Maisie Smith reveals Strictly Come Dancing “turning point” as she opens up about pressure ahead of final

The Strictly finalist has opened up about finding herself in the bottom two and how it motivated her to work harder in the competition.

maisie smith strictly come dancing line up

EastEnders star Maisie Smith has opened up about the moment she realised Strictly Come Dancing meant a lot to her, revealing that landing in the bottom two was her “turning point” in the competition.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press ahead of tonight’s Strictly Come Dancing final, the actress said being up for elimination in Week Four of the competition was a huge moment for her.

“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,” she said.

“And I think that was the turning point for me that made me just think, you know, this is why I’ve got got to put my all into this, and I think it’s been sort of paying off ever since. I think I have improved each week.”

The EastEnders star, who plays Tiffany Butcher on the soap, has landed in the bottom two twice over the course of the competition, sending The Wanted’s Max George home in Week Four and eliminating Caroline Quentin in Week Five.

“I always put pressure on myself anyway, because you know this this show, goes so quick and you don’t have much time,” Maisie continued, speaking of the high expectations she set for herself to live up to on Strictly. “So I think I want to make the most of every performance. I want to leave everything out on that stage that I possibly can.”

Praising her professional dance partner Gorka Marquez‘s “beautiful” choreography, she added: “I don’t want to let him down, so I don’t think the scores put any pressure – I think I just want to do it, so that we can create the most like magical dance.”

When asked whether her potential eliminations make this weekend’s final a level playing field, Maisie said she feels as though it’s been anybody’s game each week.

“I don’t think anyone’s had any clue what’s going to happen because the standard is just so high and everyone every week is like, you’re wowed by every single performance.

“It’s incredible how much everyone has changed from the launch show to now – it’s like different people,” she added. “So none of us know what’s gonna happen and this is what makes it even more exciting.”

Maisie and her professional partner Gorka will be performing their Samba to Gloria Estefan’s Samba for Judges’ Pick, their Quickstep to Andy Williams’ When you’re Smiling for Favourite Dance and a Showdance to Idina Menzel’s We Need A Little Christmas during Saturday’s final.

She’ll be competing against comedian Bill Bailey, singer HRVY and Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing for the chance to win Strictly’s coveted glitter-ball trophy.

Additional reporting by Grace Henry.

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The Strictly Come Dancing final airs Saturday 19th December at 6pm on BBC One. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.