

Last Sunday she made her debut appearance on Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars, where she performed the salsa live

Brooke Scullion says she's not looking for love at the moment despite being offered a slot on RTÉ show First Dates

Singer Brooke Scullion with her dance partner Maurizio Benenato during Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O’Brien/kobpix

Derry native Brooke Scullion representing Ireland during last year's Eurovision in Turin

Julie Ann TrainorIndependent.ie

It has been a whirlwind year for former Eurovision hopeful, Brooke Scullion.

The 23-year-old was selected to represent Ireland in the iconic song contest in Turin last May.

Despite failing to qualify for the final, the singer has decided to put her best foot forward as she faces her next hurdle.

Last Sunday she made her debut appearance on Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars, where she performed the salsa live – and she confessed that her stomach had been “churning just thinking about it.”

And it seems reality TV cannot get enough of the Derry native as she said: “I turned down First Dates because I’m not looking for anyone.

“I’m not interested at all, to be honest. I just don’t have great experiences and I want it to happen organically if ever,” she said.

So does that mean viewers can rule out sparks flying between Scullion and her Italian dance mentor Maurizio Benenato?

“There isn’t any romance between us,” she laughed. “I can understand how it happens because you spend so much time with a single person. I don’t know what’s happening with the others, but I just don’t think I could have a professional and romantic relationship with someone.”

Pressed on whether he’s been teaching her any Italian during their lessons, she said: “Just a wee bit. I know how to say, ‘We’re good’ and ‘I’m happy’. It’s trial and error, but I think I’ll pick up some Italian during the process. I know when he’s swearing, I’ll tell you that much, because he usually does it every time I mess up.”

Derry native Brooke Scullion representing Ireland during last year's Eurovision in Turin

What’s more, Scullion reveals that she has moved in with fellow contestant, and Derry Girls actress, Leah O’Rourke, as they prepare to battle it out on the dance floor.

They’re also neighbours with former state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy and ex-Glee star Damian McGinty, who are also living in the city-centre apartment block, while they compete on the show.

“I was an extra in Derry Girls, and Leah and I were in the same room, but we never got to speak to each other. Yet now we’re living together, so I’m fan-girling over that,” said Scullion.

“The show has also put Damian [McGinty] and Marie [Cassidy] in the same apartment block as us, and we’re going to have a Come Dine With Me night. That will be fun.”

Moreover, Scullion – who came third on The Voice UKin 2020 – explained that her showbiz pals have proved invaluable as she sets her sights on lifting the glitterball trophy.

‘”I’ve become friendly with some of the Fair City cast since moving to Dublin, including [actor] Ryan Andrews and his wife,” she said.

“Ryan did Dancing With The Stars in the past and made it to the final, so he reached out and gave me some advice.

“He told me, ‘Make sure to give everything in your performance on Sunday because no-one cares about how hard you’ve worked unless they can see it’, which is so true.”

Singer Brooke Scullion with her dance partner Maurizio Benenato during Dancing With The Stars. Photo: Kyran O’Brien/kobpix

Despite the sequins and glamour facade of the hit show, the musician revealed that a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes.

“My feet are in agony. I’m a shoe size five but wearing a three-and-a-half, because they have to be tight – and my feet are that narrow I’ve to wear kids’ shoes to keep them secure at the base of my foot,” said Scullion.

“I’ve lost my big toe nail, and I don’t think it will grow back, so it's really intense in terms of how much pain your body goes through.

“I thought this is my chance – I’m going to become Jennifer Lopez, but the phrase I keep hearing is, ‘Again and again and again.’ It’s not what I expected, but it’s part of it.”

Scullion hopes to stay in the competition for as long as she can, but once she eventually bows out there won’t be much time for respite.

“I’m going to Australia at the end of March where I’ll be doing five different dates in five cities – Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. It’s the most surreal thing in the world,” she said.

Asked whether she has built up a fanbase Down Under, the singer said: “I think Eurovision helped. They really love pop music over there, and obviously with there being such a big Irish/Australian connection I feel that’s a big plus as well.”


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