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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Nicole Vassell

Fleur East: Who is the Strictly Come Dancing 2022 finalist?

BBC/Guy Levy

All fans of dance, sequins and panels of flamboyant judges, we’re sorry to say it, but the 2022 series of Strictly Come Dancing is nearly over.

One of the finalists is singer Fleur East. She is coupled up with new dancer Vito Coppola.

But who exactly is East, and what has she said about being a part of Strictly 2022?

East first hit TV screens in 2005 as part of girl group Addictiv Ladies on The X Factor. After getting eliminated in week one of the live studio shows, the group disbanded.

However, this was far from the end of East’s X Factor journey; in 2014, she reauditioned as a solo act where she impressed the judges and the public with her energetic performances. Her rendition of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk” reached number one on the UK iTunes chart, leading the original track to be released five weeks ahead of schedule.

Ultimately, East finished in second place and went on to score a number three single with the song “Sax”.

After this, she took part in I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2018, finishing in fourth place. She has continued performing and releasing music ever since.

East and partner Vito Coppola (BBC/Guy Levy)

Speaking about why she wanted to join Strictly, East said: “ Firstly, it’s the best show ever. Secondly, for me it’s a personal reason, my dad passed away in 2020 and this was his favourite show. He even used to get annoyed that he had to miss out on Strictly when I was on The X Factor because they were on at the same time.

“When I was deciding whether or not to do it I spoke to my sister and she reminded me of dad watching it all the time and then that was that the deciding factor straightaway, so that’s my motivation for doing it.”

In week four, the judges adored East’s moody Argentine Tango to “Paint it Black” by Ciara. She came second on the leaderboard with 38 points and avoided the dreaded dance-off, having been there the previous week.

Week five saw East score 32 points for her Jive to Abba’s “Waterloo”, while week six (Halloween week) saw her dance the Salsa to “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé, scoring 32 again.

East and Coppola ended the episode by dropping into the dance-off, facing James Bye and Amy Dowden.

In week seven, East impressed the judges once again, and scored near-perfect 39 points for her Waltz.

Two weeks later, East performed a Ballroom dance, and earned a score of 38.

Strictly Come Dancing airs its finale tonight.

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