Saturday 24 August 2019

Strictly Come Dancing’s Alexandra Burke: It hurts to be called ‘fake’

The star says she feels out of her depth.

Alexandra Burke in Radio Times
Alexandra Burke in Radio Times

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Strictly Come Dancing star Alexandra Burke says she is “upset” by the negative comments about her.

The contestant was in the dance-off at the weekend when Scottish comedian Susan Calman and pro dance partner Kevin Clifton became the ninth couple to leave the series.

Burke, 29, told Radio Times magazine: “A lot has been made of me being a seasoned performer but every week when I start learning a new dance I feel completely out of my depth.”

Burke, who is partnered with Gorka Marquez, added: “Like everyone else, I’m nervous I’ll forget the steps or I’ll get my heel caught and fall flat on my face.

“But the one thing I have learnt over the years, and that I’ve brought to Strictly, is that you can’t let those nerves show on your face. You have to smile and the audience will smile with you.”

She added: “I fear some viewers see that as me not being genuine. I can’t help but sometimes read the negative comments people have written on social media about me being fake and it does upset me.

“It’s just such a shame that some people can’t see how hard I’m working, how nervous I am, but also how much I’m loving every minute of this experience – there’s nothing fake about that.”

Speaking about her good luck mascot, Burke said her teddy is strapped to the belt of one of the Strictly crew, from the wardrobe department, so the soft toy “can watch me” perform on the BBC1 show.

“Then as soon as I’ve finished and I’m allowed to bring him on screen, I’m always holding him tight,” she said.

The judges voted unanimously to save Burke on Sunday, calling time on Calman and Clifton’s Strictly journey.

Radio Times is out now.

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