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Nadia Lim dusts off dancing shoes as surprise guest for tonight's DWTS finale

Nadia Lim in rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars with co-host Clinton Randell. Photo / Supplied

Nadia Lim in rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars with co-host Clinton Randell. Photo / Supplied

Fans will get a double dose of Nadia Lim tonight with the popular chef returning to the dance floor on Three's Dancing With The Stars NZ finale, before MasterChef NZ then premieres.

Lim, a new judge on the cooking show, is among surprise special guests on DWTS, both in the audience and on stage, and will treat viewers to a jive with co-host Clinton Randell while wearing a bejewelled purple tassel dress.

Lim and dance partner Aaron Gilmore were eliminated on week eight of the last season of DWTS in 2019.

She tells the Herald on Sunday she has been practising and updating her moves through the week but the thought of returning is terrifying.

"I still can't believe I agreed to do this. When I hit the dance floor I'm going to be like, why did I agree to this? Hopefully, the nerves stay away."

Gilmore, who brought home the mirror ball trophy with Newshub's Samantha Hayes in 2018 and former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes in 2006, this year went out in a shock elimination with Lotto presenter Sonia Gray, in round one.

In 2019, after Lim and Gilmore performed a jive to Blondie's iconic 1980 hit Call Me, he famously jumped to her defence, interrupting judge Camilla Sacre-Dallerup's critique in the semi-final.

"I just think in this stage of the competition, to be fair to everybody else, I would expect more spring in your step," Sacre-Dallerup told Lim.

Gilmore took the microphone from the show's co-host Sharyn Casey.

"I'm sorry, I have to stand up. I've got a daughter and I've got to look them in the eyes.

"This lady has worked harder than any person I've ever danced with. She pushes, she pushes, she pushes, and sometimes, I think we have to actually reward this journey instead of squashing light, this woman has shown more light than anyone."

Sacre-Dallerup replied, "Let me just finish, we're here to do a job too, and judge what we're seeing, this is an extremely strong semi-final, everyone who is here is worthy."

On seeing the judge again tonight Lim was very diplomatic, saying she was very fair and she knows what she was getting at, "let's just say my dancing is not as good as my cooking."

That's not to say Lim hasn't kept up her dancing over the past three years. She has taken up a bit of salsa dancing since, although not with husband Carlos Bagrie, she says.

It will be a DWTS 2019 alumnae reunion tonight for Lim - her dancing BFF, comedian Laura Daniel, who was 2019's runner-up, her fiance Joseph Moore and other former contestants, influencer Carolyn Taylor and AM's William Wairua will also be heading along tonight to watch and cheer her on.

"We all got on like a house on fire, so it is going to be so much fun to catch up with everyone," Lim says.

"Everyone on that season was just so awesome - now I've moved down south I don't get to see them as much, but we catch up when we can and I can't wait to see them tonight."

As for MasterChef NZ, in which Lim will be centre stage as a judge, Lim says, "I am very excited. It's about time it came back."