Meet Maisie Smith – Strictly Come Dancing contestant and EastEnders star
Everything you need to know about Eastenders' Maisie Smith – Strictly Come Dancing 2020 semi-finalist.
Despite having appeared in the dance-off on more than one occasion, Maisie Smith has been one of the standouts on this year's Strictly Come Dancing –and that continued in last week's semi finals as she achieved a perfect score of 30 for her Couple's Choice dance.
She'll now be hoping to get her hands on the Glitterball trophy, and our statistics predict that she is the favourite to be crowned champion of the series.
Partnered with Gorka Marquez, Maisie is currently topping the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard, having earned a total score of 59 during last week’s semi-finals.
And in the final she'll be hoping to impress again, dancing a Samba to Gloria Estefan’s Samba (Conga) for Judges’ Pick, a Quickstep to When You’re Smiling by Andy Williams for Favourite Dance and a Showdance to Idina Menzel’s We Need A Little Christmas.
Reflecting on her time on the show ahead of the final, Maisie picked out her first appearance in the dance-off as a turning point on her Strictly journey, explaining that being in the bottom two "made me realise how much this meant to me."
So, will Maisie be able to pull off one of the biggest performances of her life and win the Strictly Come Dancing final?
Here's everything you need to know about Maisie - one of the contestants in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.
Who is Maisie Smith?
Job: EastEnders actress
Partnered with: Gorka Marquez
Maisie Smith is competing against the likes of Good Morning Britain host Ranvir Singh and comedian, actor and musician Bill Bailey in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.
Maisie began her acting career at the age of five, when she appeared as a young Queen Elizabeth I in historical drama The Other Boleyn Girl.
In 2008, she took on her best known role – that of Tiffany Dean/Butcher in EastEnders, the daughter of Bianca Jackson. While she left the soap in 2014, Smith returned briefly in 2016 for Whitney Dean and Lee Carter's wedding, before officially rejoining the soap in January 2018.
Smith has also branched out as a musician, releasing her first album – Where My Heart Is – in 2017.
Maisie's Strictly journey so far
Week One: Samba (8 + 8 + 8) = 24
Week Two: Tango (8 + 9 + 8) = 25
Week Three: American Smooth (8+7+9) =24
Week Four: Cha Cha (7+8+9) = 24
Week Five: Salsa (9+9+9) = 27
Week Six: Quickstep (9 + 10 + 10) = 29
Week Seven: Jive (9 + 10 + 9) = 28
Semi-final: Couple's Choice (10 + 10 + 10) + Viennese Waltz (9 + 10 + 10) = 59
Maisie hit the ballroom floor running, managing to secure a second place spot on the leaderboard in her first week on the dance floor. She followed it up with the top spot on the leaderboard in Week Two and third place in Week Three.
After surprisingly finding herself in the dance off in Week Four, Maisie bounced back in style the following weekend, with her memorable Salsa seeing her score 27 points – putting her in second place behind only Jamie and his partner Karen.
The routine, danced to Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor, had all three judges unanimous in their praise. However, it wasn't enough to save Maisie from her second dance-off.
The actress managed to beat Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe to keep her spot in the competition, but had to pull out all the stops in Week Six to make it through to the next live show.
Did she and Gorka bring their A-game or what as they performed a Quickstep and bagged a near perfect score of 29 points!
Smith has said for some time now that she really wanted to make it to Musicals Week, as she hoped to put on an epic performance inspired by an iconic stage show.
Fortunately, she did indeed make it through after delivering a sensational routine based on Little Shop of Horrors, which earned her a very strong 28 points – including a perfect 10 from Shirley Ballas, who complimented her footwork.
In the semi-final, Maisie smashed it with a street dance to Will Smith's Getting' Jiggy Wit It and earned straight 10s from the judges for a perfect 30.
Despite receiving consistently high scores from the judges, she hasn't received the same acknowledgement from viewers at home when it comes to the Strictly vote.
However, Maisie Smith’s rocky Strictly journey isn’t unprecedented, and although some viewers appear to have found it difficult to warm to contestants like Maisie – who have had some dance experience – she's very much needed on the series for it to work.
Strictly 2020 isn't the first time Smith has taken to the ballroom – she competed in a Children in Need Strictly special last year and won with her professional partner Kevin Clifton.
Speaking about joining the line-up for this year's competition, she said: “Get me in those sequins, I can’t wait to dive into the Strictly fancy dress box this winter! This is a dream come true.”