Fleur East has said she is “not going to lose her power” — despite being told to control it by judges during her time on Strictly Come Dancing. The singer and radio DJ, 35, has delivered a number of standout performances on the BBC show, including receiving the only perfect 40 score of the whole 2022 series.
She will now compete against three other couples in the show’s grand finale on Saturday for the coveted glitterball trophy with her professional dance partner Vito Coppola. Reflecting on the judges’ comments on her "power" during the competition, she said: “I mean, I didn’t even know about this power until I came to Strictly. I’ve never heard the word so many times.
“I just think it’s something that gets me through life. I’ve faced so many challenges — losing my dad was the biggest challenge. Strictly is probably a close second to that. My power, I guess, is what gets me through, it’s like my superpower.
“I don’t know how I get through every day. People ask me ‘How are you doing your radio show? How are doing Strictly for three months and juggling all these things?’ — and I guess that’s my inner strength, that is my power and I never want to lose that.”
She added: “I remember Motsi (Mabuse) saying ‘Maybe it’s just something we’re not used to seeing and don’t lose your power’. I think all of the constructive criticism from the judges, to be honest with you, has been tough, but it has made me who I am now and it’s made me the dancer that I am now, and I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the dances we’ve done without their feedback.
“It’s been tough love because, without their guidance, and without all of the notes they’ve given me, I wouldn’t be able to dance like I am now. So, I’m grateful for the whole experience and I’m not going to lose the power, I’ll keep the power.”
After making it through the dreaded dance-off on Monday, East and Coppola will perform three dances during the final, one being the samba to Hot Hot Hot by Arrow, which was picked by the judges. They will also perform their couple’s choice dance, an energetic routine to a Destiny’s Child megamix, followed by their show dance to Find Me by Sigma featuring Birdy.
East said it is “surreal” that they are in the final and feels it would be a “miracle” if they won as they have had such a turbulent journey. “I think when we reached Blackpool it felt like we’d won, getting through to the final feels like an even bigger win, to actually win, I mean, I don’t even know what we would do,” she said.
The singer added that performing their couple’s choice dance, which secured them their perfect score, will be particularly poignant as it was a “special” performance for them. She said: “The perfect score was incredible but for us (but) it was so amazing because we dedicated that to my family and it had a real sentimental feeling behind it.”
Coppola added that if they were to win, he would be dedicating his part of it to East’s father, Malcolm East, as he was the reason she signed up. “He was a massive fan and you are doing this for him, we are doing this for him”, he said.
The dance partners have formed a close bond through their time together and they hope to continue on their friendship long after the finale, with Fleur revealing she has already booked Coppola in for a new music video next year. East will be up against wildlife presenter Hamza Yassin, TV presenter Helen Skelton and actor and singer Molly Rainford during the final, after Will Mellor became the 11th celebrity to leave the BBC One dance competition on Monday.
Strictly Come Dancing: The Final will air live tonight (Saturday, Dec 17) at 7.15pm, on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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