Molly Rainford: Who is the Strictly Come Dancing 2022 contestant and what is she famous for?

It’s officially Strictly Come Dancing season.

The latest series, the 20th anniversary special, has revealed a new bunch of contestants for 2022, including figures from the world of music, television and sports.

You can find the full line-up here.

Among the contestants competing for the Glitterball trophy this year is Molly Rainford. She is coupled up with new pro dancer Carlos Gu.

But who is Molly Rainford, and what has she said about appearing on Strictly?

Rainford, 21, shot to fame after reaching the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 when she was just 11.

She impressed judges Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden with her performances of Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” and Beyoncé’s versino of “Ave Maria”. She finished in sixth place (dancing dog act Ashleigh and Pudsey won), but was swiftly signd to Sony Music.

In 2014, she became the co-host of CBBC’s Friday Download and, in 2021, won new fans for her role in series Nova Jones, which tells the story of an intergalactic pop singer.

Rainford also wrote and released an extended play, which was streamed more than two million times online, and recorded a series of Christmas covers for an EP released in 2020.

Her father is Dave Rainford, the former Chelmsford City FC midfielder and assistant manager.

Molly Rainford (Instagram)
Molly Rainford (Instagram)

Speaking ahead of her Strictly appearance, Rainford said: “I wanted to take part in Strictly because I love everything the show stands for, all the glitz and the glamour. I love performing and I’ve never attempted to do Latin or ballroom dancing before so it’s adding a new string to my bow.”

The actor has topped the leaderboard a number of times in the series so far. Last week, Rainford scored 35 points for her cheeky Cha Cha Cha to “Do What I Do” by Lady Bri, placing her fourth on the leaderboard.

In week five, however, Rainford and Gu were sent into the dance off, with the judges voting to save them over fellow contestants Jayde & Karen.

The following week, they danced the Argentine Tango to “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush, drawing emphatic cheers from the studio audience. However, the judges were divided, ultimately giving them a score of 33.

Week seven saw Rainford impress the judges with a Foxtrot, which saw her given a score of 39.

In week eight, Rainford danced the Rumba. Anton Du Beke loved how “mature” the performance was and the rest of the judges agreed it was all pretty perfect. She scored an enviable 37, her highest score so far.

Strictly Come Dancing continues next Saturday on BBC One.