Dancing on Ice 2023: Nile Wilson secures perfect score after emotional routine leaves fans in tears

Nile Wilson was the first celebrity on Dancing on Ice 2023 to secure a perfect score from the judges for his ‘emotional’ routine
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Nile Wilson secured a perfect score after impressing judges during the semi-final of Dancing on Ice 2023 on Sunday.

The former Team GB gymnast, 27, from Leeds, won a full 40 points for his skating performance to In My Blood by Shawn Mendes.

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Skating with his fellow Olympic athlete partner Olivia Smart, he shared that his routine was inspired by his mental health journey.

Before his “emotional” performance, Nile spoke about feeling “complete loneliness” after retiring from gymnastics and how he turned to drinking and gambling.

Nile Wilson and Olivia Smart scored the first perfect score of Dancing on Ice 2023 (@nilemw - Instagram)Nile Wilson and Olivia Smart scored the first perfect score of Dancing on Ice 2023 (@nilemw - Instagram)
Nile Wilson and Olivia Smart scored the first perfect score of Dancing on Ice 2023 (@nilemw - Instagram)

Nile had previously won bronze on the horizontal bar at the 2016 Rio Olympics and in the same year suffered a neck injury that forced him into early retirement in 2019.

He described the situation as finding himself in a “scary place” before taking to the ice to perform.

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The judges were quick to praise the routine with Nile saying: “The story I told took a lot of courage to do that and this process has given me some life and some light.”

Nile has previously shared how skating on Dancing on Ice has given him “purpose” following his retirement from gymnastics.

Nile Wilson has opened up about the injury that caused him to retire from gymnasticsNile Wilson has opened up about the injury that caused him to retire from gymnastics
Nile Wilson has opened up about the injury that caused him to retire from gymnastics

Christopher Dean, who judges the show said: “What I loved was the raw emotion. I think you surprised yourself with what you can bring out of yourself. I hope Dancing on Ice has filled that void because that Olympic flame always burns bright.”

Nile previously shared: “"Gymnastics is my life and it has been as long as I can remember.

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"I got to travel the world, I got experiences of a lifetime. It’s a proud thing to be able to say that I won an Olympic bronze medal, it’s just the biggest euphoria that can ever be felt."

"February of 2019 I needed neck surgery that eventually ended my career. Retirement’s been tough. It has, it still is today.”

"When you have the feelings of complete emptiness and loneliness and ‘what the heck do I do’? So I just ply drink, drink, drink. I started gambling, I took a lot of painkillers. I, over the course of a few months, got to a very, very scary place."

Nile’s dad, Neil Wilson was also quick to share his pride over his son’s progress adding: "I am really, really proud of how Nile has thrown himself into Dancing On Ice. I described it as getting our son back."

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Fans were quick to share their praise for the fellow gymnast on Twitter, with one fan saying: “Absolutely amazing and well deserved, your story brought a few tears. well done Nile.”

Another fan also wrote: “A brilliant skate to open the show. Nile has shown great resilience and courage to come back from his injuries. This skate was testament to all his hard work and commitment. Olivia deserves a lot of credit too, on her debut season”

One user agreed with the perfect score for the pair, adding: “Nile and Olivia’s dance routine was spectacular to watch, worth the 40 points from the Judges. Well done to you both, A winning performance.”

A final Twitter user also wrote: “Brave, beautiful, skilful - I was in tears watching Nile and Olivia! Brilliant partnership. They are my winners!”

Nile and Olivia will now face off in next week’s final of Dancing on Ice against drag queen The Vivienne and reality star Joey Essex.