Strictly: Stacey Dooley praises Maisie Smith ahead of final

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 contestant Maisie Smith, 19, has previously admitted she isn’t as confident as she may come across on the show, following backlash about her persona. The EastEnders star is currently in the running to win the Glitterball trophy with her dance partner Gorka Marquez, 30.

We sort of have the hump with empowered women and I don’t really understand that

Stacey Dooley

Tonight, Strictly 2018 champion Stacey Dooley shared her thoughts about this year’s remaining dancing duos alongside past winners Kelvin Fletcher and Harry Judd.

Discussing finalist Maisie, Strictly: It Takes Two host Zoe Ball told the guests Maisie had been worried about people thinking she is too confident.

Defending the EastEnders actress, Stacey said: “I think it’s amazing that she’s spirited and I think it’s funny isn’t it sometimes, we sort of have the hump with empowered women and I don’t really understand that necessarily.

“We don’t sort of rally them and we sort of don’t get behind them.

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“I feel quite protective of her, I think she’s a baby and she’s magic on the dance floor.

“I’ve met her a couple of times and she’s a real sweetheart.

“So, I’m proud of her.”

Echoing Stacey’s comments, 2019 winner Kelvin added: ”She’s really charismatic and confident.

“She has every right to be confident. She’s a fantastic actress, so you know, I’m a big fan of hers.”

Maisie had previously won the show’s Children In Need 2019 special with former Strictly pro Kevin Clifton, who Stacey is now dating.

He also recently defended his ex Strictly dance partner following backlash.

He wrote on Twitter: “People love a confident/talented/successful man but a confident girl gets labelled cocky.”


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Recently defending herself, Maisie told The Mirror she isn’t as confident as people may believe.

She said: “People forget I am a 19-year-old girl.

“I’d ask people maybe not to judge my character on certain faces I pull when I’m dancing and maybe don’t be too quick to guess who someone is.

“I’m not confident in myself at all and I’m trying to be more confident, let’s not hate.”

The actress went on to say she was hesitant to sign up to the show because she is actually “too shy”.

“I’ve put on a confident front to cover up my nerves and maybe that came across in a different light than what I intended,” she added.

Despite the backlash, Maisie has made it through to the final of the show.

This weekend, she fights for the winner’s title against contestants Bill Bailey, HRVY and Jamie Laing.

Strictly Come Dancing continues this Saturday at 6pm on BBC One.

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