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Dancing on Ice’s Vanessa Bauer addresses her romance with partner Joey Essex for the first time

Dancing on Ice’s Vanessa Bauer has addressed her romance with partner Joey Essex for the first time while he admitted that awkward kiss on air was planned. 

In a new interview, the skating professional, 26, spoke of her ‘bond’ with the former TOWIE star, 32, following months of romance rumours between the pair. 

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final she told Metro.co.uk: ‘This time I’ve got Joey with me. Obviously we have a bond like I didn’t have with any of my other partners. It’s going to be 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.’ 

During the competition’s Movie Week Joey and Vanessa danced a romantic routine to High School Musical hit track Breaking Free. 

Loved-up? Dancing on Ice’s Vanessa Bauer, 26, has addressed her romance with partner Joey Essex, 32, for the first time while he admitted that awkward kiss on air was planned

And as they channelled characters Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, the TV personality appeared to confirm the romance claims as he leaned in to plant a kiss on the professional’s lips.

But slightly more hesitant, Vanessa laughed and leaned away from Joey as she appeared flustered by the gesture.

Addressing the smooch, which shocked fans and was met by awkward comments from the judges and presenters, Joey explained that it was ‘planned’ but Vanessa got ‘overwhelmed’ in the moment. 

Joey explained: ‘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.” 

He added that the dancer didn’t think she pulled away but was proved otherwise by the photo, joking that he ‘loved to be pied.’ 

The pair have been linked romantically since beginning rehearsals for the show and have been spotted spending an increased amount of time together. 

And earlier this month, Joey confirmed rumours of a relationship with Vanessa during Dancing On Ice after being grilled by hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Scholfield.

However, the presenters were subsequently slammed by viewers for being ‘totally inappropriate,’ ‘disrespectful,’ and leaving Vanessa visibly ‘uncomfortable.’

Oops: Addressing the smooch, which shocked fans and was met by awkward comments from the judges and presenters, Joey explained that it was ‘planned’ but Vanessa got ‘overwhelmed’

Phil, 60, attempted to coax the former TOWIE star and his professional partner into revealing whether they were an item before Holly, 41, announced the pair as ‘Joey Essex and his skating-slash-real life partner Vanessa.’

Joey and Vanessa will go head-to-head with former Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson and his professional partner Olivia Smart as well as Drag Race UK star The Vivienne and skater Colin Grafton.

The couple’s who impress with their performances will then be tasked with skating to Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill’s Bolero, with the overall winner going to a public vote. 

Last week saw Siva Kaneswaran and Mollie Gallagher voted off Dancing On Ice in brutal semi-final double elimination. 

Dancing on Ice: The Final airs Sunday at 6:30pm on ITV1 and ITVX. 

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