'Dancing with the Stars' winner Amber Riley was close to quitting the show over a knee injury.
The 'Glee' star was crowned the winner of the 17th season of the ballroom TV show last night (26.11.13) but has confessed she struggled in rehearsals because of the strain the routines put on her joints and at one point she was in so much pain she considered giving up her place on the series.
However, 27-year-old Amber - who danced her way to the top spot with her professional partner Derek Hough - eventually realised her determination to overcome her health problems meant she was completely committed to winning the competition.
She said: ''As the weeks progressed, it got harder, and I didn't know if I'd be able to compete any more. There was a point where I was putting needles in my knees ... and I thought, 'If I'm going through this pain every week, I obviously want this more than I'm willing to admit.' Toward the end I was like, 'Let's go for it. It's OK if I want to win.' ''
She added: ''Even at the beginning I didn't think I was going to win! When we first started, that wasn't the goal - it really wasn't. I was like, 'OK, this will be cool. It'll be great exercise, I'll gain confidence, I'll learn dances ... I love dancing - maybe I'll experience something new.' ''
Amber is so pleased to take home the coveted mirrorball trophy she plans to give it pride of place on her Thanksgiving table when she celebrates the annual American holiday on Thursday (28.11.13).
She said: ''It's going to be the centrepiece at Thanksgiving! No turkey!
''I'm very proud of myself. I can't believe ... Well, I guess I can believe I endured to the end, because I worked very, very hard and I'm really happy.''