Strictly's Maisie Smith's mum says the 19-year-old is 'upset and vulnerable' as she misses her family

STRICTLY Come Dancing star Maisie Smith’s mum has spoken about how the teen is ‘vulnerable' and ‘nervous’.

According to her mum Julia, the 19-year-old is having a tough time being so far away from her family.

As the youngest contestant on Strictly this year, the EastEnders actress has been in the bottom two dances in the previous weeks with her salsa and cha cha cha, despite gaining top marks from the judges. 

Mum Julia has explained how she’s not as tough as she comes across on screen and is struggling with living alone for the first time and not being able to see her parents.

She told The Daily Mail: “As a parent, it's not about her winning, it's not about her being at the top of the leaderboard in my eyes, in my opinion. 

“It's seeing my daughter upset and vulnerable… I want to grab her. In the early days me and my husband were allowed to sit in the audience and she would look over and we would give her a big thumbs-up and she said she misses that.

“Knowing that we're nowhere near, I feel her vulnerability, so it has been quite tearful. The last couple of weekends have been… you know, I didn't sleep on Sunday night. 

“I was up for three hours just pacing around in the night, thinking, 'How can I help her?'

“If it was any other year but Covid year, it could be so much better that she would come home, I'd cook her a nice meal with all her vegetables and we'd talk it through, and it would all be OK.”

Maisie’s mum said how hard it was for her daughter to be herself instead of a character to hide behind.

“I was so nervous for her to be Maisie Smith in front of the nation because I know how she gets so nervous.”

Maisie has been up for elimination two weeks running after not securing enough viewer votes.

On comments that she has been too "cocky" and "arrogant" for viewers to warm to her, Maisie 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.

"When I was asked to do Strictly, as much as I was so excited, part of me thought it wasn’t the best idea for me because I’m too shy.

"Over the last couple of weeks, 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."

Maisie was in the danger zone again last week – despite coming second on the leaderboard on judges' scores for their steamy salsa.

One viewer felt she had been harshly treated, tweeting: "The UK hates confident women confirmed."

Maisie and Gorka were saved by judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke.

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