Maisie Smith: Competing in Strictly Come Dancing has boosted my confidence

The actress will compete in Saturday's series finale.

Maisie Smith says competing in Strictly Come Dancing has boosted her confidence.

The EastEnders star, 19, will take part in Saturday night’s finale alongside her professional partner Gorka Marquez.

The pair will perform a samba to Gloria Estefan’s song Samba, a showdance to Idina Menzel’s We Need A Little Christmas and a quickstep to Andy Williams’ When You’re Smiling.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
(Guy Levy/BBC)

Speaking ahead of the final, Smith said the programme had pushed her out of her “comfort zone”.

She added: “I have been thrown into the deep end, so in a way it has helped me with confidence because on this show, it goes so quick.

“You just have to go out there and do it and it has pushed me just to get over it and I try and feel happier with myself.

“It’s only been eight weeks and I already feel better about myself and I didn’t expect that to ever happen.”

Strictly Come Dancing
(Guy Levy/BBC)

She said it would be “mad” and “incredible” if she could win the trophy, adding: “To bring the glitterball home to my family, it would mean a lot because I know how proud they would be of me for that.”

Smith, who found herself in the dance off two weeks in a row earlier in the series, said the experience helped her.

She said: “I think being in the bottom two, it kind of made me realise how much this meant to me and it did give me a massive push to just keep working as hard as I can and I think that was the turning point for me that made me just think, ‘I have just got to put my all into this’.”

She added that it has been “paying off ever since”.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer (Guy Levy/BBC)

Jamie Laing, who is also in the final with his partner Karen Hauer, said performing on Strictly had been challenging.

“It is a really tough show, in a great way,” he said.

“It is one of the toughest things I have probably done in terms of physical and mental sort of toughness.”

Laing will perform a Charleston to Zero To Hero from the Disney film Hercules in the final, along with a showdance to a cover of Sir Elton John’s I’m Still Standing.

They will also perform their couple’s choice routine to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory.

– The Strictly Come Dancing finale airs on BBC One on December 19 at 6pm.

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