Maisie Smith brands people ‘cruel’ in tearful admission following Strictly backlash

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Maisie Smith, 19, has wowed judges from the get-go on Strictly Come Dancing as she and her pro dancer partner Gorka Marquez take the ballroom by storm. But it hasn’t been an easy ride for the EastEnders actress, who found herself being critiqued by viewers who mistook her confidence for “cockiness”.

It’s a part of life, I’m trying to grow and learn but people are cruel

Maisie Smith

Maisie has been in the public eye since she joined the long-running BBC soap as Tiffany Bucther in 2001 at just six-years-old.

Since then, viewers and fans have watched her grow up on-screen and become a social media sensation, but taking on the dancing competition has thrust her into a more prominent spotlight than ever before.

One where she’s learnt a valuable lesson about being true to herself and ignore “cruel people”.

In a recent interview, Maisie opened up on being a woman in show-business: “It’s certainly not one of the perks of being in the public eye,” she said.

“I’m definitely better than I used to be.

“I’ve grown to accept that people will say meant things.”

Over the past couple of weeks, the actress and Gorka found themselves in the bottom two and faced the dreaded dance-off against their fellow contestants.

The uncertainty left Maisie in tears and she was criticised by some social media users for coming across as “too confident” and “cocky” during her performances.

“It’s a part of life, I’m trying to grow and learn but people are cruel,” she sobbed.

“When you see things about you in the media and it changes people’s perceptions of you, you’ve to work extra hard to prove you are a nice person.

“People make mistakes. I’m just a young girl and I’m always learning.”

But she admits it’s easier said than done, as trying to put on a brave face isn’t a walk in the park.

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“It’s hard not to let it affect you,” she admitted.

“I do have to genuinely remind myself to just trust myself and be me.

“I won’t sit here and say I don’t care what people say about me. I’m a human being after all and I do,” she told OK! Magazine.

Ahead of Week 6, Maisie and Gorka vowed to give it their all after a small set-back on Saturday almost saw the pro dancer drop his partner on her head during a backflip.

The error in their sizzling Salsa was criticised by the judges but didn’t stop them from gaining an impressive 27/30 for the performances.

This weekend they’re set to perform the Quickstep to Andy Williams’ When You’re Smiling.

Strictly Come Dancing returns Saturday on BBC One at 7.15pm.

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