Vanessa pulled away… but that wasn’t the plan! (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock)
Dancing on Ice finalist Joey Essex has opened up about the awkward kiss he almost shared with Vanessa Bauer on the ice.
The pair received savage remarks from the likes of Lorraine Kelly and Phillip Schofield, as well as those watching at home, after the Towie star, 32, tried to kiss his skating partner, 25.
Channeling his inner Troy Bolton to Vanessa’s Gabriella Montez, the duo had skated to Breaking Free during the competition’s Movie Week, and at the end of their performance, Joey leaned in to try to kiss Vanessa, but she quickly pulled away to avoid the move and started giggling.
‘Nearly a little peck at the end there,’ Phil quipped after their skate, while Joey cheekily added: ‘Nearly. Our first kiss on live TV.’
Viewers were left confused and cringing over the exchange, which comes as the couple have sparked romance rumours during their time on the show.
When asked about the moment, Joey began: ‘It’s a long story’.
Awkward! (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock)
‘Basically, we’d planned to kiss before [we went on the ice],’ he explained to Metro.co.uk and other press.
‘It was overwhelming for me in that moment on the live show,’ Vanessa interrupted, before Joey continued: ‘I had asked Vanessa probably over ten times, “You wouldn’t pull away would you? You want me to kiss you right?”
‘And she goes, “Yeah I want you to kiss me,” and I was like, “Okay, but you wouldn’t pull away though, would you?”‘
Joey and Vanessa are skating into the final this week! (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock)
The pair have sparked plenty of romance rumours (Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/Shutterstock)
He then added that Vanessa ‘still doesn’t think she pulled away’.
‘I was like, “Have you seen the picture?!”‘
‘It’s nice, it’s very fresh, I love to get pied like that,’ he jokingly added.
‘It was good for me, and I’m taking it as a positive.’
Talking about their time as skating partners coming to an end, Joey elsewhere told us: ‘I think me and Vanessa have a great bond. We’ve always gotten on with each other since day one, it’s very special.
‘I think it would be nice to see what’s going on on the outside, we’re mainly interested in the ice rink to be honest.’
‘We’re taking it day after day, and we’ve got the final ahead of us so our main focus is on the final,’ Vanessa added.
Dancing on Ice: The Final airs Sunday at 6:30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
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