Strictly's Maisie Smith is all smiles leaving rehearsals as she works to avoid bottom two for third week running

STRICTLY'S Maisie Smith was all smiles on her way home from rehearsals last night as she hopes to avoid the dreaded dance-off this weekend.

The 19-year-old showed off a toothy grin and a gave a thumbs up as she drove away from the studio.

She cheekily stuck her tongue out behind the wheel and looked relaxed after two weeks in the bottom two.

Earlier this week Gorka Marquez's girlfriend Gemma Atkinson defended Maisie after trolls abused her for being "too confident".

Despite her sizzling performances, the actress has had to dance for survival twice, leaving her teary and doubting herself.

Fans of Maisie have accused her detractors of disliking "confident women" and now Gemma has told her followers to embrace confidence and ignore jealously online.

On her Instagram story, she said: "To the younger generation watching Strictly.

"Never ever dumb down your talent or ability or enthusiasm just to please a load of jealous people on the Internet.

"The most important thing a girl wears is her confidence."

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

Their decision meant that actress Caroline Quentin was sent home alongside her partner Johannes Radebe.

Maisie, who has been training flat-out between filming EastEnders, got glowing reviews from the judges.

The star has spoken about her fear of being thought of as arrogant – saying it's simply her nerves showing.

She told OK! magazine: "People have said they can't warm to me on Strictly, but I'm so nervous and that can be interpreted as arrogance.

"I'll either go quiet, or I'll go over the top to put on a confident front.

"It's hard to not let it affect you. I do have to genuinely remind myself to just trust myself. And be me."

Many fans have come out in support of Maisie, with one writing: "Think I’m coming across as a Maisie stan but I’m just sick of people saying she’s 'cocky' or 'arrogant'.

"No one would say this if she was older or a guy, people just can’t stand seeing a talented, confidant young woman and it’s awful to see."


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